David M. Hart

David M. Hart
Senior Fellow
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

David M. Hart is a senior fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and professor of public policy and director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. He is also a former member of ITIF’s board.

Hart’s work at ITIF focuses on clean energy innovation. Prior to joining ITIF as a senior fellow, he co-authored (with Richard K. Lester) Unlocking Energy Innovation (MIT Press) and published numerous articles on energy innovation policy in academic and policy publications.

In 2011 and 2012, Hart served as assistant director for innovation policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he focused on advanced manufacturing issues. He contributed to the National Strategic Plan for Advanced Manufacturing and the reports of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. After leaving the White House, Hart co-authored (with Robert D. Atkinson and Stephen Ezell) the ITIF report “Why America Needs a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.”

Hart served as senior associate dean of the George Mason School of Public Policy during the 2014 and 2015 academic years. He currently co-chairs the Innovation Policy Forum at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. His other books include The Emergence of Entrepreneurship Policy (Cambridge University Press), and Forged Consensus: Science, Technology, and Economic Policy in the U.S., 1929-1953 (Princeton University Press). He earned his Ph.D. in political science from MIT in 1995.

Recent Publications

June 5, 2020

Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 are already putting severe pressure on international student recruitment. Eliminating Optional Practical Training (OPT) would make the problem much worse.

May 18, 2020

Demonstrating the commercial viability of new technologies for deep decarbonization requires federal funding. But the government’s past record is decidedly mixed. So Congress should increase funding for demonstration projects while reforming how they are administered.

May 11, 2020

The United States is struggling to move innovative energy technologies from discovery to scale. This gap could put the climate and U.S. investments at risk. A nonprofit foundation working with the Department of Energy could help fill the gap.

April 15, 2020

In response to a bipartisan request by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, ITIF suggested 16 steps the federal government could take to stimulate clean energy and manufacturing if today’s public health emergency turns into a prolonged economic downturn.

April 2, 2020

A strange twist of fate has aligned to make a “strange bedfellows” coalition of red-state Republicans and environmentalist greens on oil tariffs.

February 28, 2020

The Murkowski-Manchin bill should become a building block of the durable climate policy we need. It deserves the support of everyone who understands the necessity of making radical reductions in global carbon emissions by 2050.

January 22, 2020

While the renewables build-out is far from over, energy storage is poised to surf this bipartisan wave of support in the 2020s. A national energy-storage initiative would make the most of this enthusiasm by aligning all federal agencies around aggressive, but achievable goals in collaboration with the private sector, academia, and states and localities.

January 8, 2020

Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have released a framework for legislation that sets the bold goal of transitioning to net-zero emissions by 2050, taking a much-needed comprehensive approach to all sources of emissions within the committee’s jurisdiction. It is imperative that Congress now take additional steps to accelerate innovation in new clean energy technologies.

December 21, 2019

The time has come to break this unhealthy cycle. Rep. Tom Reed, who represents New York’s 23rd Congressional District, has proposed an Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act that points the way.

December 2, 2019

Tax incentives can play an important role in accelerating the innovations needed for a low-carbon future, but only if the incentives reward innovators rather than support well-entrenched incumbents.

November 27, 2019

Mission Innovation—a commitment by the world’s major powers to accelerate innovation in emissions-cutting technologies—has been virtually forgotten. Worse, its signatories are not living up to its terms.

November 26, 2019

There’s no point in an EV plan that’s so aggressive it can’t be implemented even under the most auspicious economic circumstances. Nor is there a point in advancing an EV plan that wouldn’t yield significant climate benefits.

Recent Events and Presentations

May 20, 2020

ITIF released a new report about how the United States can build a robust energy technology demonstration portfolio and a panel of experts assessed leading proposals to better manage it.

May 13, 2020

ITIF presented a new report setting forth a vision and design for an non-profit Energy Technology Commercialization Foundation by ITIF senior fellows Jetta Wong and David Hart. The report draws on more than 140 interviews and two full-day stakeholder workshops as well as extensive documentary research.

December 18, 2019

ITIF hosted a briefing and released a new report on using tax incentives to drive clean energy innovation.

October 30, 2019

ITIF and the Bipartisan Policy Center held an expert panel exploring the history solar energy innovations, China's role and influence on solar's diffusion as a leading manufacturer of solar panels, and the future of clean energy innovation.

September 26, 2019

ITIF hosted an expert panel discussion marking the release of a new report discussing the future of the federal government’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs and the role small businesses can play in driving innovation.

March 5, 2019

ITIF released a comprehensive report on DOD’s energy innovation effort and hosted an expert panel discussion on its relevance to the fight to reduce carbon emissions, including ways civilian agencies might better leverage DOD’s investments.

November 28, 2018

Even with continued improvements and cost reductions to current emissions reducing technologies, the world is not on track to achieve the deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Join ITIF for the release of a new report analyzing hard-to-decarbonize sectors and an expert panel discussion on the limits of current technologies and potential solutions.

November 7, 2018

As the auto industry shifts toward electric vehicles and the electricity grid draws more energy from variable renewables, high-capacity, high-performance and affordable batteries are becoming one of the most important areas of technological innovation needed to reduce carbon emissions.

September 18, 2018

Economic theory suggests a tax on carbon emissions is the most efficient way to reduce them. But another important effect of such a tax would be to induce innovation in clean energy technology.

June 27, 2018

ITIF hosted an expert discussion how the Department of Energy (DOE) can best foster innovation.

May 16, 2018

Please join ITIF for the release of a new report that reviews the progress of DOE’s Manufacturing USA Institutes and looks ahead to their future. The report’s authors, ITIF Senior Fellow David M. Hart and Peter I. Singer, will present their findings and discuss policy options to guide their next stage of evolution with an expert panel.

April 26, 2018

Please join ITIF for the release of an MIT Energy Initiative working paper. The report’s authors, ITIF Senior Fellow David M. Hart and MIT Professor Bill Bonvillian, will present their findings and discuss policy options for grid-scale storage with an expert panel.