William B. Bonvillian is a member of ITIF’s board.
Bonvillian is a Lecturer at MIT and Senior Director for Special Projects at MIT Open Learning. He was formerly the director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Washington, DC, office, where he worked to support MIT’s strong and historic relations with federal R&D agencies and its role on national science policy. Prior to that position, he served for 17 years as legislative director and chief counsel to Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT). His legislative efforts in the Senate included science and technology policies and innovation issues. He worked extensively on legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security, intelligence reform, defense and life science R&D, and national competitiveness and innovation legislation.
He has lectured and given speeches before numerous organizations on science, technology, and innovation questions, and he teachers in this area at MIT. He is co-author of five books, including, Workforce Education, A New Roadmap (MIT 2021), The DARPA Model for Transformative Innovation (Open Book 2020), Advanced Manufacturing, The New American Innovation Policies (MIT 2018), Technological Innovation in Legacy Sectors (Oxford 2015), and Structuring an Energy Technology Revolution (MIT 2009). He is on the National Academies of Sciences’ standing committee for its Innovation Policy Forum, served for seven years on its Board on Science Education, and on six other Academies’ Committees. He chaired the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy for four years, and is on the Polaris Council for the General Accountability Office’s Science and Technology Assessment and Analysis program. He was the recipient of the IEEE Distinguished Public Service Award in 2007 and was elected a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011 for “socially distinguished” efforts “on behalf of the advancement of science and its applications.”
In recent years, he has worked extensively on workforce education issues, evaluating programs nationwide, and leading MIT research projects. He has also worked on advanced manufacturing innovation issues, speaking and writing extensively on these topics. He was an advisor to MIT’s noted “Production in the Innovation Economy” study of manufacturing from 2011-14, and a participant for two MIT presidents in the President’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership on its major 2012 and 2014 reports that helped lead to the advanced manufacturing institutes and related legislation and policies. He has served on three National Academies Committees studying the advanced manufacturing institutes.
Prior to his work in the Senate, he was a partner at a large national law firm. Early in his career, he served as the deputy assistant secretary and director of congressional affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation, working on major transportation deregulation legislation.