Progress Studies

At an important moment of science policymaking, federal policymakers are continually seeking ambitious science ideas. In response, we are partnering with the Institute for Progress to host a Progress Studies Policy Accelerator to generate a compelling set of actionable new proposals from new and expert voices.  


This six-week “idea accelerator” aims to convert enthusiasm for reshaping public institutions into real policy impact by helping individuals with good initial ideas craft compelling, short, and actionable policy proposals, level-up their policy expertise, and engage veteran policymakers for feedback and implementation prospects. 

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Sasha Chapin

Sasha Chapin is an author and communications consultant/writing coach. His first book, All the Wrong Moves, a memoir about his life as an amateur chess player, was published by Penguin Random House. As a coach, he's had the privilege to help intelligent people from all walks of life articulate their visions, whether commercial, emotional, or otherwise. He's excited to join the Day One Project and is eager to learn how to bring some of his communication abilities to humanity's most pressing policy issues.

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Willy Chertman

Willy Chertman is a recently graduated physician working with 1Day Sooner as advocacy lead. He is fascinated by health policy and research regulation and hopes to popularize innovative mechanisms to solve market failures in global health. In his spare time, he reads and blogs about the history of medicine and its regulation. He graduated from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine with a MD/MS in Genomic Medicine and from the University of Miami with a BS in Biology and Political Science.

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Eli Dourado

Eli Dourado is a senior research fellow at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University. His work focuses on identifying and eliminating the barriers to the hard technology innovations needed to drive large increases in economic growth. He has worked on a wide range of technology policy issues, including aviation, space, geothermal energy, and cryptocurrency. His popular writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Foreign Policy, among other outlets. Prior to joining the CGO, Eli was the first policy hire at a supersonic aviation startup. Before that, he was a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and director of its technology policy program. He received a PhD in economics from George Mason University and a BA in economics and political science from Furman University.


Shaunalynn Duffy

Shaunalynn Duffy is a co-founder of Powderhouse, a research, design, and advocacy group devoted to realizing the future of learning in practice through direct work with youth. After more than a decade of work running programs for youth and adults, both in and out of schools, and most recently working to start a public high school in Somerville, MA, Powderhouse is now expanding its work to tackle the legal and regulatory constraints that limit education reform.

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Tina Huang

Tina Huang is the policy program manager at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI). At HAI, she oversees numerous programs designed to equip policymakers in the U.S. and abroad with the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions on various emerging technologies. Previously, she was an AI Policy Fellow for Rep. Jerry McNerney and a research analyst at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology where she focused on AI talent and military use of AI. Tina is also an advisor to Girl Security, a non-profit preparing girls and gender minorities for national security careers. Tina earned her B.A. in international studies from Emory University and M.A. in security studies from the Georgetown Walsh School of Foreign Service.

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Divyansh Kaushik

Divyansh Kaushik is a PhD student in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, where he is an Amazon Graduate Research Fellow studying artificial intelligence. He currently serves as the President of Carnegie Mellon University’s Graduate Student Assembly. In this role, he has led advocacy efforts on higher education, science funding, and immigration issues at all levels of government. His work has been featured in prominent national media outlets including Politico, Chronicle of Higher Education, and PBS Newshour.

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Hassan Khan

Hassan Khan holds a PhD in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. His dissertation examined the technological and institutional challenges facing the semiconductor industry at the end of Moore's Law. He is currently a New Product Operations Manager - Home at Apple. Previously, he was a consultant in McKinsey's Implementation practice focused on serving clients in the semiconductor and consumer electronics industries. He previously worked at KeepTruckin, Twin Creeks Technologies and has a BS from UC Berkeley.

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John Richard Myers

John Myers co-founded the London YIMBY and YIMBY Alliance housing campaigns in the UK. The effective giving initiative Founders Pledge recommended London YIMBY and in particular his suggestion of ‘street votes’ and similar micro-democratic ideas for providing badly-needed housing with the support of local communities. The UK government has expressed interest in that approach, which has now been endorsed by a broad and growing cross-party coalition. He co-wrote the ‘Housing Theory of Everything’ for the online magazine Works in Progress. He previously worked in finance after studying and practising law in the UK and the US.


Joanne Peng

Joanne Peng is a scientist working on longevity research. In the past, she was a Thiel Fellow, conducting research at the Ryerson Biomedical Research Institute at MaRS and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Joanne has also played music professionally in the Regina Symphony, worked on COVID testing at Curative, and explored mathematics at Pearson College UWC. She is currently at Princeton, and grateful to be supported by fellowships from the Thiel Foundation, Interact, and the Davis UWC Scholar program.

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Ben Reinhardt

At the end of the day, Ben is trying to enable more awesome sci-fi stuff (that ideally empowers people and leads to human flourishing). The best way to do that is to create new institutional structures that enable different sets of activities than the current set. Specifically he is trying to create a private ARPA to go after things that are too research-y for startups, too engineering heavy for academia, and too weird for the government. His official training is a B.S. in history and mechanical engineering, and a Ph.D in space robotics. Professional history includes: plumbing/HVAC, NASA, working at and attempting to create startups, and venture capital.

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Alec Resnick

Alec Resnick is a co-founder and director of Powderhouse, an education research and design institute and high school outside Boston devoted to inventing the future of learning. Before Powderhouse, Alec co-founded sprout & co, a community organization developing youth and adult programming making science a cultural activity and nublabs, a design firm developing educational tools and toys, after studying math and physics at MIT.

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Sam Rodriques

Sam Rodriques is an entrepreneur, technologist, and inventor in the biotechnology space. He has invented a new nanofabrication method, a new approach to sensing neural activity with probes in the bloodstream, and new ways to extract spatial and temporal information from RNA sequencing. He founded the Applied Biotechnology Laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute in January 2021 with the goal of combining bioengineering and entrepreneurship to develop and deploy new biotechnologies that address major unmet needs for biology and medicine. His lab is developing a broad range of technologies, including new AAV viral vectors, new diagnostic technologies for cancer and Alzheimer's disease, and new ways to map connections between neurons in the brain. Prior to starting his lab, he was an entrepreneur in residence at Petri, a biotech accelerator in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated with a PhD in Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in June 2019. He also works on inventing new systems for funding science, such as Focused Research Organizations, announced in October 2021.


Emily Ryan

Emily Ryan is a second year Presidential Innovation Fellow, detailed to the Department of Justice’s Office of the Deputy Attorney General where she works on strategic initiatives that span across the agency. In her first year, she worked on the DOJ’s Civil Rights Team, helping advance civil rights through technology by working on a wide range of projects including the Civil Rights Reporting Portal, the ADA redesign as well as assisting with several high-profile court cases covering Title IX and Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. She’s also part of the Language Access working group, tasked with creating avenues for language equity across DOJ as outlined under EO 13985. She holds a BFA in Graphic Design, a master’s degree in Criminal Law and is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in Government, focusing on Social Justice. Prior to entering federal service, Emily worked in the private sector and led successful development, research and design teams spanning government consulting, technology startups and the cybersecurity space. She also volunteers with several local and national organizations, focusing on creating pathways out of homelessness and honoring those in the military who gave their lives for their country.

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Jordan Schneider

Jordan Schneider is a Senior Analyst at Rhodium Group focusing on China's technological rise, US-China tech relations and the impact of Chinese technology policy on the broader economy. He is also the creator of the ChinaTalk podcast and newsletter as well as a fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He previously worked at Kuaishou, Bridgewater and the Eurasia Group, received a master’s in economics from Peking University’s Yenching Academy and a BA from Yale.

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Ben Thompson

Ben is a computational scientist and software engineer with deep experience in building open source software for physical simulation and machine learning. During his PhD in Earth Science at Harvard, he built tools to simulate geometrically realistic earthquakes. More recently at QuantCo, Ben collaborated with economists to build machine learning systems in e-commerce and insurance. Currently, he is working as a technical research consultant, supporting researchers with their physical simulation, software and performance engineering problems. Together with the progress studies accelerator, in order to accelerate the scientific process, he'd like to create individual contributor career paths in academia for hands-on technically talented senior scientists.

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Arika Virapongse

Arika Virapongse Ph.D. is a social ecologist and community activator. She is passionate about improving equity in academia and society at-large, building empowered communities, and supporting healthy human-environmental systems. Arika is a Research Scholar & Community Director at the Ronin Institute for Independent Scholarship. She is also the Founder of Middle Path EcoSolutions, LLC, a consulting firm that helps community builders and organizations build empowered and engaged communities.

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Nick Whitaker

Nick Whitaker is a founder and editor of Works in Progress, a quarterly magazine elevating important ideas for the future. He has previously received a grant from Emergent Ventures. He is a graduate in philosophy from Brown University.