ISA Webinar Series 

Challenges and Opportunities for U.S. Federal Industrial Strategy
Spring 2023


Under the Biden administration and with the support of the 117th Congress, the US federal government has adopted an ambitious policy agenda that targets expanded domestic production in specific industrial sectors and their supply chains, such as semiconductors and electric vehicles. Such policies have long been routine for other national governments as well as for US states, but they have been hotly-debated for decades at the federal level. “Industrial strategy,” as the president’s economic advisor labels this new agenda, promises great rewards, but will be challenging to carry out effectively.

This semester’s series will focus on the challenges and opportunities of executing industrial strategy at the federal level in the United States. ISA will host eminent practitioners, scholars, and those straddling the boundary between research and practice to discuss how the agenda will unfold and what implications it may have for the future of key industries globally.


Monday, April 17 (12-2 PM ET): U.S. Technology Policy: Optimizing the Impact of the National Science Foundation

How should the National Science Foundation (NSF) be organized and managed to optimize its future impact on the science and engineering research community, start-up companies, and upward economic mobility for all American citizens?   As backdrop to this question, Federal policy makers, business leaders, and academic thought-leaders are currently engaged in vigorous debate about the advantages and disadvantages of an increasingly more coherent collection of legislative actions, policies, and regulations to support America’s technological leadership in today’s global economy.   A watershed legislative action was the CHIPS and Science Act, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Biden in August 2022.  The “science” element of the Act authorizes ambitious new funding for the NSF of $81 billion by fiscal year 2027, which amounts to a doubling of NSF’s annual budget.  To expand economic prosperity, NSF has created a new directorate called Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP).  In addition to TIP’s future impact on economic prosperity, TIP also presents complex organizational and leadership puzzles.  This webinar will include a panel of experts to provide analysis and prescriptions for NSF’s future impact and its new TIP directorate.


Dr. Erwin GianchandaniAssistant Director of the Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships


Dahila Sokolov, is the Democratic Policy Director of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. For a decade prior to that, she served as Staff Director for the Research & Technology Subcommittee, where she played a key role in developing and shepherding through the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act, the Quantum Initiative Act,  and many other notable science and technology policy laws. Dahlia has deep expertise on Federal science, technology, and innovation policy matters, especially as they pertain to the National Science Foundation; the Department of Commerce; emerging technologies; research security; STEM education; and academic research. During her first two years with the Committee, Dahlia worked on energy issues, including nuclear energy R&D. Dahlia joined the committee staff as an American Institute of Physics Congressional fellow in 2004 and joined the professional staff in 2005. Dahlia is serving under the leadership of Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and previously served under the leadership of former Chairs Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Bart Gordon (D-TN), and Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY). Before coming to Congress, Dahlia completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute. Dahlia is an honorary fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science. She has a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Washington and a B.S. in Engineering Physics from the University of California at Berkeley. 

Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Professor and Tom and Marie Patton School Chair in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Institute of Technology. 


Steve Currall is Professor and Former President at the University of South Florida and a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences


Past Webinars 

Wednesday, March 15 (12-2 PM ET): From R&D to RDD&D (Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment): The U.S. Department of Energy Retools for a New Era

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has long been a leading funder of R&D across a wide range of scientific and technical fields. Much of its institutional structure and culture have flowed from this function. Recent legislation, backed by substantial funding, places new responsibilities on DOE to bring innovations to maturity and ensure they are widely-deployed in order to achieve ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. The Department has begun to respond to this challenge by adapting its organizational structure and practices.

This webinar will lay out key responses and anticipated next steps. provide a preliminary assessment of their potential to contribute to a more livable world, and yield insights into future funding patterns.


 Lane Dilg, Senior Advisor, Office of the Under Secretary for Infrastructure, US Department of Energy


 Tanya Das, Senior Associate Director of Energy Innovation, Bipartisan Policy Center

 Spencer Nelson, Managing Director, Research and New Initiatives, Clearpath


 David M. Hart, Professor at George Mason’s Schar School of Policy and Government and a senior fellow at ITIF‘s Center for Clean Energy Innovation.