2019 Speakers

Kumar Garg

Kumar Garg is the Senior Director for Technology and Society at Schmidt Futures. His portfolio includes four core areas of work: promoting the positive digital transformation of society by investing in data collaboratives that address concrete societal problems; expanding the number of people that are involved in discovery and innovation; investing in early stage risk-capital in nascent university research, high-potential people, and young organizations; and advancing public policy that sustains and leverages science and technology. Kumar’s work will also include exploring different approaches to solving problems, including open innovation, market-shaping, and Grand Challenges.

He previously helped shape science and technology policy for the Obama Administration for nearly eight years, serving in a variety of roles in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Kumar led the Obama Administration’s efforts to bolster science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, including the Educate to Innovate campaign, with more than $1 billion in in-kind and philanthropic investment; develop major State of the Union initiatives to train 100,000 excellent STEM teachers and bring computer science to all K–12 students; and create iconic events such as the White House Science Fair.

Working with the OSTP Deputy Director, he supervised a team of 20 staff and worked on broad innovation policy, advanced manufacturing, behavioral sciences, biotechnology, broadband, digital media, entrepreneurship, the maker movement, space, nanotechnology, and prizes. As a senior leader at OSTP, Kumar was involved in policy development, implementation, and communication of a wide range of science and technology issues.

Prior to his time in government, he worked on behalf of parents and children seeking educational reform as an education lawyer and advocate. He received a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a law degree from Yale Law School.