When Edward Snowden released thousands of classified NSA documents, Travis Moore was tasked with learning about the information fast. As the former legislative director for U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, Moore scrambled to find technical expertise on bulk metadata, the NSA’s programs, and the implications of the breach. Ultimately, he had to look outside the halls of Congress.
With tech-related issues continuing to gain importance, the experience left him looking to bring more expertise to the Capitol Hill. Moore created TechCongress, a 13-month fellowship that places technologists either in congressional offices or committees to provide knowledge on various legislation, emerging technologies, and concerns.
From now until September 28, TechCongress will accept applications for next year’s cohort. According to Moore, successful candidates possess three traits:
TechCongress is a young program, having only started in 2015, but they’ve already stumbled upon interesting takeaways. One was the level of veteran interest. In their first year, three of their top five candidates included veterans. Two of them later became inaugural fellows. For 2017, Moore and his team plan to focus on bringing in more veterans and diversifying their program with more female fellows.
It seems that no one can escape cyber threats these days — from political parties to even the King in the North.
As the threats in cybersecurity outpace the community itself, the need for innovative thinking has multiplied. According to New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative the solution is rather simple: diversity.
Despite a projected 1.8 million shortages in the workforce, women, for example, currently represent only 11 percent of professionals in the cybersecurity community.
It’s issues like this that are central to Laura Bate‘s work as senior program associate at New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative.
“The shortage of workers in the cybersecurity industry is an economic and security problem that we are working to confront through better alignment of the training pipeline and the hiring community, and through opening the aperture of who we perceive as a ‘fit’ for the workforce,” Bate wrote in an email.
To address the importance of diversity in solving today’s challenges in cybersecurity, New America Cybersecurity Initiative will host a panel on Aug. 11 at their 15th Street location in D.C.