The McCourt School’s Tech & Public Policy (TPP) program initially launched and continues to proudly support paid fellowships for emerging technology policy leaders. In September 2023, TPP welcomed three distinguished scholars to work with Frances Haugen, Facebook whistleblower and advocate for accountability and transparency in social media, and her organization Beyond the Screen, which is supported by Project Liberty’s Institute (formerly the McCourt Institute).
During the fall semester, James Doyle (CCT’24), Archit Mehta (CCT’25) and Ava Schafbuch (CCT’25) will work closely with Haugen and the Beyond the Screen team to help advance the Duty of Care project, aimed at identifying and developing strategies to mitigate social media harm. This term, their focus is on identifying and cataloguing national security harms associated with social media. All three graduate students are earning master’s degrees in communication, culture & technology, studying the impact of technology on society, and society on technology.
“The Fellows are getting invaluable hands-on experience, not only in building evidence for policy, but in designing policy strategy, performing political outreach and crafting messaging,” said Michelle De Mooy, director of TPP. “This work is part of an important generational shift towards platform accountability, and it’s exciting to see these students on the front lines of it.”
Meet the Fall 2023 Beyond the Screen Fellows
Shortly after earning a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, Doyle began working at a software engineering company. He spent his free time researching graduate programs that would allow him to not just create products, but learn how to improve technology development and advocate for more sustainable manufacturing.
Doyle’s investigation led him to Georgetown, where he found “a massive amount of researchers and institutions pursuing the boundaries of technology and the social sciences.”
“While I have always loved the myriad ways that the tech ecosystem has improved life for many around the world, I began to find faults with a lot of the technologies around us, and with the philosophies underpinning developments coming out of Silicon Valley,” he said.