The Office of the Special Envoy for Critical and Emerging Technology begins operations today at the Department of State. Secretary Blinken established the office as part of the wider modernization agenda because the constellation of critical and emerging technologies reshaping the world is now an integral part of the conduct of U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy. The competition to develop and deploy foundational technologies is intensifying. The Office of the Special Envoy will bring additional technology policy expertise, diplomatic leadership, and strategic direction to the Department’s approach to critical and emerging technologies. As the Department works to strengthen tech diplomacy across the organization, the office will provide a center of expertise and energy to develop and coordinate critical and emerging technology foreign policy, and to engage foreign partners on emerging technologies that will transform our societies, economies, and security—including biotechnology, advanced computing, artificial intelligence, and quantum information technologies. It will work in close coordination with the various bureaus and offices across the Department that are engaging on these and other technology topics that are central to our foreign policy.
Dr. Seth Center will serve as the Deputy Envoy and stand up and build out the office. Dr. Center has extensive experience working at the intersection of national security and technology policy in and out of government.