This summer, in collaboration with DC-based policy professionals, the Stanford Existential Risks Initiative (SERI) is organizing a second virtual speaker series on US policy careers. Sign up to receive further information and event access here.

Last year's US policy careers speaker series attracted substantial interest, and feedback suggested that many found it informative (see here for concrete insights from last year). We hope to replicate and build on this.

Many people in our community recognize the value of policy work, but it is often hard to access information about how to test fit and get your foot in the policy door—or what working in “policy” even means in practice. 

This speaker series is intended to be useful for people who are looking to learn more about which types of US policy jobs are good fits for them and what steps they can take to prepare for these jobs. More than a dozen speakers will share their policy career experiences and provide advice for those seeking to enter the field.

Content and speakers

Speakers will include people who are currently working in or have worked at a wide range of organizations involved in policy-making, as directors, researchers, advisors, project managers, and other roles. We’ll have a mix of early-, mid-, and senior-career speakers.

Sessions will highlight speakers’ experiences in different kinds of US policy jobs. Most speakers have backgrounds in technology policy, especially biosecurity and AI policy, but the sessions are designed to be useful to people with a wide range of interests. 

Currently scheduled sessions are:

  1. Q&A session(s) with senior policy practitioners
  2. Working in the executive branch / White House
  3. Working in Congress
  4. Working in think tanks
  5. Graduate school for policy careers (master's, law school, PhD)
  6. Information session on policy fellowship and job opportunities

If you attended last summer's sessions, you might find some of the sessions similar, but you'll also have a chance to attend sessions you previously missed, hear from several new speakers, and learn about new content in the Q&As.

Format

Sessions will last about an hour, following an interactive, moderated Q&A format, with half the time dedicated to audience questions to make sure we cover topics relevant to attendees. After each session, the organizers will follow up with attendees with related links and other relevant career resources.

Please note that to respect the privacy of speakers and to allow them to speak freely, the talks will not be recorded and will be held under Chatham House Rule.

Additional information

  • There will be at least 5 sessions: about one per week, starting early July.
  • To accommodate speakers’ schedules, most sessions will take place between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm US Eastern Time.
  • While we encourage attending the full series, signing up is not a hard commitment; no need to let organizers know if you are unable to attend a session.
  • Speakers are not necessarily affiliated with this forum or related organizations, communities, and ideas.
  • If you have any other questions, please comment below or message us through this forum.

If you are interested, sign up here.

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Sounds great! However, these times are very difficult from Europe. Are the talks recorded?