Institute of Politics

Erin Simpson

Director of Technology Policy at the Center for American Progress

  • Spring 2022 Pritzker Fellow

  • Seminar Series: "Disinformation USA: A Sociotechnical Reckoning on Where We Go from Here"


Erin Simpson is a technology policy expert committed to advancing public interest values online. Simpson is currently the Director of Technology Policy at the Center for American Progress, where she develops policy responses to a range of economic, social, and democratic challenges.

Simpson has advocated for platform accountability and improved technology regulation in the European Union, United Kingdom, and United States.She served as the civil society lead for the Computational Propaganda Research Project at the University of Oxford, where she supported international civil and human rights leaders in democratic resilience and strategic responses to disinformation.

Simpson’s policymaking is informed by her earlier work in civic technology. She was the founding director of programs at Civic Hall Labs, a civic tech research and development nonprofit in New York City, and a Microsoft civic tech fellow.

Simpson is a Marshall scholar and a Truman scholar. She received two master’s degrees from the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford and earned a bachelor’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago. During her time at the College, she was a student leader and organizer at the IOP, co-founding the IOP TechTeam.

She is an avid outdoorswoman and proud Wisconsinite.


"Disinformation USA: A Sociotechnical Reckoning on Where We Go from Here"

Disinformation, it seems, is everywhere. From the doctor’s office to the ballot box, TikTok to FM radio, disinformation is held up as the culprit behind any number of US political anxieties. But while problems with propaganda are nothing new, the national fixation with disinformation on social media illustrates a meaningful challenge for our time: coming to grips with how the internet radically changed our information ecosystem, our politics, and how we understand each other. From foreign interference to domestic radicalization, democratic institutions and technology companies have struggled to stymie the harms from our broken information ecosystem. Over eight weeks, we’ll critically examine the disinformation phenomenon and use it as an entry point to look more expansively at American politics and an evolving media ecosystem. We’ll explore the technical, cultural, financial, and political power struggles fueling information disorder, engaging leading practitioners and scholars in the field. Throughout, we’ll interrogate the policy implications of our discussions, turning over the technical, legal, and cultural strategies that might constitute better governance in a disinformation-rich age.

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