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Robert D. Atkinson

President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Robert Atkinson is president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based technology policy think tank. He is also author of the book, The Past And Future Of America’s Economy: Long Waves Of Innovation That Power Cycles Of Growth.

He has conducted ground-breaking research projects on technology and innovation, is a valued adviser to state and national policymakers, and is a popular speaker on innovation policy nationally and internationally.

Previously, Dr. Atkinson served as the first Executive Director of the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council. Prior to that, he was Project Director at the former Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. While at OTA, he directed The Technological Reshaping of Metropolitan America, a seminal report examining the impact of the information technology revolution on America’s urban areas.

He is a board member or advisory council member of the Alliance for Public Technology and the Information Policy Institute. Dr. Atkinson was appointed by President Clinton to the Commission on Workers, Communities and Economic Change in the New Economy. He is also a member of the Task Force on National Security in the Information Age.

In 2006, Inc. Magazine listed Atkinson as one of 19 Friends of small business in Washington. He received his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989.

Articles by Robert D. Atkinson

Boosting Transatlantic Technology Cooperation

The EU and the U.S. need to address the real technology competitiveness challenge, which is China.

November 29, 2021

How Financial Triumphalists Destabilize the US Economy

As long as the Wall Street triumphalists’ unreflected “why worry?” thinking remains the norm, the urgently needed pursuit of a U.S. economic reform agenda will go nowhere.

May 25, 2020

Paris Climate Talks Need to Focus on Innovation

Only when the unsubsidized cost of clean energy is cheaper than fossil fuels will nations switch en masse.

November 30, 2015

Renaissance in American Manufacturing? Not So Fast

Optimistic statistics on American manufacturing distract from the less optimistic truth.

February 2, 2015

Robots Are Not the Problem

Less "rise of the machines" — and more "rise of the incomes."

February 4, 2014

What Really Is Competitiveness?

Nations compete — but no one ever accurately measures national competitiveness.

September 20, 2013

Should We Expect Multinationals to Be Loyal?

Why would a European CEO be "shunned" if he moved much of his production to China?

September 19, 2012

What Should America Do About China?

What actions should the United States take to change China's current trade policies?

April 9, 2012

How the Government Built Silicon Valley

Why is government support a necessary ingredient to building a vibrant system of innovation?

March 15, 2012

The Globalist Debate: A Weaker Dollar Can Help the U.S. Economy

Will a weak dollar help reverse the flow of U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas?

January 25, 2012

Innovation Economics and Trade Policy

How does innovation economics offer the best framework for trade in the 21st century?

October 2, 2008

Building a 21st Century Economic Framework

Why have policymakers failed to keep up with the latest economic trends?

October 1, 2008

The Rise of the New Mercantilism (Part II)

What should the United States do to curb unfair trade practices in the developing world?

May 30, 2008

The Rise of the New Mercantilism (Part I)

Is growing economic competition leading to unfair trade practices in the developing world?

May 29, 2008