What Is TechCongress?

The Mission

Learn more on TechCongress' website!

TechCongress brings tech talent, ideas and training to Congress and to build a practical and pragmatic understanding of Washington within the tech community.  They bridge the divide of knowledge and experience between DC and Silicon Valley for better outcomes for both. 

The Fellowship

Learn more about the 2016 class of Congressional Innovation Fellows!

The Congressional Innovation Fellowship provides a unique opportunity to change Congress by injecting desperately needed technological expertise into the Legislative Branch.

The fellowship is a twelve-month residency on Capitol Hill, running from January to December.  Fellows work directly for a Member of Congress or Congressional Committee for the duration of their residency and may spend their time on technology-related issues like NSA surveillance reform, encryption, cybersecurity or network neutrality.  Typical duties may include: 

  • Briefing Members and staff about technology issues
  • Researching legislation 
  • Preparing for hearings or markups
  • Meeting with stakeholder groups and building coalitions

Fellowship Orientation

Fellows begin the program with a two week in-depth orientation.  

Week one consists of small group networking with policymakers, including one-on-one conversations with Members of Congress and their staff.  It also includes workshops on the following topics:

  • Legislative process, including House and Senate floor procedure
  • Committees and Committee process
  • Federal budgeting and appropriations
  • Technology policy deep-dives 
  • Overall leadership development

In week two, fellows visit with tech policy thought leaders at academic institutions, civil society groups and technology companies to explore the range of perspectives on common tech policy challenges. 

Commitment to Diversity

TechCongress is committed to building an ecosystem of diverse, cross-­sector technology policy leaders. We recognize that diversity is a problem in the technology community and are working to be part of the solution. Diversity is also a problem on Capitol Hill, where hiring is often based on pre-­existing relationships and many entry ­level jobs do not pay a living wage, making it difficult for individuals that don’t come from money to begin a career and subsequently advance in Congress. We embrace diversity across multiple dimensions and encourage applicants from underrepresented communities in technology and in Congress, including those from minority gender, race, sexual orientation and socio­economic groups. We pay a living wage and create a pathway into Congress that does not exist for underrepresented groups.