The Stimson Center’s Loomis Council is a forum for America’s technology leaders and policymakers to share expertise, build innovative solutions to 21st century problems, and consider the future of U.S. technology policy. In 2018, our experience translating policy into pragmatic action by leveraging the tech sector led Stimson to consider new options for scaling technology solutions to meet the grand global challenges addressed by the work of the Center. The result was the Alfred Lee Loomis Innovation Council
Stimson President Brian Finlay explains the vision behind the Loomis Council.
turning ideas into reality
Stimson's unique approach to policy change puts applied research and solutions-building alongside deep engagement and rigorous analysis
In July 2018, The Alfred Lee Loomis Innovation Council was born. Seven founding members came together at Stimson in July to convene a cohort of innovative thinkers willing to meet difficult policy challenges with practical technology solutions. Named for an early 20th century technological pioneer—and cousin of Henry Stimson—The Loomis Innovation Council is a forum for America’s technology leaders and policymakers to share expertise, build innovative solutions to 21st century problems, and consider the future of U.S. technology policy.
Inspiration in Unusual Places
In 2014, The Stimson Center launched a new three-year initiative to address the challenge of animal poaching in sub-Saharan Africa. The Kenyan government was struggling to adequately protect its threatened rhino population, as poachers outnumbered and outgunned the wildlife service staff tasked with protecting these critically endangered animals. Profits from poaching were increasingly being diverted to support transnational organized crime, and the negative impact on the tourism industry further threatened local economies. Previous efforts to use technology to address the issue had failed—lacking sustainable resources, drones purchased for the government to surveil park land and identify intruders sat idle. Working with the government, the environmental community, security experts, and technology companies, Stimson built a coalition that designed and implemented a low-tech, sustainable solution to border management that better tracked the rhino population and facilitated the government’s management of this precious resource within the Ngulia Rhino sanctuary. As a result, the local rhino population rebounded in two years, and Ngulia became one of the few parks that witnessed such a change.
Eighteen members were recruited in 2018 to serve as Council Members, bringing diverse expertise and perspectives to the very real, very complex challenges Stimson’s programs tackle every day. Stimson’s goal is to bridge the divide between the promise of technology to solve global challenges, and the deep socio-political expertise needed to understand how certain interventions can be successful.
Loomis is a natural continuation of Stimson’s longstanding commitment to bring extensive policy expertise to bear on difficult questions, and we look forward to sharing our progress.