Honorary co-chairs named in international effort to develop strategy for safeguarding freedom from technological authoritarianism

WASHINGTON – The Global Tech Security Commission today announced the naming of six bipartisan honorary co-chairs: Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Representatives Michael McCaul (R-TX-10), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-8) and Lori Trahan (D-MA-03).

The honorary co-chairs will help guide and amplify the commission’s work, including its related strategy sessions and final report. The commission’s mission is to develop a global tech security strategy designed to rally and unify like-minded countries, leverage the innovation and resources of the private sector, and build a global network to develop, protect and adopt trusted technologies.

The Global Tech Security Commission is a partnership between the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue and the Atlantic Council; former U.S. Under Secretary of State Keith Krach and former President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid are the commission’s co-chairs. Launched in May 2022, the commission comes at a time when the United States is working to unite its transatlantic and Indo-Pacific allies and partners across a range of critical technology issues in the face of rising authoritarianism around the world.

Three factors make the commission’s scope uniquely strategic for countering techno-authoritarian threats. First, the commission’s focus is on developing in-depth strategies for each White House-designated national security tech sector and then integrating them into an overarching global tech security strategy. Second, the commission is global and private sector-led, comprised of more than a dozen each of country commissioners, tech sector commissioners and a set of strategy commissioners, who each lead expert advisory councils. Third, while previous commissions primarily focused on problem analysis and defensive policies, the commission will integrate offensive and defensive strategies and begin building the Global Tech Trust Network aimed at establishing standards to accelerate the adoption of trusted technologies. 

 “Congress asked for a thorough, bipartisan playbook for addressing global tech security. In the global struggle between freedom and authoritarianism, technology is increasingly the crossroads and the main battlefield,” said Krach. “We are strongest when united. That’s why I’m honored to join this bipartisan group of policymakers and diverse group of international commissioners and their expert advisory councils in this noble mission. There is only one thing General Secretary Xi fears more than a united United States and that is a united alliance of democracies”

The following are statements from the named honorary co-chairs.

Senator Shaheen said:

“I appreciate the opportunity to join lawmakers from both chambers and both sides of the aisle to serve as an honorary co-chair on the Global Tech Security Commission. As policymakers, our actions are guided by the most up to date and accurate information available, as we look to counter China’s escalating aggression against Taiwan and democracies worldwide, and its expansive influence in our global market.  This commission will engage lawmakers, world leaders and industry representatives to best inform our path forward to confront the shared security and economic challenges we face in the Pacific.”

Senator Ernst said:

“The Global Tech Security Commission is an important effort to support our national defense and secure American prosperity against our great power competitors in the tech domain. The commission’s work will provide a roadmap for America’s present-day and next-generation workforce to develop, employ, and secure critical technologies.” 

Senator Hagerty said:

“The Chinese Communist Party and other authoritarian regimes are leveraging critical and emerging technologies in order to challenge freedom and security around the world. 21st century will therefore largely be defined by how the United States and our partner nations respond to these grave and gathering threats. I commend the Global Tech Security Commission for developing a global strategy for technology security that meets these rising challenges and protects freedom from authoritarianism.”

Representative Trahan said:

“When focused on protecting civil rights, consumers, and democracy as a whole, advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and biomedical engineering can be used to solve some of the most daunting challenges humanity faces. It is critical that the United States work with our partners and allies to deploy these emerging technologies responsibly, secure our supply chains, and prepare our workforce. Failure to do so will pave the way for Chinese influence that could threaten human rights around the globe.”

Representative McCaul said:

 “Technology will determine whether America remains a leading superpower or is eclipsed by authoritarians, like the Chinese Communist Party. It is essential for the United States to lead in technology modernization in critical sectors and protect the know-how, manufacturing capability, and capital for these vital technologies from supporting our rivals.”

Representative Krishnamoorthi said:

 “Countering the Chinese Communist Party’s techno-authoritarianism by developing and harnessing advanced technology is one of the critical challenges of our time. I am proud to join the nonpartisan Global Tech Security Commission as an honorary co-chair to work to address this challenge. The Atlantic Council and the Krach Institute are already institutions at the forefront of using security and technology policy to protect the global economy and democracies from techno-authoritarianism.”  


About the Global Tech Security Commission

The Global Tech Security Commission is a network of global multi-sector leaders dedicated to creating a global tech security strategy that safeguards freedom through the adoption of trusted technology. For the commission’s latest developments, visit globaltechsecurity.com

Please contact press@atlanticcouncil.org for media inquiries about the Global Tech Security Commission. 

About the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue

The nonpartisan Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue is the world’s preeminent institution focused on Tech Statecraft, a new model of diplomacy that bridges the high-tech sector with the foreign policy and national security sectors to ensure trusted technology is used to advance freedom.​ The Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy is a 501(c)(3) that leverages Purdue’s strength in innovation, deep expertise in technology, and global prowess in educating transformational leaders. It focuses on rallying our allies, leveraging the innovation of the private sector, and amplifying democratic values based on trust. For more information, go to techdiplomacy.org. Follow the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue on Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

About the Atlantic Council

Driven by our mission of “shaping the global future together,” the Atlantic Council is a nonpartisan organization that galvanizes U.S. leadership and engagement in the world, in partnership with allies and partners, to shape solutions to global challenges. The Atlantic Council’s Global China Hub researches and devises allied solutions to three of the greatest challenges posed by China’s rise: 1) China’s growing influence on countries, global institutions, and democratic values; 2) the global ramifications of political and economic change in Xi Jinping’s China; and 3) China’s drive to dominate emerging technologies and consequences for individual rights and privacy.