Alexis Wichowski is a public servant, teacher, and writer. She serves as an adjunct associate professor in Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, teaching in the Technology, Media, and Communications (TMaC) specialization. She is also Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Innovation for the City of New York. She previously served New York City as an Associate Commissioner at the newly established Department of Veterans’ Services and a Disaster Relief Field Responder before and during 9/11.
Other government work includes Program Officer for the US Department of State’s Office of eDiplomacy, Diplomatic Innovation Division under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Director of Media Analysis Strategy at the Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations. Awards include the Presidential Management Fellowship, two Meritorious Honor Awards, a Distinguished Dissertation Award, a student-nominated teaching award, and a Fulbright. Outside government, Wichowski has worked in media impact research, information architecture development, academic book indexing, web coding, theater production, foreign sitcoms, and pretzel vending.
Wichowski regularly conducts research and writes about the impact of media, technology and government, with recent publications such as, “Net States Rule the World,” in WIRED, “Hack the Bureaucracy: a User’s Guide to Getting Things Done in Government,” in GovExec, “Social Diplomacy, or How Diplomats Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Tweet," in Foreign Affairs, "What Government Can and Should Learn from Hacker Culture," in The Atlantic, "So long, smoke & mirrors! Digital diplomats wear no clothes," in the London School of Economics Review of Books, and a chapter in Digital Diplomacy: Theory & Practice, entitled “ ‘Secrecy is for losers’: why diplomats should embrace openness to protect national security.” Wichowski’s book, The Information Trade: How Big Tech Conquers Countries, Challenges Our Rights, and Transforms Our World (HarperCollins) will be published in February 2020.
Current SIPA courses include E-Government & Digital Diplomacy (winner of SIPA’s “Top 5 Course Award,” selected by students out of over 200 courses) and Technology, National Security & The Citizen. She’s also served as faculty advisor for capstone courses studying technological authoritarianism in China for the US Congress and digital transformation for the government of Aruba.
Wichowski holds a PhD in Information Science from the University at Albany's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a BA in Chinese from Connecticut College, completed in three years cum laude. She lives in Brooklyn with her family and reads science fiction voraciously.