The U.S. Department of State established a new office charged with understanding the critical and emerging technologies reshaping the world and its integral part of the conduct of U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy.

The Office of the Special Envoy for Critical and Emerging Technology will bring additional technology policy expertise, diplomatic leadership, and strategic direction to the department’s approach to critical and emerging technologies.

“As the department works to strengthen tech diplomacy across the organization, the office will provide a center of expertise … to develop and coordinate critical and emerging technology foreign policy, and to engage foreign partners on emerging technologies that will transform our societies, economies, and security,” the State Department explained in a press release.

Among the critical and emerging technologies the new office will research are biotechnology, advanced computing, artificial intelligence, and quantum information technologies.

In addition, the new office will work in close coordination with the various bureaus and offices across the State Department that are engaging on these and other technology topics that are central to U.S. foreign policy.

The new technology office was established as part of the State Department’s wider modernization agenda “because the constellation of critical and emerging technologies reshaping the world is now an integral part of the conduct of U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy,” the State Department explained.

The State Department appointed Dr. Seth Center to serve as the deputy envoy, assigned to stand up and build out the office.

“Dr. Center has extensive experience working at the intersection of national security and technology policy in and out of government,” the department said.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.