Alex Engler

Alex C. Engler is a Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution, where he studies the implications of artificial intelligence and emerging data technologies on society and governance. Engler also teaches classes on data science and visualization at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy, where he is an adjunct professor and affiliated scholar.

At Brookings, Engler has written reports about the role of government in AI oversight, such as by auditing hiring algorithms and mandating AI disclosure. He is especially concerned with how little the public knows about the impact of digital platforms on society—and how to change that for the better. Engler’s long background in applied data science enables him to examine the nuanced influence of data science in the social sciences, including for policy analysis and economic modeling, and also to argue what AI cannot do—like save us from COVID-19. He has also written on these topics and related issues, such as disinformation, for Lawfare, Wired, and Fast Company. Along with Joshua Meltzer and Cameron Kerry, Engler is running a forum on international cooperation in AI governance with the US, EU, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Singapore.

From October 2021 to March 2022, Engler is on a leave of absence from Brookings as a winner of the Fulbright-Schuman Innovation Award. Concurrent with the Fulbright award, he is a Stiftung Mercator Senior Fellow, contributing to their Digital Society program. Through these fellowships, he will help implement the new Master of Data Science for Public Policy at the Hertie School in Berlin, and then study the EU’s artificial intelligence regulation at the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels.

Most recently faculty at the University of Chicago, he ran UChicago’s M.S. in Computational Analysis and Public Policy and previously he designed the M.S. in Data Science and Public Policy at Georgetown University. Over the past decade, Engler has worked as a data scientist at MDRC, the Urban Institute (where he twice won the President’s Award for Innovation), and DC local government. He is also proud alumnus of Sunlight Foundation’s Labs and the Congressional Research Service. Alex graduated from American University with a B.A. in economics before earning a Master of Public Policy at Georgetown University and a Master of Science in Predictive Analytics at Northwestern University.

  • Areas of Expertise

    • Data Science & Visualization
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Policy Research Methods
  • Current Positions

    • Fellow, Governance Studies - The Brookings Institution
    • Stiftung Mercator Senior Fellow and Fulbright-Schuman Innovation Scholar
    • Adjunct Professor and Affiliated Scholar - McCourt School of Public Policy - Georgetown University
    • Senior Consulting Data Scientist - MDRC Center for Data Insights
  • Past Positions

    • David M. Rubenstein Fellow, Governance Studies - The Brookings Institution
    • Lecturer, Dept. of Computer Science - The University of Chicago
    • Data Scientist - The Urban Institute
    • Adjunct Professor and Curriculum Developer - Georgetown University & Johns Hopkins University
  • Education

    • M.S. in Data Science, Northwestern University
    • Master of Public Policy, Georgetown University
    • B.A. in Economics, American University
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