Workshop Abstract

Local governments are increasingly facing STEM-related challenges such as climate resilience, election security, technology for community safety, public assistance programs, and vaccine policies. Advances in technology and engineering present real opportunities to improve these government services, but local policymakers are often ill-equipped to handle them and the associated social, legal, and political questions. Because engineers with relevant technical backgrounds are often best able to understand the risks, and opportunities, of new technologies, these questions present high-impact opportunities for engagement. This workshop will feature opportunities for engineers to engage in their communities in the leadup to the election season and beyond. Attendees will engage with real case studies, step-by-step guides, and hands-on activities from Engineers & Scientists Acting Locally, allowing them to leave with concrete resources and next steps to effectively make an impact in their communities.


Arti Garg is the founder and chair of ESAL. She currently serves on the Community Services Commission in the city of Hayward, California. Before returning to California, Dr. Garg spent several years in the Federal government. She was a 2009-10 American Physical Society-sponsored AAAS S&TP Congressional Fellow. She served her fellowship on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation, and Trade. She later worked for the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) where she oversaw over $5 billion of R&D investments in the Department of Energy. Her science policy journey also includes working for the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) and a Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellowship at the National Academies. Dr. Garg holds a PhD in Physics from Harvard University and an MS in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering as well as bachelor’s degrees in Physics and English from Stanford University.