Perry World House Perry World House Director Michael C. Horowitz Joins U.S. Department of Defense

April 7, 2022
By Perry World House

Perry World House (PWH), the University of Pennsylvania’s hub for global affairs, has announced that Michael C. Horowitz, Director and Richard Perry Professor, will be taking a leave of absence to serve at the U.S. Department of Defense, effective immediately.

Horowitz has been selected to lead the Pentagon’s newly-created Office of Emerging Capabilities Policy, which shapes U.S. defense policy on the use of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence. In this role, he will help create an important function at the heart of the U.S. Department of Defense, focusing on a critical policy issue that has long been a major element of PWH’s work.

While Horowitz is serving in Washington, D.C., PWH’s Executive Director LaShawn R. Jefferson will take on the role of Senior Executive Director. Jefferson has been with PWH since its opening in 2016 and previously held senior leadership roles at the Ford Foundation and Human Rights Watch. She will be supported by a new faculty council, which will help PWH sustain and expand its programming and research on the world’s most pressing policy challenges.

“While I am saddened to be leaving Perry World House for a time, I know that the team will continue to deliver the amazing events, programs, and research that we have become so well known for under LaShawn’s leadership,” said Horowitz. “I’m excited to be taking an active hand in developing national policy on a critical area that I’ve engaged with throughout my academic career.”

Horowitz, who researches issues including military innovation, the intersection of emerging technologies with global politics, and geopolitical forecasting, has prior experience working with the Pentagon. In 2013, he served as a Fellow with the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. As Director of the Office of Emerging Capabilities Policy, he will support one of the Defense Department’s major priorities – maintaining the U.S. military’s leading edge through more effectively speeding the integration of emerging technologies and shaping policies for their use.

“This role is a unique opportunity to bring Penn’s expertise to bear on policymaking, which is what Perry World House is all about,” said Zeke Emanuel, Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor and Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, who will lead the PWH faculty council. “I am deeply grateful for Mike’s leadership of Perry World House, and I look forward to supporting the team in continuing their work over this next year.”

After his leave, Horowitz will return to Penn, bringing insights from his time in Washington that will accelerate Perry World House’s and Penn’s efforts to be a leader in global affairs.