Neil Chilson, Former Chief Technologist at the Federal Trade Commission, Joins the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University

Neil Chilson, a lawyer, computer scientist, and author of the book “Getting Out of Control: Emergent Leadership in a Complex World,” has joined the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University (CGO).

In his new role, Chilson will lead the Center’s work on how different regulatory approaches facilitate or suppress technological innovation and human progress. In particular, Chilson will focus on competition and antitrust policy and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and advanced computing.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have Neil join CGO,” said Chris Koopman, executive director of the Center for Growth and Opportunity. “His unique combination of technical know-how, practical regulatory experience, and systems-level thinking about the interaction between government and innovation will be invaluable to our work.”

Chilson joins CGO from the major philanthropic community Stand Together, where he guided policy and grant decisions as a senior research fellow for Technology and Innovation.

“I am thrilled to join the Center for Growth and Opportunity,” Chilson said. “Too many organizations look at revolutionary technologies and see nothing but threats. I share CGO’s optimism about technology’s ability to promote human flourishing and have long admired the ambition, vision, and talent CGO brings to ensure a brighter future through innovation. I look forward to helping build on their proven track record in technology policy and regulation.”

Before Stand Together, Chilson was the Chief Technologist at the Federal Trade Commission, where he focused on the economics of privacy and blockchain-related issues. Previously, he was an attorney advisor to Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen. In both roles, he advised Chairman Ohlhausen and worked with staff on nearly every major technology-related case, report, workshop, or other FTC proceeding since January 2014. Neil joined the FTC from the telecom firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer.

Chilson is a graduate of Harding University, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and The George Washington Law School. He is a frequent speaker and writer on technology policy and regulation, and his work has appeared in numerous news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, USAToday, and Newsweek.

The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University is a university-based research center located on the Logan campus of Utah State University.

The Center for Growth and Opportunity is dedicated to producing policy-relevant research that explores public policy questions related to technology and innovation, immigration, and the environment, to better understand how to improve opportunity, broad-based economic growth, and individual well-being.

For more information or to request an interview, contact Parker Jeppesen, External Relations Director, at or 435-557-0795.


CGO scholars and fellows frequently comment on a variety of topics for the popular press. The views expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Center for Growth and Opportunity or the views of Utah State University.