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SIOP in Washington: Advocating for I-O in Federal Public Policy

Jack Goodman, Lewis-Burke Associates LLC

Since July 2013, SIOP and Lewis-Burke Associates LLC have collaborated to make I-O science and research accessible to federal and congressional policy makers.  SIOP has embedded a foundational government relations infrastructure within the organization, enabling SIOP to develop an authoritative voice as a stakeholder in science policy in Washington, DC and to promote SIOP as a vital resource for evidence-based decision making.

SIOP Wraps Up Inaugural Advocacy Academy, Launches Second Cohort

This spring, SIOP wrapped up the end of the inaugural Advocacy Academy program. Throughout the program, cohort participants attended monthly webinars from Lewis-Burke experts providing insight on the legislative process. The cohort was divided into groups based on geographic region, with each group assigned several congressional offices in that region to engage. The groups scheduled and conducted meetings with the staff, highlighting SIOP priorities such as funding for I-O research at the National Science Foundation, graduate student support from the Department of Education, and inclusion of I-O psychologists on state Workforce Development Boards. Going forward, SIOP and Lewis-Burke will continue to find opportunities for the graduating cohort to utilize their advocacy skills on SIOP’s behalf. The second cohort is set to begin in the coming weeks.

SIOP Meets With New DOJ COPS Director

SIOP President Tara Behrend, GREAT Chair Kristin Saboe, and SIOP’s working group provided an intimate briefing with Colonel Hugh Clements, director of the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office).  Director Clements was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland after years of service in the Providence Police Department.  The briefing provided an opportunity for the working group to provide the background of SIOP, I-O findings as they relate to policing, and efforts to date to support the COPS Office through the Society’s ongoing memorandum of understanding (MOU).  The COPS Office provides direct support for state and local law enforcement agencies to improve police-community engagements, as well as support hiring and other workforce concerns.

Director Clements was pleased to learn more about I-O psychology and was appreciative of the years of SIOP member work in policing fields and the policing initiatives’ partnership with the COPS Office.  He pointed to recruitment, retention, and proper community engagement as key priorities and offered to use his office to connect SIOP with stakeholders in need of I-O guidance and support. 

SIOP Submits Public Comments on Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, and NSF Research Priorities

Over the past few months, SIOP has taken advantage of several opportunities to provide input on federal agency activities and priorities by responding to requests for information (RFI) or submitting public comments on agency rulemaking. SIOP responded to an RFI from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), “National Priorities for Artificial Intelligence,” which sought feedback on safe deployment of AI, impacts to national security, equity considerations, economic benefits and harms, and other broad topics. SIOP’s response referenced the Principles for the Validation and Use of Personnel Selection Procedures and the Considerations and Recommendations for the Validation and Use of AI-Based Assessments for Employee Selection and focused on the need for AI-based systems to meet the same standards for traditional hiring and assessment systems.

SIOP also submitted public comments to an updated draft of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). SIOP submitted several suggestions on how the NICE Framework defines work roles and the associated “tasks, knowledge, and skills that are needed to perform cybersecurity work performed by individuals and teams,” can be improved or expanded based on I-O research findings.

Finally, SIOP responded to a National Science Foundation (NSF) RFI regarding research and funding priorities for the new Technology, Innovation, and Partnership (TIP) Directorate. SIOP highlighted key areas of I-O psychology expertise that the TIP Directorate should invest in to meet pressing workforce challenges in emerging technology areas, including workplace disruption due to automation and AI and industry-relevant training and reskilling needs. SIOP’s response additionally focused on efforts to broaden diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA), particularly in emerging STEM fields.

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