Lindsay Gorman is the Managing Director & Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund’s GMF Tech. She leads GMF Tech’s work on US-China technology competition, including efforts on AI, quantum information, 5G and advanced telecommunications, democratic responses to autocratic technology influence and interference, cybersecurity, and transatlantic innovation.

Lindsay most recently served as a senior adviser in the Biden White House. At the Office of Science Technology and National Security Council, she crafted US technology and national security strategy and led international technology initiatives through the US-EU Trade and Technology Council and Quad. She was also the principal architect of the Advancing Technology for Democracy agenda of the Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal and multilateral technology initiatives on export controls and AI.

Prior to serving in the White House, Lindsay spent over a decade at the intersection of technology development and national security policy. She is the former CEO and managing director of a technology consulting firm she founded, Politech Advisory, where she advised start-up companies and venture capital. She has served as an expert contributor to the Cyberspace Solarium Commission on international standards; a technology adviser to U.S. Senator Mark Warner; a consultant to Schmidt Futures on 5G; and a fellow with National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on International Security and Arms Control, conducting track II dialogues on cyber and nuclear security. And early in her career, as a quantum physicist and computer scientist, she led the Perception Team for Princeton University’s entry into the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, pioneered initial experiments on topological insulators, and advised start-up companies in Silicon Valley on cybersecurity tools.

Lindsay regularly delivers keynote addresses and briefs senior leaders across the Atlantic on China’s digital technology and building a democratic approach to emerging technologies. Her analysis regularly appears in outlets including The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Atlantic, and she frequently appears in TV and radio interviews on CBS News, NPR, and Bloomberg. She is also a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Truman National Security Project, and an awardee of the U.S. State Department Speaker Program. Lindsay holds an A.B. in physics from Princeton University, where she graduated magna cum laude, and a M.S. in applied physics from Stanford University.

Media Mentions

'No certainty' TikTok owner ByteDance would sell app if banned
Translated from English
US House of Representatives passes bill that could lead to TikTok ban
Translated from English
Xi is interested in signaling that despite geopolitical tensions -- especially around the high-tech industries -- China remains open for business.
It’s certainly interesting timing. It looks like ByteDance is introducing Lemon8 as a potential alternative to TikTok.
"If China has an advantage in the infrastructure layer, that gives it an advantage in all the other application layers that are built on top of it. And that's why this decision is so important.
The stakes could not be higher when it comes to Germany because… we’re not just talking about one layer of digital infrastructure, we’re talking about a full technology stack that gets built on top of it.
Officially, the German government is still examining the extent to which tech components 'Made in China' pose a security risk in German mobile communications. In September, however, Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) came up with a concrete scenario for the extensive banning of Huawei components from the German 5G network.
Translated from German
The ability for a Chinese technology platform to represent critical information infrastructure in a democracy has to be part of that calculus when assessing risk
From a national security standpoint, in addition to creating user profiles with all these data, social media platforms also have the ability to select, promote and demote content based on opaque metrics that ultimately, we don’t really have an insight into.
It has become a common modus operandi for Chinese companies to spin off companies from parents that have garnered some policymaker concern and brand them as something different but retain ownership or financial ties.
The status quo of allowing unfettered influence and interference in democratic politics is over.
The TikTok battles are indicative of the end of an era. This era where U.S.-China business relations can continue absent considerations of geopolitics is over.
It’s not just one side of the aisle clamoring for TikTok to address these national security concerns, but this is now coming from all sides.
These social media platforms, including TikTok, build detailed user profiles, which could be used to target you in the same vein as authoritarian states like Russia have targeted voters in the past. It's really not a theoretical concern.
There’s bipartisan consensus that TikTok poses a national security to the United States’ democracy. The China tech threat—today exemplified by TikTok—may be the only thing Congress agrees on.
TikTok has all that data about U.S. voters and then could target information left and right, literally, to individual citizens based on its control over the algorithm. And so the really big concern, I think, is from the propaganda and information manipulation side of things.
The app [TikTok] gives a name and a face to the export of China’s surveillance state around the world.
Disruptive technologies like generative AI have the potential to exploit asymmetries in the way democracies and autocracies depend on, use, and misuse information.
The initiative represents a rarely-seen depth of interagency focus on emerging and disruptive technologies in a national security context, with the potential to harness new techniques and tools to mitigate autocratic threats. In the best case scenario, this initiative will help shore up vulnerabilities to illicit technology transfer and violations of export controls on emerging technologies.
The United States and democratic nations have an inherent advantage – a robust clinical trial process with transparency that can garner global credibility that autocratic nations like China and Russia could only dream of.
Say a handful of American voters in a particular state watches or is engaged by a particular type of content. Then it’s way easier to capture your attention. If they do then decide to put political messages [in your For You page] or amplify certain political content, they know what grabs you.
We can't ignore the fact that these concerns about TikTok's Chinese parent ownership have not been resolved.
It’s very clear that TikTok is not ready for the onslaught of political content. And there’s a question whether TikTok — being owned by a Chinese company — can ever really be ready for handling U.S. political content responsibly.
The United States has recognized that it is impossible to keep U.S. components from ending up in Chinese warplanes if we're also selling them to the Chinese commercial sector.
There is a risk that the Chinese state may be able to amass data - whether it's genetic surveillance information or more traditional information about political opinions or activity through these systems.
[Political campaigns are] probably some of the least-equipped institutions in our society to prioritize cyberthreats because of the incentive structures that they face being short-term organizations, where the risk-benefit calculus … doesn't often come out in favor of creating more protections,
It was naive to assume, when TikTok was becoming popular, that a platform known for dance videos and cat memes wasn't going to become a forum for political debate.
Translated from Italian
We’ve taken our innovation advantages for granted. There’s nothing like a dedicated competitor to snap us into action.
The key piece for this [cyber ambassador] role will be casting them in a cohesive, coordinated light, such that they're swimming in the same direction, as opposed to having potentially conflicting priorities.
The worst thing would be for the US to proclaim loudly that it is in a race with China, but then get caught stopping to tie our shoes while China outruns us.