May 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: Will Hurd joins OpenAI's board of directors

Former Rep. Will Hurd is seen speaking during a congressional hearing.

Will Hurd. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) is joining the board of OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research lab that counted Elon Musk as a co-founder, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Hurd is a former undercover CIA operative who's long focused on artificial intelligence issues in and out of Congress. He's been widely quoted since leaving Congress for his moderate perspectives and criticism of former President Trump.

  • Hurd announced in 2019 he was retiring from Congress “in order to pursue opportunities outside the halls of Congress to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security.”
  • He denied his retirement had anything to do with his district growing increasingly competitive.

Between the lines: Hurd has worked most recently as a managing director at Allen & Company and a trustee of the German Marshall Fund.

  • He also served recently as a fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.

What they’re saying: “I’ve been blown away by the scientific advances made by the team at OpenAI, and I’ve been inspired by their commitment to developing AI responsibly,” said Hurd.

  • OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said: “Will brings a rare combination of expertise — he deeply understands both artificial intelligence as well as public policy, both of which are critical to a successful future for AI."
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