Public Policy Visiting Fellow, Fall 2017
September 28, 2017
Vikrum Aiyer leads strategic communications and public policy for the on-demand logistics and delivery platform, Postmates, Inc. He was previously a senior official in the Obama Administration, serving as Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of Commerce and as President Barack Obama’s senior advisor for innovation and manufacturing policy in the White House National Economic Council.
At Postmates, Aiyer oversees a nationwide legislative and regulatory strategy to guide how automation and the on-demand industry is shaping the future of work. By working with numerous states and municipalities to assess new benefits models for the labor workforce, and by crafting regulatory frameworks for autonomous robotics to guide the future of neighborhood delivery, Postmates has led a national discussion on how to responsibly balance new technologies, skills investments and economic flexibilities.
In his prior role as Chief of Staff in the Obama Administration’s Commerce Department, Aiyer served as the principal political and policy advisor to the U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for IP, where he coordinated a $3.2B budget in support of the 13,000 employees, to execute the daily operations, policy priorities, and global communications of the President’s intellectual property agenda. In 2016, Aiyer lead a U.S. delegation to Cuba to reset relations between the two nations’ IP offices, and separately served on Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Taskforce, to accelerate progress towards a cure. While at the White House, Aiyer also steered investments in several advanced manufacturing technologies including smart fabrics, autonomous vehicles, high performance computing, and next generation semiconductors.
As a former press & communications advisor to Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty (D), Aiyer has managed strategic communications campaigns and led speech writing teams for Congress, federal agencies, and trade associations, including the State Department, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders, and the Democratic National Conventions in 2012 and 2016. In 2015, Forbes Magazine named Aiyer to the 30 Under 30 list for Law & Policy, and he is currently a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.