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Public Policy

Public Policy

OSA works to promote optics and photonics to a variety of audiences. One way to ensure this outreach is for OSA members to visit with their elected officials, inform governments about optics and photonics by providing technical expertise, and reach out to decision makers so they understand why science - and optics in particular - is an integral part of society. OSA's public policy programs are designed to facilitate this interaction. OSA encourages its members to get involved in and stay informed of science policy through the programs outlined below.

Stay Up to Date

OSA works to keep its members informed of what is going on in science policy in Washington, D.C. 

Washington Updates

Regularly updated news briefs tracking important science policy issues that affect optics and photonics professionals.

Optics Legislative Network (OLN)

OSA's grassroots email list designed for members who are interested in staying on top of science policy issues. Alerts inform OLN members of upcoming Hill visit opportunities, when to contact their legislators about important issues and recaps of science policy happenings in Washington, D.C. Sign up today.

Get Involved

In the policy world, decision makers rely on outside experts to keep them informed on important issues. As a constituent and a professional in the science community you have the power to inform your government about the importance of optics and photonics, especially as it relates to science policy decisions. OSA members who want to get involved in science policy can:

OSA Programs & Events

OSA hosts a variety of outreach programs designed to inform policymakers about the importance of optics and photonics. Following is a sampling of events and programs:

Science Policy Issues at Stake

OSA members are directly affected by a number of science policy decisions made by lawmakers and Administration officials. Read about the issues OSA tracks, such as funding for R&D and alternative energy technologies, export controls and small business legislation, then take action on current legislation moving through Congress.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about science policy at OSA, please email or contact a member of the OSA government relations team directly:


David Lang
Senior Director, Government Relations
Brandy Dillingham
Manager, Government Relations


CapitolJoin the Optics Legislative Network - OSA's grassroots email list. Sign up today.

Note: Non-OSA members can sign up for the OLN by emailing

NPI LogoRead about the National Photonics Initiative, called for in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’  report, Optics & Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation.

View OSA's Executive Summary of the report.

CongressInterested in making public policy a part of your career?

Apply for OSA's Congressional Fellowships for the opportunity to work on Capitol Hill for one year.

International Photonics Advocacy Coalition