Institute of Politics

Will Hurd

Former Republican Congressman from Texas

  • Winter 2021 Pritzker Fellow

  • Seminar Series: "The New Cold War"


Will Hurd is currently a managing director at Allen & Company and former member of Congress, cybersecurity executive, and undercover officer in the CIA.

For almost two decades he’s been involved in the most pressing national security issues challenging the country whether it was in the back-alleys of dangerous places, boardrooms of top international businesses or halls of Congress.

After stopping terrorists, preventing Russian spies from stealing our secrets, and putting nuclear weapons proliferators out of business, Will helped build a cybersecurity company that prepared businesses for the next domain of conflict - cyberspace.

While in Congress, Texas Monthly and Politico Magazine called Will “The Future of the GOP,” because he put good policy over good politics at a time when America was often consumed with what divides us rather than what unites us. He was able to get more legislation signed into law in three terms than most congressmen do in three decades - substantive legislation like a national strategy for Artificial Intelligence.

Will is a native of San Antonio and earned a Computer Science degree from Texas A&M University. Additionally, he is growing the US transatlantic partnership with Europe as a trustee of the German Marshall Fund, an OpenAI board member, and most recently served as a fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. He is also the author of American Reboot: An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Big Things Done, due March 2022. Visit for more information about Will.


"The New Cold War"

The nature of warfare has changed. During the Civil War, we fought traitors on land; during World War II, we fought Nazis and imperialists in the air. The next generation’s defining battle, which has already begun, is against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in cyberspace. This current conflict is happening at the beginning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where technological change over the next thirty years is going to make the last thirty years look insignificant.

We know the CCP is trying to supplant the United States as the sole superpower in the world by 2049, the year the Middle Kingdom celebrates one hundred years of communist rule. Foiling the CCP’s ambitions will not be easy because we have entered an age where America’s military and economic dominance is no longer guaranteed.

Every American should care about this struggle because we face a potential future where Mandarin and the yuan, not English and the dollar, dominate the global economy. Whoever wins this generation-defining struggle will not just affect our economy, but will shape the rest of the century for the entire world. It will be through U.S. government policy and domestic politics where a strategy will be developed and carried out to deal with the CCP’s ambitions.

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