Inside Quantum Technology

Women of Quantum Technology: Allison Schwartz of D-Wave

Allison Schwartz, Vice President of Global Government Relations and Public Affairs at D-Wave, shares her journey into the quantum tech ecosystem

Allison Schwartz, Vice President of Global Government Relations and Public Affairs at D-Wave, shares her journey into the quantum tech ecosystem

Quantum technology, a field at the forefront of scientific innovation, finds a dynamic advocate in Allison Schwartz, Vice President of Global Government Relations and Public Affairs at quantum company D-Wave. Her journey in quantum technology is about scientific breakthroughs and harnessing these advancements to address societal challenges.

Schwartz’s fascination with quantum technology stems from her long-standing involvement with emerging technologies. “My journey began in the fintech space, where I explored how technology could revolutionize banking for the benefit of customers and small businesses,” she told Inside Quantum Technology. Her interest in quantum computing is driven by its potential to solve large societal problems. “Quantum computing also provides societal benefits in ways many people may not realize,” Schwartz added. “During the pandemic, the world was forced to reinvent how we did business. Even though many people were working remotely, cloud access to quantum computing technologies allowed application development to continue by providing an on-ramp for startups and big thinkers to tackle complex problems.”

Armed with her background in fintech, Schwartz transitioned into the quantum industry with a clear mission: to educate global policymakers about the potential of quantum computing. “Three years ago, I joined D-Wave to help governments understand and integrate quantum technology into their national strategies, moving beyond academic engagement to involve industry and small businesses,” she elaborated. “At the time, many governments were revamping their national quantum strategies. Before this, governments had primarily engaged with academics and focused on quantum research. However, my role ensures that governments expand their engagement with quantum to include industry, especially small businesses, as that is where so much of the innovation was happening.” Schwartz’s role at D-Wave has been pivotal in realigning government programs with industry realities and end-user needs, emphasizing the importance of a holistic approach to quantum technology.

In her current position at D-Wave, Schwartz’s primary mission is to educate and influence policymakers and federal agencies. She explained, “My job is to translate the scientific advancements in quantum computing into practical, real-life solutions for both public and commercial sectors.” Her efforts focus on advocating for quantum inclusion in critical legislation and demonstrating how quantum solutions address various challenges, from emergency response and logistics optimization to financial and supply-chain management.

As a leader at D-Wave and the industry, Schwartz strongly advocates for increasing diversity in the quantum industry. “D-Wave actively engages in programs like Geering Up to introduce STEM to younger generations,” she noted. She emphasized the need for diverse voices in policy-making, reflecting various backgrounds, opinions, and expertise. “Diversity is crucial across all facets of the quantum industry, from hardware development to end-user experience,” Schwartz asserted. Furthermore, she highlights the potential of quantum technology to serve historically underserved communities, showcasing its ability to optimize critical infrastructure and public-sector services.

Kenna Hughes-Castleberry is the Managing Editor at Inside Quantum Technology and the Science Communicator at JILA (a partnership between the University of Colorado Boulder and NIST). Her writing beats include deep tech, quantum computing, and AI. Her work has been featured in National Geographic, Scientific American, Discover Magazine, New Scientist, Ars Technica, and more.

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