Hart is interested in the use of science and technology to tackle major public problems and the role of government in making that possible. For example, the world needs low-carbon energy technologies to limit the impact of climate change, and the private sector on its own will not adequately develop them. Creative policies at the state, federal, and international levels can stimulate this kind of innovation. He is also interested in the global flow of people and ideas that contribute to science and technology, and has studied U.S. immigration policy from this perspective. He sits on the board of a Washington think tank, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. He served as assistant director for innovation policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from July 2011 to August 2012, where he contributed to the development of the President’s manufacturing policy initiative, which was featured in the 2013 State of the Union address.