Confirmed speakers to date: updated 19May12BETA
- Jim Baller, The Baller Herbst Law Group
- Will Barkis, Mozilla Foundation
- Kwan Booth, co-Founder, Oakland Local
- John Brown, CTO & Founder, CityLink Telecommunications
- Helen Brunner, Director, The Chronicle of Philanthropy
- Susie Cagle, political cartoonist
- Vint Cerf, VP and Internet Evangelist, Google
- Michael Copps, FCC Commissioner 2001-2012
- Susan P. Crawford, former advisor to the Obama Administration
- Cory Doctorow, Sci-Fi author, on-line rights activist, co-Founder BoingBoing
- Gary Evans, CEO, Hiawatha Broadband Communications
- Benoît Felten, CEO, founder, Diffraction Analysis
- Lev Gonick, Vice President for IT Services, and CIO at Case Western Reserve University
- Lisa Graves, Center for Media and Democracy
- Dewayne Hendricks, CEO, Tetherless Access
- David S. Isenberg, producer, F2C: Freedom to Connect & Net-WorkShop
- Ken Johnson, CEO, Conneaut Telephone Company
- Aaron Kaplan, Confine Project
- Tim Karr, Campaign Director, Free Press
- Pat Kennedy, CEO & Founder, Lit San Leandro
- Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law School
- Blair Levin, Executive Director, Gig.U
- Barry C. Lynn, New America Foundation
- Levi C. Maaia, VP, Full Channel
- Rebecca MacKinnon, Fellow, New America Foundation
- Mike Marcus, Marcus Spectrum Solutions, LLC
- Sascha Meinrath, Open Technology Initiative, New America Foundation
- Dan Meredith, Radio Free Asia
- Susan Mernit, co-founder, Oakland Local
- Chris Mitchell, muninetworks.org, Institute for Local Self Reliance
- Eben Moglen, founder, Software Freedom Law Foundation, Freedom Box Foundation
- Elliot Noss, Tucows & TING
- Leslie Nulty, Focal Point Advisory Services
- Babak Pasdar, CEO, Bat.Blue Networks & certified ethical hacker
- Catharine Rice, President, SEATOA
- Ian M. Schuler, U.S. Department of State
- Doc Searls, author, blogger
- Wendy Seltzer, founder, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse
- Pankaj Shah, Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet)
- Michael Smeltzer, Director of Networking, UIUCNet
- CB Smith-Dahl, Owner at Community Bridge Video
- Ashkan Soltani, independent researcher, privacy, security, behavioral economics
- Mark Surman, Mozilla
- Aaron Swartz, founder, director, Demand Progress
- Rick Whitt, Google
- Isaac Wilder, Free Network Foundation
- John Wonderlich, Policy Director, Sunlight Foundation
Jim Baller, president of the Baller Herbst Law Group in Washington, DC, represents clients in a broad range of communications matters nationally and in more than 35 states. He is also the founder of the US Broadband Coalition, a large and diverse consortium of organizations of all kinds that are seeking to develop as much consensus as possible on the components of a comprehensive national broadband strategy.
The Fiber to the Home Council has recognized Jim as “the nation’s most experienced and knowledgeable attorney on public broadband matters.” In 2001, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors designated him its Member of the Year. In 2007, NATOA made him its first “Community Broadband Visionary of the Year,” for “almost single-handedly putting the need for a national broadband strategy to the forefront of public consciousness.” In 2007, Washingtonian Magazine listed Jim as one of “Washington’s Best Lawyers” (defined as the top one percent). In 2009, Ars Technica included Jim on its list of the 25 “Top Names in Tech Policy” and FiberToday honored him as its “Person of the Year.”
He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Cornell Law School.
Kwan Booth is the cofounder of Oakland Local and the House of Local Consulting. He is an award winning journalist, creative writer and media strategist based in Oakland, CA. His work focuses on the intersection of media, technology and community. He’s developed workshops and online strategies for media and community organizations including the Knight Digital Media Center, the Online News Association, Netsquared, The National Conference on Media Reform, Public Radio International , J-Lab, the Black Coalition on AIDS, and the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy. His investigative and community reporting have won awards from The Society of Professional Journalists national organization and the Northern California Chapter. He writes at Boothism.net.
John Brown is President, CTO, Co-Founder at CityLink Fiber Holdings, Inc. and Co-Founder & Secretary at IXNM, Inc. Brown is a serial entrepreneur with 25+ years experience in computer systems design, software engineering, operating systems design, scalable network design. For three years he ran and operated the L Root DNS server for ICANN/IANA, particiated in IETF, Root Ops Meetings, Worked with DoC on Internet Policies, Testified before The United States Congress on various Internet matters, Testified before the FCC on Telcom matters. CityLink’s current goals include helping companies leverage VoIP technologies and the Internet as a unique communications medium.
Helen Brunner is a thought leader in the areas of communications policy, independent media, First Amendment rights, and the arts. Prior to joining The Fund, she directed a national arts service organization and served as program consultant to the Albert A. List Foundation’s Freedom of Expression, Arts and Telecommunications Policy and Advocacy Programs. As director of foundation services for Art Resources International, Ms. Brunner advised the Ford, Pew, Andy Warhol, and Quixote Foundations, as well as the Women Donors Network.
Susie Cagle is a graphic journalist. She has written and drawn for the Atlantic, Guardian UK, Alternet, American Prospect, Truthout, Campus Progress, the Awl, the Hairpin, the Rumpus, Cartoon Movement, McSweeney’s, 7×7, the Bay Citizen, and many other fine publications. Her work has been featured on BoingBoing, Jezebel, Feministing, the Huffington Post and others. She was formerly the weekly editorial cartoonist for the SF Appeal. Susie has a masters in journalism from Columbia, which still doesn’t offer a cartooning class.
Susie was/is: Charles Schulz Museum artist in residence, 2009; SF Weekly Best Web Cartoonist awardee & National Conference for Media Reform presenter, 2011; Savannah College of Art and Design guest lecturer, South by Southwest presenter, Society of Professional Journalists James Madison awardee 2012.
Vint Cerf is co-creator of the protocols which became TCP/IP, the standard for what is now called the Internet. Working for the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) from 1972 to 1982, Cerf, his partner, Robert E. Kahn, and a host of others created the underlying protocols and architecture that would be used to the present day in this vast worldwide network. He was lead engineer in the creation of MCI Mail, the first commercial email service connected to the Internet. He has received the U.S. National Medal of Technology and a large host of other awards and accolades for his decades of technical work. He is currently VP and Internet Evangelist at Google.
Michael J. Copps served as FCC Commissioner 2001-2012 and as Acting FCC Chairman from January 22, 2009 through June 28, 2009. Mr. Copps moved to Washington in 1970, joined the staff of Senator Fritz Hollings (D-SC) and served for over a dozen years as Hollings’ Chief of Staff. Under President Clinton, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary, and then Assistant Secretary, for Trade Development at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Dr. Copps, a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, earned a B.A. degree from Wofford College in 1963 and a Ph.D. in United States History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1967. He also received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Wofford College in 2005. His years at the FCC were marked by his strong defense of the public interest; outreach to what he calls “non-traditional stakeholders,” particularly minorities, Native Americans and the various disabilities communities; and actions to stem the tide of what he regards as excessive consolidation in the nation’s media and telecommunications industries.
Susan P. Crawford is the (Visiting) Stanton Professor of the First Amendment at Harvard’s Kennedy School, a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, and a columnist for Bloomberg View and Wired. She served as Special Assistant to the President for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy during 2009 and co-led the FCC transition team between the Bush and Obama administrations. She is a member of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Advisory Council on Technology and Innovation.
Ms. Crawford was formerly a professor at the University of Michigan Law School (2008-2010). As an academic, she teaches open government policy, Internet law, and communications law. In 2012, Yale University Press will publish her book, “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age.” She was a member of the board of directors of ICANN from 2005-2008 and is the founder of OneWebDay, a global Earth Day for the internet that takes place each Sept. 22. One of Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology (2009); IP3 Awardee (2010); one of Prospect Magazine’s Top Ten Brains of the Digital Future (2011). She is a member of the boards of Public Knowledge and TPRC as well as a faculty co-director of the Berkman Center.
Ms. Crawford received her B.A. and J.D. from Yale University. She served as a clerk for Judge Raymond J. Dearie of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and was a partner at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale) (Washington, D.C.) until the end of 2002, when she left that firm to enter the legal academy. Susan, a violist, lives in New York City and Cambridge, MA.
Cory Doctorow, co-editor of BoingBoing, is a science fiction novelist, blogger and technology activist. He is a contributor to The Guardian, the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Wired, and many other newspapers, magazines and websites. He was formerly Director of European Affairs for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit civil liberties group that defends freedom in technology law, policy, standards and treaties.
His novels have been translated into dozens of languages. He has won the Locus and Sunburst Awards, and been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and British Science Fiction Awards. His New York Times Bestseller LITTLE BROTHER was published in May 2008. It was nominated for the 2008 Hugo, Nebula, Sunburst and Locus Awards. It won the Ontario Library White Pine Award, the Prometheus Award and the Indienet Award for bestselling young adult novel in America’s top 1000 independent bookstores in 2008.
He co-founded the open source peer-to-peer software company OpenCola, and presently serves on the boards and advisory boards of the Participatory Culture Foundation, the Clarion Foundation and The Glenn Gould Foundation. In 2007, Entertainment Weekly called him, “The William Gibson of his generation.” He was also named one of Forbes Magazine’s 2007/8/9/10 Web Celebrities, and one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders for 2007.
On February 3, 2008, he became a father. The little girl is called Poesy Emmeline Fibonacci Nautilus Taylor Doctorow, and is a marvel that puts all the works of technology and artifice to shame.
Gary Evans, president and CEO of Hiawatha Broadband Communications, joined the company in April of 1998. One of two people who performed the feasibility study in 1992 that led to the creation of Luminet (HBC’s predecessor), Evans is a long-time resident of the Winona MN community.
He served as Winona State University’s vice president of university relations from 1987 until 1998 and previously spent 30 years in the newspaper business, including 25 years at the Winona Daily News. During his Winona newspaper career, Evans served as a reporter, section editor, editor, executive editor, marketing director, and publisher.
A community activist, Evans has received Winona’s highest awards, the Winona Community Achievement Award in 1987 and the Adith Miller Community Tribute in 1990. He was also honored in 2001 as Minnesota Hospital Trustee of the Year, and on November 12, 2004, was honored by the Upper Mississippi Valley Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals as its outstanding volunteer fundraiser. In 2008, he received Winona State University’s Distinguished Service Award.
He serves as chairman of the board of Winona Health, the community’s health care system, as chairman of the board of the Great River Shakespeare Festival, is a member of the Blandin Foundation’s Broadband Strategy Board, the Minnesota Governor’s Broadband Task Force, is a past president of the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce, and has held numerous community civic and church positions.
Benoît Felten, Diffraction Analysis, CEO and co-founder. Benoît is an expert on Next-Generation-Access architecture, relevant vendor strategies and new service opportunities for ISPs, carriers, and MSOs. His analysis emphasizes challenges facing the telco ecosystem. Before starting Diffraction Analysis, Felten was a Director of Access Network Research at Yankee Group and at Arcome, a French telecom consultancy. Before joining Arcome, Felten was the SME Portfolio Manager at Belgacom France where he was responsible for their Fiber to the Office offers. Felten lives in Paris. He complements his day job by blogging about the economic and social impacts of next generation access on Fiberevolution and tweets under the handle of @fiberguy.
Lev Gonick is vice president for information technology services and chief information officer at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He is also the co-founder and now Board Chair Emeritus of OneCommunity, the award winning project to create a connected community throughout Northeast Ohio through ultra broadband wired and wireless network connectivity. In 2010, Gonick and his colleagues at Case Western Reserve launched the nation’s first gigabit fiber to the home research program called the Case Connection Zone.
In 2011, Government Technology awarded Lev one of their “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers in Public-Sector Innovation.” In the same year Crain’s Business Cleveland named Gonick one of its “10 Difference Makers” in Northeast Ohio and Broadband Properties honored him with their Cornerstone Award for “using fiber to build an inclusive society and empower individuals.” In 2010, he received recognition as “Visionary of the Year” from NATOA.
Lisa Graves is the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy, the publisher of PR Watch, SourceWatch, BanksterUSA, and ALECexposed.org. She previously served as a senior advisor in all three branches of the federal government, as a leading strategist on civil liberties advocacy, and as an adjunct law professor at one of the top law schools in the country. Her former leadership posts include:
- Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy/Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Justice (handling an array of civil and criminal policy issues as well as leading the working group on judicial nominations)
- Chief Counsel for Nominations for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for the Chairman/Ranking Member
- Senior Legislative Strategist for the American Civil Liberties Union (on national security and surveillance policies)
- Deputy Director of the Center for National Security Studies
- Deputy Chief of the Article III Judges Division of the U.S. Courts (including oversight of the Financial Disclosure Office for judicial ethics)
Dewayne Hendricks is CEO, of Tetherless Access, Inc. (TAI), a Fremont, California based company which does research, product development and deployment of broadband wired and wireless data devices and services. TAI is the new incarnation of Tetherless Access Ltd. (TAL) where he was its CEO and co-founder. TAL was founded back in 1990 and was one of the first companies to develop and deploy Part 15 unlicensed wireless metropolitan area data networks which used the TCP/IP protocols. TAL eventually went public in 1996. He was also a member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Technological Advisory Council (TAC), for eight years serving from 1998-2006. In 2001, Wired Magazine dubbed him the ‘Broadband Cowboy’ for his work deploying wireless broadband networks all over the world. He has participated in the installation of wireless networks in many parts of the world such as Kenya, Tonga, Mexico, Canada and Mongolia. He has been involved with radio since his teens, when he obtained his amateur radio operator’s license.
David S. Isenberg, isen.com, LLC, produces F2C: Freedom to Connect and Net-WorkShop. He spent 12 years (1985-1998) at AT&T Bell Labs and AT&T Labs, where he was awarded the title, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff. At AT&T he wrote The Rise of the Stupid Network, which Dale Hatfield, then Chief of the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology, called, “one of the three works that changed my perception of the telecommunications industry.” The essay went viral on the Internet, before AT&T knew much about going viral on the Internet. To make a long story short, Isenberg quit shortly thereafter to found isen.com, LLC, a decidedly independent telecom analysis firm. Since then, he’s been a Fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society (2005-2006), and a Senior Advisor to the FCC (2009-2010) where he was part of the National Broadband Plan effort.
Ken Johnson, Conneaut Telephone Company. A lifelong resident of Ashtabula County, Ohio, Kenneth Johnson serves as the CEO of The Conneaut Telephone Company in Conneaut, Ohio. Ken earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Ohio Bible College and a Master of Technology degree from Kent State University. In May of 2010, Ken was honored by the Kent State School of Technology as “Distinguished Alumni.” Away from the office, Ken enjoys creative writing and following the Cleveland sports teams.
L. Aaron Kaplan studied pure Mathematics and Computer Sciences in Vienna, Austria. Aaron works for the Austrian domain registry (.AT) where he focuses on IT Security as part of the national CERT.at team.
He is the founder of the FunkFeuer (http://www.funkfeuer.at) free wireless community network in Austria. FunkFeuer covers Vienna and the largest cities in Austria. Since its creation , FunkFeuer has been constantly expanding and innovating. At FunkFeuer he was leading the OLSR.org project which massively improved the scalability of the OLSR mesh protocol (RFC 3626).
Currently he concentrates on the CONFINE project – a four year EU framework program 7 funded project which aims at creating a large testbed for researchers and community wireless practitioners while at the same time improving mesh protocols.
Timothy Karr, Campaign Director for Free Press, oversees all Free Press campaigns and online outreach efforts, including SavetheInternet.com and our work on public broadcasting, propaganda, and journalism. Before joining Free Press, Tim served as executive director of MediaChannel.org and vice president of Globalvision New Media and the Globalvision News Network. He has also worked extensively as an editor, reporter and photojournalist for the Associated Press, Time Inc., New York Times and Australia Consolidated Press. Tim critiques, analyzes and reports on media and media policy for the Huffington Post and on his personal blog, MediaCitizen
Dr. J. Patrick Kennedy is the CEO and majority owner of OSIsoft. Under Dr. Kennedy’s visionary leadership, the company has grown from a small software startup in 1980 to a highly profitable global corporation. Prior to founding the company, Dr. Kennedy worked as a research engineer for Shell Development Company and as an applications consultant for Taylor Instrument Company.
Dr. Kennedy attended the University of Kansas where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. A registered professional engineer in control systems engineering, he holds a patent on a catalytic reformer control system. He co-authored a chapter of the book “Planning, Scheduling and Control Integration in the Process Industries,” C. Edward Bodington, ed. (McGraw-Hill Co., 1995), and is the author of numerous papers.
Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Prior to rejoining the Harvard faculty, Lessig was a professor at Stanford Law School, where he founded the school’s Center for Internet and Society, and at the University of Chicago. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. Lessig serves on the Board of Creative Commons, MAPLight, Brave New Film Foundation, The American Academy, Berlin, AXA Research Fund and iCommons.org, and is on the advisory board of the Sunlight Foundation. He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, and has received numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation’s Freedom Award, Fastcase 50 Award and being named one of Scientific American’s Top 50 Visionaries. Lessig holds a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge, and a JD from Yale.
Blair Levin became Communications & Society Fellow with the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program on May 10, 2010, following his departure from the Federal Communications Commission, where he served as the Executive Director of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative.
In his role at the Federal Communications Commission, Mr. Levin oversaw the development of a National Broadband Plan, a project mandated by Congress in the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Mr. Levin rejoined the Commission in June, 2009, after eight years as an analyst at Legg Mason and Stifel Nicolaus. As Barron’s Magazine noted, Levin “has always been on top of developing trends and policy shifts in media and telecommunications… and has proved visionary in getting out in front of many of today’s headline making events.”
Previously, Mr. Levin served as Chief of Staff to FCC Chairman Reed Hundt from December 1993 through October 1997. Mr. Levin oversaw, among other matters, the implementation of the historic 1996 Telecommunications Reform Act, the first spectrum auctions, the development of digital television standards, and the Commission’s Internet initiative.
Prior to his position with the FCC, Mr. Levin was a partner in the North Carolina law firm of Parker, Poe, Adams and Bernstein, where he represented new communications ventures, as well as numerous local governments on public financing issues. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School.
Barry C. Lynn studies the effects of consolidation on political and economic systems. His writings on the growing fragility of complex industrial systems have attracted wide attention across Asia and Europe, as well as in the White House and Treasury Department. Lynn directs the Markets, Enterprise, and Resiliency Initiative at the New America Foundation, where he is also a senior fellow. He is author of Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction (Wiley 2010) and End of the Line: The Rise and Coming Fall of the Global Corporation (Doubleday 2005). His articles have appeared in Harper’s, the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, and The National Interest, and many others. Prior to joining New America, Lynn was executive editor of Global Business Magazine for seven years, and worked as a correspondent in Peru, Venezuela, and the Caribbean for the Associated Press and Agence France Presse.
Levi C. Maaia, Full Channel. In addition to his active role as VP of Full Channel, Levi C. Maaia is a graduate research fellow at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Center for Education Research on Literacy & Inquiry in Networking Communities. His research focuses on digital literacies in teaching and learning. As the teacher and curriculum developer of the digital media course at Anacapa School, he also works directly with middle school and high school students.
In 2004, Levi joined Full Channel, a family-owned broadband provider in Bristol County, R.I. Under his leadership as the company’s vice president, Full Channel has successfully turned around a declining subscriber base while making its first forays into digital and high-definition television, IP telephony and renewable energy solutions. In 2008 he developed and launched Full Channel’s renewable wind energy initiative GreenLink through a partnership forged with sustainable energy provider People’s Power & Light. As a result, cable industry trade publication CableFAX honored Full Channel with its 2009 Top Ops Community Service Award.
Prior to Levi’s work at Full Channel he founded ComCreations LLC, a communications and new media development company, in 1996. In 1999, he and two colleagues brought some of the first independent film and video to the World Wide Web with Green Line TV, a video-streaming precursor to YouTube. Today ComCreations continues to provide branding, communications and new media services to a variety of clients in the public and private sectors.
Levi enjoys sailing, flying and photography.
Rebecca MacKinnon is currently Bernard Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC, where she does research, writing and advocacy on global Internet policy, free expression, and the impact of digital technologies on human rights. She is a leading expert on Chinese Internet censorship. Her first book, Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom, was published in January 2012.
Rebecca is also co-founder of Global Voices Online, a global citizen media network, and she serves on the Boards of Directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder initiative to advance principles of freedom of expression and privacy in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.
Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Rebecca worked as a journalist for CNN in Beijing for nine years, serving as CNN’s Beijing Bureau Chief and Correspondent from 1998-2001 and then moved to Japan where she was CNN’s Tokyo Bureau Chief and Correspondent from 2001-03. From 2004-06 she was Research Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, where she started researching Chinese Internet censorship and corporate responsibility issues, in addition to launching Global Voices Online. In 2007 and 2008 she served on the faculty of the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre. In 2009 she continued my research and writing as an Open Society Institute Fellow, and in the Spring of 2010 she was a Visiting Fellow at Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy.
Mike Marcus, is founder of Marcus Spectrum Solutions LLC, an independent consulting firm based in the Washington DC area and focusing on wireless technology and policy. He has been recognized as a Fellow of the IEEE “for leadership in the development of spectrum management policies” and received IEEE-USA’s first Electrotechnology Transfer Award (1994) “For his pioneering work in the conception, drafting, and enactment of the Federal regulations that legalized commercial spread spectrum radio under FCC Part 15, the rules governing unlicensed devices; thus spawning a multimillion dollar, worldwide, wireless industry.”
Mike joined the FCC in 1979. His work there focused on radio technologies such as spread spectrum/CDMA and millimeter waves. Wi-Fi is one outcome of his early leadership. He also participated in complex spectrum sharing policy formulation involving rulemakings such as ultrawideband and MVDDS. He retired from FCC in March 2004 after servicing a senior technical advisor to the Spectrum Policy Task Force and co-directing the preparation of the FCC’s cognitive radio rulemaking. Immediately after retirement he lived in Paris France for 3 years, consulting for US and European clients. In 2006 he was appointed Special Advisor to Mrs. Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society & Media.
Sascha Meinrath is Director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative and has been described as a “community Internet pioneer” and an “entrepreneurial visionary.” He is a well-known expert on community wireless networks, municipal broadband, and telecommunications policy. In 2009 he was named one of Ars Technica’s Tech Policy “People to Watch” and is also the 2009 recipient of the Public Knowledge IP3 Award for excellence in public interest advocacy. Sascha is a co-founder of Measurement Lab, a distributed server platform for researchers around the world to deploy Internet measurement tools, advance network research, and empower the public with useful information about their broadband connections. He also coordinates the Open Source Wireless Coalition, a global partnership of open source wireless integrators, researchers, implementors and companies dedicated to the development of open source, interoperable, low-cost wireless technologies. He is a regular contributor to Government Technology’s Digital Communities, the online portal and comprehensive information resource for the public sector. Sascha has worked with Free Press, the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), the Acorn Active Media Foundation, the Ethos Group, and the CUWiN Foundation.
Sascha serves on the Leadership Committee of the CompTIA Education Foundation as well as the Advisory Council for the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy. He blogs regularly at www.saschameinrath.com.
Dan Meredith, is currently Director of Radio Free Asia, a private, nonprofit corporation that broadcasts news and information in nine native Asian languages to listeners who do not have access to full and free news media.
Dan has been an activist, technologist, and journalist exploring emerging trends intersecting human rights, transparency, global communication policy, the Internet, and information security for over a decade. As a senior technology fellow at New America Foundation in Washington, D.C., Dan worked with Open Technology Initiative and Media Policy staff to operationalize new technology pilot projects and bring together global communities to educate, demystify, and evangelize open, distributed, and decentralized technologies that fight censorship and disrupt authoritarianism.
As a senior producer and technologist at Al Jazeera Network in Doha, Qatar, Dan upgraded modern traditional investigative journalist toolkits with modern technology to protect field journalists and their sources, create a worldwide whistle-blowing and news gathering platform, and produce technology centric television broadcasts.
At Radio Free Asia, Dan directs its Freedom 2 Connect Program, which provides support for global technology projects that increase both capacity for and access to secure channels of communications essential to the principles of free speech, free expression, and the free exchange of ideas.
Susan Mernit, co-founder, Oakland Local, a news & community hub for Oakland, CA focused on environmental, food, development and social justice issues and the recipient of a 2009 New Voices grant from J-Lab at American University. Oakland Local is recognized as one of the most interesting and unique local sites in the country because of its civic engagement model and its training academy and programs.
Mernit often works as a consultant, trainer, and coach, and is interested in projects focused on community media, bridging the digital divide, new revenue models for media, media entrepreneurship and product strategy. For 10 months she was the consulting web strategist for The Center for Investigative Reporting‘s California Watch project. She is currently a circuit rider for the Knight Foundation Community Information Challenge.
A former VP at AOL and Netscape, and a former Yahoo Senior Director, Mernit was the consulting program manager for The Knight News Challenge in 2008-09, as well as a consultant to organizations including Salon.com & TechSoup Global, where she led the re-design of their portal. She has been a contributing editor at BlogHer, a blogger, and was the co-founder of Public Media Collaborative, a volunteer group focused on training nonprofits, ethnic media & community groups on using social media tools. A popular trainer and speaker, Mernit works regularly with The Knight Digital Media Center at USC’s Annenberg School. She was the Keynote program chair for the October 2009 Online News Association conference in San Francisco.
Chris Mitchell is director of the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. A national expert on community broadband, Mitchell has worked to educate legislators and rally supporters against the efforts of large telecommunications and cable companies that make it more difficult for cities and counties to build high-speed networks.
Chris has worked as a server administrator, web geek, and in automated quality assurance for software. He earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Macalester College.
On a day-to-day basis, Mitchell runs MuniNetworks.org, the comprehensive online clearinghouse of information about community broadband. In May, 2010, he published the comprehensive report on publicly owned broadband networks titled “Breaking the Broadband Monopoly: How Communities Are Building the Networks They Need.” In April 2011, Mitchell released the Community Broadband Map, the first map to plot all the wired community owned networks in the nation. His research and reports are available online. His twitter handle is @communitynets.
Chris is also a professional sports photographer, shooting regularly for Minnesota’s Golden Gophers and other clients in Minnesota.
Eben Moglen, is founder of the Software Freedom Law Center and the Freedom Box Foundation, and Professor of Law and Legal History at Columbia University Law School. Professor Moglen has represented many of the world’s leading free software developers, including Phil Zimmerman when he was being investigated for export of PGP. Professor Moglen earned his PhD in History and law degree at Yale University during what he sometimes calls his “long, dark period” in New Haven. After law school he clerked for Judge Edward Weinfeld of the United States District Court in New York City and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court. He has taught at Columbia Law School since 1987 and has held visiting appointments at Harvard University, Tel Aviv University and the University of Virginia. In 2003 he was given the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Award for efforts on behalf of freedom in the electronic society. Professor Moglen is admitted to practice in the State of New York and before the United States Supreme Court.
As president and CEO of Tucows Inc., Elliot Noss leads the company’s business strategy and vision. He is responsible for overseeing operations for the company’s domain registration, domain portfolio, email and retail lines of business.
During his tenure, Tucows has grown to become the largest wholesale provider of domain names. Under Elliot’s leadership, the company has rapidly expanded the wholesale service line to include email services, SSL certificates, and enhanced domain name offerings which are sold through a growing international reseller channel.
Elliot has been a leader in the Internet industry for over a decade. He champions areas of vital interest to the service providers and Internet users including privacy, ICANN reform and registrar matters, and the implications of emerging technologies.
Elliot chairs the University of Toronto’s Department of Computer Science Advisory Board and is a distinguished graduate of the University of Toronto where he earned a BA. He earned an MBA and LLB from the University of Western Ontario.
Leslie Nulty owns and manages Focal Point Advisory Services, providing strategic, M&A and fiscal management services to small businesses throughout Vermont. She also currently serves as Chief Administrative Officer for East Central Vermont Community Fiber Network, a consortium of 23 Vermont towns developing a universal fiber-to-the-home/premise network for their communities. Leslie also serves as Treasurer, Executive Committee and Board member of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, a 600+ business organization, the largest of its kind in the U.S. From 1999-2004 Leslie was General Manager of an upscale, $10 million, 100 employee, natural food store in Montpelier. From 1994-1998 she served as Controller for Central European Telecom Investments, a Budapest, Hungary-based venture capital fund developing start-up telecom companies throughout Central Europe. Leslie has an M.Sc. in Economics from Cambridge University, England.
Babak Pasdar, Bat Blue Networks, certified ethical hacker. Babak is a 24 year veteran of the technology industry and is recognized industry-wide as an emerging technology evangelist. He has a proven track record in both identifying early stage technologies that address emerging client requirements and building successful technology organizations, Cybernex and IGX Global. Bat Blue is his third successful startup.
In In October 2003, in the process of doing work at a Verizon Wireless data center, he discovered “the Quantico Circuit,” an unsecured datalink to parties unknown in Quantico VA. The circuit, says Pasdar, “had access to the billing system, text messaging, fraud detection, web site, and pretty much all the systems in the data center without apparent restrictions.” This was completely at odds with all known data security practices, and in 2008, he went public with his findings [.pdf].
Catharine Rice is President of the SouthEast Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (SEATOA). For the last ten years, Catharine has been a cable and broadband consultant serving North Carolina communities in planning and deploying local broadband systems, focusing particularly on those communities in the Research Triangle area and surrounding rural counties. The earlier periods of this work included cable rate regulatory oversight and enforcing build-out and transfer of ownership requirements under local cable franchises. With the passage of the state’s cable deregulatory legislation, her focus turned to developing municipal solutions to the lack of private sector broadband deployments and competition, including working with the City of Wilson in the development and implementation of North Carolina’s first fiber-to-the home system. When the industry attempted to shut down that system and other municipal systems, Catharine organized a North Carolina grassroots movement with SEATOA and worked with NCLM to block industry-sponsored anti-municipal broadband legislation, a battle which lasted four years but, disappointingly, ended with the industry prevailing under new Republican leadership. During this same period, Catharine lead numerous SEATOA efforts to guarantee PEG access funding (and actual payment) through revisions to the state’s Video Services Competition Act. Prior to her work in North Carolina, Ms. Rice served more than ten years as Vice President of the Washington, DC-based municipal-consulting firm, Institute for the Positive Use of Technology, (InPUT). She holds a masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communications and served as NATOA’s Administrative Officer from 1984-1989.
Ian M. Schuler is a leading practitioner in the use of technology to advance democracy and human rights. Ian has assisted over 100 civil society organizations, political parties, and government institutions in more than 35 countries to utilize technology for political reform and citizen empowerment.
Ian manages Internet freedom programs for the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL). In that capacity, Ian has helped to grow a community of practitioners dedicated to advancing Internet freedom. He oversees more than $60 million in programs that support a free and open Internet and empower individuals to exercise their rights online. Ian advises decisionmakers across the USG on programs and policies related to technology, democracy, and human rights.
In a decade serving at the National Democratic Institute (NDI), Ian was instrumental in building the field of technology for democracy. Ian was a founding member of eventual manager of NDI’s ICT unit, where he presided over creative marriages of new technologies and tactics for political reform. His pioneering work on SMS messaging in election observation helped to earn NDI recognition as one of the Top 10 Who Are Changing the World of Internet and Politics by Politics Online and the World e-Democracy Forum.
Ian has advised a variety of innovative social change organizations and campaigns. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and he tweets as @ianschuler.
Doc Searls, is co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, columnist, author and a widely-read blogger, a fellow at the Center for Information Technology & Society (CITS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a former fellow (2006-2010) of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. He is Senior Editor of Linux Journal.
Wendy Seltzer, is a Fellow with Yale Law School’s Information Society Project, researching openness in intellectual property, innovation, privacy, and free expression online. As a Fellow with Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Wendy founded and leads the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, helping Internet users to understand their rights in response to cease-and-desist threats. She serves on the Board of Directors of The Tor Project, promoting privacy and anonymity research, education, and technology; and the World Wide Web Foundation, U.S., dedicated to advancing the web and empowering people by improving Web science, standards, and generative accessibility of Web. She seeks to improve technology policy in support of user-driven innovation and communication.
Wendy has been a Fellow with Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy and the University of Colorado’s Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship in Boulder. She has taught Intellectual Property, Internet Law, Antitrust, Copyright, and Information Privacy at American University Washington College of Law, Northeastern Law School, and Brooklyn Law School and was a Visiting Fellow with the Oxford Internet Institute, teaching a joint course with the Said Business School, Media Strategies for a Networked World. Previously, she was a staff attorney with online civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation, specializing in intellectual property and First Amendment issues, and a litigator with Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel.
Wendy speaks and writes on copyright, trademark, patent, open source, privacy and the public interest online. She has an A.B. from Harvard College and J.D. from Harvard Law School, and occasionally takes a break from legal code to program (Perl and MythTV).
Pankaj Shah is executive director of the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet). For more than 25 years he has committed himself to the IT infrastructure and Broadband initiatives through work in private, public, research and education community, identifying trends in high-speed data transfer, videoconferencing, and hybrid networking.
As a leader committed to bringing Ohio the best in networking and IT capabilities, Shah searches for ways to consolidate and standardize OARnet’s shared services and expand its capabilities. Under Shah’s leadership, OARnet has helped Ohio become a broadband state with an expansive network backbone and research and education services while partnering with private sector to create economic development opportunities.
Prior to working as OARnet’s executive director Pankaj Shah served as:
- Director of infrastructure for IT services, Marquette University
- Engagement manager, Resource One Computer System
- Senior manager, American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT)
- Division of track manager, New York City Transit Authority (MTA)
- Computer science department systems administrator, City University of New York
Shah also served a previous tenure at OARnet, creating and managing the Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC-Ohio) and as a partner in the Transportable Satellite Internet System.
Shah represents OARnet on The Quilt and Internet2′s governance and nominations committee. He also serves on the steering committee of StateNets and contributed to the Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, 2nd Edition.
Shah received a diploma in mechanical engineering as well as certification in advanced tool technology from S.B.M Polytechnic in Bombay (Mumbai), India. He earned his masters in computer and information science from Brooklyn College, City University of New York. He most recently received his Executive MBA from The Fisher School of Business.
Michael Smeltzer, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Michael K. Smeltzer is the Director of Physical Infrastructure for Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services (CITES) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been in that role since 2008 and formerly helped manage the $20-million campus network upgrade project. He was the PI (Principal Instigator) behind the Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B) Consortium’s $29.4 million BTOP infrastructure grant proposal that was funded by NTIA in March of 2010. He is currently leading the University’s participation in Gig.U in addition to UC2B.
Before returning to the University in 2005, Mike was the local Operations Manager for regional telecommunications provider McLeodUSA. He is a former faculty member in the U of I’s College of Communications and University High School.
A very long time ago, he was a professional photojournalist for United Press International (UPI) and a television news anchor. While he likes to believe that his circuitous career path displays a deep capacity for life-long learning, his wife of almost four decades believes that it simply demonstrates that he cannot keep a job.
CB Smith-Dahl is an award-winning filmmaker, photographer, and educator who has always put the community at the center of her work. In 1997, she founded Community Bridge Video, which produces educational and promotional films in partnership with nonprofits and community based organizations. She has an MFA in Film & Television Production from the University of Southern California and a BA in Spanish and Education from Spelman College. Some of the programs CB has taught for are Inner City Filmmakers, Streetside Productions/The East Bay Asian Youth Center, and Horizons/The DJ Project.
Ashkan Soltani is an independent researcher and consultant specializing in consumer privacy and security on the Internet. He has more than 15 years of experience as a technology consultant and has published three major reports on the extent and means of online tracking: “KnowPrivacy: The Current State of Web Privacy, Data Collection, and Information Sharing”, “Flash Cookies and Privacy”, and “Flash Cookies and Privacy II” (addendum here). His work highlights the prevalence and practice of tracking online, including the use of specific technologies designed to circumvent consumer privacy choices online. He has served as a staff technologist in the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection at the Federal Trade Commission and also worked as the primary technical consultant on the Wall Street Journal’s What They Know series investigating Internet privacy and online tracking.
Ashkan recently testified as an independent expert in front of the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on “The State of Online Consumer Privacy” and the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy”
Mark Surman is in the business of connecting things: people, ideas, everything. A community technology activist for almost 20 years, Mark is currently the executive director of the Mozilla Foundation, with a focus on inventing new ways to promote openness and opportunity on the Internet. On the side, Mark convenes conversations about ‘open everything‘ in his home town of Toronto and around the world. Before joining Mozilla, Mark was an open philanthropy fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation in South Africa, he invented new ways to apply open source thinking to social innovation. Earlier, he was the founding director of telecentre.org, a $26 million effort to network community technology activists in countries around the world. Mark has also served as president of the Commons Group, Director of Content and Community at Web Networks and senior advisor to the Volunteer @ction Online grants program team. Mark’s first real job was training social activists to make their own documentaries in the early 1990s. Website: http://commonspace.wordpress.com/about/.
Aaron Swartz is a writer, programmer, and activist. He co-authored the RSS 1.0 specification, helped develop standards for the Semantic Web, and designed the metadata system for Creative Commons. He co-founded Reddit.com, an online news startup acquired by Condé Nast, and architected OpenLibrary.org. His writing has appeared in a variety of magazines and journals and he has been profiled in Wired and Newsweek. He is on the board of Demand Progress and is the cofounder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
He spent a year at Stanford and then took leave to co-found Reddit.com, which was purchased by Condé Nast, Aaron soon left Condé Nast to work on Open Library, whose goal is to create a wiki with a page for every book. He also co-founded a new startup, Jottit.com, which does easy-authoring software for Web sites.
He currently consults for a variety of nonprofits.
Richard S. Whitt currently is Director and Managing Counsel for Public Policy with Google Inc. In that capacity, Rick is responsible for overseeing all of Google’s strategic thinking in its DC office, with a focus on privacy, cybersecurity, intellectual property, Internet governance, competition, free expression, international trade, and telecom and media policy. Rick’s duties include managing the Company’s team of policy experts in those substantive areas, driving external policy campaigns, and promoting overarching thought leadership. From January 2007 to December 2011, Rick served as Google’s Washington telecom and media counsel, providing strategy and advocacy on all wireline, wireless, and media matters before the Federal Communications Commission, other Federal agencies, and the U.S. Congress.
Prior to joining Google, Rick founded and headed NetsEdge Consulting, a public policy consulting firm that provided legal analysis, regulatory strategy, and advocacy counsel to Google and other Web companies. From 1994 to 2006, Rick worked in the legal department at MCI Communications, where he most recently served as vice president for federal law and policy. Rick previously spent over five years as an associate attorney in the communications practices of two large D.C.-based law firms.
Rick is a 1988 cum laude graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, and a 1984 magna cum laude graduate of James Madison University. He is a resident of Washington, D.C.
Isaac Wilder is co-founder and Executive Director of the Free Network Foundation. He studied Computer Science and Philosophy until 2011, when he left school to pursue free network advocacy full-time. He is now responsible for the day-to-day operations of the foundation, as well as long-term strategic vision and public advocacy. In addition to writing and speaking on issues of network freedom, Isaac designs, engineers, builds and deploys tools for more democratic networks. He is currently based in New York City, planning a move to Detroit, MI in early April.
John Wonderlich is the Policy Director for the Sunlight Foundation and one of the nation’s foremost advocates for open government. John spearheads Sunlight’s goal of changing the government by opening up key data sources and information to make government more accountable to citizens. He is one of the foremost authorities on transparency policy, from legislation and accountability in Congress to ethics and information policy in the executive branch. John has spoken internationally on technology and transparency and has testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. He has appeared on NPR, Fox News and C-SPAN, and his expertise has been cited by The New York Times, The Washington Post and other media outlets.