Ryan Alexander

Digital Director, Tom Barrett for WI Governor

Ryan Alexander was the Digital Director for Tom Barrett's campaign in Wisconsin. Prior to joining the Barrett campaign, he was the Digital Director for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. During the summer recalls, Alexander was the Deputy Communications Director for Rep. Peter Barca. In the 2010 election cycle, Alexander was the Digital Strategy and Online Communications Director for Tom Barrett for Governor. Prior to returning to politics, Alexander was a Senior Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton where worked with Department of Defense clients to leverage social media in their communications and outreach plans. Prior to joining Booz Allen Hamilton, Alexander was in charge of Online Strategy and Advocacy at WebStrong Group where he consulted for numerous political campaigns and organizations such as Tom Harkin for Senate, Women's Voices Women Vote (WVWV), and Brian Paddick for London Mayor. As a political Internet strategist, Alexander made history in the summer of 2006 when he created the first "Facebook" pages for a Presidential candidate, Senator Evan Bayh. After Sen. Evan Bayh dropped out of the Presidential race in late 2006, Alexander then managed the award-winning online strategy for Philadelphia Mayoral candidate Dwight Evans and worked with the John Edwards for President campaign to successfully crowdsource the candidate's schedule on www.eventful.com. In 2004, Alexander was awarded College Democrat of the Year for his efforts as a field staffer for Kerry/Edwards in the battleground state of Wisconsin and as field organizer earlier in the cycle for Dean for America. He is a cum laude graduate of Marquette University with a degree in Political Science.

Joaquin Alvarado

Chief Strategy Officer, Center for Investigative Reporting

Joaquin Alvarado is the Chief Strategy Officer for the Center for Investigative Reporting. Before joining CIR, Joaquin Alvarado served as senior vice president for digital innovation at American Public Media and founding senior vice president for diversity and innovation at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He is the founder of CoCo Studios, which promotes media collaboration and game development for fiber and mobile networks. Joaquin was the founding director of the Institute for Next Generation Internet, which launched in 2005 from San Francisco State University. In 2004, Joaquin began the National Public Lightpath, advocating high-speed, fiber-optic network as the next generation of the Internet. Alvarado holds a bachelor’s degree in Chicano Studies from UC Berkeley and an MFA from the UCLA School of Theatre, Film, and Television. He serves on the boards of TechSoup Global and DEI - the public broadcasting development association. He is the co-author of “Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art.” He lives with his wife and two children in Oakland.

Michael Anti

Journalist and Associate Fellow, Asia Society

Michael Anti is a veteran journalist and popular political columnist for various of Chinese and English media outlets. He is currently Associate Fellow of Asia Society. He won M100 Sanssouci Media Award in 2011. He was a Chinese war reporter in Baghdad in March 2003 and then worked with Beijing Bureau of the New York Times for 4 years. His well-known MSN blog on Chinese politics was removed by Microsoft in December 2005 under the pressure of Chinese government. He also received Wolfson Press Fellowship at Cambridge University (2007), Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University (2008), and was a visiting scholar at University of Tokyo in 2010. As a public advocate for Internet freedom and online public diplomacy, he is one of the most influential microbloggers in China. He taught International Reporting at Journalism School of Shantou University in 2008. He served as International Jury Member for the Blog Competition of Deutsch Welle in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010.

John Perry Barlow

Co-Founder & Vice Chairman, Electronic Frontier Foundation

John Perry Barlow is a retired Wyoming cattle rancher, a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization which promotes freedom of expression in digital media. He currently serves as its Vice Chairman. Since May of 1998, he has been a Fellow at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

He has written for a wild diversity of publications, ranging from Communications of the ACM to The New York Times to Nerve°. He was on the masthead of Wired for many years. His piece for Wired on the future of copyright, The Economy of Ideas, is now taught in many law schools. His manifesto, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, has been widely distributed on the Net and can be found on more than 20,000 sites.

In recent years, he has devoted much of his time and energy helping to "wire" the Southern Hemisphere to the North and has traveled extensively in Africa. His Wired piece, "Africa Rising" describes the first of these journeys. More recently, he has been working with Brazil's Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, in an effort to get all of Brazil's music online.

In June of 1999, FutureBanker Magazine (an ABA Publication) named him "One of the 25 Most Influential People in Financial Services," even though he isn't in financial services. He was the first to apply William Gibson's science fiction term Cyberspace to the already-existing global electronic social space now generally referred to by that name. Until his naming it, it had not been considered any sort of place. He was called "the Thomas Jefferson of Cyberspace" by Yahoo Internet Life Magazine.

He was born in Wyoming in 1947, was educated there in a one room schoolhouse, and graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut with an honors degree in comparative religion in 1969. He lives in Pinedale, Wyoming (75 miles from the nearest stoplight or franchise), New York's Chinatown, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, On The Road, and in Cyberspace.

Michael Bassik

CEO, Proof Integrated Communications

Michael A. Bassik is CEO of Proof Integrated Communications, an evidence-based creative and digital agency within WPP Group. He is also Managing Director and U.S. Digital Practice Chair at Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm. Michael received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania and his law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law. He is a member of the New York State Bar and an advisor to DSPolitical, a data-driven political advertising network.

Michael Beach

Co-Founder, Targeted Victory

Michael Beach co-founded Targeted Victory in February, 2009. Since inception, Targeted Victory has quickly grown to become the premier Republican digital strategic consulting firm, serving over 40 clients including Marco Rubio for Senate (FL), American Crossroads, Susana Martinez for Governor (NM), and Mitt Romney’s Presidential Campaign. This experience includes the strategy, development, and placement of more than $14 million in online advertising campaigns.

Prior to founding Targeted Victory, Michael served as the National Victory Director for the Republican National Committee, overseeing and implementing a 50-state voter turnout program for the 2007-08 election cycles.

Before joining the RNC, Michael served as the Political Director for the Nevada Republican Party during the 2006 campaign cycle. In 2004, Michael served in the 72 Hour Department of the Ohio Republican Party, focusing his attention on voter turnout tactics and field program operations.

Michael is a graduate of the Ohio State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in both Economics and Political Science.

Dan Beckmann

Co-Founder, IB5k

Dan Beckmann is a New Media developer and award-winning journalist with a career spanning over a decade, and is the founder of IB5k, an fully integrated digital production conglomerate modeled after the Obama 08 campaign's New Media department. IB5k has been working with the US Congress to improve on body-wide, infrastructural level, how the general public communicate with their elected leaders.

Beckmann has won a Peabody and an Emmy award for his work at ABC News and Current TV. A Toledo, Ohio native, he holds a masters in journalism from Northwestern, and is all but dissertation, on his PHD in Media Philosophy from the European Graduate school. He presently lives in San Francisco & Brooklyn.

Jessica Beinecke

Digital Storyteller and Host of "OMG! Meiyu"

Jessica is a digital storyteller. Interactive web stories are her passion.

She is the creator, writer, host and producer of Voice of America’s viral daily web show “OMG! Meiyu.” In each episode, Jessica uses Mandarin to teach American slang and culture to her young Chinese audience. With just her Apple laptop and a few props, Jessica produces “OMG” from her one bedroom apartment in Washington, D.C., and has garnered 10 million hits in just 10 months.

Jessica holds a Public Relations+Mandarin Chinese degree from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She also attended intensive Chinese language schools at Middlebury College and Zhejiang Technology University.

Jessica hopes to broaden her cross-cultural impact with more in-depth views into the lives of young people in China and the U.S.

Emily Bell

Director, Columbia Journalism School's Tow Center for Digital Journalism

Emily Bell is Professor of Journalism and Director of the Tow Center at Columbia University. Previously She was Director of Digital Content for Guardian News and Media, Editor-in-Chief of guardian.co.uk, founder of mediaguardian.co.uk, Business Editor of the Observer, a foot soldier in the advertising trenches of Campaign magazine and, at the very beginning, a trainee reporter for Big Farm Weekly, a title which sadly doesn’t exist any more.

Under Bell, the Guardian received numerous awards, including the Webby Award for a newspaper website in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009, and British Press Awards for Website of the Year in 2006, 2008 and 2009. She is a 1987 graduate of Christ Church, Oxford University, where she earned a master's degree in jurisprudence.

Christina Bellantoni

Politics Editor, PBS NewsHour

Christina Bellantoni joined the PBS NewsHour in January 2012. In her role as Politics Editor, she directs coverage of campaign, White House and congressional news and appears on the program for on-air analysis.

She also is a Contributing Editor for More Magazine.

Bellantoni has spent over a decade covering national political and business news in Washington, D.C., and California. She served as Associate Politics Editor at Roll Call for more than a year before joining the NewsHour. She has appeared regularly as a political analyst on national television programs such as "Hardball," "Countdown," "On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren," "Reliable Sources," "TopLine," "The Rachel Maddow Show" and "The Daily Rundown."

Prior to her time at Roll Call, Bellantoni was a senior reporter-blogger at Talking Points Memo's Washington bureau covering the White House and national politics. Before joining TPM, Bellantoni was a White House correspondent for The Washington Times, a post she took after covering the 2008 presidential campaign. She joined the Times in December 2003, covering state and congressional politics before moving to the national political beat for the 2008 election.

Bellantoni began her journalism career in 1998 covering business in her home state of California. She won two national journalism awards for Best Scoop in 2001 for her story in Silicon Valley Biz Ink that revealed the San Jose Sharks were up for sale.

A graduate of University of California, Berkeley, Bellantoni majored in mass communications. She led a study group for undergraduate students as an Institute of Politics Fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School in fall 2011.

Yochai Benkler

Co-Director, Berkman Center for Internet and Society

Yochai Benkler is the Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard, and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. His research focuses on the effects of net-based information production on our lives, minds, and laws.

His books include The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom (Yale University Press 2006), which won academic awards from the American Political Science Association, the American Sociological Association, and the McGannon award for social and ethical relevance in communications. It has been called "perhaps the best work yet about the fast moving, enthusiast-driven Internet" by the Financial Times and named best business book about the future in 2006 by Strategy and Business.

A particular focus has been the neglected role of commons-based approaches towards management of resources in the digitally networked environment. As such, his work can be freely accessed at benkler.org, and when The Wealth of Networks was released digitally with a Creative Commons license, it was mixed and remixed online by fans. He's won the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award for 2007, Public Knowledge's IP3 Award in 2006, and the Ford Foundation Visionaries Award in 2011.

David Binetti

Co-Founder and CEO, Votizen

David Binetti is Co-Founder and CEO of Votizen. He is also the co-creator of USA.gov, the official website of the US Government, which was named USA Today's Site of the Year for 2000. David is a recipient of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government's "Innovations in American Government" award.

Votizen is a web service that allows you to discover how your friends on social networks are registered to vote, and campaign with them to elect candidates that share your values. Its heart is the over 200,000,000–strong social-media-ready voter database. USA.gov is the official US Goverment portal and one of the most useful sites on the Net.

His career began at Intuit, where he learned about marketing for startups as part of the 7-person team that created Quicken.com. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and the business school at UCLA, and his wonderful family is first in his life.

Robert Bjarnason

President and Co-Founder, Citizens Foundation of Iceland

Robert Bjarnson is President and Co-Founder of the Citizens Foundation of Iceland, which provides open-source civic engagement platforms and won the pan-Europe e-democracy award at the 2011 World e-Gov Forum.

Created in 2008 in the wake of Iceland's economic collapse and loss of trust in politicians, the Citizens Foundation is made up of civic hackers who stepped in to encourage citizen participation in governance. Their key offering is the "Open Active Democracy" platform, Which helps citizens debate and prioritize issues. A notable incarnation is Betri Reykjavik (or "Better Reykjavik"), which launched a week before elections in Iceland's capital city, achieved a participation rate of 40% among voters, and became integrated permanently into the city's administration. The version available globally, Your Priorities, is already in use in Greece as a brainstorm for economics troubles.

An experienced entrepreneur, Robert started his first business (a software company) at the age of 12. As President of Miðheimar ehf, Iceland's first commercial internet service provider, he introduced the internet to Iceland and Denmark.

Rob Bluey

Director, Heritage Center for Media and Public Policy

Rob Bluey is a journalist and blogger who leads The Heritage Foundation’s investigative reporting unit and is director of the Heritage Center for Media and Public Policy. He oversaw the redesign of Heritage.org, as well as the creation of several Heritage blogs and e-newsletters, including The Foundry and Scribe.

In 2006, He co-founded the weekly Bloggers Briefing, described by The Washington Times as a place for conservative bloggers to share information and ideas, and continues to host it today. He served as a coordinator for the Open House Project, an effort to increase government transparency in Congress. As a reporter for Cybercast News Service, Bluey was the first journalist to challenge the authenticity of documents used by CBS News to question President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard.

Campaigns & Elections magazine named him a “Rising Star” in 2008. Politico placed Bluey among Washington’s “Top 50 Politicos.” “He’s an online entrepreneurial genius,” Terry Jeffery, Cybercast News Service editor in chief, told Politics magazine. “He’s taught people how to bypass the establishment media, and that’s been so valuable to the conservative movement.”

Bluey grew up in upstate New York and graduated from Ithaca College, where he was editor of its award-winning newspaper, The Ithacan. He remains closely involved with his alma mater, serving for six years on Ithaca College’s Alumni Association Advisory Board of Directors.

Dave Boyce

CEO, Fundly

Fundly CEO Dave Boyce is a serial entrepreneur who lists his favorite start-up as his own family – he is married with six children. His most recent venture, Fundly (www.fundly.com), is fast disrupting online political, philanthropic and individual giving.

The world’s largest and most widely-adopted social fundraising platform, Fundly has enabled political campaigns, nonprofits and individual fundraisers of all sizes to raise more than $250 million to-date for their causes and candidates.

Backed by the same VCs who invested in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Apple, Mint.com and Zynga, Fundly is the winner of numerous awards and hosts over 20,000 fundraising campaigns on its platform, including more than 1,200 Democratic and Republican political campaigns and organizations at all levels of government.

Featured in the Washington Post, Campaigns & Elections, techPresident, POLITICO, GOOD, Forbes, the Financial Times, and on PBS, Bloomberg Television, NPR and FOX Business News, Dave lectures frequently on social fundraising at thought leader convenings including SXSW Interactive, The Atlantic's High Growth Business Forum, Nonprofit Technology Network, The Foundation Center and the seven-city Social Media for Nonprofits conference series. Follow him on Twitter: @davidjboyce1.

Greta Byrum

Field Analyst, New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative

Greta Byrum (gretabyrum.com) is a poet, an urban planner, and a Field Analyst for the Open Technology Initiative at the New America Foundation, where she works on telecommunications policy and collaborative technology design strategies. She is currently working with groups in Philadelphia and Detroit to build community-owned mesh wireless networks as well as digital literacy and entrepreneurship support. Most recently she has spoken about community mesh networks and the digital divide at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. As a co-founder of curatorial team dBfoundation (dBfoundation.org) and Nobody Books (nobodyzone.com), Greta has created and curated exhibitions, sound designs, and transmissions in museums, galleries, and theaters in NY, LA, DC, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Cairo, and Dallas. She holds an MS in Urban Planning from Columbia University, an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and an MA in Literature from Johns Hopkins.

Megan Cellucci

Senior Digital Strategist, CampaignGrid

Megan joined CampaignGrid in February 2010 as a Campaign Manager. Prior to joining CampaignGrid, Megan worked as a program manager at AOL where she was responsible for ensuring optimal monetization of key AOL.com placements and increasing advertising sales by identifying and addressing unsold inventory. Megan also worked closely with the Time Warner Corporate Communications Group on their nonprofit initiatives. While in college, Megan worked as an intern for MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews during the 2nd Inauguration of President George W. Bush. Megan is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she majored in Marketing and Management and was a member and captain of the Field Hockey team.

Shelby Clark

Founder, RelayRides

Shelby first tried carsharing when his car died after a cross-country move to California. He loved living a car-free life, but thought carsharing would work better and grow faster if it was "for the people, by the people", a neighbor-to-neighbor experience. So he founded RelayRides. Shelby obtained his MBA from Harvard, where he cultivated his passion for entrepreneurship and social impact. Before Harvard, Shelby helped launch three socially focused startups. He was an early employee at Kiva.org, one of the fastest-growing nonprofits in history, where Shelby provided strategic direction while building internal systems to scale the organization. Previously, Shelby worked at Oliver Wyman as a management consultant, advising Fortune 500 companies on strategy and operations. Prior to Harvard, Shelby graduated with a degree in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern.

Cheryl Contee

Partner, Fission Strategy

Cheryl Contee, Partner at Fission Strategy, specializes in helping non-profit organizations and foundations use social media to create social good. She is also the co-founder of Jack and Jill Politics writing as “Jill Tubman” on one of the top black blogs online. Cheryl is included in The Root 100 list of established and emerging African-American leaders. Huffington Post listed her as one of the Top 27 Female Founders in Tech to Follow on Twitter in 2011. Fast Company named her one of their 2010 Most Influential Women in Tech. She has over 15 years of award-winning interactive expertise and previously served as Vice President and lead digital strategist for Fleishman-Hillard’s West Coast region in San Francisco. Cheryl has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, San Francisco Magazine, BBC, and CNN, among other media appearances. She is also proud to serve on several boards and advisory committees: Netroots Nation, BlogHer, Blogging While Brown, Applied Research Center, and Public Radio International. She received her B.A. from Yale University and has an International Executive M.B.A. from Georgetown University. In her spare time, Ms. Contee enjoys hiking, yoga, movies and tai chi sword.

Jim Cowie

CTO and Co-Founder, Renesys

James Cowie is the Chief Technology Officer and head of R&D at Renesys Corporation. His research focuses on the structure and dynamics of regional Internet ecosystems, the interaction of regulation and competition in emerging Internet transit markets, and the derivation of Internet stability and diversity metrics. Jim received his B.S in computer science from Yale University, and lives in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Bryce Cullinane

Director of New Business Development, Resonate

Bryce Cullinane is Director of New Business Development at Resonate, an online advertising firm that leverages its proprietary "Attitudinal Targeting" technology to engage, recruit, and activate audiences online. Bryce works directly with a broad array of public affairs and political clients in DC and around the country. Prior to Resonate, Cullinane was Director of the 2010 Politics Online Conference, and simultaneously worked at The George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management running their digital recruitment program. Before GW, he worked on numerous political campaigns in New York State. Bryce is a graduate of SUNY Stony Brook, and has his Master's Degree in Political Communication from The George Washington University.

Jessica Dahl

Campaign Director, Causes

Jessica Dahl is the Director of Campaigns at Causes.com, the world's largest platform for activism and philanthropy. Jessica oversee's Causes' content strategy and execution and works with high-profile activists and nonprofit partners to run successful campaigns on the site. Prior to joining Causes, Jessica was a Campaign Director at the Ad Council where she oversaw multiple public service advertising campaigns. Among several award winning campaigns, she managed the Haiti Disaster Relief campaign with the Red Cross that revolutionized "text to donate" fundraising and contributed to over $34 million in donations. Jessica holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Missouri and resides in the Bay Area with her husband.

Keya Dannenbaum

Founder and CEO, ElectNext

Keya Dannenbaum is founder and CEO at ElectNext, an award-winning civic startup that translates open political data into embeddable tools for digital news media.

Keya has long been a political person (which is totally different from a political junkie, as she likes to point out). She studied and worked in politics as a Stanford undergrad and Princeton Ph.D., internationally as a Fulbright Scholar in Colombia and a Melman Fellow in India, nationally in the 2008 Presidential election, and locally for the Mayor of New Haven, CT. She is a junkie for Manchester United, Elvis Presley and the Insanity DVDs.

Laura Denardis

Professor of Communication Studies, American University

Dr. Laura DeNardis is a professor of Communication Studies at American University in Washington, DC. She is a globally recognized Internet governance scholar whose research addresses Internet policy and technical design issues related to innovation and freedom of expression online. Her books include Opening Standards: The Global Politics of Interoperability (MIT Press 2011); Protocol Politics: The Globalization of Internet Governance (MIT Press 2009); Information Technology in Theory (Thompson 2007 with Pelin Aksoy); and a forthcoming Yale University Press book on Global Internet Governance. She is an affiliated Fellow of the Yale Information Society Project and the Vice Chair of the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet). DeNardis earned a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Tech, an MEng from Cornell University, an AB in Engineering Science from Dartmouth College, and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from Yale Law School.

Elizabeth DiNovella

Culture Editor, The Progressive

Elizabeth DiNovella builds community through simple, direct communication. A cultural critic and reporter, she makes the strange familiar and the familiar strange from the Middle East to the Midwest. She engineers and programs at WORT-FM, Madison, Wisconsin’s community radio station, serves on the board of Dane101.com, and appears on national television. DiNovella is currently employed as culture editor at The Progressive magazine. She blogs at www.elizabethdinovella.com. Find her on twitter @lizdinovella. The Onion describes her work as “passionate, intelligent commentary.”

Jenni Dye

Attorney, Community Justice

Jenni Dye is a Wisconsin attorney, progressive activist, and social media organizer. Jenni works at Community Justice, a non-profit law firm, as an advocate for low and moderate income individuals and is actively involved in efforts to educate the public regarding Wisconsin law and their legal rights. Since February 2011, she has also spent much of her time organizing, educating, and commenting on Wisconsin politics through her Twitter alterego, @legaleagle. Jenni lives in Fitchburg, WI, a suburb of Madison, where she is recently won election to the Dane County Board of Supervisors.

David Eaves

Public Policy Entrepreneur & Open Government Activist

A public policy entrepreneur, and expert in information technology, innovation and government, David Eaves serves as a fellow and adjunct lecturer at the Belfer Center, at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

In 2009, as an adviser to the Office of the Mayor of Vancouver David proposed and helped draft the Open Motion which created one of the first municipal open data portals in the world. He subsequently advised the Canadian government on its open data strategy where his parliamentary committee testimony laid out the core policy structure that has guided multiple governments approach to the issue. He has also advised numerous local, state and national governments advising on technology and policy issues, including sitting on Ontario’s Open Government Engagement Team in 2014-2015.

In addition to working with government officials, David served as the first Director of Education for Code for America – training each cohort of fellows for their work with cities. David has also provided training and support to 18F and the Presidential Innovation Fellows program at the White House.

Brian Elliot

VP Partnerships, Amicus

Brian Elliot recently joined Amicus, a startup that creates innovative social fundraising and engagement tools for nonprofits. He is also the founder of Friendfactor, a gay rights organization for straight supporters. Brian led Friendfactor to create a groundbreaking peer-to-peer online advocacy tool, which thousands of New Yorkers used in the landmark 2011 New York marriage equality campaign, and was featured on the front page of the NYT. He has worked at Endeavor Global, Bain & Company, The Bridgespan Group, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, and a Public Policy degree from Stanford University. Brian is a winner of the SXSW 2012 Dewey Winburne Community Service Award, the 2010 Harvard Business School Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship, and his work to start Friendfactor was also named one of Yahoo!’s Top 10 Inspiring Acts of 2010.

Shayna Englin

Consultant, Fission Strategy

From her roots in Colorado as an organizer for Colorado NARAL, to her role as Fundraising Practice Manager at Mindshare Interactive Campaigns (now Verilion), to her leadership as Program and Political Director at the Women’s Campaign Forum, Shayna has been on the cutting edge in producing innovative and effective plans, programs, and materials that yield results: dollars raised, votes won, and policy changed. After six years and more that fifty client campaigns, Shayna and her team recently joined Fission Strategy.

Peter Fein

Agent, Telecomix

Peter Fein is an Internet activist, computer programmer and media hacker. Since 2010, he's been a participatant in a global, post-national adhocracy of Internet-fuelled political movements. He is also the founder and lead developer of the Mirror Party project, a distributed, censorship-resistant social mirror network.

Pete is an agent with Telecomix, an a activist cluster which facilitates free communication around the world. Called "Tech Support for the Arab Spring", Telecomix helped keep Egypt online during the 2011 revolution, using everything from advanced encryption to dialup modems and fax machines. For the past year, Telecomix has published news and videos from Syria and provided daily communications support to on-the-ground activists. When the cluster discovered US-manufactured censorship hardware being used by Syrian government, Pete explained the evidence to the press, resulting in EU export controls and US sanctions on the technology.

Pete is also a propagandist and strategist with Internet collective Anonymous. He helped plan 2010 protests in support of Wikileaks, which mobilized actions in over 100 cities globally in under two weeks. He was an organizer and media liason during 2011 transit protests in San Francisco, which resisted mobile phone censorship & police brutality. Called OpBART, these protests helped forge collaborations between Internet and street activists that would prove critical to Occupy Wall Street later that year. In 2012, Pete worked behind the scenes to advise and amplify demonstrations against the ACTA copyright treaty, which brought tens of thousands to the streets all over Europe.

Prior to becoming an Internet activist, he rode bikes, cooked food and wrote code. While he mainly tweets from collective accounts, Pete occasionally opines at @petewearspants / wearpants.org. He thanks #telecomix IRC for help writing this bio.

Allison Fine

Author, "Matterness: Fearless Leadership for a Social World"

Allison Fine is among the nation’s pre-eminent thinkers and strategists on networked leadership. Over the past ten years, she has written three books, keynoted conferences around the world, and coached hundreds of organizations. Her particular expertise is in developing efforts that combine the power of personal relationships with the scale of social media to enable efforts to grow exponentially. She is the author of Matterness: Fearless Leadership for a Social World, the award-winning Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age, and co-author of the bestselling The Networked Nonprofit. She writes an advice column for the Chronicle of Philanthropy and serves on the boards of the Sunlight Foundation, NARAL, and Civic Hall.

Natalie Foster

Fellow, Institute for the Future; Co-founder, Peers.org

Natalie has spent the last 15 years at the crossroads of social movements and technology, and is currently a Fellow at Institute for the Future in Palo Alto and an advisor to the Aspen Institute's Future of Work Initiative. She’s transformed and run some of the largest digital teams in the country, including President Obama’s successful effort of pass health reform, and built two organizations from scratch. Most recently, Natalie co-founded and launched Peers to support people who are working in the sharing and on-demand economy. Prior to Peers, she was the CEO and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for people–driven economic change, with Van Jones. Previously, Natalie served as digital director for President Obama’s Organizing for America (OFA) and the Democratic National Committee. She built and directed the team responsible for the president's message and fundraising through social, mobile, and email communication with the President's millions of supporters. Natalie built the first digital department at the Sierra Club and served as the deputy organizing director for MoveOn.org.

Matthew Gagnon

Director of Digital Strategy, Republican Governors Association

Matthew Gagnon is Republican political consultant, specializing in digital politics. Currently, he serves as the Director of Digital Strategy for the Republican Governors Association, where he manages online campaigns supporting races in eleven states, two territories, and the Wisconsin recall.

Prior to his time at the RGA, Matthew spent time on Capitol Hill as Director of New Media Communications for United States Senator Susan Collins. In 2010, he was Deputy Director of Digital Strategy at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, helping to coordinate the online campaigns for 37 U.S. Senate races across the country.

Matthew has also spent time in the private sector, most recently as a Project Manager in the Public Affairs practice at Arlington based digital firm New Media Strategies.

A native of Maine, Gagnon currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia with is wife Erin and five year old son, Alec.

Christie George

Director, New Media Ventures

Christie George is one of the country’s leading experts on investing in mission-driven startups. As Director of New Media Ventures, an angel network and seed fund focused on accelerating progressive innovation, Christie has catalyzed the investment of more than $8m into some of the fastest growing for-profit and nonprofit startups of the last few years including Upworthy, CrowdTangle and SumOfUs.

Christie’s work centers on fostering an independent, vibrant, and diverse media sector by supporting individuals and institutions that are making media that matters. She started her career at a venture capital firm, then spent six years managing sales and marketing for Women Make Movies, the world's leading distributor of films by and about women, and was a co-founder of Louder (acquired by Change.org), the crowd-promotion platform for ideas that matter. She serves on the board of the Roosevelt Institute and was named a Social Citizen Ambassador by the Case Foundation.

Christie holds a BA from Yale University and an MBA with distinction from the University of Oxford, where she was a Skoll Scholar in Social Entrepreneurship and graduated with the Said Prize. She lives in Oakland and is a proud co-owner of the Rio Theater in Monte Rio, CA.

Masha Gessen

Author, "The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladmir Putin"

Masha Gessen is a Russian and American journalist and author. Her most recent book is The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. She is editor in chief of Vokrug Sveta, a publishing house that includes Russia's oldest continuously published magazine, which she also edits, and a range of innovative multimedia publications. She is the founder of The Protest Workshop (Masterskaya Protestnykh Desystviy), an offline/online organizing effort that has played a key role in the Russian protests starting in December. She writes a weekly column on Russia for the New York Times/International Herald Tribune web site.

Sami Ben Gharbia

Tunisian Blogger, Advocacy Director for Global Voices

Tunisian Blogger and Activist. Founder and Advocacy director of Global Voices Advocacy, an initiative that seeks to build a global anti-censorship network of bloggers and online activists to protect freedom of expression and free access to information online. Co-founder of the Award-winning collective blog Nawaat.org. Co-founder of "The Arab Techies Collective" of Arabic speaking technology enthusiasts and practitioners. Co-organizer of The Arab Bloggers Conference, aiming to build an alliance of bloggers and activists across the Arab World.

Leah Gilliam

Portfolio Strategist, Hive Learning NYC

Leah Gilliam creates, designs, facilitates, strategizes, fashions, observes and surfs. He's the portfolio strategist at Hive Learning Network NYC. Hive NYC is a groups of educators, designers and thinkers from cultural, civic and creative organizations who work to empower youth. They create events and learning laboratories— everything from Hack Jams and Pop-Ups to summer programs—where people tinker, hack and make together. Hive's tagline is explore, create, share—and they have an awesome time doing it.

Raymond Glendening

Chief Operations Officer, Ruckus

Raymond Glendening is the Chief Operations Officer at Ruckus, an online political engagement platform that connects like-minded people around issues. Previously, Glendening was the National Political Director at the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), the committee that oversees campaigns for Democratic Governors and candidates across the country. In 2010, Glendening oversaw 37 races and a $55M budget. Before DGA, Glendening was a senior advisor to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (D). Glendening has also run dozens of campaigns for Democrats across the country. Glendening is a Maryland native who lives in Washington, D.C.

Trey Grayson

Director, Harvard Institute of Politics

Trey Grayson has served as the Director of the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard University since January 2011 after previously serving six years on the IOP's Senior Advisory Committee. Grayson served two terms as Kentucky's Secretary of State from 2004-11. He was elected Secretary of State in November of 2003 in his first run for political office, and at the time of his election, was the youngest Secretary of State in the country. In office, Grayson was recognized as a national leader in elections, civics, business services, and government innovation and served as President of the National Association of Secretaries of State in 2009-2010. An attorney prior to his election, Secretary Grayson graduated with honors from Harvard College (A.B., Government, 1994), where he was an IOP student leader, and from the University of Kentucky (J.D. 1998, M.B.A., 1998). He and his wife, Nancy, reside in Belmont, Massachusetts with their two daughters, Alex and Kate.

Sam Gregory

Program Director, Witness

Sam Gregory is a human rights advocate, trainer and video producer who helps people use the power of the moving image and participatory technologies to create human rights change. He is currently the Program Director at WITNESS - the leading organization supporting people to use video for human rights. He runs their 'Cameras Everywhere' initiative - focused on empowering millions of people to use video effectively, safely and ethically. Over the past decade, Sam has worked extensively with human rights activists, particularly in Latin America and Asia, integrating video into impactful campaigns on a range of civil, political, social, economic and cultural human rights issues. He has also created training tools and programs including the WITNESS Video Advocacy Institute, was lead editor on ‘Video for Change’ (Pluto Press, 2005), and teaches on human rights and participatory media as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School. A graduate of the University of Oxford, he completed a Masters in Public Policy as a Kennedy Memorial Scholar at Harvard. In 2010, he was a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Resident on the future of video-based advocacy, and in 2012 he was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

Gunnar Grímsson

CEO and Co-Founder, Citizens Foundation of Iceland

Gunnar Grímsson is CEO and Co-Founder of the Citizens Foundation of Iceland, which provides open-source civic engagement platforms and won the pan-Europe e-democracy award at the 2011 World e-Gov Forum.

Created in 2008 in the wake of Iceland's economic collapse and loss of trust in politicians, the Citizens Foundations main goal is to encourage citizen participation in governance. Their key offering is the "Open Active Democracy" platform, which helps citizens debate and prioritize issues. A notable incarnation is Betri Reykjavik (or "Better Reykjavik"), which launched a week before elections in Iceland's capital city, achieved a participation rate of 40% among voters, and became integrated permanently into the city's administration. The Citizens Foundation offers a global version, Your Priorities, free for all countries in the world.

Gunnar has been working in webdesign since '94, was Icelands first commercial webmaster and has since then taught interface and web-design in many Icelandic universities and colleges. Since '97 he's worked as a freelance webdesigner and consultant for, amongst others, the University of Iceland, the Icelandic Parliament, National Archives of Iceland, Reykjavík Arts Festival, Icelandair, Icelandic Supreme Court and the Central Bank of Iceland. He's especially proud of being chosen the Geek of the year 2011 in Iceland along with his partner Robert Bjarnason.

Katie Harbath

Manager for Policy, Facebook

Katie Harbath is a Manager for Policy at Facebook, where she focuses on political outreach. Prior to Facebook, Katie was the Chief Digital Strategist at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. She previously led digital strategy in positions at DCI Group, the Rudy Giuliani for President campaign and the Republican National Committee. In 2009, she was named a Rising Star by Campaigns and Elections magazine. Katie holds a BA in journalism and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Marci Harris

Co-Founder and CEO of POPVOX

Marci Harris is co-founder and CEO of POPVOX, the award-winning online advocacy platform that meshes real-time legislative data with users’ personal stories and sentiment in a format optimized for Congress.

She jokes that her "first startup was a town." In 2004, an F4 tornado struck her town of Jackson, Tennessee, the night before an election for which she was running the campaign of the incumbent mayor. He directed her to "find out what people need and get it," which led to a position as Tornado Recovery Coordinator for the long process that followed.

This taste of public service led her to law school and eventually to the LL.M. program at American University, where she specialized in administrative law, with internships for the U.S. Attorney in Memphis, Chief Judge of the West TN U.S. District Court, and the House Ways and Means Committee.

In 2007, she became Tax, Trade, and Health Counsel to Pete Stark and managed Medicare program integrity and transparency issues for the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee.

She left the Hill in February 2010 to co-found POPVOX, which won the SxSW BizSpark Accelerator startup competition in 2011 and was named one of seven Top Open Government Websites by Read Write Web. Marci serves on the board of LaunchTN, public-private partnership focused on supporting the development of entrepreneurship and high-growth companies in Tennessee. She is also a mentor at the Code for America Accelerator in San Francisco.

Leslie Harris

President & CEO, Center for Democracy & Technology

Leslie Harris is the President & CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology (www.cdt.org), which works to keep the Internet open, innovative and free.

Ms. Harris has defended the open Internet since its earliest days, from the fight over the Communications Decency Act to the recent campaigns against SOPA and CISPA. She was twice named one of Washington’s “Tech Titans” by Washingtonian Magazine. She has also been selected as Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology” and as the Huffington Post’s “10 Female Tech CEOs to Watch.”

Prior to joining CDT, Ms. Harris was the founder and president of a mission- driven government affairs firm that aimed to strengthen the voice of civil society in emerging policy debates on new technology and the Internet. Earlier, Ms. Harris served as Chief Legislative Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union and was also in private law practice in Washington, DC.

Ms. Harris received her law degree cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center and her BA at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She is a senior fellow at the University of Colorado’s Silicon Flatiron Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship.

Justin Hart

Vice President of Campaign and Business Relations, ElectionMall

Justin Hart joined the ElectionMall Technology team in 2012 as Vice President of Campaign and Business Relations. He oversees ElectionMall’s groundbreaking cross-product platform Campaign Cloud, powered by Microsoft.

Hart is a recognized, online political strategist who has worked with a variety of organizations and top-tier politicians, including Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, the Sarah Palin Legal Defense Fund, Chuck DeVore, and Joe Miller for Senate. Before delving into the political scene, Mr. Hart built a reputation for devising innovative, Internet solutions for Fortune 500 companies, including DuPont and BlueCross BlueShield.

Mr. Hart is the former managing director of RaiseDigital, a high-end political consulting firm. During his tenure he helped raise millions of dollars for his clients online. Mr. Hart was the first recipient of the Shorty Award for best political use of Twitter for his innovative combination of Social Networking and online donor cultivation. He was also won numerous awards for creative online video advertising.

Previously, Mr. Hart served the Director of Emerging Technologies for Proxicom, a leading Internet solutions firm in the DC area where he developed the first industry wireless applications and online extranet applications for firms like DuPont and Dewalt. Mr. Hart studied Comparative Literature, Russian, and Polish at Brigham Young University.

Virginia Heffernan

National Correspondent, Yahoo! News

Virginia Heffernan provides an original perspective on the most influential and least understood medium of our lifetime. She treats the Internet not merely as a new technology or as a business tool, but as a cultural object -- a collaborative work of art that has "its own rules, conventions, implications." Heffernan does for the Internet what Pauline Kael did for movies, what Marshall McLuhan did for television. She helps us rethink this new medium: its enormity, its effect on society, and our place in it.

Virginia Heffernan is now the national correspondent for Yahoo! News. She is also a former contributor to The New York Times. Previously, she wrote The Medium column for The New York Times Magazine, from 2006 to 2011, and, before that, was the Times' TV critic. She's regularly asked by a range of institutions -- universities, libraries, Fortune 100 corporations, political organizations, ad agencies, even law firms -- to speak about leveraging the intrinsic capabilities of the Internet for cultural, political and professional purposes. A former editor at Harper's and Slate, she has her Master's and a Ph.D in English literature from Harvard. Her book, tentatively titled, Magic and Loss: The Pleasures of the Internet, will be released in 2012.

Jan Hemme

Working Group Spokesperson, Berlin Pirate Party

Jan Hemme is a spokesperson for the Berlin Pirate Party’s Working Group on Enterprise and the Environment, and has provided strategic advice to the party’s Federal Executive Board. He authored the Pirate Party's successful motion in the State Parliament of Berlin to create a resolution on the EU’s Data Protection recast. This was featured in Germany’s leading weekly news magazine DER SPIEGEL as the high-profile example for the Pirate Party’s e-participation software-tools, bottom-up policy approach and flat hierarchies. Hemme holds a B.A. in political science from Luther College, IA as well as a M.A. from Münster University and has a professional background in strategic communication consulting.

Peter Hirshberg

CEO, The Re:imagine Group

Peter Hirshberg has led emerging media and technology companies at the center of disruptive change for more than 20 years. As chairman of Re:imagine Group, he has shaped strategies with Best Buy, Hertz, Unilever, IBM, Nokia, Telefonica, the World Economic Forum and the government of Singapore. He is a strategic adviser to the United Nations Global Pulse research team, an initiative of the Secretary General to use emerging big data techniques to help vulnerable populations in real-time.

A founder of San Francisco's Grey Area Foundation for the Arts, Peter has led initiatives at the forefront of citizen engagement in smart cities and open data. These include San Francisco's Summer of Smart 2011 with the SF Department of Technology, Singapore's 2012 Urban Prototyping Festival with the Singapore Economic Development Board & the World Cities Summit, and “SENSEable Cities: Exploring Urban Futures,” an exhibit created with MIT. " He is co-author of the forthcoming, "The Citizen, the Cloud and the Smart City."

During a nine year tenure at Apple Computer, Hirshberg headed Enterprise Marketing. He was founder and CEO of Elemental Software, served as president and CEO of Gloss.com and is former Chairman of Technorati. Peter is a Senior Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and a Henry Crown fellow of the Aspen Institute. Peter Hirshberg earned his bachelor's degree at Dartmouth College and his MBA at Wharton.

Heather Holdridge

Director of Digital Strategy, Planned Parenthood

Heather joined Planned Parenthood Federation of America in August 2011 as Director of Digital Strategy after two years as VP of Digital at Fenton Communications, where she led the DC office’s digital practice. Heather worked to develop and execute social media strategies and multimedia projects across a diverse client base.

Prior to Fenton, Heather served for four years as the director of political advocacy for Care2. She worked to connect Care2’s millions of members to non-profits doing political work and advocacy campaigns. She led the effort to develop Care2’s Election2008 Channel.

Heather was also a partner and online organizing director for the Carol/Trevelyan Strategy Group (CTSG), instrumental in developing and growing CTSG’s Creative Multimedia department, including serving as executive producer and co-writer for several Pollie-award winning campaigns.

Sara Horowitz

Executive Director and Founder, Freelancers Union

Sara Horowitz founded Working Today in 1995 to represent the needs and concerns of the growing independent workforce. Working Today built Freelancers Union to pioneer a new form of unionism, and the organization now has 100,000 members nationwide. Freelancers Union seeks to update the nation’s social safety net, developing systems so that all working people can access affordable benefits, regardless of their job arrangements. As executive director, Sara takes an entrepreneurial approach, pursuing creative, market-based solutions to pressing social problems.

In recognition of her efforts to create a self-sustaining organization of flexible workers, Sara was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1999. Before founding Working Today, Sara was a labor attorney in private practice and a union organizer with 1199, the National Health and Human Service Employees Union. Prior to joining 1199, Sara was a public defender in New York City.

A lifelong resident of Brooklyn, NY, Sara comes from a long line of labor advocates, including her father, who was a labor lawyer, and her grandfather, who was vice president of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union. This family history of involvement in the labor movement led Sara to Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, where she was awarded its labor prize. She later earned a law degree cum laude from the SUNY Buffalo Law School and a master's degree from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Sara is a trustee of the Nathan Cummings Foundation and is on the board of the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation. Freelancers Union has been featured throughout the popular and business press, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Wired and Fast Company; as well as on NOW with David Brancaccio, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered. Working Today has been recognized four times as one of the leading social entrepreneurs by Fast Company magazine.

Joe Hurd

Vice President of Global Public Policy and Corporate Affairs, UniversityNow

Joe Hurd’s expertise lies at the intersection of policy, business and the law. Currently, he is the Vice President, Global Public Policy and Corporate Affairs for UniversityNow, Inc (unow.com), a San Francisco-based company that seeks to address the challenges of college access and affordability through a network of online private universities. New Charter University (new.edu), the flagship, was launched in April 2012. In his role, Joe runs the public policy and global expansion strategy for UniversityNow, engaging federal, state and local officials worldwide on issues relating to higher education, job creation, skills-based vocational training, college affordability, entrepreneurship, social media and the digital divide.

Prior to joining UniversityNow, between 2009 and 2012 Joe was a political appointee in the Obama Administration, helping Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and his successor, John Bryson, implement the National Export Initiative. At the Department of Commerce, Joe provided political leadership and policy guidance for the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC). Under Joe’s direction, the TPCC delivered the first-ever National Export Initiative Report to the President in September 2010 (http://bit.ly/aAzKsB) and the 2011 National Export Strategy (NES) to Congress in June 2011 (http://1.usa.gov/qmGndj). He also served as a member of the White House Business Council, travelling around the country to engage with business leaders, state and local government officials, and the public to promote U.S. exports.

Before entering public service, Joe spent ten years in senior business development and international sales/operations positions for AOL Time Warner, Friendster and VideoEgg, opening international sales offices in Japan, Australia, Hong Kong and the Philippines and negotiating internet and e-commerce deals that delivered over $50M in global revenue. Joe is also the Managing Partner of The Katama Group, LLC, a strategic advisory consultancy specializing in international expansion for startups. Earlier in his career, Joe practiced corporate and securities law in London with Linklaters. He is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the New York bar and is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. A frequent lecturer and panelist, Joe has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, Straits Times, Guardian, and other publications worldwide on entrepreneurship, online advertising and social media business issues. Joe was raised in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts and received a J.D. from Harvard Law School, a masters in international affairs from Columbia, and an A.B. in East Asian Studies and Government with honors from Harvard College. He currently lives in Los Altos, CA with his wife, daughter and son.

Rep. Darrell Issa

United States Representative (R-CA)

Congressman Darrell Issa represents the people of California’s 49th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, a seat he has held since 2001. The 49th District includes Camp Pendleton, the largest Marine Corps training facility in the United States, and the northern portions of San Diego County and southwest Riverside County. Congressman Issa and his wife Kathy live in Vista, CA. They have one son, William, and celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in 2010.

As a senior in high school, Issa enlisted in the United States Army. Through his Army service, he received an ROTC scholarship and graduated with a degree in business from Sienna Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. Upon graduation, Issa was commissioned as an Army officer, and ultimately obtained the rank of captain. He completed his active-duty military service in 1980 and turned his interests to the private sector.

At the height of his career in business, Issa served as CEO of California-based Directed Electronics, a company that Issa founded and built in the mid-1990s to become the nation’s largest manufacturer of vehicle anti-theft devices, including the highly-successful Viper system. In 1994, Issa was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. Magazine, Ernst & Young and The San Diego Union Tribune. During his leadership of Directed Electronics, Issa served as chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association, an organization of 2000 companies within the consumer technology industry that hosts the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. When he stepped down as CEO to serve as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Directed Electronics employed nearly 200 people.

As a Congressman and leader in California grassroots politics, Issa has championed the cause of smart, efficient government, and has pushed legislation to balance the federal budget and promote transparency across the federal bureaucracy. In 2003, Issa was the architect behind the successful popular uprising to recall former Democratic California Governor Gray Davis.

Issa currently is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he serves as the Chairman. Previously, Issa served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Energy & Commerce Committee, and the Small Business Committee. As the holder of 37 patents himself, Issa has been vigilant about protecting the intellectual property rights of artists and other entrepreneurs to help protect America’s position at the forefront of innovation and creativity in the entertainment and technology industries. His successful efforts to fight human trafficking along the United States border has resulted in tougher laws, stiffer penalties, and more consistent enforcement. His watchful concern to guarantee that U.S. taxpayers receive the royalties they are owed from mineral interests on federal lands exposed fraud and mismanagement at the Mineral Management Service (MMS) in 2006.

In 2008, when Congress was asked to pass the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in the wake of an historic financial crisis, Issa stood by his instincts as a businessman and opposed giving a blank-check bailout to Wall Street – he voted against all bailouts during the financial crisis. Refusing to give up and concede to those who favored a bailout-centered response to this and future financial failures, Issa put forward a proposal to create a bipartisan commission to uncover the root causes of the financial crisis. This idea was passed into law in early 2009 and the investigation commenced in January 2010. Issa expects the results will reveal government mistakes and protect U.S. taxpayers from future runaway government intervention in the financial and housing markets.

Recognizing his success as a Congressional watchdog of taxpayer dollars, at the beginning of the 111th Congress House Republicans tapped Issa to serve as the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is the main investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives charged with the protecting the interests of U.S. taxpayers and eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in the federal bureaucracy. In the first year of his leadership, the committee has undertaken numerous detailed investigations of the Countrywide Financial VIP Program that benefitted government officials with special reduced-rate mortgage loans, the illegal use of taxpayer dollars by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the decades-old misplaced government agenda to manipulate the U.S. housing market through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that created the housing crisis, the politicization of science at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and a broad investigation into the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

As a fiscal conservative committed firmly to low taxes and free markets, Issa has opposed the rise of out-of-control government spending and fought tirelessly for the responsible, transparent use of taxpayer dollars. He’s pushed to achieve more whistleblower protections for those who report waste, fraud and abuse in the federal bureaucracy. And he’s offered substantive reform initiatives to open up government so that Americans know what’s happening in Washington and can become more democratically engaged in the day-to-day oversight of their government.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson

Director, Annenberg Public Policy Center

Kathleen Hall Jamieson is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Walter and Leonore Annenberg Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Political and Social Science and the International Communication Association. She is the author or co-author of 16 books including: Presidents Creating the Presidency (University of Chicago Press, 2008), Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment (Oxford, 2008) and unSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation (Random House, 2007). Kate Kenski, Bruce Hardy, and Jamieson wrote The Obama Victory(Oxford, 2010), winner of an American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE Award) in government and politics and the ICA outstanding book award. Jamieson has won university-wide teaching awards at each of the three universities at which she has taught and political science or communication awards for five of her books. She is founder of the new political literacy site, www.FlackCheck.org, which uses parody and humor to debunk false political advertising, poke fun at extreme language, and hold the media accountable for their reporting on political campaigns.

Van Jones

President and Co-Founder, Rebuild the Dream

Van Jones is the co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for bottom-up, people-powered innovations to help fix the U.S. economy. Under his leadership, Rebuild the Dream has built an active network in all 435 Congressional Districts, signed up over 600,000 members, and crowd-sourced a "Contract for the American Dream."

As an advisor to the Obama White House, he helped run the inter-agency process that oversaw $80 billion in green energy recovery spending. A Yale Law School graduate, he has a 20-year track record as a successful, innovative and award-winning social entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of three other thriving nonprofit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green For All.

Van's new book, Rebuild the Dream, is the first to come from a former Obama official, and in it he explores seven major missteps made by the White House and its supporters after Obama's 2008 victory. He also lays out a game plan for turning anger into action, protest into power and suffering into solutions—so that our economy can respect the 99% and work for the 100%, not just the top 1%.

He is a globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean energy economy. He was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and American Progress Action Fund, and held a joint appointment at Princeton University as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Van is on the board of Demos and the Natural Resources Defense Council. He is currently a Visiting Fellow in Collaborative Economics at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco.

TIME magazine called him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine named him one of the "12 Leaders Who Get Things Done." He is also the best-selling author of the definitive book on green jobs, The Green Collar Economy.

Nick Judd

Managing Editor, techPresident

Nick Judd is the managing editor of Personal Democracy Media's techPresident, where he has been a writer and editor since 2009. Prior to joining Personal Democracy Media, he covered local politics, government and breaking news for The Riverdale Press in the Bronx and The Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J., and also served a brief stint as a research assistant at the nonpartisan policy think tank Center for an Urban Future. His work has also appeared in Yahoo News, The Newark Star-Ledger, and City Limits, among others. Judd managed candidate relationships and media partnerships for "10 Questions," PDM's online citizen engagement project for the 2010 midterm elections. He graduated magna cum laude from New York University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and metropolitan studies.

David Karpf

Professor of Political Communication, Rutgers University

Dave Karpf is an Assistant Professor of Political Communication at Rutgers University. His research explores the Internet’s effect on American political organizing, with a particular focus on the new generation of advocacy organizations like MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, and the DailyKos blogging community. Karpf also has firsthand experience with political advocacy, having served as the National Director of the Sierra Student Coalition in 1999 and serving on the Sierra Club’s Board of Directors from 2004-2010. His research has been published in the Journal of Information Technology and Politics, Policy & Internet, and Information, Communication and Society. His first book, The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy, has just been published in May 2012 (Oxford University Press. He tweets at @davekarpf, and his research can be found at www.davidkarpf.com and www.shoutingloudly.com.

Daniel Kreiss

Professor of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of North Carolina

Daniel Kreiss is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kreiss’s research explores the impact of technological change on the public sphere and political practice. In a forthcoming book from Oxford University Press – Taking Our Country Back: The Crafting of Networked Politics from Howard Dean to Barack Obama – he presents the history of new media and Democratic Party political campaigning over the last decade. Kreiss is an affiliated fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School and received a Ph.D. in communication from Stanford University. Kreiss's work has appeared in New Media and Society, Critical Studies in Media Communication, The Journal of Information Technology and Politics, and The International Journal of Communication, in addition to other academic journals.

Jaron Lanier

Author, “You are Not a Gadget”

Lanier's name is most often associated with Virtual Reality research. He either coined or popularized the term 'Virtual Reality' and in the early 1980s founded VPL Research, the first company to sell VR products. In the late 1980s he developed the first multi-person virtual worlds as well as the first "avatars", or representations of users within such systems. He also developed the first virtual reality applications in surgical simulation, vehicle interior prototyping, and assorted other areas. Sun Microsystems acquired VPL's seminal portfolio of patents related to Virtual Reality and networked 3D graphics in 1999.

From 1997 to 2001, Lanier was the Chief Scientist of Advanced Network and Services, which contained the Engineering Office of Internet2, and served as the Lead Scientist of the National Tele-immersion Initiative, a coalition of research universities studying advanced applications for Internet2. From 2001 to 2004 he was Visiting Scientist at Silicon Graphics Inc. He was Scholar at Large for Microsoft from 2006 to 2009, and Partner Architect at Microsoft Research from 2009 forward.

Lanier received an honorary doctorate from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2006, was the recipient of CMU's Watson award in 2001, was a finalist for the first Edge of Computation Award in 2005, and received a Lifetime Career Award from the IEEE in 2009 for contributions to Virtual Reality.

Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2010. His book “You Are Not a Gadget" was released in 2010 and was named one of the 10 best books of the year by Michiko Kakutani in the NY Times. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Discover (where he has been a columnist), The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Harpers Magazine, The Sciences, Wired Magazine (where he was a founding contributing editor), and Scientific American. He has edited special "future" issues of SPIN and Civilization magazines. He is one of the 100 “remarkable people” of the Global Business Network. In 2005 Lanier was selected as one of the top one hundred public intellectuals in the world by readers of Prospect and Foreign Policy magazines.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica includes him in its list of history's 300 or so greatest inventors. The nation of Palau has issued a postage stamp in his honor. Various television documentaries have been produced about him, such as “Dreadlocks and Digital Dreamworlds” by Tech TV in 2002. The 1992 movie Lawnmower Man was in part based on him and his early laboratory - he was played by Pierce Brosnan. He helped make up the gadgets and scenarios for the 2002 science fiction movie Minority Report by Steven Spielberg. He has appeared on national television many times, on shows such as "The News Hour," "Nightline," and "Charlie Rose," and has been profiled multiple times on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

As a musician, Lanier has been active in the world of new "classical" music since the late seventies. He is a pianist and a specialist in unusual musical instruments, especially the wind and string instruments of Asia. He maintains one of the largest and most varied collections of actively played rare instruments in the world. Lanier has performed with artists as diverse as Yoko Ono, Philip Glass, Ornette Coleman, George Clinton, Sean Lennon, Vernon Reid, Ozomatli, Barbara Higbie, Terry Riley, Duncan Sheik, Pauline Oliveros, and Stanley Jordan.

Josh Levy

Internet Campaign Director, Free Press

Josh Levy is Internet Campaign Director for Free Press, where he leads efforts to secure an open Internet, strong protections for mobile phone users, public use of the public airwaves and universal access to high-speed Internet. Before joining Free Press, Josh was managing editor of Change.org, a social action network where he supervised the launch of more than a dozen issue-based blogs. He previously worked as an associate editor for techPresident.com and Personal Democracy Forum, and was an adjunct lecturer in media studies at Hunter College in New York City.

Andrew Lewman

Executive Director, The Tor Project

Andrew Lewman is the Executive Director of The Tor Project, a non-profit organization providing research and free software that protects your online privacy and anonymity. Lewman manages The Tor Project's business operations, customer support, law enforcement liason, and advocacy roles while also serving on its board of directors. He's helped Tor grow from a small group of volunteers to the thousands of volunteers and successful company with a global reach that is Tor today. He's worked on projects with the National Science Foundation, Internews Network, Freedom House, Google, Broadcasting Board of Governors, National Network to End Domestic Violence, US Department of Defense, and the US State Department. He is a strong believer of individual rights, privacy, anonymity, and solving real-world problems - sometimes even with technology.

Tim Lim

President, Precision

Tim Lim is the President of Precision, the largest online advertising platform where candidates and causes are able to deliver voter-targeted advertising directly to any demographic or voting segment in the country. Previously, he was at Change.org as the Director of Partnerships and also ran the Washington, DC office for Grossman Marketing Group led by former DNC Chair Steve Grossman. Tim can trace his political beginnings to campaigns from his home state of California to the primary battles in New Hampshire. Some of the campaigns that Tim has worked on include the Howard Dean presidential campaign, Chris Gabrieli for Governor, and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Tim also serves as one of the Founding Co-Chairs for Gen44, the young professional arm of Obama for America.

Gilad Lotan

Vice President of Research and Development, SocialFlow

Gilad Lotan is the VP of Research and Development at SocialFlow, a New York City company that uses science and real-time data to help businesses earn greater attention and engagement on Twitter and Facebook. Previously, Gilad served as a program manager at Microsoft's FUSE labs. Past work includes 'Retweet Revolution', visualizing the flow of information during the 2009 #IranElection riots, and a 2011 IJOC study investigating the relationship between mainstream media and social media channels during the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. Gilad's work has been presented at TED, IXDA, Summit Series, Berkeley BCNM and published at HICCS, CHI and ICWSM.

Jane Holl Lute

Chief Operating Officer, Department of Homeland Security

Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute currently serves as the second-highest official and chief operating officer in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) responsible for the day-to-day business and management of the third largest department in the Federal government of the United States. Comprising over 210,000 employees and operating with an annual budget of over $56 billion, DHS is responsible for ensuring the Nation’s security, safety, and resilience through operations designed to prevent terrorism and enhance security, safeguard and manage the Nation’s borders, administer and enforce U.S. immigration laws, ensure cybersecurity, and strengthen national resilience through disaster and all-hazard preparedness, response, and recovery. She has over thirty years of military and senior executive experience in the United States government and at the heart of efforts to prevent and resolve international crises.

Previously, Ms. Lute served as Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations responsible for logistical and administrative support to UN peacekeeping operations worldwide. She oversaw all logistics, personnel, finance, communications and IT, aviation, and other support functions to UN field-based operations, including rapid-response support to a wide variety of international operations and crises. Ms. Lute also served as Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding, responsible for coordinating efforts on behalf of the Secretary General to build sustainable peace in countries emerging from violent conflict.

Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. Lute was executive vice-president and chief operating officer of the United Nations Foundation and the Better World Fund, the entities established to administer Ted Turner's $1 billion contribution to support the goals of the United Nations. She also headed the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict and was a senior public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Ms. Lute also served on the National Security Council staff under both President George H.W. Bush and President William Jefferson Clinton and had a distinguished career in the United States Army, including service in the Gulf during Operation Desert Storm. She has a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University and a J.D. from Georgetown University.

Caroline Mauldin

United States Department of State

Caroline P. Mauldin joined the Obama Administration in September 2009 to support the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights on a range of issues including economic security, financial inclusion, innovation, and global partnerships. In 2011, she led the State Department’s development and launch of the Open Government Partnership, a global effort by 50+ countries and civil society organizations to redefine the 21st century citizen-government relationship. Prior to joining the State Department, Caroline worked for microfinance leader ACCION International and was on the founding team of the affiliated think-tank, the Center for Financial Inclusion. She has also worked for Oxfam America and The Carter Center on international trade and public health, respectively. Caroline is fluent in Spanish and holds a degree with honors in International Relations and Latin American Studies from Tufts University in Massachusetts. She is a Fellow with the Truman National Security Project and will begin her MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management in the Fall of 2012.

Sascha Meinrath

Director, New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative

Sascha Meinrath is the Director of the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute 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.

Ari Melber

Correspondent, The Nation

Ari Melber is an attorney, television commentator and a correspondent for The Nation magazine, the oldest political weekly in America.

During the 2008 presidential election, Melber traveled with the Obama Campaign on special assignment for The Washington Independent. In 2010, Melber authored a 74-page special report for techPresident analyzing the first year of Organizing for America, the 13-million person network that grew out of the 2008 presidential campaign. "The most comprehensive and insightful account of Obama’s ‘Organizing for America’ to date,” according to Northwestern political scientist Daniel Galvin, the report was covered by New York Times, Washington Post, Politico, Slate, National Journal, Rolling Stone and the BBC.

Melber previously served as a Legislative Aide in the U.S. Senate and as a national staff member of the 2004 John Kerry Presidential Campaign. He also co-founded “Ask The President,” a project to inject citizen questions into White House press conferences, which Columbia Journalism Review dubbed “an idea whose time has come,” and he has participated in several online coalitions advocating open government.

As a commentator on public affairs, Melber frequently appears on national television, including CNBC, C-SPAN, NBC and MSNBC; his views have been quoted by publications such as The Washington Post, The New York Times and Time, among others; and he has been a featured speaker at Harvard, Oxford, Yale, Columbia and NYU, among other institutions. Melber received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and a J.D. from Cornell Law School, where he was an editor of the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy. He is a member of the New York Bar and the American Constitution Society.

Nick Merrill

Founder, The Calyx Institute

Nicholas Merrill founded Calyx Internet Access Corporation in 1995. Calyx Internet Access was one of the first commercial Internet service providers operating in New York City. Within a few years, Calyx opened a sister company in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Calyx pursued relationships with and worked with many non-profit organizations on a pro bono basis and also had a number of blue chip for-profit businesses in its client roster.

In 2004, after receiving a demand for information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Nick became the first party to ever challenge the National Security Letters provision of the USA PATRIOT Act. Nick and Calyx filed suit against the US Department of Justice and became involved with using the legal system and the media to resist illegal government requests for information on Internet users. For six and a half years, Merrill and the ACLU tirelessly challenged the orders contained in the letter as well as the associated non-disclosure (“gag”) order. The litigation resulted in the judicial invalidation or narrowing of several controversial surveillance provisions, and it led to significant legislative changes as well. It also led to a Department of Justice internal investigation that uncovered thousands of instances of abuse.

In 2010, after winning a partial release from the gag order, Nick founded The Calyx Institute – a non-profit organization whose goal is to reform the Telecommunications industry with regard to privacy and freedom of expression. When he learned about Nick’s plans, Sascha Meinrath of the New America Foundation immediately asked to join the Calyx advisory board, writing, “I do think this is the sort of transformative and disruptive project that could reverberate nationally and beyond. […] It's the sort of project that would yield huge rewards if successful, but because it's also high risk, is most likely to appeal to Silicon Valley types.”

Nick is a recipient of the ACLU’s Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee’s Patriot Award.

He has written two Op-Ed pieces for the Washington Post, one of which was the only anonymous op-ed ever published in the paper. He has been profiled in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Wired, Forbes, and has appeared on National Public Radio.

Ellen Miller

Co-Founder and Executive Director, Sunlight Foundation

Ellen S. Miller is the co-founder and executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based, non-partisan non-profit dedicated to using the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency. She is the founder of two other prominent Washington-based organizations in the field of money and politics -- the Center for Responsive Politics and Public Campaign -- and a nationally recognized expert on transparency and the influence of money in politics. Ms. Miller also served as deputy director of Campaign for America's Future, was the publisher of TomPaine.com and was a senior fellow at The American Prospect. Her experience as a Washington advocate for more than 35 years spans the worlds of non-profit advocacy, grassroots activism and journalism.

An Xiao Mina

Creative Technologist and Writer

An Xiao Mina is a research affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, and was a 2016 Knight Visiting Fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism. She was a contributing editor for Ai Weiwei: Spatial Matters.

Zac Moffatt

Digital Director, Mitt Romney for President

Zac Moffatt is currently the Digital Director for Mitt Romney for President where he oversees digital strategy, online advertising, email marketing and online fundraising for the campaign. Before joining the Mitt Romney campaign Zac founded, along with Michael Beach, Targeted Victory, a full service interactive advertising agency that has quickly grown into serving over 100+ federal and national clients including the Republican National Committee, Marco Rubio for Senate and FedEx. Prior to founding Targeted Victory Zac served as the Deputy Director for Statewide efforts at Freedoms Watch, the RNC Director of Political Education and the Victory Director for the Maryland Republican Party for Governor Robert Ehrlich and Senate candidate Michael Steele. He has also served on campaigns in NY, OR and RI as well as at the 55th Presidential Inaugural Committee and the 2004 Republican National Convention. Prior to the Convention, Zac served as the Associate Chief of Staff for Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City following the Mayor’s successful election in 2001.

Kate Monson

Communications Director, Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party

Kate Monson grew up on a farm in South Dakota and currently lives and works in Minneapolis and New Orleans. As Communications Director for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, Kate plans media strategies that help build the party and elect Democrats across the state. Kate joined the DFL this year after three cycles staffing federal and statewide campaigns in Minnesota.

Kate also consults with Main Street Communications, an award-winning Democratic advertising and strategic consulting firm (mainstreetcommunications.com). Her company, Kate Monson Media, provides digital design and production services for small businesses, candidates and artists (katemonson.com). When not working with Democrats, Kate pursues her passion for great live music as a partner in JuJu Association, a hybrid management and promotion agency based in New Orleans (jujuassociation.com).

Kate graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she studied religion and classics. She earned her master’s degree from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, where her thesis on news coverage of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright during the 2008 presidential primary received the Donald R. White Prize for Theological Interpretation of Culture.

She tweets about music, politics, photography and New Orleans @k8am.

Ian Murphy

Professional Weirdo

Ian Murphy is the editor of The BEAST (buffalobeast.com), a half-satirical news and opinion website dedicated to militant rationalism and quasi-journalistic hijinks, which was founded in 2002 as a Buffalo, NY biweekly rag by Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi. Murphy is best known for prank calling Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wherein he posed as arch-libertarian moneybags David Koch. He's also infiltrated the grand opening of Ken Ham's Creation “Museum” by posing as a Christian reporter afflicted with “Asperger's Syndrome by proxy,” gone undercover in the Church of Scientology while on hallucinogens, canoed to Canada to expose ineffective and profit-driven post-9/11 border security, and proudly received hundreds of death threats. In the spring of 2011, Murphy ran as the Green Party candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives to fill the seat vacated by disgraced “Craigslist Congressman” Chris Lee. While reaping a pathetic one percent of the vote, Murphy nonetheless scored a comedic victory, and national press, for creating a scathing parody of his Republican opponent's website. Murphy has also been published by Alternet, Crooks & Liars, The Daily Beast, Free Inquiry, and The Progressive. And as of this writing, Murphy is standing trial for “disruption of a religious service” with a dildo. In reality, he was arrested for filming a police officer while covering a National Organization for Marriage anti-gay marriage rally. So if he doesn't show up, he's probably in jail.

Colin Mutchler

Co-Founder and CEO, LoudSauce

Colin Mutchler is Co-Founder & CEO of LoudSauce, a platform for citizens to reach targeted audiences with crowdfunded video ad buys on national TV and online. For over a decade, Colin has been dedicated to exploring how digital culture can accelerate momentum towards a fair and sustainable economy. His previous experience includes driving strategic brand campaigns at leading agencies R/GA and Addis Creson, producing online efforts at Listen Up!, the nation's premiere youth media network, and organizing and performing in his acclaimed "Free Culture Tour" promoting participation in the Creative Commons.

Colin has an MBA from INSEAD (Singapore & France), a degree in Public Policy Studies from Duke University, and a Certificate in Internet Law from Stanford. He is also a musician and poet who's work has been remixed legally by hundreds of musicians, resulting in the collaboratively produced album "Premixed."

Will Norris

Engineer, Google

Will Norris is an engineer at Google who works on the Google+ platform. Much of his career has been spent working on developing tools and technologies for the indie web, like OpenID, OAuth, XRD, and Activity Streams. He's also worked in the identity management space, at the open-source Shibboleth and the LDAP directories at USC. He maintains a number of Wordpress plugins and is a contributor to the WordPress core. Will's spoken at Google I/O and IndieWebCamp.

Beth Noveck

Founder, NYU Wagner School's Governance Lab

Beth Simone Noveck is a visiting professor at NYU Wagner. She served in the White House as the first United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer and founder and director of the White House Open Government Initiative (2009-2011). UK Prime Minister David Cameron appointed her Senior Advisor for Open Government. She served on the Obama-Biden Transition Team and was a volunteer advisor to the Obama for America campaign on issues of technology, innovation, and government reform. Also a visiting professor at the MIT Media Lab, Dr. Noveck is on leave as professor of law and founder of the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School.

She focuses her scholarship, activism and teaching on the future of democracy in the 21st century. Professor Noveck directs the Governance Lab funded by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Housed at NYU Wagner, the Gov Lab accelerates and assesses progress toward smarter, more collaborative and decentralized governance.

A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, she was named one of Foreign Policy's "Top Global Thinkers for 2012," “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company magazine, ” Top 25 Game Changers” by Politico and one of the “Top Women in Technology” by Huffington Post. A Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, she spoke at TEDGlobal 2012 on the future of government.

Her book Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger and Citizens More Powerful (Brookings Institution Press 2009), appeared in Arabic, Chinese, Russian and in an audio edition. She is also co-editor of The State of Play: Law, Games and Virtual Worlds (NYU Press 2006). Her new book, The Networked State will appear with Harvard University Press. She tweets @bethnoveck and (very occasionally) blogs at the Cairns Blog.

Alexis Ohanian

Co-Founder, Reddit

Alexis Ohanian is a startup founder in Brooklyn, NY.

After graduating from UVA in 2005, he started reddit with Steve Huffman, which has become one of the most popular websites online. He's now on the board of reddit, inc. After that, he started a social enterprise, breadpig, which creates geeky things like publishing books of xkcd and SMBC and donates the profits. In 2010, Alexis helped launch hipmunk, the most agony-free way to search for a flight or hotel. He ran the marketing/pr/community for the first year before joining the fight against SOPA & PIPA.

He proudly doodled the logos for all three of his startups.

These days, Alexis is an angel investor, co-founder of a non-profit called IHAS, and he’s writing a book called Without Your Permission. Alexis spoke at TED, was named one of the Forbes 30 under 30, and had a great time reminding Congress that they worked for Americans not lobbyists.

He also loves his cat, Karma.

Juan Pardinas

CEO, Mexican Institute for Competitiveness

Juan E. Pardinas is the CEO of IMCO, the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, a non-profit think tank with the aim to irritate political decision makers into taking action that's favorable to Mexican prosperity and development. Juan writes an op-ed column for the Mexican Newspaper Reforma and has been a correspondent for CNN en Español in India and Japan. He has a PhD from the London School of Economics and a Master in Economics from the University of Sophia, in Japan, and a BA from UNAM.

Todd Park

Chief Technology Office of the United States of America

Todd Park is the United States Chief Technology Officer and in this role serves as an Assistant to the President. Todd joined the Administration in August 2009 as Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In this role, he served as a change agent and “entrepreneur-in-residence,” helping HHS harness the power of data, technology, and innovation to improve the health of the nation. Prior to joining HHS, Mr. Park co-founded Athenahealth and co-led its development into one of the most innovative health IT companies in the industry. He also co-founded Castlight, a web-based health care shopping service for consumers. Mr. Park has also served in a volunteer capacity as a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he focused on health IT and health reform policy, and as senior health care advisor to Ashoka, a leading global incubator of social entrepreneurs, where he helped start Healthpoint Services, a venture to bring affordable telehealth, drugs, diagnostics, and clean water to rural India. Mr. Park graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College with an A.B. in economics.

Emily Parker

Author, Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet Underground

Emily Parker is the author of Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet Underground, as well as a digital diplomacy advisor and senior fellow at the New America Foundation. Previously, Ms. Parker was a member of Secretary Clinton's policy planning staff at the U.S. Department of State, where she covered 21st century statecraft, innovation and technology. While at State, she advised on issues related to Internet freedom and open government. Ms. Parker is the co-founder of Code4Country, the first open-government codeathon between the United States and Russia. She spent over five years working She spent over five years working for the Wall Street Journal, first as an editorial writer in Hong Kong and later as a New York-based editor.She was also a staff op-ed editor for The New York Times. Ms. Parker graduated with Honors from Brown University and has a Master's from Harvard in East Asian Studies.

David Parry

Professor of Emerging Media, University of Texas

David Parry is an assistant professor of Emerging Media and Communications at the University of Texas at Dallas.

His research centers around exploring how media transforms culture, in particular understanding the cultural changes produced by the evolution of the digital network. Recently his work has focused on examining the relationship between democracy, protests, governments, publics and emerging media.

He is one of the core faculty members of the Emerging Media and Communications program at UT Dallas, a non traditional undergraduate and graduate media studies program focusing exclusively on social and digital media.

Carole Post

Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, New York Law School

Carole Post is the Executive Vice President at New York Law School and serves as its first Chief Strategy Officer. She was previously the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Commissioner of the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) and was the first woman to ever serve in these positions. Since 2001, she has held a number of senior management and legal positions at the City of New York under Mayors Bloomberg and Giuliani. At New York Law School, she will provide strategic direction to the Dean and the Law School’s senior staff and help implement strategic initiatives to support and enhance the institution. She will lead efforts to identify and develop operational efficiencies and to introduce innovative methods to achieve measurable outcomes. During her tenure with the City of New York, she led several Mayoral initiatives to modernize and streamline City services, improve accountability through increased transparency, and to improve the public’s access to government information and services. She led New York City’s open government initiative and in 2012 was widely praised for her role in advancing landmark legislation concerning the public’s access to City data. In 2011 she was recognized as one of the country’s top 50 CIOs by InformationWeek and was also named the New York State Public Sector CIO of the Year. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law.

Jennifer Preston

Political Technology Reporter, New York Times

Jennifer Preston is a reporter for The New York Times, covering the intersection of social media, politics, government, business and real life. She took on the new beat in January 2011 after working as the newsroom's first Social Media Editor, helping her fellow journalists use social media for reporting, real-time publishing and building community.

Jennifer has worked for The New York Times since 1995 as a political reporter, a section editor and newsroom manager. As a reporter, she has written about the role of social media in the unrest that has spread across the Middle East and North Africa.

Jennifer has won several awards for investigative reporting, including the New York Press Club's Gold Typewriter Award for outstanding public service for a series about the use of deadly force by off-duty police officers.

She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and author of the book, "Queen Bess".

Marko Rakar

President, Windmill

Marko Rakar (1972) is president of a small Croatian NGO called Windmill. Marko has a lifelong experience in working/writing for media as well as dealing with the media. He combines his media knowledge with new technologies and was one of the earliest internet adopters in Croatia. He is a recognized lecturer and consultant on the subjects of organizing, the internet, new media as well as politics. He has run a number of successful campaigns and races for organizations, parties and independent candidates on presidential, parliament and municipal elections in Croatia, Europe, Asia and the US. His speciality is new and social media, as well as data transparency and open governance. Marko studied Philosophy and Information sciences at the University of Zagreb, speaks English fluently and is regular columnist and author to a number of blogs, web sites, newspapers and magazines in Croatia and internationally.

He was recognized in 2009. by World eGovernment forum as one of the "Top 10 who are changing the world of politics on the internet," recognition which he received for exposing voter list manipulation in Croatia. In 2010 he was arrested, held for questioning and accused of leaking a top secret list of war veterans which includes more then 200.000 people who never participated in the war effort and who draw more then $1.2 billion per year in benefits from Croatian government. In late 2011, Windmill published a list of more then 60.000 Croatian public procurement contracts worth more then $15 billion combined with financial data of suppliers and a number of other information which helped prove and explain how Croatian public procurement process is inefficient, riddled with crime and corruption and in general harmful for Croatian citizen interests. Windmill and Marko are currently working on analysis of the Croatian pension system trying to prove how the private pension funds were used to bail out bad bank loans, as well as a number of other anti-corruption and data transparency projects.

Marko is a member of the board of EAPC (Europan association of political consultants), member of the board of IAPC (International association of political consultants), "School of politics" alumni (by Council of Europe).

Sophie Raseman

Director for Smart Disclosure, U.S. Treasury

Sophie Raseman is the U.S. Treasury Director for Smart Disclosure, as well as a Senior Policy Advisor & Co-Chair of the Task Force on Smart Disclosure. She's a graduate of Yale Law School and has notably worked on New Haven's Earned Income Tax Credit Outreach and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Campaign, as well published a study showing that peer comparison feedback reduces residential energy usage.

Smart Disclosure is a new set of tools to provide consumers with better access to personal information and product information simultaneously. This can come in the form of a "Blue Button" that allows a user to see their healthcare history, or a "Green Button" that allows them to see their energy usage. In 2012, a Smart Disclosure summit was held by the White House, in conjuction with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and ideas42. The Obama Administration has committed to Smart Disclosure as part of its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan.

Andrew Rasiej

Co-Founder, Civic Hall

Andrew Rasiej is a civic and social entrepreneur, technology strategist, and the founder of Personal Democracy Media focusing on the intersection of technology, politics, and government. In addition to co-founding Civic Hall earlier this year, he is the Chairman of the NY Tech Meetup, a 40,000+-member organization of technologists, venture funders, marketers, representing start up and more mature companies using technology to transform themselves, New York City, and the world. He is the founder of MOUSE.org which focuses on 21st century public education and senior advisor to the Sunlight Foundation a Washington DC organization using technology to make government more transparent. Andrew lives and works in New York City.

Ben Rattray

Founder and CEO, Change.org

Ben is the founder and CEO of Change.org, the world's fastest-growing platform for social action, and leads the company's strategic vision and product development. A graduate of Stanford University and the London School of Economics, Ben is a frequent public speaker about the intersection of technology and social change. He was named one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012.

Jordan Raynor

Co-Founder, Citizinvestor

Jordan Raynor is a Co-founder of Citizinvestor - a crowdfunding platform for local government projects. Jordan has spent his career solving real problems in government and politics through technology. Jordan most recently served as Client Director at Engage - deemed a "mega interactive agency" by Mashable. At Engage, Jordan led work on the Voting Information Project (VIP) - an initiative of Pew, Google and Microsoft that works with election officials to put polling place location data in uniform format. In 2010, Jordan led work on foursquare's "I Voted" project from within VIP. Jordan was honored as a Google Fellow at the 2010 Personal Democracy Forum.

Erin Jo Richey

Digital Experience Strategist, Flat Frog Design

Erin Jo Richey is an independent user experience and digital strategy consultant based in Portland, OR. Through her consultancy, Flat Frog Design, she frequently collaborates with agencies and organizations on the design, execution, and optimization of online applications, interfaces, and interactive marketing campaigns. Erin has a strong interest in helping businesses measure and organize information. She specializes in the design of information-dense interfaces and customer experience strategies.

With an academic background in cognitive science and psychology, Erin has a strong interest in how people think and organize information. A veteran of the ecommerce world, Erin previously worked for top online retailers and ecommerce start-ups, in roles that included management, product development, and digital analytics. You can find her online at erinjorichey.com and on Twitter at @erinjo.

Carne Ross

Author, "The Leaderless Revolution"

Carne Ross is a former British diplomat who resigned over the Iraq war. Carne’s second book, “The Leaderless Revolution”, was published by Penguin in 2012. Drawing from his experiences as a diplomat, economist and activist, it describes how governments are failing to address our most urgent problems, including mounting inequality and economic volatility, climate change and terrorism. Instead of looking to authority, the book offers an inspiring message of empowerment and self-organized action: anarchism for the 21st Century.

Carne is also the founder and Executive Director of Independent Diplomat (ID). An expert team of former diplomats and international lawyers, Independent Diplomat advises democratic but marginalized governments and political groups so that their views are heard internationally. ID advised Kosovo before independence, and now advises, among others, South Sudan, the world’s newest state, and island states on climate change negotiations.

Carne is a frequent commentator on international affairs on the BBC, Al Jazeera, NPR and in publications including the Financial Times, the Guardian, The Nation and the Huffington Post.

Patrick Ruffini

President, Engage

Patrick Ruffini is the president and founder of Engage, a leading digital agency that partners with Fortune 500 companies, technology disruptors, and candidates and causes across the nation and around the globe.

Patrick was one of the first digital organizers in American politics, starting at the Republican National Committee in the 2002 cycle, for President Bush’s victorious 2004 re-election campaign, and returning to lead the RNC’s digital strategy in 2006. He is a veteran of three Presidential election campaigns, and in 2013 oversaw outside web and technology efforts for Australia’s Liberal Party as they achieved their biggest election victory in 107 years.

In these roles, Patrick has led the development of technology to engage millions of supporters that would later become the standard for national campaigns.

Known for his involvement in causes that unite his passion for bare-knuckle politics and technology-driven disruption, Patrick helped shape the strategy behind the come-from-behind defeat of the SOPA and PIPA Internet censorship bills and co-edited Hacking Politics, a book chronicling the fight. He is a fierce believer in the power of the Internet to change political campaigns and government for the better.

Named a “Tech Titan” by Washingtonian magazine in 2011 and 2013, and a Rising Star in American Politics by Campaigns and Elections magazine in 2008, Patrick has written for numerous publications including theWashington Post and National Review, and he has appeared on Fox News, HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, and NPR. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

Julie Ruvolo

Digital Anthropologist, Forbes.com

Julie Ruvolo is a culture writer. She writes the Digital Anthropology column for Forbes.com, serves as digital editor for the New York Museum of Sex and publishes photo-essays on Rio de Janeiro culture at RioChromatic.com.

Jason Rzepka

Vice President of Public Affairs, MTV

Jason Rzepka is vice president of public affairs at MTV, the #1 global youth brand. His job description is five words: “use MTV’s superpowers for good.” Jason does this by marshaling the network’s forces to engage and activate America’s youth on the biggest challenges facing their generation. He’s responsible for the strategic direction of all of MTV’s “pro-social” efforts, including the Peabody-winning “It’s Your (Sex) Life” campaign, Webby-winning “A Thin Line” campaign to address youth digital abuse, and “Power of 12,” the latest installment of MTV’s Emmy-winning youth voter empowerment campaign. Jason also serves on the board of directors of PopTech, a renowned social innovation network, and on the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Public Awareness taskforce.

Norman Sadeh

Professor, Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science

Norman is a Professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and an entrepreneur. He is well known for his pioneering research in mobile and social networking, mobile security and privacy, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Norman is a co-creator of Livehoods.org, an urban computing service that analyzes social media data to help understand the dynamic nature of cities.

At Carnegie Mellon University, Norman is director of the Mobile Commerce Lab and co-director of the School of Computer Science’s PhD Program in Computation, Organizations and Society. He has authored around 200 scientific publications, including a 2002 best-selling book on “M-Commerce: Technologies, Services and Business Models”, which anticipated many of the developments that took place in this space over the past ten years. In the late nineties, he served for two years as Chief Scientist of the European Union’s 550 million Euro initiative in e-Work and e-Commerce, an initiative that led to the launch of over 200R&D projects involving a total of about 1,000 European companies and universities.

Norman is also co-founder, chairman and chief scientist of Wombat Security Technologies, a leading provider of cyber security training software products and anti-phishing filtering solutions

Reihan Salam

Author, "Grand New Party"

Reihan Salam is a non-fiction writer and policy analyst. He is a policy advisor at Economics 21, a columnist for The Daily, a contributing editor at National Review and National Affairs, and a CNN contributor. He is the co-author, with Ross Douthat, of Grand New Party.

John Sampson

Director of Federal Government Affairs, Microsoft Corporation

John Sampson joined Microsoft Corporation’s U.S. Government Affairs division in April 1998 and since then has worked in the company’s Washington, D.C.-based Federal government affairs office as its liaison to Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. With 25 years of experience working on and with Capitol Hill, John is widely recognized as an articulate industry ambassador, familiar with technology and Internet trends, and skilled at communicating the complexities, meaning of and policy challenges posed by technological change. In his 14 years at Microsoft, John has developed a proven record of establishing partnerships in support of strategic, long-term, big-bet initiatives.

In March 1998, John completed a ten-year stretch working for the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, a period during which he developed a rare combination of legislative, political, management, publishing and technology experience. His Hill career culminated as a senior policy aide to House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas, a chief architect of the Contract with America and champion of such causes as the Military Base Realignment and Closure process, educational choice, elimination of agricultural subsidies, and the flat tax.

Starting in 1989, John spent his first three years on the Hill as an analyst writing for the Legislative Digest, the House Republican leadership’s weekly journal of bill summaries distributed to House Republicans, their staff and a mailing list of Washington decision makers. In 1992, John took the helm of the publication as its editor, and over the next two-and-a-half years overhauled its design, distribution and coverage. Always eager to embrace technology to enhance efficiency, John deployed a number of new tools, including the first computer-based broadcast fax network on Capitol Hill.

After Republicans swept the historic November 1994 elections, John was appointed to the House GOP transition team to aid in the development of the House’s new administrative structure. He soon thereafter oversaw the selection of computer and information systems for incoming Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Majority Leader Armey. The purchase included a sophisticated project management system -- a key tool used by the leadership to help manage the frenetic first 100 days of the Contract with America.

In April 1995, John returned to the policy realm in the Majority Leader’s Office where, for the following three years he represented and advised Mr. Armey on a variety of issues, working with a cross-section of members and staff in support of his responsibilities as the manager of the House’s legislative calendar and floor schedule. During election years, on personal leave from the Majority Leader’s Office, John campaigned with Mr. Armey around the country for GOP incumbents and challengers.

A 24-year resident of the Washington, D.C. metro area, John was asked in 2002 to serve as President of the Board of Court Appointed Special Advocates of D.C. for Children, a non-profit social welfare organization that recruits and trains volunteers to represent the interests of abused and neglected foster children in the D.C. Family Court. He continues to serve CASA as a standing board member.

John was born and raised in San Francisco, California and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California at San Diego in 1988. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife, Kathryn Sheller, a graphic designer and former Art Director at The Washington Post, their eight year-old son, Paul, and five year-old daughter, Gwendolyn.

Trooper Sanders

Senior Advisor for Public Sector Initiatives, HelloWallet

Trooper Sanders is senior advisor for public sector initiatives at HelloWallet, a financial guidance technology company. He is also founder of Wise Whisper, a cause consulting practice helping leaders and organizations develop and improve initiatives tackling critical social challenges. Most recently Trooper served as an advisor to U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, leading Mrs.Obama’s efforts supporting America’s military families. He also developed Mrs. Obama’s international youth engagement platform and managed her international public diplomacy efforts, including travel to Africa, Europe and Latin America. Previously, Trooper was domestic policy advisor to former U.S. President Bill Clinton and oversaw the William J. Clinton Foundation’s domestic initiatives spanning economic opportunity and children’s health. During the 2004 election season, he founded Time to Vote, a campaign encouraging employers to provide workers with flexible leave on Election Day. He also served as communications advisor to the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy and, during a fellowship in Germany, worked for the anti-corruption non-profit Transparency International and Ashoka, a non-profit supporting social entrepreneurs. His government service began as a White House policy advisor to Vice President Al Gore and Tipper Gore. His international career began in the United Kingdom as a policy analyst with The Prince of Wales’s Business Leaders Forum (the Forum) where he established the Forum’s presence in Egypt and supported efforts forging ties between the World Bank and business in emerging economies. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Trooper has an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a graduate degree from the London School of Economics.

Amol Sarva

CEO, Peek

Dr. Amol Sarva is an American technology entrepreneur who leads Peek and was a founder of Virgin Mobile USA. Amol has led Peek as its founder and CEO through worldwide product launches and raised over $20 million from top venture capitalists including RRE Ventures. Peek produces a cloud platform for smart and low cost mobile devices.

In 2007, Amol testified in front of the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Senate advocating open access in wireless spectrum policy. He gave oral testimony before Senator Ted Stevens ("The Internet is a series of tubes"). He was profiled on C-SPAN and has written on behalf of the Wireless Founders Coalition for Innovation, and served as adviser to greenfield network startup Frontline Wireless.

He's one of the original members of the Founders' Roundtable in New York, a group of 200+ venture-backed startup founders that has met monthly since 2006, and has touched dozens of VC-backed startups and many of the top founders in NYC. He has been named multiple times to the Silicon Alley 100 list of top New York entrepreneurs. He is a mentor for the NYC Seed venture capital fund's SeedStart program.

Amol's Ph.D. is from Stanford University and B.A. is from Columbia University. He is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School in New York, where he was a city, state and national champion in debate and team captain. His website is A.Sarva.Co.

Emmanuel Schalit

CEO, Dashlane

Emmanuel Schalit is CEO of Dashlane, a leading online personal data assistant that securely stores passwords and speeds online transactions while keeping private data in the hands of users only. Dashlane launched to the public out of beta in April, 2012. Before joining joining Dashlane, Schalit was CEO of CBS Outdoor France, a national leader in outdoor advertising. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Los Angeles-based Vivendi Universal Games, which was the holding company for leading games studios such as Blizzard Entertainment and Sierra Entertainment. Emmanuel was also previously the founder and CEO of Flipside.com, a leader in online games with more than 15 million unique visitors. He holds a Master's degree from Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Université de Toulouse. He also studied Marketing and Finance in the Executive Education program at Harvard Business School.

Alex Schriver

National Chairman, College Republican National Committee

Alex Schriver is the National Chairman of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC). The CRNC is the elected governing body representing more than 250,000 members on over 1,800 campuses nationwide.

Alex served as Deputy Political Director for Alabama Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bradley Byrne & on the Alabama Republican Party’s Steering Committee in 2010. Most recently, Alex worked at The Gula Graham Group, a Washington D.C. based political fundraising and consulting firm.

Alex has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, USA Today, ABC News, Fox News, MSNBC, POLITICO, and various other news outlets. He also sits on the Board of Directors for Crossroads Generation, a SuperPAC formed by CRNC, American Crossroads, RSLC, and YRNF.

Alex now sits in the same chair that Karl Rove, Lee Atwater, Morton Blackwell, and Grover Norquist once sat. Alex holds a B.A. in Political Science from Auburn University. He currently resides in Washington D.C.

David Segal

Executive Director, Demand Progress

David Segal is a former Democratic Rhode Island State Representative, and served on the Providence City Council as a member of the Green Party. During his eight years as an elected official he oversaw the passage of legislation promoting economic justice, renewable energy and open space, banking reform, affordable housing, LGBT rights, criminal justice reform, and a variety of other progressive causes. He recently ran in the Democratic primary for Rhode Island’s first Congressional seat, supported by much of the netroots and organized labor. His opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and other newspapers, and in a variety of online publications. He has a degree in mathematics from Columbia University.

Laurie Segall

Tech Reporter, CNNMoney

Laurie Segall is a tech reporter for CNNMoney, covering the latest on social media, startups and breaking news in the tech world. She joined the CNNMoney team as a multimedia reporter, producing television and web content.

Before joining CNNMoney, she worked at CNN’s breaking news desk. In the fast-paced world of news, she covered everything from Bernard Madoff’s ponzi scheme to the financial crisis and the 2008 presidential election. She later joined the business team, producing both domestic and international segments before stepping in front of the camera to cover technology.

In late 2009, Laurie turned her attention to the technology realm, interviewing key figures as their businesses started gaining traction. Laurie’s nontraditional interviews include everything from a chat with Biz Stone in New York City’s East Village to coffee with Square founder Jack Dorsey and a panel discussion with the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir. She’s got an eye for discovering innovative companies and bringing their stories to the public. She was one of the first to interview Twitter’s now CEO Dick Costolo when he joined the company and she’d chatted with Foursquare’s founders before many had heard of the check-in crew.

When she’s not interviewing tech luminaries and featuring innovative tech on CNNMoney, Laurie is covering the economy and looking for ways to push the envelope. A reporter, producer, and writer, she’s always looking for a good story.

Stav Shaffir

Organizer, Israeli Social Justice Protests

Stav Shaffir, 26-year-old journalist, social activist, and red-headed leader of Israel’s social protest movement, has become the voice for people from all walks of Israeli society. Traveling around her country, she's listened to the dreams of high school students, the concerns and ideas of entrepreneurs and business leaders, and the hopes and disappointment of workers. She represents the disenfranchised and speaks truth to power, through testimony in the Israeli Parliament, and public appearances on television and radio. She has been featured in Time Magazine, The New York Times, and on the BBC among others, and her columns have been published in the Israeli press, including Haaretz, Yedioth Aharonot, TheMarker, Ynet, and the Jewish Review of Books.

Before the 2011 protest movement was initiated, Stav worked as an editor for Yedioth Aharonot's website and studied for her Master’s degree in the Philosophy and History of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University. Stav has a BA in Journalism and Sociology from City University London, where she was the recipient of the Olive Tree Program scholarship, a unique initiative for young leaders from Israel and Palestine. She also studied Music Composition at the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music and volunteered for educational and political initiatives, such as conflict resolution between the secular and the religious Jewish communities, and with asylum seekers in Israel.

Cary Sherman

Chairman & CEO, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)

Cary Sherman is Chairman and CEO of the RIAA, the organization representing the nation’s major music labels. RIAA’s member companies are responsible for creating, manufacturing, or distributing approximately 85 percent of all legitimate sound recordings sold in the United States. As Chairman and CEO, Sherman represents the interests of the $7 billion U.S. sound recording industry, which now derives more than half of its revenues from a variety of digital formats.

Most recently, Sherman spearheaded the voluntary “copyright alert” agreement between many of the nation’s largest ISPs and the music and film industries. He also helped negotiate a groundbreaking deal between music publishers and digital music services that simplifies licensing rules and enables a series of new cutting-edge business models.

Sherman graduated from Cornell University and Harvard Law School. An amateur musician and lyricist, he is the Chairman of the Board of the Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C. Sherman also serves on the boards of the Anti-Defamation League and BNA’s Patent, Trademark and Copyright Journal, and has served on numerous other boards, including the Copyright Society, the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, The Computer Law Association, and The Computer Lawyer.

Clay Shirky

Professor, NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program

Clay Shirky teaches theory and practice of social media at NYU, where he is an Associate Arts Professor in the Interactive Telecommunications Program and a Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. He is the author of three books on social media: Cognitive Surplus (2010), Here Comes Everybody (2008), and Voices from the Net (1994). His writings on the internet and media can be found at shirky.com.

Micah L. Sifry

Co-Founder, Civic Hall

Micah L. Sifry is a writer, editor and democracy activist. Since 2004, he has been the co-founder and editorial director of Personal Democracy Media. In addition to co-founding Civic Hall last year, he is also a senior adviser to the Sunlight Foundation and serves on the boards of Consumer Reports and the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science. He is the author or editor of eight books, most recently A Lever and a Place to Stand: How Civic Tech Can Move the World (Personal Democracy Media, 2015) and The Big Disconnect: Why the Internet Hasn’t Changed Politics (Yet) (OR Books, 2014), and in the spring of 2012 taught “The Politics of the Internet” at Harvard’s Kennedy School. He lives with his family in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.

Bryan Sivak

CTO, US Dept of Health and Human Services

Bryan Sivak joined HHS as the Chief Technology Officer in July 2011. In this role, he is responsible for helping HHS leadership harness the power of data, technology, and innovation to improve the health and welfare of the nation.

Previously, Bryan served as the Chief Innovation Officer to Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, where he has led Maryland’s efforts to embed concepts of innovation into the DNA of state government. He has distinguished himself in this role as someone who can work creatively across a large government organization to identify and implement the best opportunities for improving the way the government works.

Prior to his time with Governor O’Malley, Bryan served as Chief Technology Officer for the District of Columbia, where he created a technology infrastructure that enhanced communication between the District’s residents and their government, and implemented organizational reforms that improved efficiency, program controls, and customer service. Bryan previously worked in the private sector, co-founding InQuira, Inc., a multi-national software company, in 2002, and Electric Knowledge LLC, which provided one of the world's first Natural Language Search engines available on the web in 1998.

Carl Skelton

Founding Director, NYU Polytechnic Institute Integrated Digital Media Program

Carl Skelton is Industry Professor and the founding director of the Brooklyn Experimental Media Center and the academic programs in Integrated Digital Media at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. His creative/research work bridges the arts, design, technology, and community engagement. He is currently working on two books: "New Soft City Culture: The Case of Betaville" for Springer, and "The Multimedia Programming Fakebook" with R. Luke DuBois for MIT Press. Creative projects include Betaville, a massively participatory editable mirror world project with an international network of partners and collaborators. You can learn more at betaville.net. Carl's work has been supported by Microsoft Research, the Rockefeller Foundation through its Cultural Innovation Fund, the National Science Foundation, the Ontario Arts council, and the Canada council for the Arts. He has exhibited in formal and informal settings internationally since 1986.

Rachel Sklar

Founder, Change the Ratio

Rachel Sklar is a writer and social entrepreneur based in New York. She is the founder of Change The Ratio, which increases visibility and opportunity for women in tech & new media, and Charitini, which encourages group giving around events. A former lawyer who writes about media, politics, culture & technology, she was a founding editor at Mediaite and the Huffington Post. She has written for outlets like the New York Times, Newsweek, Mother Jones and The Daily Beast, and she speaks widely at conferences, on panels and on TV. She is also the co-host of “The Salon” on The Jewish Channel (check local listings!). Rachel is a TechStars mentor and an advisor to several startups, including Hashable, Vox Media, Siftee, Lover.ly, Votizen, The Daily Muse & Honestly Now. She was named to the Silicon Alley 100 in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and won two Mirror “People’s Choice” Awards in 2008. Follow her on Twitter at @rachelsklar - and watch for her latest project, TheLi.st.

Anne-Marie Slaughter

President and CEO, New America

Anne-Marie Slaughter is the President and CEO of New America and the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. From 2009-2011 she served as the director of Policy Planning for the United States Department of State, the first woman to hold that position. Prior to her government service, Dr. Slaughter was the Dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs from 2002–2009 and the J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law at Harvard Law School from 1994-2002. She has written or edited six books, including “A New World Order” and “The Idea That Is America: Keeping Faith with Our Values in a Dangerous World”, and is a frequent contributor to a number of publications, including The Atlantic and Project Syndicate. In 2012, she published “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” in The Atlantic, which quickly became the most read article in the history of the magazine and helped spark a renewed national debate on the continued obstacles to genuine full male-female equality. She is married to Professor Andrew Moravcsik; they live in Princeton with their two sons.

Chris Soghoian

Open Society Fellow, Open Society Foundations

Christopher Soghoian is a Washington, DC based Open Society Fellow, supported by the Open Society Foundations. He is also a Graduate Fellow at the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, and a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University.

A "Ralph Nader for the internet age," Christopher's activism led to SSL becoming the default on Gmail, exposed TSA security gaps around easily forged boarding passes, and persuaded AT&T to strengthen voicemail security. He's also impacted Firefox, Sprint Nextel, Facebook, and Dropbox. His Ph.D dissertation is focused on the role that companies play in either resisting or facilitating surveillance of their customers.

He has used the Freedom of Information Act and several other investigative techniques to shed light on the scale of and the methods by which the US government spies on Internet communications and mobile telephones. This work has been cited by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and featured on the Colbert Report.

He was the first ever in-house technologist at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)'s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection. Prior to his year in government, he created a privacy enhancing browser add-on that was downloaded more than 700,000 times in its first year before he sold it to Abine, Inc.

He has worked at or interned with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California, NTT DoCoMo Euro Labs, Google, Apple and IBM Research Zurich.

Gigi Sohn

President & CEO, Public Knowledge

Gigi B. Sohn is the President and CEO of Public Knowledge, a nonprofit advocacy organization that seeks to ensure that our communications system promotes fundamental democratic principles and cultural values including openness, access, and the capacity to create and compete. She is frequently quoted in the press and has appeared on numerous national and local, broadcast, cable and radio programs. Gigi is a Senior Adjunct Fellow at the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Law School. She currently is the Co-Chair of the Broadband Internet Technology Advisory Group (BITAG) and serves on the boards of the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC) and the Sports Fans Coalition. The Next Web recently named Gigi one of “20 of Tech’s Most Underrated Founders.”

Ashley Spillane

Executive Director, The Atlas Project and Democratic GAIN

Ashley Spillane has been affiliated with Atlas from the project’s start, doing everything from researching and writing reports to running the production process. During election-year sabbaticals from Atlas, Ashley has worked with the DCCC’s independent expenditure in 2010 and the AFL-CIO’s direct mail program in 2008. She has also done several campaigns around the country, including the presidential primary campaigns of Tom Vilsack and Hillary Clinton; the 2006 governor’s race in Iowa; John Kerry’s presidential race; and the 2002 Maryland governor’s race. Ashley has also done some consulting work for the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in the Middle East and Africa.

Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman

Executive Director and Founder, SumOfUs.org

Taren is the Executive Director and Founder of SumOfUs.org. She is a dual Australian-American citizen and has experience with online organizing on four continents and at the global level, including at Avaaz.org, GetUp.org.au, and the AFL-CIO. She was born in Australia, currently lives in San Francisco and enjoys reading science fiction and playing ultimate frisbee for fun.

Sarah Lai Stirland

Senior Writer, techPresident

Sarah Lai Stirland is techPresident's senior writer in San Francisco. She's a veteran legal affairs, business and politics reporter, having covered these subjects for more than 15 years. Her work has appeared in the nation's most recognized media outlets, which include: Bloomberg Wealth Manager, Business 2.0, CNN, Congress Daily, Good Housekeeping, National Journal, National Public Radio's On The Media, The New York Post, POLITICO, Portfolio.com, Red Herring, The Village Voice, and Wired.com's widely-read Threat Level, one of Time's favorite 25 blogs. Her leading coverage of the historic 2008 presidential campaign and its unprecedented reliance on social media to influence the race at Wired.com was on the daily bookmark list of television and radio producers around the world. She can be reached at: sarah@personaldemocracy.com. Follow her on Twitter @LaiStirland.

Mark Surman

Executive Director, Mozilla Foundation

A community activist and technology executive of 20+ years, Mark currently serves as the Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation, makers of Firefox and one of the largest social enterprises in the world. At Mozilla, he is focused on using the open technology and ethos of the web to transform fields such as education, journalism and filmmaking. Mark has overseen the development of Popcorn.js, which Wired has called the future of online video; the Open Badges initiative, launched by the US Secretary of Education; and the Knight Mozilla News Technology partnership, which seeks to reinvent the future of digital journalism.

Prior to joining Mozilla, Mark was awarded one of the first Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowships, where he explored the application of open principles to philanthropy. During his fellowship, he advised a Harvard Berkman study on open source licensing in foundations, was the lead author on the Cape Town Open Education Declaration, and organized the first open education track at the iCommons Summit, which led to him becoming a founding board member of Peer-to-peer University (P2PU).

From 2005 to 2008, Mark served as the first Director of Telecentre.org, a $26M initiative to connect 1000s of community technology centres around the world supported by Microsoft, Canada's International Development Research Centre, and the Swiss Development Corporation. While at Telecentre.org, Mark spoke at the first World Summit on the Information Society, provided the keynote at the Global Knowledge Partnership Summit, and built a global network of community technical centres that spanned over 25 countries.

As a consultant and social entrepreneur, Mark has designed and implemented community-driven technology projects for dozens of organizthe Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the Association for Progressive Communications, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and the Canadian Labour Congress. He has raised more than $30M, authored two books, presented at 100+ conferences, written dozens of papers, and traveled to more than 40 countries. Despite his travels, his favourite place remains the armchair next to the fireplace in his living room.

Mark lives in Toronto, Canada with with wife Tonya, founding Executive Director of the Centre for Social Innovation, and his sons Tristan and Ethan. Mark holds a BA in the History of Community Media from the University of Toronto.

Zephyr Teachout

Professor of Law, Fordham University

Zephyr R. Teachout is an Associate Law Professor at Fordham. She is the former Director of Online Organizing for Howard Dean's Campaign, National Director of the Sunlight Foundation, and Co-Founding Executive Director of the Fair Trial Initiative. Her research about corruption has been cited by the United States Supreme Court and the Montana Supreme Court. She is an internationally recognized expert on the impact of the Internet on electoral politics and government, and has appeared on Bill Moyers, PBS News Hour, and UP with Chris Hayes. Her innovative internet organizing efforts were featured on NPR and CNN, and in The Washington Examiner, The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, PC World, and The New York Times. She serves on the Board of the Public Campaign Action Fund and Fight for the Future.

Yvette J. Alberdingk Thijm

Executive Director, WITNESS.org

Yvette is a human rights activist who envisions a world in which millions of people have the skills and the tools to, safely and effectively, participate in the fight for human rights. She serves as the Executive Director of WITNESS.org, a global team that enables activists using video and participatory technologies to fight effectively against injustice and realize rights for their communities. Linking on the ground needs to systems changes, WITNESS also advocates for scalable solutions that optimize human rights uses of consumer technologies and online platforms.

YAT is an advisor/board member of FoundationCenter.org, Accessnow.org, Majal.org, and is a co-initiator of BK@24FPS.

Baratunde Thurston

Editor, The Onion

Baratunde Thurston is conscious comic and vigilante pundit who has successfully merged his interests in technology, politics and comedy. He blogs at Jack & Jill Politics, The Huffington Post and his own site www.baratunde.com. He has authored three books, including Keep Jerry Falwell Away From My Oreo Cookies, was nominated for the Bill Hicks Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, declared a Champion of the First Amendment by Iowa State University, and called “someone I need to know” by Barack Obama.

Baratunde was an early member of Laughing Liberally, and his stage presence has earned him emcee duties at the National Conference for Media Reform, Netroots Nation and South by Southwest. He has been featured in various media outlets including NPR, the BBC, CNN, The Boston Globe, The UK Independent, The New York Times, C-SPAN and ComedyCentral.com.

Baratunde speaks at colleges and conferences around the country and performs regularly in New York City, where he lives and works by day as an editor for The Onion.

Alex Torpey

Mayor of South Orange, NJ

Alex Torpey is the mayor of South Orange, New Jersey, sworn-in in 2011 as the youngest mayor in New Jersey at 23 years old. Since his election, Alex has been recognized state-wide and nationally for among many initiatives, leading technology and open government implementations in addition to helping stabilize the government's budget and making municipal budget information more transparent through online visualization tools. Professionally, Alex founded Veracity Media, a digital strategies and organizing firm, and recently founded Rethink Leadership, a nonpartisan nonprofit aimed at educated more young people about the value of running for office and building cross-party coalitions. Alex also serves as South Orange's Office of Emergency Management Director, and has been recognized for his leadership through Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, and still rides as a volunteer EMT on South Orange's Rescue Squad. Alex graduated from Hampshire College with his BA and is completing his MPA at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Alex gave a keynote at PDF 2012 entitled "The Local Revolution." Alex is a registered independent. You can find him on Facebook or Twitter @alextorpey.

Stu Trevelyan


Under Stu’s leadership, NGP VAN (www.ngpvan.com) is the leading technology provider to progressive organizations and campaigns, offering an integrated platform that combines the best new media, fundraising, and organizing products available. NGP VAN powers Obama for America, the DNC, Democratic state parties, the DSCC, the DCCC, the DLCC, the majority of Democratic state legislative caucuses, and thousands of other Democratic candidates and organizations; virtually every Democratic campaign and progressive political organization will use NGP VAN’s tools in 2012. NGP VAN’s Accelerator product is now the most widely used new media platform amongst Democratic candidates and is the preferred platform of the DCCC, DLCC, Emily’s List, America Votes and State Voices. NGP VAN’s innovative Social Organizing tool allows supporters of a campaign to match their Facebook friends to the voter file, and then run persuasion and GOTV virtual phonebanks (amongst other tasks). Social Organizing won the Campaign Excellence Award from the American Association of Political Consultants as the Best Use of New Technology in 2011, and TechPresident wrote that this tool “has the potential to change the way campaigns work.”

Stu, who was recognized recently by an 2012 Innovator Award from CBSi and Campaigns and Elections Magazine, has two decades of experience in the political technology space. His previous firm, the Carol/Trevelyan Strategy Group (CTSG) was one of the first digital agencies to serve progressive groups and candidates starting in 1995, and innovated several new media strategies and advocacy tools. Before starting CTSG, Stu worked directly on a number of campaigns, including working in the 1992 Clinton-Gore "War Room," and then in the Clinton White House.

Zeynep Tufekci

Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina

Zeynep Tufekci is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at the School of Information and a fellow at the Center for Information Technology Policy and Princeton University. Her research revolves around examining how technology and society interact especially for sociality, surveillance, social movements and civics. She also blogs at http://www.technosociology.org.

Zach Wahls

Author, "My Two Moms"

Zach Wahls is a sixth-generation Iowan, a proud Hawkeye, the son of two lesbian mothers and an outspoken advocate for marriage equality. Since a video of his testimony about his family before the iowa House Judiciary Committee became YouTube's number one political video of 2011, he's continued to share his story and advocate for full equality under the law. He has appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell and other media outlets. Zach is the author of My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength and What Makes a Family to be published in spring 2012 by Gotham Books, an imprint of Penguin Group, USA. He lives in Iowa City, Iowa.

David Weinberger

Author, "The Cluetrain Manifesto"

The Wall Street Journal called him a "marketing guru." He's the co-author of the The Cluetrain Manifesto, the bestseller that cut through the hype and told business what the Web was really about. His next book, Small Pieces Loosely Joined has been published to rave reviews hailing it as the first book to put the Internet in its deepest context. His previous book, Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder, which has been called "an instant classic", explains how the new rules for organizing ideas and information are transforming business and culture. He's been a frequent commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered. He's written for the "Fortune 500" of business and tech journals, including The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, The Miami Herald, The Boston Globe, USA Today, The Guardian, and Wired. Journalists from The New York Times, Newsweek, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, InformationWeek, The Economist, Foreign Policy, the Wall Street Journal and many more turn to him for insight. He is a columnist for Knowledge Management World and has been a columnist for il sole 24 ore. He writes a well-known weblog, Joho the Blog. He was a philosophy professor for six years, a gag writer for Woody Allen's comic strip for seven years, a humor columnist, a dot-com entrepreneur before most people knew what a home page was, and a strategic marketing consultant to household-name multinationals and the most innovative startups. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy and is a Senior Researcher at the prestigious Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society and is Co-Director of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, and was a Franklin Fellow at the United States State Department.

David Wertime

Co-Founder and Co-Editor, Tea Leaf Nation

David Wertime focuses on crossing the digital, cultural, and linguistic barriers that separate China from the West. He believes the great promise of the Internet is to expand our capacity to care about people we have never met, wherever they may be.

Tea Leaf Nation aggregates, synthesizes and analyzes Chinese social media, turning millions of comments and tweets into stories that English language readers can understand. You can follow TLN via @TeaLeafNation on Twitter or @TeaLeafNation杂志 on Sina Weibo.

David first encountered China as a Peace Corps Volunteer ten years ago. Since then, he has lived, worked and studied in Beijing, Chongqing and Hong Kong. He spent four years as a corporate lawyer, including over two years at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York City.

He holds a B.A. from Yale and a J.D. from Harvard, where he was co-president of the Harvard Asia Law Society. Originally from the Philadelphia area, he now lives in Washington, D.C.

Isaac Wilder

Co-founder and Executive Director, Free Network Foundation

Isaac Wilder is the 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 Kansas City, MO.

Sarah Williams

Co-Director, Columbia University's Spatial Information Design Lab

Sarah Williams is currently the Co-Director of Columbia University's Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) where her research has focused on the intersection between media, design, and urban planning. Williams is also faculty at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) where she teaches Intro to GIS, Advanced GIS, Crowd Sourced City and Spatial Data Visualization. The Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) which Williams’ directs uses innovative mapping and visualization techniques to highlight urban issues. The work of SIDL has been widely exhibited and written about including recent shows at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA) and the Venice Biennale. Before becoming the Director of the Spatial Information Design Lab, Williams was at MIT where she started the MIT Geographic Information System (GIS) Laboratory and was a researcher at MIT’sSENSEable City Laboratory ( a joint research lab established between MIT's Media Lab and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning). Williams has a background in Remote Sensing, GIS and environmental monitoring and worked as a programmer for one of the first desktop Remote Sensing programs (IDRISI). Williams’ is trained as a Geographer, Landscape/Urban Designer, and Urban Planner – with a Masters degree from MIT’s in City Planning and Urban Design and a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and History from Clark University.

John Wonderlich

Interim Executive Director, The Sunlight Foundation

John Wonderlich is the Interim Executive Director for the Sunlight Foundation and one of the nation's foremost advocates for open government. John spearheads Sunlight's goal of changing government at every level, 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.

Chris Wong

Executive Director, the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU School of Law

Christopher Wong is the Executive Director of the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU School of Law and a Visiting Fellow at the Yale Law School Information Society Project. Prior to joining NYU, Christopher was a Lecturing Postgraduate Fellow at the Institute for Information Law & Policy at New York Law School, as well as a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University. While at NYLS, Christopher was the lead researcher of Open Patent, a National Science Foundation-funded program to explore the use of user-generated tags to improve access to and understanding of patent information. He previously served as the founding Project Manager of Peer to Patent, an initiative allowing the public to contribute to the patent examination process at the US Patent and Trademark Office, and which led to the codification of third-party prior art submissions in the America Invents Act. He is the founder of Innovate / Activate and Co-Director of both the Open Video Conference and the Drones & Aerial Robotics Conference.

Chris Worman

Director of Communications and Special Projects, TechSoup Europe

Christopher Worman, Director of Communications and Special Projects for TechSoup in Europe, began working in civil society in the late ‘90s. After moving to Romania with Peace Corps in 2006 and starting Romania’s Community Foundation movement, Chris brought TechSoup Global into Romania in 2009. Nearly $7 million in support to civil society has since been delivered through TechSoup and the organization has grown rapidly through creative Challenge processes like www.restartromania.ro and www.restartedu.ro which source, accelerate and develop web-based ideas for social change. These projects are considered to have bridged the gap between citizens and a predominantly institutional and disconnected civil-society paradigm, reaching more than 200,000 individuals, directly engaging 10,000 and launching a dozen new sites which challenge Romanians to engage in discussions and actions for a more open society in this nominal democracy.

Senator Ron Wyden

United States Senator (D-OR)

Senator Ron Wyden represents the people of Oregon in the United States Senate, a seat he's held since 1996. He serves on the Committees on Finance, Budget, Aging, Intelligence, and Energy and Natural Resources. He chairs the Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness and the Senate Energy Subcommittee on Public Land and Forests. As the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel recently put it: "He's best described as a wonk, a workhorse, a doer.”

Always citing the need to “throw open the doors of government for Oregonians,” he holds an open-to-all town hall meeting in each of Oregon’s 36 counties each year. Thus far he has held more than 600 meetings. Wyden’s dedication to hearing all sides of an issue and looking for common sense, non-partisan solutions has won him trust on both sides of the aisle and put him at the heart of nearly every debate. In 2011, the Almanac of American Politics described Wyden as having “displayed a genius for coming up with sensible-sounding ideas no one else had thought of and making the counter-intuitive political alliances that prove helpful in passing bills.” The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein wrote: “The country has problems. And Ron Wyden has comprehensive, bipartisan proposals for fixing them.”

His lone stand against the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and its predecessor, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeit Act (COICA), put a spotlight on the problematic legislation being fast tracked through Congress and served as a rallying point for the historic Internet protests that ultimately toppled the bills. He stood alone on the floor of the Senate to block right wing efforts to overturn Oregon’s Death with Dignity law; a law that Oregon voters have passed twice. He went head-to-head with the E.P.A. to reduce cancer-causing benzene in gasoline sold in Oregon, and his relentless defiance of the national security community’s abuse of secrecy forced the declassification of the CIA Inspector General’s 9/11 report, shut down the controversial Total Information Awareness program and put a spotlight on both the Bush and Obama Administration’s reliance on “secret law.”

Wyden has taken the lead on policies that are helping to grow the economy in areas like clean energy, improved infrastructure through his Build America Bonds program, micro and nano-technology, and e-commerce. He has won countless awards for his pioneering role in establishing a free and open Internet, is known for his commitment to an open government, having authored the “Stand By Your Ad” law and the resolution ending Senate Secret Holds, and he has been routinely recognized as one of the Senate’s foremost health policy thinkers.

Wyden began college at the University of California-Santa Barbara where he won a basketball scholarship and played in Division I competition for two seasons before transferring to Stanford University where he completed his Bachelors degree with distinction. He earned his law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1974, after which he taught gerontology and co-founded the Oregon chapter of the Grey Panthers, an advocacy group for the elderly. He also served as the director of Oregon Legal Services for the Elderly from 1977 to 1979 and was a member of the Oregon State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators during that same period. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 until his election to the U.S. Senate.

Senator Wyden’s home is in Portland; he is married to Nancy Wyden, whom he wed in September 2005. He has four children: Adam, Lilly, Ava and William.

Tantek Çelik

Web Standards Lead, Mozilla

Tantek Çelik has been active in open web standards innovation, development, and advocacy for over 16 years. He is currently Web Standards Lead at Mozilla, a founder and community leader of GMPG, microformats.org, & indiewebcamp.com, and participates in the World Wide Consortium (W3C) Advisory Board (AB), as well as CSS & HTML Working Groups. He is the author of HTML5 Now: A Step-By-Step Tutorial for Getting Started Today (New Riders: 2010). Previously he co-edited the W3C Recommendations CSS 2.1 and CSS3 Color, co-founded GMPG, BarCamp, IndieWebCamp, and was Chief Technologist at Technorati. Tantek lives in San Francisco, and has bachelor's and master's degrees in Computer Science from Stanford University, as well as a strong background in human interface and user-centered design from his many years at Apple Computer. He shares his thoughts at tantek.com.
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