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June 6-7, 2012 in Napa Valley

Advisory Board


Thank you to the members of the Tech Policy Summit 2012 advisory board for their support and guidance in suggesting topics for this year's program.

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The following individuals have volunteered to help Tech Policy Summit's executive producer Natalie Fonseca identify ideas and individuals to highlight at the conference:

Mark Blafkin
Executive Director, Innovators Network

Mark is the founder and executive director of the Innovators Network. He has been working in various capacities with startups in the technology industry for more than 15 years. Prior to launching the Innovators Network, Mark advised dozens of early stage companies on marketing and pr strategies. He also serves as vice president for public policy for the Association for Competitive Technology, where he educates media and policymakers from around the world on the interests of technology industry startups.

Nigel Cameron
President and CEO, Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies (C-PET)

Nigel is an inter-disciplinary scholar, facilitator and communicator who has worked on both sides of the Atlantic and initiated projects at the interface of science, technology, values, business and policy. A graduate of Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities and the Edinburgh Business School, he is currently president and CEO of the Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies (C-PET), Washington's first nonpartisan think tank focused on the long-term policy impacts of emerging technologies.

Before founding C-PET, he served as a research professor and associate dan of the College of Law of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), where he also directed an institute on biotechnology policy and established the first U.S. university-based center on nanotechnology and its social implications, chairing its annual conferences for policymakers in D.C. and initiating the Chicago Nano Forum for city business, law and technology leaders.

He has served on the advisory boards of Nanotechnology Law and Business, the Converging Technologies Bar Association, and the World Healthcare Innovation and Technology Congress, and represented the United States on delegations to the United Nations General Assembly and UNESCO, UN Human Rights Council as Special Rapporteur for the Right to Health.

He edited Nanoscale: Issues and Perspectives for the Nano Century (2007); other books include The New Medicine: Life and Death after Hippocrates (1991).

Dean Garfield
President and CEO, Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)

Dean was elected president and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) in October 2008. By building public-private sector partnerships to cultivate the world's best and brightest workforce, and preserving our nation's global competitiveness for the next generation of Americans, Dean recognizes that technology is part of the solution to the significant challenges currently before the United States.

Before joining ITI, Dean served as executive vice president and chief strategic officer for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). While there, he developed the association's global strategies, securing accomplishment of key operational objectives, forged industry alliances on behalf of the MPAA, and led the MPAA's research and technology departments.

Before that, Dean was vice president of legal affairs at the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). He helped develop the organization's comprehensive intellectual property policy and litigation strategies and managed several of the United States' most important intellectual property cases, including the Grokster/Kazaa case, from its filing to its resolution at the Supreme Court.

Dean has worked as an attorney in New York and Washington. He received a joint degree from New York University School of Law and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Administration and International Affairs at Princeton University. He was a Ford-Rockefeller as well as a Root-Tilden-Snow scholar.

Dean was awarded with the first REACH Breaking Barriers Award in May of 2010, recognizing him for his deep commitment to leading the world's most dynamic industry in its efforts to support and inspire young people to develop the important science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills they must have to become tomorrow's scientific problem solvers.

Leslie Harris
President and CEO, Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT)

A recognized global leader in Internet policy, Leslie is the president and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology ("CDT"). Under her leadership, CDT has significantly grown its capacity, deepened its expertise and expanded its influence. Among other things, this includes launching CDT West to increase Silicon Valley's participation in critical policy issues; launching CDT's Health Privacy Project to develop the next generation of health privacy protections; and significantly expanding CDT's capacity to respond to emerging global Internet policy and governance challenges.

Leslie is a widely-recognized expert for her work on policy issues related to civil liberties, new technologies and the Internet including free expression, government and consumer privacy, cyber security, Internet governance and global Internet freedom. In the United States, she frequently testifies before Congress and federal agencies, and serves on federal governmental advisory committees.

Due to her work at CDT, Leslie 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." She serves as CDT's chief spokesperson and regularly contributes to several online publications and blogs, including the Huffington Post.

Prior to joining CDT, she was the founder and president of a Internet and technology strategic services and policy consulting firm committed to closing the digital divide and strengthening the participation of civil society in the development of Internet. There, she advised companies, foundations and civil society organizations on a wide range of emerging issues and developed new partnerships among diverse constituencies.

Earlier, she served in senior policy leadership positions in two prominent civil liberties organizations, including as Chief Legislative Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. She has served in leadership position in the American Bar Association, including as Chair of the Individual Rights Section. She was also in private law practice in Washington, DC.

Leslie received her law degree cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center and her bachelor's degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She was recently named a senior fellow at the University of Colorado's Silicon Flatiron Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship.


Michael McGeary
Co-founder and Director, Engine Advocacy

Michael is the co-founder and director of Engine Advocacy, a working group of people in the entrepreneurial sector, based in San Francisco, working to connect those leaders with government to effect change on issues important to high-growth entrepreneurial tech businesses.

Michael also serves as a Strategist with Hattery Labs, a San Francisco-based seed-stage venture fund and creative consultancy, working on high-level social and brand strategy.

Previously, he worked with Silicon Valley startup TuneIn as their social brand ambassador and evangelist, as well as stints with two Presidential campaigns, and work with a leading California law firm specializing in political compliance and disclosure.

A Gloucester, Massachusetts native, he holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Tufts University, and resides with his wife, Sarah, in San Francisco.

Rey Ramsey
President and CEO, TechNet

Rey is president and CEO of TechNet. TechNet's members are the nation's drivers of innovation in the fields of information technology, e-commerce, clean technology, biotechnology, venture capital and investment banking representing two million employees and $800 billion in revenues.

Rey was previously CEO of One Economy Corporation, a nonprofit organization that leverages the power of technology and information to connect low-income people to the economic mainstream by bringing broadband into their homes, producing public-purpose media, and training and employing youth to enhance communities' technological capacity.  He led the organization's growth from four employees working in basement to a global organization that has taken root on four continents.

Prior to the founding of One Economy, Rey served as president and chief operating officer of the Enterprise Foundation. Before joining Enterprise, he served in the cabinets of two governors of Oregon as the state's director of housing and community services and practiced law.

He serves on many boards, including the Schnitzer Investment Corporation, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and the Washington Jesuit Academy, where he is vice-chairman. In addition, he serves on the Advisory Board of the Silicon Valley Education Foundation.  He was also chairman of the NAACP's Futures Commission and served on the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy.  He was also the chairman of Habitat for Humanity International from 2003-2005.

Rey holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Rutgers University and is a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School.

Gigi Sohn
President and CEO, Public Knowledge

Gigi Sohn is an internationally known communications attorney. In September 2001, she founded Public Knowledge with Laurie Racine (then president of the Center for the Public Domain) and activist/author David Bollier.

Gigi serves as PK's chief strategist, fundraiser and public face. She is frequently quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, as well as in trade and local press. Gigi has been published in the Washington Post, Variety, CNET and Legal Times. In addition, she has appeared on numerous television and radio programs, including the Today Show, The McNeil-Lehrer Report, C-SPAN's Washington Journal and National Public Radio's All Things Considered and Morning Edition.

Gigi is a senior adjunct fellow at the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado and a senior fellow at the University of Melbourne Faculty of Law, Graduate Studies Program in Australia. She has been a non-resident fellow at the University of Southern California Annenberg Center, and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University.

Gigi served as a project specialist in the Ford Foundation's Media, Arts and Culture unit and as executive director of the Media Access Project, a public interest law firm that represents citizens' rights before the FCC and the courts. In 1997, President Clinton appointed Gigi to serve as a member of his Advisory Committee on the Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters. In May 2006, the Electronic Frontier Foundation gave Gigi its Internet "Pioneer" Award.

Gigi currently serves on the board of the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC) and Broadcasters' Child Development Center (BCDC). She is a member of the advisory board of the Future of Music Coalition and the Center for Public Integrity's "Well Connected" Telecommunications Project. Gigi served on the District of Columbia Bar Board of Governors from 1997-2000.

Gigi holds a bachelor's degree in broadcasting and film, summa cum laude, from the Boston University College of Communication and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Berin Szoka
President, TechFreedom

Berin is the founder and president of TechFreedom. Previously, he was a senior fellow and the director of the Center for Internet Freedom at The Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF).

Before joining PFF, he was an associate in the communications practice group at Latham & Watkins LLP, where he advised clients on regulations affecting the Internet and telecommunications industries. Before joining Latham's communications practice group, Berin practiced at Lawler Metzger Milkman & Keeney, LLC, a boutique telecommunications law firm in Washington, and clerked for the Hon. H. Dale Cook, Senior U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma.