Distinguished Professor of Research, Vanderbilt University.
Jad Abumrad is the creator of Radiolab, More Perfect, Dolly Parton’s America, and the Vanishing of Harry Pace, which collectively are downloaded over 120 million times a year. He's been called a "master of the radio craft" for his uniqueability to combine cutting edge sound-design, cinematic storytelling and a personal approach to explaining complex topics, from the stochasticity of tumor cells to the mathematics of morality. Jad studied creative writing and music composition at Oberlin College. He composed much of the music for Radiolab, and in the past has composed music for film, theater, and dance. Jad has received three Peabody Awards, the highest honor in broadcasting and two DuPont Awards. In 2011, he received the prestigious MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship. He’s a Distinguished Professor of Research at Vanderbilt University.
Executive Director, Pollicy
Irene is Pollicy's new Executive Director. Before that, she was Pollicy’s Strategic Initiatives and Feminist Movement Building with experience in human rights and tech policy. She is an experienced partnership professional with extensive experience with innovative collaborations across public, private, and civil society sectors. Irene structures and executes projects that deliver better policies and legal frameworks on public policy issues such as elections and technology.
Policy and Strategy Lead, Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office, Department of Defense
Dr. Abby Fanlo is the Policy & Strategy Lead on the Responsible AI team in the DOD’s Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office. Abby joined CDAO after working on Meta’s Product Policy team, where she identified the potential political, societal, and human rights risks associated with Meta's AI systems and developed solutions for addressing them. She also has a decade of experience in international security research, with particular expertise in asymmetric alliances, extended deterrence, nuclear crises, and civil war. She has consulted for the US Intelligence Community, Fortune 500 companies, and leading technology policy non-profits on issues related to international security, international AI governance, and human rights. She holds a PhD, MA, and BA in Political Science from Stanford University.
Senior Data Scientist, Data Science Institute, Vanderbilt University
Charreau Bell, Ph.D. is the Senior Data Scientist at the Data Science Institute (DSI) at Vanderbilt University. In her current role, she leads several data science projects across a spectrum of disciplines using machine learning and deep learning. In her 2 years at the DSI, Dr. Bell has engaged with students and faculty in data science projects in areas including law, history, archaeology, sustainability, social good, and education. She is a consultant for researchers and industry organizations to help form, plan, evaluate, and reach data-driven academic or business objectives. Prior to joining the DSI, she earned her Doctorate, Master’s, and Bachelor’s degrees in engineering from Vanderbilt University. Her Ph.D. focused on creating new algorithms for understanding the resting state behavior of the brain using functional brain imaging technology. She also taught computer science courses at Tennessee State University as an adjunct professor, and interned with NASA implementing machine learning and other optimization algorithms for robotic systems and instrument sensorization.
Vice President of CATO, Oversight Board LLC
John Samples is a vice president at the Cato Institute. He founded and directs Cato’s Center for Representative Government, which studies the First Amendment, government institutional failure, and public opinion. Samples serves on the Oversight Board LLC, which provides final and binding decisions on whether specific content should be allowed or removed from Facebook and Instagram. (Samples’s opinions are his own and do not represent those of the Oversight Board or of Facebook.)
Markham Cho Erickson
Vice President of Government Affairs & Public Policy, Centers of Excellence, Google
Markham leads Google’s Centers of Excellence—a global team of subject matter experts focused on the application of law and policy to technology and the Internet. The CoE is a hub for strategy and expertise on the global government affairs and public policyissues affecting Google's business today and in the future.
Prior to joining Google, Markham was an attorney in private practice in the United States, where he represented Internet, media, and telecommunications companies in regulatory complaints, investigations, rule-makings, legislative and policy matters, trial and appellate advocacy, and merger investigations. In private practice, he represented Internet companies from the inception of the commercial Internet in the mid-1990s and was involved in crafting the global regulations that apply to Internet and technology companies.
Markham has been widely recognized as one of the nation’s top Internet and media lawyers. He served as co-chair to the annual Broadband and Cable Law Seminar at the Practicing Law Institute in New York City. He was ranked in Chambers USA in Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite –District of Columbia; Super Lawyers in communications law; and The Legal 500, which described him as a “substantive legal expert with great connection and understanding of the regulatory process, as well as a command of the political, policy, and relations aspect of regulatory work.” In recognition of his authority in the field, Mr. Erickson was appointed by the White House to represent the United States before the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development on Internet speech and regulatory matters.
Markham graduated from George Washington University Law School, with Honors, and Wheaton College, where he majored in English Literature.
Russell Leng ’60 Professor of International Politics and Economics, Middlebury College
Allison Stanger is the Russell Leng ’60 Professor of International Politics and Economics at Middlebury College; Research Affiliate (Co-lead, Theory of AI Practice Initiative) at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University; and External Professor and Science Board member at the Santa Fe Institute. She is the author of Whistleblowers: Honesty in America from Washington to Trump and One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy, both with Yale University Press. Professor Stanger is also the co-editor (with W. Brian Arthur and Eric Beinhocker) of Complexity Economics, co-editor and co-translator (with Michael Kraus) of Irreconcilable Differences? Explaining Czechoslovakia’s Dissolution (foreword by Václav Havel) and the author of numerous articles and essays. She is working on a new book tentatively titled Who Elected Big Tech?
Stanger has twice served as visiting professor of Government at Harvard University, where she spent academic year 2019-20 as technology and human values senior fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. She was a co-author of the center’s April 2020 Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience and is a senior advisor to the Hannah Arendt Humanities Network. Stanger was the 2020 Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History at the Library of Congress and 2020-21 SAGE Sara Miller McCune Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University.
Stanger’s writing has appeared in the Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, New York Times, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, and the Washington Post, and she has testified (at the request of both Democrats and Republicans) before the Commission on Wartime Contracting, the Senate Budget Committee, the Congressional Oversight Panel, the Senate HELP Committee, and the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was also a contributor to the Booz Allen Hamilton project on the World’s Most Enduring Institutions, the Woodrow Wilson School Task Force on the Changing Nature of Government Service, and the Princeton Project on National Security. Stanger has served as an advisor to Secretary Clinton’s Policy Planning Staff, US Department of State (2009-2011) and was on the writing team that produced the State Department’s December 2010 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).
Stanger received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University. She also holds an AM in Regional Studies-Soviet Union (Harvard), a graduate diploma in Economics (London School of Economics), and a BS in Actuarial Science/Mathematics (Ball State University). She has studied foreign languages and literature at Charles University (Prague), the Sorbonne (Paris), and the Pushkin Institute (Moscow).
Her research has been funded by the International Relations and Exchanges Board, the National Council for Soviet and East European Research, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Science Foundation, the Institute for the Study of World Politics, and the MacArthur Foundation. In addition to the appointments mentioned above, she has been a research fellow at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (Harvard University), Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education (Prague), the Institute for the Study of the USA and Canada (Moscow), New America (Washington, DC), the Brookings Institution (Washington, DC), and the Center for Science and International Affairs (Harvard University).
Director of Content Policy Stakeholder Engagement, Meta
Peter Stern is Director, Content Policy Stakeholder Engagement at Meta, currently based in the London office. Content Policy is responsible for writing and interpreting global policies governing what users can share on Meta’s platforms. Peter leads a stakeholder engagement team that builds relationships around the world with NGOs, academics, and other thought leaders, and that incorporates external feedback into Meta’s content policy development process. Prior to joining Facebook in 2014, Peter was a partner at the San Francisco law firm of Morrison & Foerster, where he specialized in international litigation. He holds a B.A. from Amherst College and an M.A. (History) and J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Professor of Physics, MIT
Max Tegmark is a professor doing AI and physics research at MIT as part of the Institute for Artificial Intelligence & Fundamental Interactions and the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines. He advocates for positive use of technology as president of the Future of Life Institute. He is the author of over 300 publications as well as the New York Times bestsellers “Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” and "Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality". His most recent AI research focuses on mechanistic interpretability as well as news bias detection with machine-learning.
Professor UCLA Law School
Eugene Volokh teaches First Amendment law, a First Amendment amicus brief clinic, an intensive editing workshop, and business torts at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, tort law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy. Starting 2024, he will be a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Volokh is the author of the textbooks The First Amendment and Related Statutes (7th ed. 2020), and Academic Legal Writing (5th ed. 2016), as well as over 100 law review articles. He is a member of The American Law Institute, a member of the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel, and the founder and coauthor of The Volokh Conspiracy, a leading legal blog. His work has been cited by opinions in ten Supreme Court cases and over 300 court opinions in total, as well as over 5000 academic articles. He has also filed briefs (mostly amicus briefs) in over 150 cases, and argued in over 35 appellate cases in state and federal courts throughout the country.
Before coming to UCLA, he clerked for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court and for Judge Alex Kozinski on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Google Policy Lead for Global Human Rights and Free Expression
Alexandria is the global policy lead for human rights and free expression at Google. Alexandria is responsible for coordinating and driving the company-wide human rights strategy, using approaches grounded in business and human rights. Based in Washington, DC, Alexandria coordinates policy and strategy on a broad portfolio of issues including human rights, freedom of expression, and controversial content, including hate and harassment. She also represents Google at the Global Network Initiative (GNI) and Freedom Online Coalition Advisory Network.
Prior to joining Google, Alexandria was a Director at The Raben Group, where her work focused on civil rights, women’s rights, criminal justice reform, transparency, and judicial issues. Alexandria worked on various human rights issues in her time with Center for American Progress; U.S. Senate, Committee on the Judiciary, and U.S. House of Representatives in the Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights & Liberties; U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; U.S. Department of Labor; and Bay Area Legal Aid. After law school she was also a Georgetown Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow.
Alex holds a B.A. in political science from American University and a J.D. from University of San Francisco School of Law.
Senior Legal Fellow, Justitia/Future of Free Speech Project
Joan Barata works on freedom of expression, media regulation, and intermediary liability issues. He is a Senior Fellow at Justitias Future Free Speech project. He is also a Fellow of the Program on Platform Regulation at the Stanford Cyber Policy Center. He has published a large number of articles and books on these subjects, both in academic and popular press. His work has taken him in most regions of the world, and he is regularly involved in projects with international organizations such as UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the Organization of American States or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, where he was the principal advisor to the Representative on Media Freedom. Joan Barata also has experience as a regulator, as he held the position of Secretary General of the Audiovisual Council of Catalonia in Spain and was member of the Permanent Secretariat of the Mediterranean Network of Regulatory Authorities..
Research Associate, The Alan Turing Institute
Yi-Ling Chung is a Research Associate in the Online Safety Team within the public policy programme at The Alan Turing Institute. Her research has mainly focused on applying natural language processing and social network analysis to tackle online harms via abuse detection and counterspeech generation and to help understand the dynamics of hate and misinformation.
Yi-Ling is one of the organisers of The Workshop on Online Abuse and Harms (WOAH) at ACL 2023 and The Workshop on Counterspeech for Online Abuse (CS4OA) at Sigdial-INLG 2023. She holds a PhD degree from the University of Trento.
Attorney and Free Speech Counsel, TechFreedom
Ari Cohn is a Chicago-based attorney with more than a decade of experience in First Amendment, defamation, and technology law. He serves as Free Speech Counsel at TechFreedom—a non-partisan, nonprofit organization devoted to technology law and policy, and the preservation of civil liberties in the digital realm—where he works with a broad cross-section of civil society, legislators, and stakeholders to defend the First Amendment and the vibrant, open Internet, advocating before legislative bodies, regulators, courts, and the public. He also maintains a small private pro bono practice to defend clients against abusive litigation aimed at dissuading or punishing the exercise of First Amendment rights.
Prior to joining TechFreedom, Ari was the director of the Individual Rights Defense Program at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (now the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression), where he managed the program’s direct advocacy and guided the organization to a record number of free speech victories on behalf of college students and faculty members across the United States. Ari has also previously served as an attorney with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, and as a litigation associate at the Chicago office of Mayer Brown LLP, where he represented large multinational companies in complex litigation matters.
Ari is a sought-after communicator on free speech and tech policy issues. He regularly serves as a source for print media, appears on television, radio, and podcasts, and speaks to diverse audiences at conferences, CLE seminars, and other events.
Postdoctoral Scholar in Computer Science, Stanford University
An artist, engineer, and researcher, Dr. Catie Cuan is a pioneer in the nascent field of ‘choreorobotics’ and works at the intersection of artificial intelligence, human-robot interaction, and art. She is a Postdoctoral Scholar in Computer Science at Stanford University, where she completed her PhD and Master's of Science in the Mechanical Engineering department. The title of her PhD thesis is “Compelling Robot Behaviors through Supervised Learning and Choreorobotics”, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, Google, and Stanford University. During her PhD, she led the first multi-robot machine learning project at Everyday Robots (Google X) and Robotics at Google (now a part of Google Deepmind). She has held artistic residencies at the Smithsonian, Everyday Robots (Google X), TED, and ThoughtWorks Arts. Catie is a prolific and award-winning robot choreographer, having created works with nearly a dozen different robots, from a massive ABB IRB 6700 industrial robot to a tabletop IDEO + Moooi robot. This year, Catie is an International Strategy Forum (ISF) fellow at Schmidt Futures and an Artist-in-Residence at Jacob's Pillow and the Exploratorium.
Vanderbilt University Chancellor
A visionary leader and internationally renowned political scientist and management scholar, Daniel Diermeier is the ninth chancellor of Vanderbilt University.
Since joining Vanderbilt in 2020, Chancellor Diermeier has led an ambitious program of advancement and growth. During his tenure, the university has risen in stature, successfully launched a major capital campaign for Vanderbilt athletics, topped the $1 billion mark in research expenditures and reaffirmed its long-standing commitment to free expression and civil discourse. He has driven efforts to become the destination for leading faculty and the most promising students, to create a culture of radical collaboration and personal growth for Vanderbilt’s faculty, students and staff and to expand Vanderbilt’s global presence. Under his leadership, Vanderbilt was one of a very small number of the nation’s universities to safely and successfully bring students back to campus and stay fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has published five books and more than 100 research articles, mostly in the fields of political science and economics and management, but also in other fields, including linguistics, sociology, psychology, computer science, operations research and applied mathematics.
Before arriving at Vanderbilt, Chancellor Diermeier served in leadership and faculty roles at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and at the University of Chicago, where he served as dean of the Harris School of Public Policy.
From 2016 until 2020, he was the University of Chicago’s provost, responsible for all academic and research programs across the university, as well as oversight of the university’s $5 billion budget.
Throughout his career, Diermeier has been an adviser to governments, nonprofits and leading companies, mostly in the area of crisis management. He has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, technology companies and the Management Board of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He is a board member of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Field Museum and Argonne National Laboratory.
A native of Berlin, Germany, and a first-generation college graduate, Diermeier earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Rochester. He also holds master’s degrees in political science from the University of Munich and in philosophy from the University of Southern California.
Executive Director, WITNESS
Sam Gregory is an award-winning technologist, media-maker, and advocate, and the Executive Director of WITNESS (witness.org), a global network which helps people use video and technology to defend human rights. He is an expert on smartphone witnessing, deepfakes and generative AI as well as innovations in preserving trust, authenticity and evidence in an era of increasing audiovisual communication and mis/disinformation. As the Executive Director of WITNESS, Sam leads the organization’s five-year strategic plan to “Fortify the Truth” and champions WITNESS’ global team of activists and partners who support millions of people using video and technology globally to defend and protect human rights.
In 2018, Sam initiated the first globally focused effort to “Prepare, Don’t Panic” (gen-ai.witness.org) around deepfakes, synthetic media and advances in generative AI, and to ensure policies, technologies, and infrastructure reflect critical global demands and are grounded in the needs and realities of frontline journalists, human rights defenders and civil society.
Sam specializes in foresight and strategic innovation with a track record in anticipating and proactively responding to pivotal shifts in use of cellphones and social media, citizen journalism, live-streaming, and AI. As an organizational leader he has overall responsibility for a team of 50 and over $6 million budget. He has played a critical role in leading WITNESS through a series of strategic programmatic shifts reflecting changes in the technology, media and human rights landscape, as well as major growth in staff and budget.
Sam has served on the Technology Advisory Board of the International Criminal Court, co-chaired the Partnership on AI’s Expert Group on AI and the Media, and lead the Threats and Harms Taskforce within the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA). He has written for WIRED and The Hill and in a range of academic journals, and been interviewed by NPR, BBC, Al-Jazeera, The New York Times, Washington Post, MIT Tech Review, and The Economist, among other media. From 2010-18 he taught the first Harvard course on participatory media and human rights.
Associate Professor of Computer Science and Associate Professor of Computer Engineering, Vanderbilt University
Dr. Fisher has long done research, teaching, and service in artificial intelligence, including machine learning and cognitive modeling. In recent years, he has focused on the nexus of computational creativity and sustainability, notably place-based, conservation-oriented AI story telling. His current students are exploring the theory and practice of using and augmenting large language models in pursuit of these applications and others. Dr. Fisher is keenly interested in broader impacts of CS research, and broadening participation, for which he thinks that computational creativity and sustainability have considerable drawing power. He has served as an NSF Program Director overseeing AI and ML research funding, as well as contributing to sustainability efforts at NSF, for which he received a Director’s Award for excellence in program management. Dr. Fisher is currently writing a Wikibook on the theory of formal languages, automata, and computation.
Open AI Product and Policy Analyst
Kim Malfacini works on Product Policy for OpenAI. In this role, Kim is focused on making OpenAI’s models and products safer by design, and on developing policies that govern the use of AI models and products. Prior to joining OpenAI, Kim worked at Meta - formerly Facebook - on the team that develops the Community Standards for what users can share on Meta’s platforms. Kim focused on ensuring these standards were informed and strengthened by the views of outside experts and users across the globe. Previously, Kim served as Director of Public Policy for Sunrun Inc., the largest residential solar energy provider in the US and spent two years in the West African nation of Benin with the US Peace Corps. Kim is a graduate of UCLA and is pursuing a Masters degree in AI Ethics & Society at University of Cambridge.
Executive Director, Justitia and Future of Free Speech Project
Jacob Mchangama is CEO of the think tank Justitia and directs Justitia´s Future of Free Speech Project. Jacob has written and commented extensively on free speech and human rights in international media outlets including the Economist, L.A. Times, Washington Post, BBC, CBS News, NPR, CNN, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Wall Street Journal, Politico as well as top-tier academic and peer-reviewed journals. Jacob frequently appears on international TV and Radio providing expert commentary on issues related to free speech, tech and human rights. Jacob is the producer and narrator of the podcast “Clear and Present” Danger: A History of Free Speech and author of the critically acclaimed book “Free Speech: A History From Socrates to Social Media” published by Basic Books in 2022.
Jacob is an experienced public speaker and has given talks and participated in debates at numerous high-level conferences and fora including the, Chatham House, Columbia University, NYU, Stanford, Yale, Stanford, Syracuse University, The British Library, The Bilderberg Meeting, RightsCon, Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, Brookings Institution, Web Summit, Oslo Freedom Forum, MozFest Doha Forum, OSCE and the European Parliament.
Assistant Professor of History, Vanderbilt University
Professor Molvig is a historian of the modern sciences and technology who joins Vanderbilt following 4 years on the faculty at Yale. He completed his B.S. degrees at the University of Wisconsin in Physics, Astronomy, and History of Science, and did his graduate work at Princeton University where he examined the creation of and responses to Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity for his Ph.D. in History.
Professor Molvig explores how science, technology and society interact. How did Einstein, and his theories, become seen as revolutionary? How has, and how will, digital innovations like artificial intelligence impact society? How does magic become technology? These are the types of questions he explores, researches, and teaches.
Professor Molvig's other interests include virtual reality, autonomous vehicles, gaming, the history of astronomy, precision instrumentation, physics in WWI, popular science, and modern European intellectual and cultural history.
His regular course offerings include a survey of the modern sciences, as well as more focused graduate and undergraduate seminars in the history of science, the history of technology, innovation, the scientific revolution, and virtual reality.
Research Fellow, Center for Democracy and Technology
Gabriel Nicholas is a Research Fellow at the Center for Democracy & Technology and a Non-Resident Fellow at the NYU School of Law Information Law Institute. His research focuses on AI and content moderation and his work has been featured in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and several academic journals.
Interim Director and Chief Data Scientist, Vanderbilt University Data Science Institute
Dr. Jesse Spencer-Smith is the Interim Director and Chief Data Scientist of the Data Science Institute at Vanderbilt University. In addition to being a Computer Science Professor in Practice, Dr. Spencer-Smith leads a team of data scientists collaborating with researchers and industry partners while teaching courses on Artificial Intelligence. With a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Science from Indiana University and a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Florida, he brings a wealth of expertise to his roles. Previously, as the Director of Data Science at HCA Healthcare, he built the company’s first data science team and facilitated data science implementation throughout the enterprise. Dr. Spencer-Smith also served as an Assistant Professor of Psychology in Quantitative Methods at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and was a Beckman Fellow at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. His diverse background and extensive experience continue to drive advancements in data science and AI, empowering organizations and individuals to harness the power of data-driven insights.
Associate Professor of Computer Science, Vanderbilt University
Dr. Jules White is Director of Vanderbilt’s Initiative on the Future of Learning & Generative AI, Associate Dean of Strategic Learning Programs in the School of Engineering, and Professor of Computer Science in the Dept. of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University. He created one of the first online classes for Prompt Engineering (https://coursera.org/learn/prompt-engineering), which is the study of how you converse with AI effectively, which has had over ~100,000 people enroll. He is a National Science Foundation CAREER Award recipient. His research has won multiple Best Paper Awards. He has also published over 160 papers. Dr. White’s research focuses on large language models, such as ChatGPT, cyber-security, and software engineering in domains ranging from healthcare to manufacturing. His research is conducted through the Mobile Application computinG, optimizatoN, and secUrity Methods (MAGNUM) Group at Vanderbilt University, which he directs.