On Thursday, November 15th, FOSI held its 2018 Annual Conference, “Creating a Culture of Responsibility Online.” The event was opened by FOSI CEO Stephen Balkam and Sheldon Himelfarb, President and CEO of PeaceTech Lab. Both spoke about the societal responsibility that has come with the rapid evolution of our connected life and the need to ensure that development in this space must be crafted in a way that can be positive.
The morning began with the launch of FOSI’s newest research, “Online Safety Across the Generations.” The study, conducted by Hart Research Associates with the support of Comcast, explored intergenerational attitudes toward connected life among parents and seniors, and how technology use is bringing families closer together. Data showed that, while concerns about security and the potential harms of social media are prevalent, the majority of families experience better communication as a result of technology use.
View the full report, executive summary, and research slides on our research page.
The research presentation was moderated by broadcast journalist Eun Yang, first in discussion with researchers Abigail Davenport and Jay Campbell from Hart Associates, followed by a panel discussion with representatives from Comcast, Project GOAL, the Brookings Institution, and Wilkes Strategies. This was an in-depth exploration of the data and how it pertained to families, particularly in regards to the ways that senior tech users can stay secure, and the need for parents to have reliable resources such as educational materials and parental controls. Panelists also discussed the study’s intentional oversampling of minority and low-income households, and the need for all groups to have access to the Internet in order to compete in areas like education and employment.
In a one-on-one fireside chat, Stephen Balkam and Brian Huseman, Amazon’s Vice President of Public Policy, discussed topics across the safety spectrum from an industry perspective. From the ways that products are being designed for families and kids, Huseman described the ways that even the most common and popular products, such as Alexa, are being developed with safety priorities in mind. Alexa now includes features that can teach kids to interact politely with digital assistants, rewarding commands that include ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. In light of consumer concerns about privacy, Huseman said, “You can see in the app every single utterance made to Alexa, and you can choose to delete it or not. That paired with the Parental Dashboard mades for a very customer-centric experience when it comes to privacy.”
The last morning plenary session, How to Create a Culture of Responsibility, brought together international perspectives from Australian eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, the EU Commission’s Gail Kent, and Ranjana Kumari of India’s Center for Social Research. This discussion explored online safety challenges from a global perspective; the group covered topics around the ways that content can be viewed differently in certain cultural contexts, but also emphasized how many challenges were universal for everyone. There was consensus that reducing toxicity on online platforms must come from the way they are designed, with safety in mind preventatively, not reactively. Parenting was another primary topic, with the need for strong parental engagement needed as a universal tool to teach kids responsible online behavior, no matter what geography or form of connection they may have.
Morning breakout sessions covered a variety of topics, starting with with Promoting Digital Resilience and Wellbeing, which took a look at the programs, initiatives, and guidance available for keeping online interactions as positive as possible, especially for young users. Experts in government and law enforcement discussed their approach to addressing illegal and harmful content in Tackling the Worst of the Web, how they’re using tech tools to aid in investigation, how they work with government and law enforcement to bring justice for perpetrators of abuse, and how they address the mental health of analysts who must interact with illegal abuse content.
The State of Online Privacy discussed the implications of the European GDPR and debated the different approaches and efficacy of data protection in Europe versus the United States. Companies expressed concern about the ‘patchwork’ of privacy laws being adopted across the states, while those working on the GDPR discussed the challenge of translating guidance and structure around policy regarding minors in a practical way. The Net Parent Trap delved into the relatable challenges of digital parenting and the ways that families navigate the digital world, from enforcing rules with young kids to starting tough conversations with secretive teens. Cyber ethics and student data privacy were discussed, as well as technical resources such as parental controls and monitoring apps.
Following breaks for lunch and networking sessions, participants reconvened for a second set of afternoon breakout sessions geared towards both the human and technical side of safety challenges. The Are You Game? panel, moderated by FOSI Board Chair Patricia Vance of ESRB discussed the prevalence of regular gaming among connected teens, and how this affects moderation, parenting, safety, and the use of games in education. Smart, Safe, and Balanced: The New Tech Solutions focused on similar priorities from the perspective of industry, with representatives from Google, Comcast, Mattel, and Verizon discussing their approach to developing tools for families to control access to the Internet and ensure online balance. Watching the Moderators convened experts in security and moderation to share both the technical, algorithmic side of content moderation, while also recognizing the need for (and room for potential error by) human moderation.
The Ethics of Emerging Technologies was an interactive session designed to hear from audience attendees about their thoughts on tech ethics, with a particular focus on some of the new capabilities of artificial intelligence. This session firstly covered the existential issues of how technology is changing the human experience - impacting spontaneity, identity, and the way people relate. From there, moderator Jenny Backus led the group through a slate of topics, from users’ personal relationships with technology (the health implications of living with ‘real life’ versus life on screens) and how tech culture has impacted social norms. More broadly, the discussion expanded to include a practical, outward facing focus of how people can be empowered to ask the right questions of companies regarding data collection and other consumer privacy issues.
Following the afternoon breakout sessions, conference attendees reconvened for keynote remarks from Federal Trade Commissioner Noah Phillips. The Commissioner’s speech, “COPPA at Twenty: The American Approach to Protecting Children’s Privacy,” gave an analysis of the history and evolution of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, his perspective on privacy priorities as Commissioner, and what lies ahead for the United States’ approach to protecting children’s privacy.
The highly anticipated Hooked on Tech? panel brought together a group of experts with backgrounds in research, academics, children’s programming and government to speak about how society’s rapidly increased connectivity is impacting online safety, child development, and digital parenting. Moderated by Mary Jordan of the Washington Post, this panel spoke about one of the most contested topics of 2018: screen time. Following a year of research studies and news headlines touting the negative effects of tech “addiction” and heavy screen use, these panelists dissected the nature of society’s relationship with technology, the effects on children’s development from a scientific standpoint, the intentional product design that keep young people engaged, to the ‘parent shaming’ experienced by those who let kids use tech heavily for entertainment purposes rather than education.
The final plenary session of the day began with an address by First Lady of the United States Melania Trump, who gave brief remarks on her dedication to the issues of cyber safety and digital citizenship as cornerstones of her BeBest Initiative. Following her remarks, the First Lady and FOSI CEO Stephen Balkam conducted an interview-style discussion with four teen panelists who are anti-bullying advocates. Three teens were there representing Microsoft’s Council for Digital Good, as well as social entrepreneur Trisha Prabhu, who created the citizenship-minded ReThink app.
Watch the full conference live stream on FOSI’s YouTube channel.
Watch the First Lady’s address.
Read the White House readout of the First Lady’s visit.
To view press about the event, visit our news page.
Thank you to our sponsors:
United States of America
First Lady of the United States Melania Trump is the wife of President Donald J. Trump and the mother of Barron Trump. She is the second First Lady born outside of the United States, and she is the only First Lady to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. Like the First Ladies before her, Melania Trump will make her mark on history.
Melania Trump was born on April 26, 1970 in Slovenia. At age 16, she began what would soon become a highly successful modeling career, appearing in many high profile ad campaigns and working with some of the best photographers in the fashion industry.
In 1996, Mrs. Trump moved to New York and 10 years later, proudly became a United States citizen. Mrs. Trump has always been an active member of her community. In 2005, she was Honorary Chairwoman for the Martha Graham Dance Company. That same year, she was awarded Goodwill Ambassador by the American Red Cross—a role she served in for four years. Mrs. Trump served five years as Honorary Chairwoman for the Boys' Club of New York and was named Woman of the Year in 2006 by the Police Athletic League. Mrs. Trump has participated in National Love Our Children Day and National Child Abuse Prevention month, ringing the closing bell at NASDAQ.
In 2010, Mrs. Trump was the Chairwoman for the American Heart Association, which raised $1.7 million for research. That same year she launched her own jewelry collection.
While Melania Trump became a household name in modeling and a contributing member of her community, she is first and foremost a mother and wife, and in 2017, Melania Trump made the White House and Washington home for her family.
In her role as First Lady, Mrs. Trump focuses her time on the many issues affecting children. An unwavering characteristic of the First Lady is her aptitude for showing love and compassion in all that she does. Mrs. Trump spends much of her time meeting with children who are patients at hospitals and care centers. Recently, she took valentines to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health. Over the Easter holiday, she made a surprise visit to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Palm Beach, Florida, bringing Easter baskets to the children. Following the devastating hurricanes last year, Mrs. Trump visited Texas to meet with families that suffered greatly under Hurricane Harvey. In the wake of two horrendous mass shootings, she traveled with her husband to Las Vegas and Parkland, Florida to be with victims and families in their times of need. Internationally, Mrs. Trump has visited several hospitals and schools. One of her most memorable visits being at the Pediatric Hospital Bambino Gesù in the Vatican City, where she met a boy who had been waiting for a new heart. Upon arrival in Belgium the following day, Mrs. Trump learned that the hospital had found a transplant for the boy–Mrs. Trump celebrated the news in a press statement and said “my own heart is filled with joy over the news.”
Mrs. Trump has also made multiple visits to schools—both foreign and domestic. From participating in a Viking huddle class, which focuses on emotional learning at Orchard Lake Middle School in Michigan, to taking the Queen of Jordan to Washington, D.C.’s first public charter school for girls at Excel Academy in Southeast, Mrs. Trump is always bringing children to the forefront of her agenda. While traveling abroad, she visited the American International School in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with Education Minister Ahmed Al Eissa, and took a calligraphy lesson with local children at Kyobashi Tsukiji Elementary School with Mrs. Abe while visiting Japan. Earlier this spring, Mrs. Trump invited a group of local students to the White House so she could talk with them, hear their stories, and understand the issues they are challenged with today. Mrs. Trump addresses those issues each opportunity she gets. From Governors’ spouses’ luncheons to the United Nations General Assembly, she puts the emphasis on children and how we can protect, teach and empower them.
In the midst of the opioid epidemic, Mrs. Trump has utilized her platform as First Lady to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid abuse—notably the devastating effects it has on infants and unborn babies. Mrs. Trump traveled to Huntington, West Virginia, where she visited Lily’s Place, the Nation’s first nonprofit infant recovery center that prioritizes the whole family to ensure infants born dependent on drugs are given the best opportunity to thrive. Last winter, Mrs. Trump traveled to Ohio to visit Cincinnati Children’s, a leading pediatric hospital where she learned more about the ongoing research around neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)—a harmful result of drug abuse in pregnant mothers. Mrs. Trump has participated in multiple opioid summits and continues to work with the Administration on raising the awareness of opioid abuse and how we can better protect children from it. Most recently, Mrs. Trump traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to visit with families and mothers affected by NAS and a program that helps mothers recover.
On May 7, Mrs. Trump launched BE BEST—an awareness campaign focused entirely around the well-being of children. The campaign has three pillars, which represent key areas of concern for Mrs. Trump: well-being, which includes the social and emotional health of children; social media, and understanding both the positive and negative effects it has on our children; and opioid abuse, and how to protect our most vulnerable from the effects of drug abuse while educating parents about the detrimental effects of opioids.
After the launch, the First Lady remains dedicated to carrying out her BE BEST campaign. In October of this year, Mrs. Trump took Be Best international, visiting several countries in Africa. During her trip, Mrs. Trump met with the First Ladies of Ghana, Malawi, and Kenya, as well as both the First Lady and President of Egypt. Mrs. Trump visited several historical sights, and promoted USAID programs dedicated to the well-being of children.
Jennifer Musser Metz
Executive Director, X1 Product Management Core Services
Jennifer Musser Metz is the executive director of X1 Product Management Core Services for Comcast’s TPX Division. Metz’s team is responsible for X1 Product Development, including customer education and help, parental controls, KidsZone, device and hardware integration, regulatory concerns, syndication, account and device lifecycle, along with accessibility and localization. The X1 team has won Emmys for industry-leading user interface design and voice remote integration. Metz has been with Comcast for 8 years. She previously worked in the news business and won industry awards pioneering multimedia efforts.
Jennifer Musser Metz
Brent A Wilkes
President & Founder
Brent A. Wilkes is the President and Founder of Wilkes Strategies a public strategy firm focused on helping good causes create change for a better world. His clients include ZVRS Purple which provides innovative solutions to help Deaf individuals communicate; Vme TV, a premiere Latino network that provides entertaining, educational and aspiring content; and the LULAC National Educational Service Centers, a non-profit organization that provides educational and leadership programs designed to help Latinos graduate from high school and get into college.
Wilkes’s 30 years of experience in public policy, program development, non-profit management, and diversity and inclusion makes him one of the country’s foremost experts in developing innovative strategies for companies and organizations seeking to make America stronger by creating new opportunities for all of her people.
Prior to forming his own consulting practice, Wilkes was Chief Executive Officer for the League of United Latin American Citizens this country's largest and oldest Hispanic organization for 20 years. Wilkes managed the operations of the LULAC National organization regarding national policy, legislative advocacy, program development, and resource development.
A graduate of Dartmouth College in 1988, Wilkes majored in Government and Philosophy and studied Spanish in Morelia, Mexico. He had worked in various capacities for LULAC since 1988 including Special Projects Coordinator, Resource Developer, and Director of Policy & Development. He joined the LULAC National Office in 1996 and assumed the newly created position of National Executive Director in April of 1997.
As the LULAC Chief Executive Officer, Wilkes worked to improve the quality of life for Hispanic Americans by guiding the organization’s extensive legislative, public policy, and service activities in Hispanic communities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
Wilkes is widely credited with strengthening LULAC's programs, advocacy efforts, events and revenue since opening LULAC's National Office in Washington, DC in 1996. During that time LULAC’s revenue grew from $300,000 to $5 million per year, staffing grew from one to 25, and the organization had developed a portfolio of programs, advocacy and events, which served over one million people each year.
Wilkes is a well-known spokesperson, frequently quoted by the news media and has appeared on national broadcast news programs including CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.
A recipient of numerous acknowledgements and awards, he is most proud of MALDEF’s Lifetime Achievement, Excellence in Community Service Award presented in 2018.
Brent and his wife are proud parents of two boys.
Brent A Wilkes
Vice President of Global Consumer Experience
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Catherine Jensen is the Vice President of Global Consumer Experience at Sony Interactive Entertainment, where she leads the global customer care and engagement strategy with a focus on PlayStation products and services, including the highly popular game console, PS5.
As a strong advocate for the safety and well-being of PlayStation customers, Catherine founded the global SIE Online Safety team in 2019, collaborating with organizations like the Entertainment Software Rating Board, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and other industry leaders to develop effective policies for safe and inclusive player experiences. Catherine's dedication extends to promoting wellness for players and moderators, leading to a transformative program nominated for the Great British Wellbeing Award for Workplace Wellbeing in 2023. She actively advocates for player and parental education, contributing articles and blogs to Sony Interactive Entertainment, and sponsors internal initiatives like the PlayStation Network Policy Against Hate Speech and the PlayStation Network Code of Conduct.
Catherine's collaboration with external organizations such as the Internet Commission, Internet Matters, and the Family Gaming Database has led to innovative solutions, including "Press Start for PlayStation Safety," an interactive quiz that gamifies understanding of PlayStation safety features.
With her recent appearance on FOX News on summertime online kids' safety and her widespread recognition as a leading advocate for online safety and gamer well-being, Catherine Jensen continues to create a secure and enjoyable gaming environment with her invaluable experiences and profound insights.
President & CEO
Center for Democracy and Technology
Nuala O’Connor is president and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology, a global nonprofit committed to the advancement of digital human rights and civil liberties, including privacy, freedom of expression, and human agency. O’Connor has served in a number of presidentially appointed positions, including as the first statutorily mandated chief privacy officer in U.S. federal government when she served at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. O’Connor has held senior corporate leadership positions on privacy, data, and customer trust at Amazon, General Electric, and DoubleClick. She has practiced at several global law firms including Sidley Austin and Venable. She is an advocate for the use of data and internet-enabled technologies to improve equity and amplify marginalized voices.
James A. Griffin
Deputy Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch (CDBB) at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
James A. Griffin, Ph.D., is the Deputy Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch (CDBB) at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as the Director of the Early Learning and School Readiness Program. Prior to his position at NICHD, Dr. Griffin was a senior research analyst in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education. He also served as the assistant director for the Social, Behavioral, and Education (SBE) Sciences in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and as a research analyst at the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF).
Dr. Griffin holds a B.A. summa cum laude in psychology from the University of Cincinnati and a Ph.D. with honors in child clinical psychology from the University of Rochester. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in psychiatric epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. Dr. Griffin's career has focused on research and evaluation efforts related to service systems and early intervention programs designed to enhance the development and school readiness of children from at-risk and disadvantaged backgrounds. These efforts include several large-scale evaluations of the Head Start program while at ACYF and research on preschool curricula involving geographically diverse child care, Head Start and state pre-kindergarten programs while with IES and NICHD.
He is a panelist on the Hooked on Tech? panel.
James A. Griffin
Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy
Rebecca Arbogast serves as Senior Vice President for Global Public Policy for Comcast Corporation. In this role she is responsible for the development and coordination of the company’s public policy efforts across the corporation.
Prior to joining Comcast in 2011, Ms. Arbogast served as Managing Director at Stifel Financial where she provided advice to institutional investors on legal issues affecting communications, media, and technology industries.
She joined Stifel from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) where she was Chief of the International Bureau Telecommunications Division, leading an office of attorneys, economists, and engineers shaping the agency’s policies for international communications services.
Prior to joining the FCC, Ms. Arbogast served in the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice, and she began her legal career as a corporate attorney with Wilmer Cutler practicing international and communications law.
Ms. Arbogast holds a law degree from Yale Law School and a Masters Degree from the University of Iowa. She has taught Constitutional Law at Johns Hopkins School of Public Policy and Global Communications at American University. She clerked for Judge Fletcher on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and was a Fulbright Fellow in European Community Law.
Justice and Home Affairs
British Embassy Washington
Lucy Montgomery-Pott is First Secretary Justice and Home Affairs at the British Embassy Washington, appointed by the Home Office in July 2018. She covers the full range of Home Office business from serious organised crime to immigration and counter-terrorism. Lucy joined the Home Office in 2006, having spent the previous two years working for Surrey Police and Revenue and Customs, after obtaining a first class degree in Politics and Education Studies from Exeter University. She began her time in the Home Office working in the office of the Policing and Security Minister, covering operational policing policy. She then joined the Home Office’s Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism in 2009, where she worked on a number of different areas of policy, litigation and legislation including the Justice and Security Act 2013; international detainee policy and litigation and heading the Communications Data policy and legislation team. In 2016 she took up post in the Counter-Terrorism Pursue team as head of the team responsible for a number of the Home Secretary’s operational executive actions including Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures and use of the Royal Prerogative to remove passports. Lucy has also undertaken secondments to the Cabinet Office and Foreign Office. Lucy is accompanied on her posting by her husband and two young children, aged 3 and 1.
Council for Digital Good
Brontë Johnson is currently a senior at Gahanna Lincoln High School in Columbus, Ohio. STEM and Technology have been an interest and passion for Brontë since she was a young girl and will continue to be for years to come. Within the past couple of years, Brontë has completed numerous projects involving programming, technology, and social media. She has most recently served on the Microsoft’s Council for Digital Good, a fifteen-member group of teens from around the nation, to combat online bullying and to promote digital civility.
Brontë is currently in the midst of applying for colleges, interested in majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Mandarin Chinese. She is very excited about this next chapter and what the future offers in the STEM fields!
Eun Yang anchors News4 Today, the #1 rated morning news in Washington for which she won an EMMY award.
Yang joined News4 as a general assignment reporter specializing in covering breaking news for News4 at 11. She then anchored the weekend editions of News4 Today.
Yang has been the first to tell Washington area viewers about breaking overnight news, severe weather, and major Washington stories since 2010. Her field anchor assignments have included the Inaugurations of presidents, visits by two Popes, Opening Day at Nationals Park which she covers every year, and the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
In addition to anchoring News4 Today, Yang files compelling community stories about people and organizations important to the Washington area. She also won an EMMY for hosting a local restaurant show called Foodies: DC for several years.
Before joining News4, Yang worked at the National Geographic Channel in Washington and WUSA-TV.
Yang was named Alumna of the Year by the University of Maryland Asian Studies Program and serves on the Board of Visitors for the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. She was inducted into Montgomery County's Women's History Archives. Washingtonian magazine has recognized Yang twice, as one of DC's 100 People to Watch and as one of DC's Stars of Local TV News.
Born in Seoul, Korea, Yang moved to the Washington area before she was three. She grew up in Prince George's County and Montgomery County, attended Paint Branch High School and graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Maryland.
She and her husband are raising their three kids in Washington, DC.
Vice President, Exploited Children Division
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
John Shehan joined the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® in February 2000. He is responsible for NCMEC's operations relating to sexual crimes committed against children, including online child pornography, enticement and other instances of child sexual exploitation. In this role, he also conducts interviews with the news media about issues relating to internet-facilitated crimes committed against children; testifies on behalf of NCMEC; and provides training and information sessions for the public, private industry, other nonprofit organizations and law enforcement agencies.
He served as president of the INHOPE Foundation between 2012 and 2014 where he helped cultivate and develop hotlines in Central and South America and the Asian Pacific. He also served as vice president of the INHOPE Association between 2012 and 2016 and in 2018.
He served as a technical advisory board member to the Internet Safety Technical Taskforce, led by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and was appointed to the Online Safety Technology Working Group.
Mr. Shehan received his Bachelor of Science with a major in criminal justice from Radford University in 1999, received an Executive Leadership Certificate from Cornell University in 2018, and currently serves as an advisory board member to the College of Humanities & Behavioral Sciences at Radford University.
Public Policy Manager
Lauren Culbertson is a Manager on Twitter's Public Policy team, whose mission is to help shape policies that defend and respect the Twitter user's voice. Twitter Public Policy also manages Twitter's non-profit initiatives as well as #TwitterForGood, the company's philanthropic mission to make the world a better place by harnessing the positive power of Twitter.
Lauren is based in Twitter's Washington, D.C. office where she oversees public policy issues related to online safety, content moderation, and telecommunications. She is also Twitter's global lead for intermediary liability policy.
Before joining Twitter, Lauren worked in the U.S. Senate and on statewide campaigns in her home state of Georgia. She also founded a business, Millennial Bridge Consulting, to advocate for public policies that are important to millennials.
Delegation of the European Union to the United States
Peter Fatelnig is Minister-Counsellor for digital economy policies at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, residing in Washington DC. Peter’s long experience in the digital tech sector, notably in building industrial innovation strategies, helped the EU to drive forward internet innovation policies. A senior manager at the European Commission since 1998 he is committed to a positive European vision of the future internet society and economy. Before coming to Washington he managed the team leading Europe's new Internet policy and investment initiative (flagship on 'Next Generation Internet').
Prior to the EU, he worked on international assignments for the strategy consulting firm American Management Systems, and for the European Space Agency, in the Netherlands. Peter holds a Master degree in Communication Engineering from the University of Technology in Graz, Austria, and is a senior member of the IEEE. He is married and has raised two daughters.
The EU Delegation was first established in Washington, DC in 1954 and now represents the European Union across the United States. It has expanded to host the staff of the European Parliament Liaison Office, EUROPOL, the European Central Bank, the European Investment Bank, and the European Air Safety Agency.
Council for Digital Good
Christina Woodrow is a senior at Kennesaw Mountain High School’s Academy of Mathematics, Science, and Technology in Kennesaw, Georgia. She was one of fifteen teens in the United States selected to be a part of Microsoft Corporation’s inaugural Council for Digital Good, a youth-based pilot program that worked to advance digital civility. While the 18-month Council experience has come to a close, she is excited - and very much energized - to continue her efforts to spread awareness about online safety and online cultural issues. Christina is currently in the midst of the college application process and is looking forward to hopefully further exploring her many interests (research, law & policy, cybersecurity, Spanish, and more) at an institution next fall.
Council for Digital Good
Judah Siegand is a 14-year-old who lives a completely normal life without the distractions of a smartphone or any form of social media. He was one of the youngest members selected by Microsoft in 2017 to be part of their all-teen Council for Digital Good. He has a unique perspective of growing up in the digital age and actually benefiting from a less-connected digital life. Because his parents are online safety educators, Judah has had the opportunity to speak at several events, encouraging parents to delay smartphone and social media use for their kids. Judah is from Nashville, Tennessee, loves sports and rap music, and has career interests ranging from Wall Street to the armed forces and law enforcement.
Author of How to Break Up With Your Phone
Founder of Screen/Life Balance
Catherine Price is the founder of Screen/Life Balance and author of How to Break Up With Your Phone.
Her newest book is called The Power of Fun, and will come out in late 2021. For more information and resources (including a family-friendly 3-day challenge) and to sign up for her newsletter, please visit ScreenLifeBalance.com.
She occasionally posts on Instagram at @_catherineprice and on Twitter at @catherine_price.
Struggling with social media? Follow Catherine’s intervention feeds:
Dr. Michael Rich
Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital
Dr. Rich is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, at Harvard Medical and practices Adolescent Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Rich is also the Founding Director of the first evidence-based medical program addressing physical, mental, and social health issues associated with digital technology, the Clinic for Interactive Media and Internet Disorders (CIMAID). As The Mediatrician®, Dr. Rich offers research-based, balanced, and practical answers to parents’, teachers’, and clinicians’ questions about children’s media use and the positive and negative implications for their health and development. Understanding the power of screens to engage, connect, and change us all, he is bringing together pediatricians and software engineers, educators and designers, psychologists, and screenwriters in the Digital Wellness Lab to synergize in researching, responding to, and innovating a digital environment in which we can raise healthy, smart, productive, and kind children.
Dr. Rich came to medicine after a 12-year career as a filmmaker, including apprenticing to Akira Kurosawa as assistant director on Kagemusha. His experience and expertise in medicine and media synergize in his health research and clinical work. Dr. Rich earned his B.A. in English and Film from Pomona College, his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and his M.P.H. from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Among his many awards are the Society for Adolescent Health and Media (SAHM) New Investigator Award (1978) and the Iris Litt Visiting Professorship in Adolescent Health Research (2017) and the American Academy of Pediatrics Holroyd-Sherry (2005) and Adele Dellenbaugh Hoffman (2017) Awards. See here for recent press
Longer bio and CV can be found here: https://digitalwellnesslab.org/team/michael-rich/
Dr. Michael Rich
Jordan Shapiro, Ph.D. is a world-renowned American thought leader. He's currently senior fellow for the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, and Nonresident Fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution. His Forbes' column (2012-17) on global education, learning through digital play, kids and culture was read by over 5 million people around the world. He is an international speaker and consultant whose fresh perspective combines psychology, philosophy, and economics in unexpected ways.
Shapiro is an adviser and strategist to the United States Air Force and Thomas Edison State University, helping to shape how they provide individuals with sophisticated 21st century agile and critical thinking skills. He is also a member of Teach For All's Global Advisory Council and an expert adviser to the World Economic Forum. During the week, you can find him in the classroom at Temple University, where he teaches in the Intellectual Heritage Program and developed the online version of the university's core curriculum.
His next book, The New Childhood: Raising Kids To Thrive in a Connected World, will be published by Little, Brown and Company on December 31, 2018. He lives in Philadelphia with his two sons.
Founder and CEO
Trisha Prabhu is the 23-year-old inventor and Founder and CEO of ReThink™, a patented app that stops cyberbullying before the damage is done.
The ReThink app detects offensive content and gives youth a chance to “ReThink” sending it, stopping cyberbullying before it happens. Today, in collaboration with schools and educational organizations, ReThink’s technology, educational materials, and anti-cyberbullying advocacy have been shared with youth worldwide. The app is also now available in 8 international languages on the Google Play Store (where it was named one of Google Play's Most Innovative Apps).
For her work with ReThink, Trisha is the humbled recipient of many awards, among them, the WebMD Health Hero Prodigy Award and the Princess Diana International Anti-Bullying Award; she was also selected to present ReThink at The White House. Trisha has also made waves as a contestant on ABC’s Shark Tank and as the winner of Harvard University's President's Innovation Challenge and the Elevate Prize. In 2021, she was the youngest honoree named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 Social Impact list.
Trisha is a TED speaker and has delivered 100+ talks in 30 cities about the power of “ReThinking." Her debut book, “ReThink the Internet,” the world’s first-ever “by-youth, for-youth” guide to the Internet, was released in May 2022 from Penguin Random House.
Trisha is a summa cum laude graduate of Harvard University. She is now pursuing her postgraduate study at the University of Oxford as a United States Rhodes Scholar.
Associate Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility
Neil Giacobbi is Associate Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility at AT&T leading online and product safety for customers, employees and public engagement. He is a communications strategist and campaign producer with extensive experience in earned media, nonprofits, advocacy, politics and coalition-building. He’s worked in New York City for Michael Bloomberg, and has lead initiatives serving people with disabilities, mass transit, traffic safety, reducing carbon emissions and collective bargaining. Neil has a bachelor’s of science from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. He is also a First Mover fellow with the Aspen Institute, a global network of accomplished innovators inside companies who are creating new products, services and management practices that increase business value and make the world a better place. Neil lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three kids.
Head of Trust & Safety
Dan Crowley is the Head of Trust & Safety at Quizlet, an online learning platform serving over 30 million active studiers each month, where he oversees all public policy, privacy, data protection, compliance, user safety, and content moderation programs. In his position, Mr. Crowley develops tools, policies, and processes that maintain Quizlet as an appropriate platform for all audiences and works to ensure the responsible use of data across all of Quizlet’s products and throughout engineering, product development, design, and other business processes. He also serves as Quizlet’s Data Protection Officer.
Mr. Crowley came to Quizlet after spending the previous 6 years working at Google and Facebook in their privacy and policy programs, providing advice and privacy design review for a wide range of products, including online advertising, machine learning and content personalization, civic engagement, and photo and video services. Mr. Crowley is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College and is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals where he has earned certifications in US and European privacy as well as privacy program management.
Senior Advisor on Law & Policy; Deputy Director
The Warnath Group; NEXUS Institute
Sheila Berman currently serves as both Senior Advisor on Law & Policy for The Warnath Group and Deputy Director of NEXUS Institute. The focus of her work is on ending the scourge of global human trafficking by creating tailored concrete practical solutions and reliable research to address the extreme exploitation of men, women, and children in both sex and labor trafficking. She has drafted anti-human trafficking legislation and trained police, prosecutors, judges, immigration officers, civil society, and government officials on human trafficking skills and issues in over a dozen countries around the globe including Burma, Haiti, Ghana, Malaysia, and Mongolia.
Ms. Berman served as a Federal Prosecutor with the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section from 2000 to 2006, handling criminal civil rights cases including human trafficking, hate crimes, and police brutality. In 2003 Ms. Berman successfully tried a case against a defendant who was simultaneously on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted and the U.S. Marshals Service 15 Most Wanted lists, securing a 51-count conviction at trial.
From 2006 to 2012, Ms. Berman had a solo law practice in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. There, she helped everyday people navigate the law, handling everything from civil plaintiff litigation to criminal defense work, family law, and small business formation. Her first and formative trial experiences came during her tenure as a prosecutor in Washington, DC Juvenile Court from 1997 to 2000. Her trials included cases of murder, armed assault, sexual abuse, robbery, and drug distribution.
Ms. Berman is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law.
Ambassador Maura Harty
President and CEO
International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC)
Ambassador Maura Harty is President and CEO of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), an Alexandria, VA-based not-for-profit organization working worldwide to advance child protection and safeguard children from sexual abuse, exploitation, and abduction. Through research-based advocacy, training, technical assistance and a collaborative approach to addressing these issues, ICMEC empowers and equips global partners – in government, academia, law enforcement, private industry, and the NGO community – to make the world a safer place for children.
Ambassador Harty previously served 27 years as a Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Department of State. As Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Ambassador Harty oversaw the bureau charged with protecting American citizens abroad, issuing passports to U.S. citizens and providing visa services to foreign nationals. She also directed widespread change in policy and procedure in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks and placed a strong emphasis on national security while facilitating legitimate travel to the United States by foreign visitors.
An expert in crisis management and issues affecting the welfare of American citizens abroad, Ambassador Harty created the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues (OCI) to address the challenges of intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction. Since its inception, OCI has helped secure the return of hundreds of abducted American citizen children and has facilitated countless intercountry adoptions.
Ambassador Harty also served as Special Assistant to Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Executive Assistant to Secretary Warren Christopher, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Paraguay and Executive Secretary of the Department of State under Secretary Colin Powell.
Ambassador Harty is the recipient of the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Presidential Meritorious Service Award (twice), and the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Honor Award. Throughout her Foreign Service tenure, Harty inspired a culture of leadership and reinforced a strong sense of mission, unity, and service.
Ambassador Harty is Chairman of the Board of CNA, a non-profit research and analysis organization devoted to an independent and objective analysis of public issues and also serves on the Board of the Senior Living Foundation of the Foreign Service.
Ambassador Maura Harty
Telecommunications Policy Analyst
U.S. Department of Commerce
Dr. Travis Hall is a Telecommunications Policy Analyst for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Office of Policy and Development, focusing on Surveillance and Consumer Privacy. His portfolio includes IoT, UAS, and Blockchain, and he recently successfully concluded two privacy multistakeholder processes. He has a PhD from the Department of Media, Culture and Communication from New York University, and his dissertation research focused on the cultural contexts and histories of state identification programs, specifically those that use bodies as the media of identity (biometrics, tattoos). He has acted as a consultant for advocacy groups, academic institutes, and private companies on the technical and policy details of identification and the potential impacts of these technologies on privacy rights. Before joining the Department of Commerce, Travis taught at American University and was a research fellow at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin, Germany. He received his MA in International Communications and BA in International Relations from American University.
Teia Blackshear Collier
Publisher and Lead Storyteller
Dallas Single Mom
Teia Blackshear Collier is the Publisher and Lead Storyteller at Dallas Single Mom. She shares about her adventures and offers ways for Dallas’ single moms to lead their best lives now through education, encouragement, inspiration and active civic engagement despite life transitions. With a background in education, civic service, corporate wellness, private lifestyle management, and fundraising, Teia connects parents to the products, services, and resources to enable them to live their best lives now as parents, community members and individuals capable of great good.
Teia Blackshear Collier
Dr. Jillian Roberts is a child psychologist, author, professor, and mother. She earned her PhD at age 26, became an associate professor at the University of Victoria at 32, and shortly after became the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Education. During this time, Dr. Roberts also built a successful child psychology practice.
Considered a go-to child psychology expert for journalists, Dr. Roberts is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Global News, and the CBC. She is the author of two best-selling and award-winning series of children’s books. “Just Enough” explains topics like birth and diversity to children ages 3-6, while “The World Around Us” introduces kids ages 5-8 to issues like poverty and online safety. She is also the author of “Kids, Sex & Screens: Raising Strong, Resilient Children in the Sexualized Digital Age,” a book for parents seeking to help their preteens navigate our hypersexualized world.
In 2017, Dr. Roberts co-founded FamilySparks, a social impact company that creates mental wellness products and services for families and businesses.
Dr. Roberts resides in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada with her husband Stephen and their three children.
Noah Joshua Phillips
Federal Trade Commission
Following his nomination by President Donald J. Trump and unanimous confirmation by the United States Senate, Noah Joshua Phillips was sworn in as a Commissioner on the Federal Trade Commission on May 2, 2018. Before coming to the FTC, Phillips served as Chief Counsel to U.S. Senator John Cornyn, of Texas, on the Senate Judiciary Committee. From 2011 to 2018, he advised Senator Cornyn on legal and policy matters including antitrust, constitutional law, consumer privacy, fraud, and intellectual property. Prior to his Senate service, Phillips worked as a litigator at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, in New York City, and Steptoe & Johnson LLP, in Washington, D.C. Phillips began his career at Wasserstein Perella & Co., an investment bank in New York City. Phillips received his A.B. from Dartmouth College and his J.D. from Stanford Law School.
Noah Joshua Phillips
Vice President of Policy
Future of Privacy Forum
John Verdi is Vice President of Policy at the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), a Washington, DC-based think tank that seeks to advance responsible data practices. FPF is supported by the chief privacy officers of more than 110 leading companies, several foundations, and an advisory board comprised of leading academics and advocates. John supervises FPF’s policy portfolio, which seeks to advance FPF’s agenda on a broad range of issues, including: Big Data; Ethics; Connected Cars; Smart Communities; the Internet of Things; Drones; Wearable Technologies; De-Identification; and Student Privacy.
John previously served as Director of Privacy Initiatives at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, where he crafted policy recommendations for the US Department of Commerce and President Obama regarding technology, trust, and innovation. John led NTIA’s privacy multistakeholder process, which crafted best practices regarding unmanned aircraft systems, facial recognition technology, and mobile apps. Prior to NTIA, he was General Counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), where he oversaw EPIC’s litigation program. John earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2002 and his B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Law from SUNY-Binghamton in 1998.
Vice President of Public Policy
Brian Huseman is Vice President of Public Policy at Amazon. Brian joined Amazon in May 2012 from Intel Corporation. Prior to Intel, Brian worked at the Federal Trade Commission, where he served as Chief of Staff to Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras, as an advisor to Chairman Tim Muris, and as an attorney in the Bureau of Consumer Protection leading technology policy and enforcement actions. Brian joined the FTC from the US Department of Justice’s Criminal Division where he was a prosecutor in the Organized Crime and Racketeering Division and a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia. He also served as a judicial law clerk to Judge Sven Erik Holmes of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma and to the late Chief Judge Henry A. Politz of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Brian also serves as Chair of the Internet Association’s Board of Directors, Co-Chair of the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Connect Committee, and is on the Executive Committee of the Information Technology Industry Council. He has a law degree and a B.A. degree in political science.
Senior Policy Manager, Digital Policy
* Denotes member of FOSI Board
Simon Morrison manages third-party content issues in Amazon’s U.S. Public Policy team. In that role, he works on a range of content policy and content moderation issues – including misinformation/disinformation, hate speech, liability, and Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM)—working with Amazon’s businesses on policy development and enforcement, and advocating externally on the company’s behalf.
Prior to Amazon, he worked for Google for 13 years, in London and Washington, D.C., focusing on a range of issues including intellectual property, intermediary liability and child safety.
Vice President, Legal
Mary Tuck is Vice President, Legal with Activision Blizzard. In her current role, she manages the legal work for Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues, the division that is responsible for launching The Overwatch League, a professional esports league, and Activision Blizzard Studios, the film and TV business that Activision Blizzard created to further amplify its franchises. Mary has been with Activision Blizzard for over 12 years and her background is originally in intellectual property and litigation.
General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Business Affairs
The Meet Group, Inc.
Fred Beckley is General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Business affairs at The Meet Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MEET), a portfolio of mobile social entertainment apps designed to meet the universal need for human connection. The Meet Group leverages a powerful live-streaming video platform to empower its global community to forge meaningful connections. Through its primary apps - MeetMe®, LOVOO®, Skout®, and Tagged® - The Meet Group keeps millions of mobile daily active users entertained and engaged, and originates untold numbers of casual chats, friendships, dates, and marriages. In addition to his role as General Counsel, Mr. Beckley oversees content moderation, customer service, safety, and human resources.
Prior to joining The Meet Group, Mr. Beckley was the Executive Vice President, Business Development & General Counsel of TruePosition, a pioneer in wireless geolocation hardware and software development and manufacturing. In addition to the legal group, Mr. Beckley led the corporate development, regulatory and technical standards teams, and served as an officer or on the boards of TruePosition’s technology acquisitions, including EmFinders, Zoombak, and Useful Networks.
Before TruePosition, Mr. Beckley served as Senior Counsel, Business Development at Verizon Wireless, and in a number of capacities prior to that within the Verizon group of companies, including as General Counsel of Grupo Iusacell, Mexico’s second largest wireless operator, and of Bell Atlantic Professional Services, an international provider of staffing, construction, engineering and training services.
Mr. Beckley began his career doing mergers and acquisitions work at two large law firms in Philadelphia. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Yale Law School, and Yale Divinity School.
Senior Policy Advisor
Senator Markey (D-MA)
Joseph Wender currently serves as Senator Markey’s Senior Policy Advisor and handles a wide range of issues including telecommunications and privacy. Mr. Wender previously served as then-Representative Markey’s Legislative Director. Prior to working for Markey, Mr. Wender served as Counsel for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He received his BA from Wesleyan University and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.
Director of Trust & Safety
Carlos Figueiredo (he/him) has worked on Trust & Safety since 2008. Previously at Disney Online Studios (Club Penguin alumnus, and a proud Penguin at that!), now Director of Trust & Safety at Two Hat, he also helped co-found the Fair Play Alliance in 2017 and serves as the executive director of the organization. His mission is to foster healthy and safe online spaces where we can enable the full potential of digital human interaction. He has spoken at eSafety Australia, FOSI 2018, Game Developers Conference, CMX Summit, Unity for Humanity Summit, RovioCon, and other global events. Carlos has also been featured in publications by The Washington Post, Game Informer, and Polygon.
Vice President, Privacy Certified
Entertainment Software Rating Board
John Falzone is a Vice President of the Entertainment Software Rating Board, where he manages the Privacy Certified program—a leading online privacy compliance and certification program, and FTC-approved COPPA Safe Harbor. Prior to joining the ESRB, John was an Assistant Attorney General in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, where, among other things, he managed the enforcement of state and federal consumer-protection and privacy laws, including COPPA, HIPPA/HITECH, and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Before entering public service, John spent more than twelve years as a litigation and regulatory attorney at Latham & Watkins LLP and then Parker Ibrahim & Berg LLC.John is a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States by the IAPP and a member of the IAPP’s Privacy Bar Section Advisory Board. He received his law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law, where he graduated with honors and served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Seton Hall Law Review. He received his undergraduate degree from Villanova University.
Assistant Professor of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics
University of Michigan
Dr. Radesky is an Assistant Professor of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School. She received her M.D. from Harvard Medical School, trained in pediatrics at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and completed subspecialty training in developmental behavioral pediatrics at Boston Medical Center. Her research interests include the use of mobile technology by parents and young children and how this relates to child self-regulation and parent-child interaction. Clinically, her work focuses on developmental and behavioral problems in low-income and underserved populations. She was the lead author of the 2016 American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on digital media use in early childhood.
Assistant General Manager
Tencent Interactive Entertainment Group
Lei Zheng, graduating from Tsinghua University, is the assistant general manager of User Platform department at Tencent Interactive Entertainment Group. He performs a wide range of duties concerning user system and online communities, which include leading the operations of Tencent Game Growth Protection Platform and Tencent Joy Club.
Mary Jordan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author who writes for the Washington Post. She spent 14 years abroad as a foreign correspondent running the Washington Post bureaus in Tokyo, Mexico City and London. She has written from more than 40 countries, covering subjects ranging from the Asian financial crisis of the 1990s to religious freedom in Albania. She and her husband and colleague, Kevin Sullivan, won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for their investigation of the Mexican justice system. Jordan was also a 2009 Pulitzer Prize finalist for a series of stories about problems facing women around the world.
Jordan and Sullivan wrote “The Prison Angel,” a biography of an extraordinary woman who helps the destitute in Mexican prisons, which won a 2006 Christopher Award for work that “affirms the highest values of the human spirit.” They also wrote “Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland,” which was a No. 1 New York Times best-seller in 2015.
Jordan graduated from Georgetown and earned a master's degree at Columbia University’s School of Journalism. She has taught at Georgetown as an adjunct professor in the English Department and she was awarded a Nieman Fellowship to study at Harvard, the youngest one to win the prestigious honor.
She has also spent a post-graduate year studying Latin American affairs at Stanford University.
When she returned to the United States from her foreign assignments, she was the founding editor of Washington Post Live, a forum for debates and discussions in front of a live audience. She currently interviews some of the world’s leading figures – from legendary singer Julie Andrews to former President Jimmy Carter -- for the popular “What it Takes” podcast of the nonprofit Academy of Achievement.
In 2016, the Washington Post honored Jordan with the Washington Post’s highest award, the Eugene Meyer Award for distinguished service. It is given to the person who exemplifies the core principles: tell the truth for the public good and always be fair.
Jordan was raised in Cleveland, the daughter of Irish immigrants.
CEO and Founder
She is the CEO and Founder of Mazu. Janice’s journey of innovation has taken her from Oprah Winfrey Show to Silicon Valley to working with some of the largest sports brands in the world. With a background in Psychology, Janice has spent the last 9 years researching the impact of digital on the social and emotional development of children. Mazu is the innovative content and messaging platform for families that was developed from this research to protect children online and teach values in social media. As an author, advocate, mother and entrepreneur Janice and her team at Mazu have created a unique solution that believes that social media can be a useful tool that can enhance our lives rather than polarize our lives. Together we can build a healthy digital village for families to thrive.
Founder and President
Backus Consulting LLC
Jenny Backus is the founder and President of Backus Consulting, a strategic communications firm specializing in strategy development, campaign and project management and intergovernmental consulting for corporations, media outlets, trade associations, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions and advocacy campaigns. Backus Consulting also works closely with clients on creating winning public affairs campaigns, event design and management and facilitation of conferences, conventions and workshops.
A nationally recognized spokesperson, moderator and expert on strategic communications and partnerships, Backus has worked for Fortune 500 companies, national trade associations and NGOs and in the political arena serving in leadership positions in the US House, the US Senate and on Presidential campaigns, including designing & managing more than 40 Presidential Primary Debates/Forums and events for the national media in the 2004 and 2008 Presidential cycles.
Prior to restarting her consulting business in 2016, Jenny served for three years as a Senior Policy Advisor and Head of Strategic Partnerships and Engagement for Google where she developed Google’s state-by-state public affairs teams and strategic plans, managed all Google’s US NGO and 3rd Party relations and oversaw a multi-million dollar public affairs and policy budget.
Jenny also served in the first two years of the Obama Administration as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategy & Planning at the US Department of Health and Human Services working closely with Secretary Sebelius and the White House. She managed communications activities for HHS and all their operating and staff divisions and during her tenure grew HHS ASPA from a $6 million to a $20 million department; expanded web and new media capabilities and supervised and managed more than $250 million worth of communication contracts across HHS.
Backus Consulting, the firm Jenny founded in 2002, has worked for a variety of clients over the past decade in the technology, healthcare, financial services, media, immigration, and legal services space as well as political parties, candidates and campaigns. She has also done extensive work in the nonprofit world helping think tanks, advocacy groups and community-based organizations expand their communications, outreach and fundraising capacity.
In addition to running her own consulting business, Jenny also serves on several Boards, including the World Learning Board, the National Consumers League Board and Impact 100 DC Board.
A graduate of Brattleboro Union High School and Brown University, Backus lives in Washington DC with her husband Ed Pagano and son Jack.
Head of Moderation, Trust and Safety
Emma Monks joined Crisp Thinking Ltd in 2011 and serves as Head of Moderation, Trust and Safety. Her responsibilities include the development of policy and best practice for the moderation and handling of high risk issues, as well as overseeing the management of Crisp’s team of moderators.
Prior to joining Crisp Thinking, Emma accumulated 15 years’ experience in the community management and online safety field working in kids’ gaming and for Internet Service Providers including AOL UK and Tiscali.
CEO and Co-Founder
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safety advocate. He is CEO and co-founder of ConnectSafely.org and an on-air technology analyst for CBS News.
His technology reports can be heard daily on CBS News and CBS affiliates throughout the U.S. and he has a daily tech segment on KCBS radio in San Francisco. He writes a syndicated column for the San Jose Mercury News and blogs for The Guardian, Forbes and Huffington Post.
He has also been a frequent contributor to the New York Times and was, for 19 years, a syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times when his columns appeared in newspapers around the world, including The Washington Post.
He’s a regular contributor to BBC World Service, BBC Today Programme and an occasional guest on National Public Radio. He has appeared on the all of the major network evening and morning news programs.
Larry is author or co-author of nine books including the best-selling Little PC Book along with Cruising Online: Larry Magid’s Guide to the New Digital Highways, The Fully Powered PC, Electronic Link, MySpace Unraveled and Mini-Manual for a Free University.
Privacy and Public Policy Manager
Emily Sharpe is Privacy and Public Policy Manager at Facebook, where she leads Facebook’s privacy engagement across the Europe, Middle East and Africa. As part of the Privacy and Public Policy team, she meets with policymakers, regulators, privacy experts, and other key stakeholders to help inform how Facebook builds privacy into every aspect of the service. Emily earned her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and her undergraduate degree from Cornell University, and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to Qatar and Kuwait.
Senior Research Fellow for Technology and Innovation
Neil Chilson is a senior research fellow for technology and innovation at Stand Together where he spearheads the Stand Together community’s efforts to foster an environment that encourages innovation and the individual and societal progress it makes possible. He is also author of the book, Getting Out of Control: Emergent Leadership in a Complex World.
Prior to his current role, Chilson was the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) chief technologist. In this capacity, he focused on understanding the economics of privacy, convening a workshop on informational injury, and establishing the FTC’s Blockchain Working Group, among other things. Prior to his appointment, Chilson was an adviser to then-Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen. In both roles he advised Chairman Ohlhausen and worked with commission staff on nearly every major technology-related case, report, workshop, and proceeding. Chilson practiced telecommunications law at Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP before joining the FTC in January 2014.
Chilson is a regular contributor to multiple news outlets, including the Washington Post, USA Today, and Newsweek.
Chilson holds a law degree from the George Washington University Law School and a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from Harding University.
Hart Research Associates
Abigail Davenport is a partner with Hart Research Associates. Since joining the firm in 1994, she has conducted research and provided strategic guidance to a diverse client base that includes issue advocacy and nonprofit organizations, corporations, media, and trade associations.
Abigail focuses her efforts on helping clients measure attitudes on complex issues, answer difficult strategic questions, and leverage key audiences’ opinions to their benefit. Today, she primarily leads research projects for the firm's nonprofit and private-sector clients, conducting qualitative and quantitative research to inform public education campaigns, campaigns aimed at changing social norms, public policy efforts and public affairs messaging, corporate-reputation and brand-research projects, and corporate social responsibility programs.
Some of the many clients for whom Abigail has conducted research include the Family Online Safety Institute, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Science and Technology Innovation Program, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the College Board, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, Learning Heroes, Futures Without Violence, The Coca-Cola Company, Exelon, AT&T, and Disney & ESPN Media Networks.
Abigail is a graduate of Tufts University with a degree in international relations.
Hart Research Associates
Jay Campbell is a partner at Hart Research Associates, and is based in Philadelphia. He has worked at Hart Research since 1996, when he joined the firm’s data department.
Jay has been an analyst since 2000. He has conducted research in all of the firm’s major practice areas—political, nonprofit/advocacy, media, corporate, and labor. For a decade he oversaw Hart Research’s regular polling for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal and currently does the same for CNBC’s quarterly All-America Economic Survey on economic policy, personal finance, and consumer behavior.
Jay has a particular focus on work in the nonprofit sector, measuring attitudes toward complex issues on behalf of advocacy organizations. In this capacity he has provided research and strategic advice to national organizations such as the American Heart Association, the Sierra Club, the Climate Action Campaign, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, as well as numerous state and local advocacy groups.
His research into attitudes about technology includes numerous studies on behalf of the Family Online Safety Institute, AT&T, and the Entertainment Software Rating Board.
Jay graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a degree in political science. He has been quoted on politics and public opinion in national publications and has appeared on National Public Radio, MSNBC, CNBC, and C-SPAN discussing politics and polling.
Dr. Ranjana Kumari
Center for Social Research
A renowned social activist and a prolific academician, Dr. Ranjana Kumari is the Director of Centre for Social Research as well as Chairperson of Women Power Connect. Dr. Kumari has dedicated her life to empowering women across the South Asia region, and is also a prolific writer of many well‐known publications. Dr. Kumari went to school in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Her paternal grandfather, a freedom fighter, Pandit Vishwanath Sharma, was the founder member of the famous Kashi Vidyapith of Varanasi, which was the first modern University organised by Indians in British India. After finishing her schooling, she moved to Delhi and did her MA, M.Phil and Ph.D in Political Science from Jawahar Lal Nehru University.
Her foray into social work was initiated by her concern for a dowry death that took place near her home in 1976. This led to her activism on world famous publication “Brides are not for Burning”.
She has served as the Coordinator of the South Asia Network Against Trafficking (SANAT) in Persons and is a member of the Central Advisory Board on “Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Tests Act, 2001”, as well as the Central Advisory Committee for Prevention of Trafficking in Women and Children. Some of her most passionate causes have been the participation of women in democracy and governance, the termination of dowry practices and dowry‐related violence, and the abolition of female foeticide.
In the past, she was a member of the Task Force on Industrial Relations for The International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva and worked as senior professional at United Nations. Currently, she is a member of Global Safety Advisory Board of Facebook. She is also a member of the Twitter’s Trust & Safety Council.
Being an accomplished academician, Dr. Kumari has a number of publications to her credit. Some of her books are: Gender, Work, and Power Relations: A case study of Haryana; Women in Politics: Forums and Processes; Reign She Will; Brides Are Not For Burning; Dahej Pidit Mahilayein, among others. Other publications include: Higher Education and Scheduled Tribe Youth: A Case Study of Chattisgarh; and Impact of Education on Scheduled Caste Youth in India: A Study of Social Transformation in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.
Dr. Ranjana Kumari combines the two roles of a women activist and scholar with great felicity and panache. Having dedicated her life to significant social causes, Dr. Ranjana Kumari continues to impact the lives of many with her dedication and zeal. She is voice of women on numerous T.V Channels and quoted extensively in print and electronic media.
Dr. Ranjana Kumari
VP, Civility & Partnerships
Roblox, FOSI Board Chair*
* Denotes member of FOSI Board
Tami Bhaumik is the Vice President of Civility and Partnerships at Roblox where she spearheads the platform's digital civility initiative and works to foster a global community of internet safety leaders to ensure good digital citizenship on Roblox. To establish a healthy and safe community, Tami is focused on providing kids, teens, parents, and caregivers with skills needed to create positive online experiences, in partnership with the world’s leading safety and industry organizations. At Roblox, she empowers platform users to self-govern and create a confident, resilient online community with the knowledge and tools to create positive experiences for themselves and others in the metaverse.
Director, Data – DG CONNECT
Gail Kent is one of the most senior British officials in the European Commission in Luxembourg. She is Director of Data in one of the largest Directorate Generals (DG CONNECT – Communications Networks, Content & Technology) and was throughout 2016 the acting Deputy Director General.
She studied at Cranfield University - Cranfield School of Management (MBA) and at the University College London (BSc Econ). Her current responsibilities include both policy and programme management in the fields of Data Economy, promoting cultural heritage and removing digital barriers.
Chief Technology Officer
* Denotes member of FOSI Board
Sven Gerjets has served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Mattel, since July 2017.
As CTO, Gerjets is leading Mattel’s rapid transformation into becoming a leaner, faster and smarter high-performing toy company. He is responsible for all aspects of Mattel’s technology implementation, including shared technology platforms, analytics, software and hardware development and connected products. In addition, Gerjets also leads the Company’s initiatives around data privacy and security – he currently sits on the board of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) to develop and institute industry best practices that keep our children’s digital data safe and secure.
Recognized as an enterprise technology visionary with a strong background in product development, data security and privacy, Gerjets has more than 25 years of experience leading technology organizations and improving business results across a broad range of industries, including telecommunications, higher education and biotechnology. Prior to joining Mattel, Gerjets served as Chief Product Officer of n.io Innovation, a startup that develops a real-time, distributed and extensible software platform used to integrate legacy technology with modern forms of computing such as AI and IOT. Gerjets currently serves as an advisor to n.io Innovation.
Before n.io Innovation, Gerjets held key leadership positions with Time Warner Cable, Inc., where he served as Chief Information Officer; Pearson, where he served as Chief Technology Officer and helped transform the quality of customer-facing education products; and DIRECTV, Inc., where he served multiple executive roles, including Senior Vice President, Information Technology, and led the creation of the company’s IT lifecycle processes that increased business value. Earlier in his career, Gerjets led IT teams and operations at Symantec Corporation, GeneticMedic and AT&T Wireless Services.
Gerjets brings a personal passion for revolutionizing legacy technology mindsets into one that is appropriate for today’s hyper-connected world. This has inspired him to build sustainable cultures of innovation throughout his tenure. In 2014, Computerworld magazine recognized his efforts at DIRECTV naming Gerjets as a top 100 technology leader. Gerjets has also contributed to many renowned publications, including WIRED magazine, InfoWorld and CIOReview magazine, discussing topics such as innovation, disruption and technology leadership.
Gerjets earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Kennedy-Western University. He later participated in Harvard Business School’s Advance Management Program.
Director of Research
Dr. Brisson-Boivin is the Director of Research at Mediasmarts, Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy. In her role as Director of Research she oversees all original MediaSmarts research. Using a mix of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies she researches the various impacts of digital technology and digital culture on Canadians broadly and youth in particular. Kara’s research at MediaSmarts examines digital well-being, care of the ‘digital self’, and the importance of digital publics and digital citizenship. Prior to joining MediaSmarts, Kara completed her PhD in Sociology at Carleton in 2016 with a research focus on criminal justice and the ethics of punishment. Kara now holds an appointment as an Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University. Kara brings to MediaSmarts: an in-depth knowledge of the research and program evaluation processes; extensive publication experience in international academic (peer-reviewed) journals, magazines, and research blogs; and a background in presenting research to key stakeholders at academic conferences, invited talks, panels, keynote addresses, and in webinars. Kara has also been interviewed by outlets such as CBC’s The National, The Canadian Press, and The Globe and Mail.
President & CEO
Sheldon is the President and CEO of PeaceTech Lab. PeaceTech Lab works to reduce violent conflict using technology, media, and data to accelerate and scale peacebuilding efforts. Headquartered at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), the Lab carries out its mission in close collaboration with public and private sector partners.
Sheldon joined USIP from The Corporate Executive Board, where he was on the Technology Practice Leadership Team, working with chief information officers from governments, universities, and multi-national corporations. Prior to this, he served as foreign policy adviser to a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the head of North American Documentary Development for Yorkshire TV, and the CEO/Executive Producer for Common Ground Productions, the media division of Search for Common Ground. He is an award-winning filmmaker, former commentator for National Public Radio (Sunday Morning Edition) and author of numerous articles on politics, popular culture and conflict. He has managed peacebuilding programs in numerous conflicts, including Bosnia, Iraq, Angola, Liberia, Macedonia, Burundi and received the Capitol Area Peace Maker award from American University.
He holds a doctorate from Oxford University and a bachelor's degree in political science from Johns Hopkins University. He has held visiting or guest scholar positions at the Brookings Institution, Harvard University and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Founder & Principal
Tim Sparapani, Principal at SPQR Strategies, PLLC, is a legislative, legal and strategic consultant who helps companies understand and respond to the pressures created for businesses, consumers and governments by emerging technologies. Tim’s specialties are privacy, cybersecurity, technology and constitutional law. Tim’s clients are a diverse mix of industry leading companies, dynamic technology startups, and thought leading advocacy organizations.
Tim is a frequent public speaker on topics related to emerging technologies. He has testified before Congress five times and given more than 500 TV, radio and print interviews. Tim writes frequently for Forbes and other publications on these topics.
Tim’s SPQR Strategies clients have asked him to undertake important, ongoing responsibilities. For example, Tim served for 3 years as the Vice President, Policy, Law & Government Affairs for the Application Developers Alliance, a trade association serving more than 30,000 application “app” developers and 200 member companies. Tim has also served as General Counsel for several app company and tech startups. He advises other start-up tech companies on a range of policy matters including cybersecurity, patent reform, online safety and security.
Tim was the first Director of Public Policy at Facebook. Tim was responsible for developing and implementing the company’s interaction with the federal, state, local and foreign governments and with opinion and policy makers. He managed these roles as the company grew from 150 million to more than 900 million active users and from 350 employees to more than 3,000. Prior to joining Facebook, Tim was Senior Legislative Counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, where he helped advance the constitutional principle of the right to privacy, representing the ACLU before Congress, the Executive Branch and the media. For the more than four years preceding his time at the ACLU, Tim served as an associate at the law firm of Dickstein Shapiro where he helped clients navigate interconnecting constitutional, statutory, political and policy challenges. Tim holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the law school at the University of Michigan.
Julie Inman Grant
Julie Inman Grant is Australia’s eSafety Commissioner. In this role, Julie leads the world’s first government regulatory agency committed to keeping its citizens safer online. She was appointed as eSafety Commissioner on 23 November 2016 and began in the role in January 2017.
Julie has extensive experience in the not-for-profit and government sectors and spent 2 decades working in senior public policy and safety roles in the tech industry at Microsoft, Twitter and Adobe.
Julie’s career began in Washington DC, working in the US Congress and the not-for-profit sector before taking on a role at Microsoft. Her experience at Microsoft spanned 17 years. She established the DC office and its corporate affairs functions for Australia and New Zealand, and across the Asia-Pacific, ultimately culminating in the role of Global Safety Director for Privacy and Safety.
At Twitter, she set up and drove the company’s policy, safety and philanthropy programs across Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.
As Commissioner, Julie plays an important global role as Chair of the Child Dignity Alliance’s Technical Working Group and as a Board Member of the WePROTECT Global Alliance. She also serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Coalition for Digital Safety and on its XR Ecosystem Governance Steering Committee on Building and Defining the Metaverse. Under her leadership, eSafety has joined forces with the White House Gender Policy Council and Government of Denmark representing Australia on the Global Partnership for Action on Gender-Based Harassment and Abuse.
In 2021, Julie oversaw significant increases in the eSafety office’s budget, increased staffing levels and launched the global Safety by Design initiative. As Commissioner, she has led work to stand up novel and world-first regulatory regimes under the new Online Safety Act 2021, with implementation of a sweeping new set of reforms beginning on 23 January 2022. Commissioner Inman Grant was reappointed for a further 5-year term by the Australian Government in January 2022.
More information can be found at www.esafety.gov.au.
Julie Inman Grant
Privacy & Data Protection Advisor
Groman Consulting Group LLC
Marc Groman is an internationally recognized expert in privacy, technology, and cyber security. His past roles include Senior Advisor for Privacy in the Obama White House, Chief Privacy Officer of the Federal Trade Commission, and President and CEO of the Network Advertising Initiative. His innovative approaches to tackling privacy and tech issues during the Obama Administration earned him the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ 2017 Leadership Award.
Marc does not shy away from controversy, having spent countless hours debating high profile and high-stakes issues around a conference table in the Pentagon, West Wing and White House Situation Room. But if you ask Marc, the most challenging privacy and security debates take place at his kitchen table, discussing screen time, inappropriate content, and gaming with his teenage son. Marc notes that members of the President’s Cabinet rarely argued, “But all the other Department Heads get to do it” or “That’s not fair!” When not consulting, serving on various boards, or teaching at Georgetown Law School, you’ll often find Marc explaining Snapchat, YouTube, smartphone privacy settings, and Fortnite to other dazed and confused parents.
Marc Groman is a frequent and entertaining speaker. Incorporating his professional skills with what he has “learned” in his role as a parent, in November of this year you will be able to listen to Marc on his new podcast, Their Own Devices. On this timely new series, Marc will draw on his professional expertise and parenting challenges to discuss the “ups and downs” of raising kids in the digital age.
Dr. Nicol Turner Lee
Director, The Center for Technology Innovation (CTI)
Dr. Nicol Turner Lee is a senior fellow in Governance Studies, the director of the Center for Technology Innovation and serves as Co-Editor-In-Chief of the TechTank blog and podcast at the Brookings Institution, which is a global think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. Dr. Turner's research encompasses equitable access to technology across the U.S. and abroad. Her portfolio also includes leading Brookings institutional research and public policy work focused on the identification and mitigation of online biases in artificial intelligence systems. She has a forthcoming book on the U.S. digital divide titled Digitally Invisible: How the Internet is Creating the New Underclass (forthcoming 2024, Brookings Press). She has appeared throughout various news media, testified before Congress and international global governance bodies, and written extensively on tech and telecom issues. In 2022, she was recognized for distinguished career contributions by the American Sociological Association at the annual conference. She has her B.A. from Colgate University, and her Ph.D. from Northwestern University.
Dr. Nicol Turner Lee
VP, Legal & Policy
Family Online Safety Institute
Jennifer Hanley is the Vice President of Legal and Policy for the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI). Jennifer directs FOSI’s government outreach and policy strategy. Jennifer helps FOSI build relationships with government officials as well as external partnerships and advises leading technology companies on best practices, policy developments, and emerging issues around online safety. Jennifer implements FOSI’s global projects and initiatives and manages the Washington, D.C. staff team. She also leads FOSI’s research work. Jennifer develops policy positions on Internet safety issues including online privacy, mobile safety, cyberbullying, sexting, controversial content, student data privacy, encouraging positive online content for kids, and federal and state legislation and regulations. Jennifer also represents FOSI on panels and in the press.
Jennifer is a magna cum laude graduate of the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, where she served as a Vice Chancellor on the CUA Moot Court Board and as the Vice President of the Communications Law Students Association. Jennifer held legal internships with FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, EchoStar, and Comcast. Jennifer graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from the George Washington University where she studied Political Science.
Patricia E. Vance
Entertainment Software Rating Board*
* Denotes member of FOSI Board
As president of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), Ms. Vance leads the non-profit, self-regulatory body for the video game industry in the United States, which includes the assignment of age ratings to video games and mobile apps, enforcement of marketing guidelines adopted by the video game industry and operating Privacy Certified, an FTC-sanctioned COPPA Safe Harbor privacy seal certification program. Ms. Vance is also the chairperson of the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC), a ground-breaking global rating and age classification system for digitally delivered games and apps that reflects the unique cultural differences among nations and regions.
Ms. Vance also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and was appointed to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Online Safety and Technology Working Group (OSTWG), which was established by Congress to make recommendations on the protection of children on the Internet through education, labeling and parental control technology.
Prior to joining the ESRB in 2002, Ms. Vance spent 18 years at Disney/ABC, with responsibility for the development of a broad range of new media and market initiatives. As Senior Vice President, General Manager of the ABC Internet Group, she oversaw the operations and strategic development of ABC-branded news and entertainment related web sites, and was also responsible for launching and/or managing several interactive entertainment and educational software publishing ventures, the direct response marketing of ABC programming and ABC's in-flight entertainment business.
Ms. Vance holds a B.A. in International Relations/Russian from Washington University in St. Louis, is the mother of two daughters and lives in New York, NY.
Patricia E. Vance
Founder & CEO
Family Online Safety Institute
For the past 30 years, Stephen Balkam has had a wide range of leadership roles in the nonprofit sector in both the US and UK. He is currently the Founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), an international, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, DC. FOSI’s mission is to make the online world safer for kids and their families. FOSI convenes the top thinkers and practitioners in government, industry and the nonprofit sectors to collaborate and innovate and to create a “culture of responsibility” in the online world.
Prior to FOSI, Stephen was the Founder and CEO of the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) and led a team which developed the world’s leading content labeling system on the web. While with ICRA, Stephen served on the US Child Online Protection Commission (COPA) in 2000 and was named one of the Top 50 UK Movers and Shakers, Internet Magazine, 2001.
In 1994, Stephen was named the first Executive Director of the Recreational Software Advisory Council (RSAC) which created a unique self-labeling system for computer games and then, in 1996, Stephen launched RSACi – a forerunner to the ICRA website labeling system. For his efforts in online safety, Stephen was given the 1998 Carl Bertelsmann Prize in Gutersloh, Germany, for innovation and responsibility in the Information Society and was invited to the first and subsequent White House Internet Summits during the Clinton Administration.
Stephen’s other positions include the Executive Director of the National Stepfamily Association (UK); General Secretary of the Islington Voluntary Action Council; Executive Director of Camden Community Transport as well as management positions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London) and Inter-Action. Stephen’s first job was with Burroughs Machines (now Unisys) and he had a spell working for West Nally Ltd – a sports sponsorship PR company.
Stephen received a BA, magna cum laude, in Psychology from University College, Cardiff, Wales in 1977. A native of Washington, DC, Stephen spent many years in the UK and is now has dual citizenship. He writes regularly for the Huffington Post, appears often on TV and has appeared on nationally syndicated TV and radio programs such as MSNBC, CNN, NPR and the BBC and has been interviewed by leading newspapers such as the Washington Post, New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, radio and in the mainstream press. He has given presentations and spoken in 15 countries on 4 continents.