On Thursday, November 21st, the Family Online Safety Institute hosted its 2019 Annual Conference, entitled "2020 Vision: The Future of Online Safety." This event convened leaders across industry, government, academia, and the nonprofit sector to discuss a wide spectrum of topics within the areas of best practice in technology policy, digital parenting, privacy, ethics, and artificial intelligence, among many more.
Patricia Vance, President of the Entertainment Software Rating Board and Chair of the FOSI Board, opened the event. Stephen Balkam, FOSI CEO, delivered keynote remarks.
The first presentation of the day was the launch of the new whitepaper, Online Safety in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. FOSI released the paper in partnership with the firm Kaleido Insights, and the presentation was conducted by analyst Jessica Groopman, who co-authored the paper. Ms. Groopman talked through the main themes of the paper, namely the need to connect the emerging technological phenomena of artificial intelligence and its implications with key actions needed to advance a culture of responsibility online across the stakeholder spectrum.
These ideas transitioned into the first plenary panel discussion of the day, a further exploration of Online Safety in an AI World, featuring additional speakers from the Aspen Institute, Intel, and the Future of Privacy Forum. The panelists considered the conclusions raised in the whitepaper, while further discussing the challenges and opportunities presented by advanced technologies in the years to come, both for industry and society.
Stephen Balkam conducted a one-to-one fireside chat with Josh Sherman, Director of Kids and Family at Amazon. They discussed the role of tech companies in creating both kid-safe products and content. Sherman referenced the “walled garden” approach Amazon has taken to curating the material that kids can access through their products, and the ways that the company has incorporated the best interests of parents and families into their approach to privacy.
Rosie and Lucy Thomas of Australia’s PROJECT ROCKIT gave a featured presentation about their organization’s approach to fighting hate and bullying online. By involving young people directly and giving them agency and ownership over their digital lives, PROJECT ROCKIT seeks to empower youth to be upstanders online, showing kindness and compassion to create a sense of positive, supportive community on social media.
The morning’s keynote address came from Federal Trade Commissioner Christine S. Wilson. The Commissioner discussed legislation, the upcoming potential changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and the need to be strong and proactive around keeping kids safe online. She also discussed her family’s personal experience with tech use and online bullying, emphasizing the need for kids to learn about digital citizenship at home first, with the involvement of parents.
Morning breakout sessions explored a diverse set of topics. A panel focused on privacy and COPPA further explored the state of online safety legislation, self-regulatory efforts, safe harbors, and education technology. A forward-thinking look at the future of new technologies and corporate social responsibility convened a panel of industry experts who discussed parental controls, age verification, and the many challenges of digital parenting. Shining a Light on The Dark Corners of the Web highlighted the achievements and ongoing challenges of those working to combat illegal material online in the law enforcement community. Additionally, a panel of high school teens participated in a live recording of the podcast Their Own Devices, conducted by experts Marc Groman and David Reitman.
Afternoon breakout sessions featured a panel on digital play, It’s Play Time! which convened top names in the toys and gaming industry such as Mattel, Roblox, LEGO, and Sesame Workshop, with moderation by Boston Children’s Hospital. Is Being Online Time Well Spent? addressed digital wellbeing from the perspectives of Google, ESRB, Crisis Text Line, and the psychology field. Panelists covered how individuals and families can work to find a healthy tech balance using the tools and controls available to them, and how technology is intertwined with aspects of mental health. What is the Research Telling Us? convened top thinkers in the research space from the Oxford Internet Institute and the Universities of Michigan and Wisconsin, along with AT&T and Microsoft, to dive into the latest online safety reports. Topics included online safety legislation (particularly CAMRA), product design and the way it may change how kids interact with entertainment technology, and trends in social media use among teens.
In the final plenary panel of the day, representatives from NetSafe New Zealand, Twitter, GSMA, the Mercatus Center, and the App Association discussed The Future of Online Safety Policy, taking an international look at the impact of online safety policies such as Europe’s GDPR and Section 230 in the US. The strengths and weaknesses of algorithms were discussed, as well as the need for strategic and forward-looking approaches to content moderation and crisis response for online platforms.
Family Toolbox in a Digital Age featured a one-to-one chat between Antigone Davis, Facebook’s Global Head of Online Safety, and Mimi Ito of University California Irvine and the Connected Learning Lab. In addition to reiterating the need to protect kids online, Davis and Ito’s session expanded on the many opportunities that kids benefit from in their digital lives, specifically the ability to connect with others that share their passions and to have a space in which to create meaningful community. Their discussion also covered the need for parents in particular to take part and listen to what is happening in their kids’ digital lives as a way to connect with them.
The final session of the day featured a presentation by author and filmmaker Tiffany Shlain, who spoke about the themes of her new book, 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day Per Week. Shlain was then joined by Mary Jordan of The Washington Post for a discussion about the social and personal implications of heavy screen use and our highly connected lives: what we benefit from, and what we can improve by taking a more critical look at how, why, and when we pick up our devices.
Videos from the plenary sessions and presentations can be viewed on FOSI's YouTube channel.
Vice President and Associate General Counsel
NCTA – The Internet and Television Association
Svetlana S. Gans is Vice President and Associate General Counsel at NCTA – The Internet and Television Association handling competition and consumer protection policy matters. Prior to joining NCTA in July 2018, Ms. Gans served as the Chief of Staff to Maureen K. Ohlhausen, the Acting Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. As Chief of Staff, Ms. Gans created, executed, and oversaw strategic initiatives to advance the Chairman’s priorities to promote the agency’s consumer protection and competition mission. She served as the Chairman’s liaison to other federal and state agencies, members of Congress and Congressional committees, and other stakeholders on matters within the Commission’s jurisdiction. She also advised the Chairman on agency operational matters, a wide array of policy issues in the competition and consumer protection space, and Bureau investigations and litigation.
Previously, Ms. Gans served as Commissioner Ohlhausen’s attorney advisor focusing on marketing, advertising, COPPA and other privacy matters. Earlier, Ms. Gans spent several years as a senior litigator within the FTC’s Bureau of Competition and Bureau of Consumer Protection, handling litigation and policy matters on a wide array of issues, including proposed mergers and acquisitions, telemarketing and online fraud, business opportunity scams, and federal warranty policy.
Ms. Gans has served in the ABA Antitrust Law Section’s leadership since 2005 in a variety of roles including Co-Chair of the 2019 Tech Summit, Committee Operations, Content Delivery, Long-Range Planning, the 2017 Antitrust Fall Forum, and the 600-member Consumer Protection Committee. Ms. Gans currently serves as a member of the Antitrust Law Section Council, a board member of the Washington, DC/Baltimore Chapter of WICT – Women in Cable Telecommunications, and in the Federal Communications Bar Association. Ms. Gans actively mentors younger lawyers and law students interested in antitrust and consumer protection work.
Association for Competitive Technology
Morgan Reed is the president of ACT | The App Association, representing more than 5,000 app makers and connected device companies in the mobile economy. Mr. Reed leads the organization’s advocacy and strategy on behalf of small to medium size businesses on policy issues such as privacy, intellectual property, competition, and small business innovation.
Developers, policymakers, and media regularly seek his insight and commentary for the developer perspective on privacy issues, including cybersecurity and encryption. He has testified before the House Commerce Subcommittee on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and recently presented at the Federal Trade Commission’s Public Workshop on the future of COPPA. He is also an author and contributor to several industry related white papers on privacy by design and remains an active open source and iOS licensed developer.
Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU)
Dona Fraser is a leading privacy expert with a passion for building creative solutions to business problems. As the Vice President of the BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), Dona provides a deep understanding of the marketplace challenges facing children’s advertisers, and the complexities of children’s privacy issues. She also brings extensive experience in the self-regulation space with a track record of helping companies do the right thing. The CARU team ensures companies are compliant under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and monitors and works with companies to improve privacy protections to stay in compliance and address the collection of children’s data online. CARU was one of the first FTC approved Safe Harbor programs. Dona has overhauled and expanded CARU services to align with market needs, growing members and increasing safe harbor participants by 40 percent in two years.Before joining BBB National Programs, Dona served as Vice President, Privacy Certified for the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), a self-regulatory program developed by the video game industry, for ten years. In this role, Dona was responsible for providing hands-on assistance to participating companies on development of data collection and privacy practices to meet ESRB standards. She also crafted privacy best practices in several areas including mobile apps, downloadable games, short-form privacy policies, behavioral advertising and social networking. Prior to ESRB, Dona served as a Director of Business and Legal Affairs for music labels at BMG/Sony Music in New York.
Boston Children's Hospital
Kristelle Lavallee is the Content Strategist at the Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH) at Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as the child development expert at Mediatrics Inc., and the second half of the Ask the Mediatrician podcast. Kristelle has co-authored numerous journal articles, book chapters and academic papers and her work has been presented at psychological, communications and education conferences around the world. She is an instructor of health communications at Tufts University and speaks locally and internationally to clinician, parent, educator, tech, and community groups about the influence and importance of media and media literacy on family and child health.
Product Portfolio Manager
Tina is a Product Portfolio Manager at Comcast where she is responsible for family mentor and parental control features in Comcast xFi. She focuses on tools and technology solutions to help parents navigate through the digital playground and for families to create healthy online habits.
In her prior role, she was a senior product manager working on the Xfinity Home product delivering home automation solutions.
Tina has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Rice University and currently resides in California with her husband and children.
Crisis Text Line
Shawn Rodriguez is the General Counsel for Crisis Text Line -- a nonprofit which provides free crisis support at your fingertips, 24/7, via text message, exchanging over 125 million messages with texters in the U.S. since its August 2013 launch, and performing over 30,000 rescues of texters at imminent risk of suicide.
Shawn oversees all legal matters for the org, leads its legal and public safety advisory boards, and has facilitated its expansion into several international markets since joining the org in 2018. He works to support and protect all facets of the org, including its state of the art tech and data teams, clinical supervisors, and thousands of volunteer Crisis Counselors.
Before joining Crisis Text Line, Shawn was an associate at the global law firm of Gibson Dunn, working on white collar criminal defense, governmental and internal investigations, complex commercial litigation, employment law, and privacy matters.
Shawn is also the proud son of a retired NYPD detective.
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.
Director, Government Affairs
Microsoft, FOSI US Board Chair*
Caroline Curtin joined Microsoft in 2008 and is a Director within Microsoft’s U.S. Government Affairs team, where she advocates on policy, regulatory and legislative matters related to gaming. Among other issues, she has worked on child safety, child privacy and content issues that affect Microsoft’s gaming platform. In 2009, Caroline helped launch Microsoft’s Get Game Smart Campaign, a national public education campaign created to help educate parents, children and policymakers about the safety and privacy tools provided by Xbox.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Caroline worked at America Online as the Director of Children’s Privacy, Advertising and Safety Policies. A former Federal Trade Commission attorney, Caroline joined the Federal Trade Commission as a staff attorney in the Division of Advertising Practices where she pursued cases of misleading and unfair advertising. She was part of the FTC’s first Internet Privacy Task Force and co-authored, “Privacy Online: A Report to Congress”, a report that recommended Congress develop legislation to place parents in control of the online collection and use of their children’s personal information. Caroline began her legal career as a judicial clerk working for the Honorable Mildred M. Edwards at DC Superior Court.
Caroline graduated from Duke University with honors and received her JD from Georgetown University Law Center. She is the proud mom of Caroline and John Goddard.
Head of Public Policy and Consumer Affairs
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.
Chief Information Security Officer
Fares Alraie is chief information security officer (CISO) of Mattel. In this role, he leads a global team that ensures the safety and security of Mattel’s information assets and network, as well as internal and external products and services. His responsibilities include Corporate Security, Privacy, Architecture and Engineering, Security Event Management and Incident Response. Fares also oversees security governance, risk, and compliance (GRC), access management, data security, cryptographic key management, business continuity, disaster recovery, emergency management and privacy. Fares joins Mattel in 2018 after serving as CISO and Vice president or product management at Vituity/MedAmerica.
There, he led a team responsible for enterprise Information Security, including security architecture and engineering programs, product security, security testing, machine learning, telehealth, and regulatory compliance. Prior to this position, Fares was Head of Product Security and Assurance at Visa where he grew and led a global cyber security team responsible for the company’s full life cycle product security (secure SDLC), including technical security assessments, privacy, exception risk governance, supply chain risk management, vulnerability management, pen testing, and security sensor analytics. This role included security integration for well known products such as Apple Pay (tokenization) and the VisaNet Electronic payment system. He also served for many years as a technical security specialist for Royal Bank of Canada.
Fares serves on a variety of client advisory boards for security companies and products. He has extensive experience driving corporate adoption of leading edge cyber security technologies, audit level compliance and privacy to key security regulatory and industry standards (ISO, NIST, COBIT, et Al). His academic field of study was computer science at a Canadian university.
Director of Kids and Family
Josh is the Director of Kids and Family for Amazon leading the business, product, design, research, and marketing teams that work on digital and hardware products for kids and families. Previously, Josh was the Director of FreeTime on Alexa where he launched and oversaw the company’s development of FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited software for kids on Alexa-enabled products, including the Echo Dot Kids Edition and the Echo family of devices. Josh is at the forefront of innovation, leading the Amazon FreeTime team in what has become a multi-award winning, best-in-class software experience for kids and families.
An Amazon veteran since 1998, Josh has has touched many parts of the business across multiple disciplines throughout his 21+ year tenure, from helping customers on the front line as a Customer Service representative, to making major contributions to the Kindle and AmazonFresh businesses.
Josh has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Washington and currently lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife and 9 year-old son.
Chicago Police Department
Amy Barnes is a Police Officer with the Chicago Police Department. Amy has been with the department for 17 years, and is currently assigned to a task force team that assists the Chicago Public Schools with safety issues. One of the key topics is online social media safety. Amy coordinates with Public School officials to look at social media threats to schools, along with online gang activity among students. Amy has conducted numerous interventions with students about online safety and enjoys teaching others about the impacts of social media.
Chief Executive Officer
As the Chief Executive Officer, Martin leads the Netsafe team. He oversees the development of partner relationships in NZ and internationally – and can often be seen or heard in the media explaining online challenges and opportunities for New Zealanders. Martin’s knowledge is sought out by many in NZ and beyond.
Director, Product Management and Marketing
Erin Riggins is a director of product management and marketing in Verizon’s Consumer Group, where she is responsible for the long term strategy and daily optimization of the family portfolio of products, including Verizon’s Smart Family parental controls application, GizmoWatch children’s wearable device, and more. She also has responsibility for product marketing across the wireless portfolio.
Prior to this role, Erin led the device launch and program management team, where she was responsible for the department’s day-to-day operations, executive communications, launch readiness for connected devices, and business intelligence for wireless products.
Prior to Verizon, Erin spent over 15 years in sports media and technology, helping to build global brands through the development of content and marketing communications across TV, digital, retail and print.
Erin holds a Bachelor’s degree from Hampton University and earned an MBA from Fordham University. She resides in New Jersey with her husband and children.
National Criminal Justice Training Center of Fox Valley Technical College
Lt. Joe Laramie (ret) is a Program Manager with the National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC) of Fox Valley Technical College working in the Missing and Exploited Children’s and the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Training and Technical Assistance Programs. He retired from the Glendale, Missouri Police Department, with more than 30 years of child protection, investigation and training experience. During his time with Glendale PD he was child abuse investigator, created the Greater St. Louis ICAC Task Force, and became the founding Commander of the Missouri ICAC Task Force. He later was an Administrator with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, with responsibility for online crimes against children, human trafficking and the computer forensic lab. He served as a subject matter expert on the Missouri Governor’s Cyberbullying Task Force, the Missouri Task Force for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and the International Association of Chiefs of Police Child Sex Trafficking Training Project. He is currently serving on the Tennessee DCS Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Committee, and the Board of Directors for the Davis House, a Child Advocacy Center in his home of Franklin, TN.
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.
Section 504 Compliance Officer
Federal Communication Commissionn
Gerard Williams is the Section 504 Compliance Officer at the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and a certified professional American Sign Language interpreter. As the 504 Compliance officer he is responsible for ensuring that people with disabilities have access to the programs and activities of the FCC through policy, accommodation provision, and consultation with stakeholders. A graduate of the George Washington University’s Theatre Arts Department with a Master’s Degree in Interpretation from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, he moved to the FCC in 2014 from successful private practice as an ASL interpreter. As a father of two in a bilingual household (ASL and English), he is passionate about the intersection of technology, accessibility, and family.
Director of Education Policy, Programs and Student Privacy
Software & Information Industry Association’s (SIIA)
Sara Kloek is the Software & Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) director of Education Policy, Programs and Student Privacy. Most recently, Sara was the senior privacy and technology fellow at the U.S. Department of Education in the Office of the Chief Privacy Officer. Much of her time there was spent leading interagency discussions and subsequent negotiations on joint guidance on student privacy and educational technology. She also provided technical assistance to states, districts, schools and companies through ED’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center. Prior to her fellowship, she led the development of privacy and transparency best practices at Know What’s Inside and served as an education policy advisor to a senior member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Sara is an International Association of Privacy Professionals Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US) and is an enthusiastic advocate for education technology, clear privacy policies, and bees.
Center for Democracy & Technology
Natasha works to advance responsible, equitable, and rights-respecting policies around the use of data and technology. She covers a wide range of issues including privacy legislation, fairness in algorithmic decision making, and protecting civil rights and liberties from over-reaching surveillance. Natasha holds a J.D. and masters degree from the University of North Carolina.
Director, Media Psychology Program
Fielding Graduate University,
Jerri Lynn Hogg is a media psychologist, director of the Media Psychology program at Fielding Graduate University, 2015 President of the American Psychological Association’s Society for Media Psychology and Technology, co-creator of Fielding’s Certificate in Brand Psychology and Audience Engagement, and co-author of Mad Men Unzipped. She integrates her passion for telehealth, technology, and digital environments with research to advance the understanding of the positive use of media and technologies and their physical, cognitive, and emotional impact. Jerri Lynn is a coveted industry speaker and with over 50 scholarly presentations on media psychology, is a pioneer in the field of Media Psychology. She recently spent six months working with the U.S. DOD Global Operations on an anti-terrorism simulation using narrative psychology to degrade terrorist messaging.
Her current focus is on screen time for young children, media initiative for peace building with young children; brand psychology strategies; augmented and virtual environment design solutions; and narrative messaging for positive change.
Jerri Lynn is a frequent expert speaker on immersive media (ISMAR, AWE, Digital Hollywood, & American Psychological Association) with several publications on augmented and virtual reality including “Cognitive Design Considerations for Augmented Reality”, “Audience Profiling: Engaging in the AR/VR/Realtime World”, “ What Is the Real World Anyway? Exploring Design in Built and Virtual Worlds?”, and “Sense of presence”. She is currently working IEEE for standards in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.
You can find her on Twitter @HoggJL. She also authors a blog for PsychologyToday.com called “The Digital Life.”
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Medstar-Georgetown University Hospital
Dr. David Reitman is a board certified sub-specialist in adolescent medicine. He is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and an attending adolescent medicine physician at Medstar-Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. Dr. Reitman also serves as the Medical Director of American University’s Student Health Center. Prior to joining American University in 2013, Dr. Reitman was the Chairman of Pediatrics and the Medical Directer of the Pediatric Emergency Center at Suburban Hospital-Johns Hopkins Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland.
Dr. Reitman lectures nationally and internationally on topics pertaining to the health of adolescents and young adults. He is a widely respected expert on the unique physical and mental health issues that impact the LGBTQ community. Dr. Reitman has been concerned about teen Internet safety for over a decade, and in 2010 published “Promoting Safe Use of Electronic Media” in Consultant for Pediatricians - one of the earlier articles to address this issue. Most recently, he is sharing his professional expertise and personal experience as a dad in a new format: Their Own Devices- a weekly podcast that tackles the diverse challenges MTV-generation parents face raising YouTube kids.
Dr. Reitman graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University, and received his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. He first trained as a pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and then he completed a sub-specialty fellowship in Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Children's National Medical Center in 2005. In addition, Dr. Reitman holds an MBA in healthcare administration from Regis University, and has taken extensive continuing medical education courses in the areas of addiction medicine and treating mental health issues.
Associate Research Specialist
Social Media & Adolescent Health Research Team, University of Wisconsin
Kole joined the SMAHRT team in November of 2017 as an Associate Research Specialist. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May of 2017 with a BS in Biology. Kole is applying to medical school and focus on her interests of technology and adolescent health and well-being. Her research interests include, the role of technology on youth wellbeing as well as displayed health risk behavior on social media. Additionally, she is interested in how technology can be used to improve communication and health care provided to adolescents.
Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
Jennifer Huddleston is a Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason
University. Her research focuses on the intersection of emerging technology and law
and covers topics including data privacy, liability issues regarding online platforms and
emerging technologies, autonomous vehicles and micromobility, and the benefits of
technology and innovation. Her work has appeared in Colorado Technology Law
Journal, The Journal of Internet Law, Business Insider, Slate, USA Today, the Chicago
Tribune, The Hill, and U.S. News and World Report. Jennifer has a JD from the
University Of Alabama School Of Law and a BA in political science at Wellesley
Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan
Roland Graf is a co-founder of the artist collective Assocreation and Associate Professor at the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, where he has started several art & technology research initiatives including Daylight Media Lab, a collaboration with material scientists and engineers exploring sunlight as a medium for interactive outdoor media systems; Internet of Shoes (IoS), a sensory networking platform for street-level interactions in collaboration with embedded systems research; and, in collaboration with computer engineers, iGYM, an inclusive augmented reality system designed to provide co-located play and exercise opportunities for people with different abilities.
Graf works as a media artist, design researcher, architect, and inventor. He collaborates across many disciplines to design and study novel interfaces that inspire ludic behavior and reframe the body and interactivity in the built environment. Over the past 20 years, his work has been exhibited internationally and published in academic conferences such as CHI and CHI Play. It has received awards, patents, and recognition in fields ranging from interactive art, design, to human-computer interaction including Excellence Award at the Japan Media Arts Festival for the street video game Solar Pink Pong, Prix Ars Electronica Distinction for the interactive sidewalk Bump, and Winner of the Play Everywhere Challenge with the urban intervention Brightmoor Runway.
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.
Senior Counsel and Director of Strategy
Future of Privacy Forum
Brenda Leong, CIPP/US, is Senior Counsel and Director of Artificial Intelligence and Ethics at the Future of Privacy Forum. She oversees development of privacy analysis of AI and Machine Learning technologies, manages the FPF portfolio on biometrics and digital identity, particularly facial recognition, along with the ethics challenges of these emerging systems. She works on industry standards and collaboration on privacy and responsible data management, by partnering with stakeholders and advocates to reach practical solutions for consumer and commercial data uses. Prior to working at FPF, Brenda served in the U.S. Air Force, including policy and legislative affairs work from the Pentagon and the U.S. Department of State. She is a 2014 graduate of George Mason University School of Law.
UX Director for Google Play
Mindy is the Director of User Experience for Google Play and Google’s kids and family initiative. Her kids and family team focuses on designing technology that meets the needs of families around the world, and helps other teams understand developmental principles for families that help drive product design and vision. One such product is Family Link, Google’s parental control offering that helps families create healthy digital habits.
Mindy spent more than six years at Sesame Street, most recently as Director of Content and Innovation Research. She also was the first consumer insights researcher at Netflix to focus on kids and family. Mindy has a BA in Psychology and a MA in Applied Developmental and Educational psychology from New York University.
Executive Director, Socrates Program
The Aspen Institute
Nationally recognized for cross-sector successes in philanthropy, education and technology; currently leading the Aspen Institute Socrates Program, a values/ethics-based global education forum for leaders. Previous to the Aspen Institute, Cordell held leadership roles with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Business Roundtable, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and the IBM Corporation.
Honors include: an Eisenhower Fellowship to China; designation as a White House Champion of Change for Computer Science Education; designation as a “40 under 40” by business and civic organizations in Washington State and Tennessee; University of Notre Dame Law School alumni of the year awardee; selections as a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow for Young American Leaders and a Broad Foundation Resident in Urban Education. Current board service includes the Advisory Council for the Center for Democracy and Technology, Alumni Council for Cultural Vistas, AIPAC National Council and the Blockchain start-up Injii (Puerto Rico). He previously served on the boards of the United Way of Greater Chattanooga, United Way of King County, Downtown Seattle YMCA and the Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation (Chattanooga, TN).
Mr. Carter writes and speaks on topics such as philanthropy, education and social impact on panels, conferences and seminars, speaking and moderator appearances include: 2019 Spark Innovation Festival (Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina); 2019 Concordia Summit (Bogota, Colombia); 2019 Young Leaders Academy of Macedonia (Skopje, Macedonia); 2018 Blockchain Trends Summit (Seoul, South Korea); 2018 The Wright (Golden, CO); 2018 SXSW Festival (Austin, TX); 2017 YSEALI Summit (Manila, Philippines); Confluence ROME (Rome, GA); Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank District's Reinventing Community Conference (Philadelphia, PA); US News STEM Solutions Leadership Summit (Dallas, TX); ACT Board of Directors Annual Meeting (Washington, DC); Council of Chief State Schools Officers Legislative Conference (Washington, DC); and the Association for Career and Technical Education's National Policy Seminar (Washington, DC).
Cordell earned a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School, a M.Sc. in Public Policy and Management Studies from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington.
University of Oxford
Prof. Andrew K. Przybylski, University of Oxford is an experimental psychologist and Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute. His work is mainly concerned with applying psychological models of motivation and health to study how people interact with virtual environments including video games and social media. Professor Przybylski is particularly interested is integrating open, robust, and reproducible science with evidence-based policymaking in the digital age.
Joan Ganz Cooney Center
Michael Preston, PhD is the Executive Director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, a pioneering thought leader at the intersection of technology, media, and children’s learning. He leads the Center’s efforts to explore new frontiers and new literacies, support and translate research into action, and guide the field toward better opportunities and outcomes for kids.
Michael Preston brings more than 20 years of experience leading innovation in educational technology at both local and national levels. His work has focused on using technology to improve teaching and learning, drive student agency and interest, and create models for systemic change in both K-12 and university contexts. Most recently, he co-founded CSforALL, the hub for the national Computer Science for All movement. CSforALL began as an initiative of CSNYC, where Preston launched a 10-year partnership with New York City to provide high-quality computer science to every student in the nation’s largest public school system. CSforALL now helps other cities and regions across the country replicate the progress made in New York.
Prior to his work with CSNYC and CSforALL, Preston designed and led digital learning initiatives at the New York City Department of Education, including programs in middle and high school computer science, personalized learning, and digital literacy. At Columbia University’s Center for Teaching and Learning, he led software development projects and research studies on multimedia analysis tools. Preston has taught courses in psychology and research methods at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he earned a PhD in Cognitive Science in Education. He also holds a BA in East Asian Studies from Harvard University.
Federal Trade Commission
Christine S. Wilson was sworn in on September 26, 2018 as a Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission. President Donald J. Trump named Wilson to a term that expires on Sept. 25, 2025.
Wilson previously served at the FTC as Chairman Tim Muris’ Chief of Staff during the George W. Bush Administration, and as a law clerk in the Bureau of Competition while attending Georgetown University Law Center.
In between her periods of service at the FTC, Wilson has practiced competition and consumer protection law both at law firms and as in-house counsel. When nominated, Wilson was serving as Senior Vice President — Legal, Regulatory & International for Delta Air Lines. Prior to joining Delta, Wilson was a member of the Washington DC antitrust practice groups of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and O’Melveny & Myers LLP. Early in her career, Wilson worked with former Assistant Attorney General James F. Rill at Collier Shannon Rill & Scott on a variety of competition law and policy initiatives, including the final report of the International Competition Policy Advisory Committee commissioned by Attorney General Janet Reno.
Wilson graduated cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, where she worked as a research assistant for Professor Steve Salop. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Florida, where she majored in political science and studied antitrust law with Professor Roger Blair.
VP of Product Delivery
Leena Elias is VP of Product Delivery within Avast’s consumer business. Leena leads the implementation and delivery of Avast’s solutions to partners globally. She manages the Product Management, Project Management and Customer Success teams work with our partners day-to-day on applications that span parental controls, location, security and IoT.
Leena Elias is an experienced technical leader with a track record of successfully delivering complex cross-functional programs. Ms. Elias’ broad working experience includes IT Consulting, Engineering Management, Client Services, Operations, and Customer Success. Prior to joining Avast, Leena was Head of Professional Services at Narvar, a SaaS platform for retail operations. Before joining Narvar, she was Director of Technical Services at Moovweb, a SaaS company focused on cloud-based mobile experience optimization, where she lead a global team of engineers to deliver post-sales technical services offerings including implementation, onboarding and ongoing support.
Leena holds an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
Head of Global Public Policy
Wenchi Yu is the head of global public policy for VIPKid, one of the world’s largest education technology companies. She also led the launch of VIPKid’s social impact initiative, including aKIDemic, a non-profit organization that promotes online education. Before joining VIPKid, Wenchi was the Head of Corporate Engagement for Goldman Sachs in Asia. She also spent significant time in the government and non-profit before joining the private sector. She was an appointee in the Obama administration’s Department of State, and worked in the US Congress. Wenchi’s writing has appeared in the Council on Foreign Relations, Wall Street Journal, the Forbes, and other media outlets.
Director of Programs
Child Rescue Coalition
Glen Pounder serves as Director of Programs for Child Rescue Coalition, a nonprofit organization which helps rescue children from sexual abuse by providing technology to law enforcement (free of charge) to track, arrest and prosecute child predators. He acts as the organization’s liaison with national and international law enforcement partners, to expand the use of CRC’s cutting-edge tool — Child Protection System (CPS) Technology — and child protection data product offerings globally.
Prior to joining Child Rescue Coalition, Glen worked in law enforcement for more than 30 years. Throughout his career, he has undertaken numerous investigative and team leadership roles, in the United Kingdom and many other countries, focused on combatting child abuse and against the top echelons of serious crime.
Glen is fluent in Portuguese and is completing a Master’s degree in Internet Law and Policy from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland.
Senior Director Government & Public Affairs, Americas
The LEGO Group
Jennifer is responsible for policy and regulatory issues management and public affairs across North and South America. In this role, she works internally and externally to mitigate commercial risks and create opportunities through dedicated stakeholder engagement to further support the LEGO brand reputation and corporate social responsibility efforts. Her policy focus involves chemicals and product safety, responsible digital engagement, environmental sustainability, trade, strategic planning and advocacy. With a decade plus of experience in the toy industry, Jennifer serves in committee chair and board roles for the US and Canadian Toy Association, as well as the LEGO Community Fund, the US philanthropic arm of the LEGO Foundation. She has a Masters in Corporate Environmental Management from the Bren School, University of California Santa Barbara. Jennifer lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.
Jessica Groopman specializes in automation technologies impact business including IoT, AI, and blockchain.
She concentrates on the application of sensors and machine learning with a focus on user experience and data integrity. Past clients range from start-ups to media agencies to large brands including Technicolor, Microsoft, Honeywell, Cisco, Qualcomm, Dell, Intel, DuPont, Pandora, and numerous vendors to develop research, content, and digital strategies.
Jessica is a frequent speaker at IoT industry events. She is also a frequent contributor to numerous blogs and /media outlets. She has been principal analyst with Tractica where she contributed to their automation and robotics practice. She has also served as contributing member of the International IoT Council, the IEEE’s Internet of Things Group, IoT Guru Network, and FC Business Intelligence’s IoT Nexus Advisory Board. Jessica was also included in Onalytica’s list of the 100 Most Influential Thought Leaders in IoT.
Jessica served as research director and principal analyst with Harbor Research and as an industry analyst with Altimeter Group. Earlier, she lead research at Focus Research and was a research analyst at Tippit Research.
Director of Community Safety and Digital Civility
Laura Higgins is Director of Community Safety and Digital Civility at Roblox with more than two decades of experience building proven safeguarding, online safety and civility programs. Roblox’s groundbreaking digital civility initiative is focused on providing the community with the skills needed to create positive online experiences in partnership with the world’s leading safety and industry organizations that drive meaningful change. Civility online is a new concept that’s based on existing principles—that everybody has a part to play in making the digital world a better place. In her previous role with the UK Safer Internet Centre (part of the “Better Internet for Kids” project funded by the European Commission), Laura founded several award-winning services including the Professionals Online Safety Helpline and the world’s first helpline dedicated to supporting victims of image based abuse. Laura has worked with the biggest names in tech sitting on Twitter and Snapchat’s advisory boards. She has spoken on digital safety topics across the globe and regularly appears in the media sharing her expertise with industry experts, parents and kids.
Author, 24/6 The Power of Unplugging One Day A Week
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.
Government & Policy Group
Chloe R. Autio specializes in issues related to artificial intelligence (AI) and privacy within the global public policy group at Intel Corporation. She is based in Washington, DC and helps shape Intel’s policies and advocacy globally. Working with Intel’s research teams, business leads, legal teams, and customers, Chloe focuses on creating best practices for the responsible and inclusive design and deployment of emerging tech.
Prior to joining Intel, Chloe worked on policy and communications for Packet Clearing House, an international organization responsible for providing operational support and security to critical internet infrastructure. She also managed a research lab at Berkeley’s Haas school of Business, exploring the intersection between psychology and technology.
Chloe holds an economics degree from the University of California, Berkeley, where she also studied a range of topics related to technology policy, ethical data use, and the social implications of computing.
Entertainment Software Rating 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.
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.
“Well, what are you going to do about it?”. This is what Rosie’s Mum would say when she came home from school and reported seeing something horrible in the playground. After finishing high school, Rosie decided she was no longer going to stand by and watch bullying destroy the lives of her peers and she’s been honouring that promise by tackling social injustice ever since.
Rosie launched PROJECT ROCKIT with her sister when she was fresh out of high school, and dedicated the last 14 years to growing Australia’s youth-driven movement against bullying, hate and prejudice.
As CEO of Innovation, Rosie is considered one of Australia’s best and brightest emerging change-makers and social innovators. Her work has been recognised by UNICEF among the 12 Digital Champions for Children’s Rights in the Digital Age and was honoured in Washington D.C. with the International Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cybersafety. As well as a number of local awards and honours (listed below), in 2019, Rosie became a recipient of the Order of Australia Medal, recognising her service to young people and her work against bullying.
Rosie is a highly energetic (brace yourselves) and passionate facilitator, keynote speaker and MC. As someone who is dissatisfied with the status quo and impatient for change, Rosie loves helping her audience realise their unique purpose. She is a dynamic and seasoned speaker, having personally presented to over a hundred thousand young people as well as to thousands of grown ups on a range of national, and international, stages.
Rosie is a driver of innovation and is passionate about using business to solve long-standing social problems. In her spare time she acts as a business mentor for local change makers and entrepreneurs.
Growing up, Lucy Thomas always figured that “someone should really do something about bullying.” Then she realised: I am that someone. Now, more than a decade after launching PROJECT ROCKIT, Lucy has dedicated her whole life to the cause. As a keynote speaker and facilitator, Lucy has personally worked with hundreds of thousands of young people all over the world, from Wangaratta to Texas, Wollongong to Auckland, Atherton to Perth. Her work has been honoured by UNICEF, The University of Melbourne, The Foundation of Young Australians, the global Family Online Safety Institute and Lucy is recipient of an Order of Australia Medal for her service to youth and the issue of bullying.
But after building her career tackling bullying, Lucy’s life was fundamentally changed when she became the target of an extended pattern of bullying herself. Instead of hiding away, Lucy took this as an opportunity to connect with even young Aussies and launch herself into advocating for her LGBTIQA+ community. She made global headlines in 2016 when she stood up to a homophobic Uber driver and it went viral (watch her interview with the The Project here). Lucy has since wrapped these personal learnings into her widely received TEDx talk, Kindness: The ultimate rebellion against bullying.
With a blended academic background in Psychology and Creative Arts, Lucy is a mighty force of kindness, equipped with the precious ability to creatively engage young people to generate positive social change.
Cultural Anthropologist, Professor in Residence
Mimi Ito is a cultural anthropologist and learning scientist investigating children and youth’s changing relationships to media and communications. Her work decodes digital youth culture for parents and educators, offering ways to tap interests and digital media to fuel learning that is engaging, relevant, and socially connected. She is the director of the Connected Learning Lab and Professor in Residence and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning at the University of California, Irvine. She is also co-founder of Connected Camps, a non-profit providing online learning experiences for kids in all walks of life. Her most recent books include Participatory Culture in a Networked Era and Affinity Online: How Connection and Shared Interest Fuel Learning.
Director of Global Safety
Antigone spearheads the efforts of Facebook’s Safety Advisory Board, a team of leading safety organizations from across the globe that provide Facebook with cutting edge research and advice on best practices, as well as its Global Safety Network.
Antigone also serves on the International Advisory Board for WePROTECT and the boards of the Family Online Safety Institute, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
Prior to joining Facebook, Antigone spent 10 years working for a State Attorney General. As Senior Advisor to the Attorney General, she helped establish the office’s first online privacy and safety unit. She also led the National Association of Attorneys General’s 2012-2013 presidential initiative “Privacy in the Digital Age.”
Before serving in the public sector, Antigone used her juris doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School as a corporate attorney and her masters in education as a middle school and high school teacher. Antigone received her B.A. from Columbia University.
Co-founder and Executive Chairman
The Providence Group
Dan Caprio, Co-founder and Executive Chairman, is an internationally recognized expert on privacy and cybersecurity. He has served as the Chief Privacy Officer and Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Commerce Department, a transatlantic subject matter expert for the European Commission’s Internet of Things formal expert group, a Chief of Staff for a Federal Trade Commission Commissioner and a member of the Department of Homeland Security Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee. In 2002, Dan was a representative for the United States delegation revising the OECD Security Guidelines that formed the basis for the first White House Strategy to Secure Cyberspace.