Rebecca MacKinnon is a Senior Research Fellow at the New America Foundation,where she focuses on the intersection of Internet policy, human rights, and corporate accountability. In 2013 she is partnering with the University of Pennsylvania and Internews on a new project called Ranking Digital Rights, bringing together research partners from around the globe to develop a sound methodology to assess, compare, and ultimately rank the world’s most powerful information communications technology (ICT) companies on free expression and privacy criteria.
From 2010-2012 MacKinnon received a Bernard L. Schwartz Fellowship from the New America Foundation, enabling her to complete her first book, Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom (Basic Books, 2012) which was awarded the 2013 Goldsmith Book Prize. In 2012 MacKinnon was also named Hearst Professional-in-residence by Columbia Journalism School and listed by the Columbia Journalism Review as one of “40 women who changed the media business in the past 40 years” primarily due to her role as cofounder of the international citizen media network, Global Voices Online. She also serves on the Boards of Directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder organization that advances corporate responsibility and human rights in the technology sector.
Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, MacKinnon worked as a journalist for CNN in Beijing for nine years and was Beijing Bureau Chief and Correspondent from 1998-2001, then served as CNN’s Tokyo Bureau Chief and Correspondent from 2001-03. From 2004-06 she was a Research Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, where she began her ongoing research and writing about the Chinese Internet in addition to launching Global Voices with colleague Ethan Zuckerman. In 2007-08 she taught online journalism at the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre. In 2009 she conducted research and writing as an Open Society Fellow, and in the Spring of 2010 she was a Visiting Fellow at Princeton’s Center or Information Technology Policy. MacKinnon received her AB magna cum laude from Harvard College and was a Fullbright scholar in Taiwan in 1991-92.
(Photo credit: Brooke Bready)