David Becker leads a first-of-its-kind, non-partisan non-profit dedicated to improving election administration through research, data, and technology. CEIR’s objective is to reverse the historical decline in voter turnout and give election officials tools for ensuring that all eligible voters can vote conveniently in a system with maximum integrity.
Prior to founding CEIR, Becker was director of the elections program at The Pew Charitable Trusts. He focused on driving reforms in election administration, including using technology to inform voters and assess election performance. through better data; and upgrading voter registration systems. He also led Pew’s analysis and advocacy on elections issues, conducting campaigns in dozens of red and blue states directing partnerships with state agencies, and with private sector partners like Google, IBM and Facebook.
Before joining Pew, Becker served for seven years as a senior trial attorney in the Voting Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, where he led numerous investigations into violations of federal voting laws.
Becker has written about voting and elections for publications including the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the University of California, Berkeley, and The Hill. He holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.
Scientist and entrepreneur Jeff Jonas has spent three decades working to solve some of the world’s most complex business and big data problems while advocating for privacy and civil liberties. A former IBM fellow, Jonas is the leading creator of entity resolution systems. National Geographic recognized him as the “Wizard of Big Data,” and today numerous organizations rely on his systems to extract useful intelligence from tsunamis of data.
He has tackled many high-profile challenges, including identifying potential terrorists, detecting fraudulent behavior in casinos, connecting loved ones after a natural disaster, and modernizing voter registration systems. His company, Senzing, focuses on solving a critical missing link for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Prior to founding Senzing, Jonas served as chief scientist of context computing at IBM. He led a team focused on creating next-generation context computing technology, code-named G2. While at IBM, G2 was deployed to modernize U.S. voter registration through a joint effort with Pew Charitable Trust, and help the Singaporean government build a maritime domain awareness system to better protect the Malacca Straights.
Jonas serves on the boards of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), and the advisory board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). He is a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and a distinguished engineer of information systems (adjunct) at Singapore Management University (SMU).
Jonas was awarded an honorary Ph.D. in science in 2015 from Claremont Graduate University, he is the author or co-author of 14 patents. A dedicated triathlete, Jonas is one of only three people in the world to complete every Ironman triathlon currently on the global circuit.
Alastair Mactaggart has been building housing in the Bay Area for over 20 years. He believes that all Californians, and people worldwide, should have the fundamental right of data privacy and be able to control their OWN personal information. He believes that it's not right that companies you’ve never heard of, can buy more information about you (and sell it for a profit), than even your closest friends know. And that you have no control over the process. As a father to three young children, he advocates for the online privacy of children and believes that parents should have a choice about how their family's data is sold. Alastair is married and lives in the Bay Area.
Farhad Manjoo is an influential Silicon Valley voice and a technology columnist for The New York Times. Tapped to write the Times’ “State of the Art” column after the departure of Yahoo Tech founder David Pogue, Manjoo reviews the latest devices and innovations in addition to a wide variety of tech-related topics including the emergence of new media, Silicon Valley and start-up culture, and the ways in which politics, society, and business are being shaped by the rapid emergence of new technologies.
Formerly a columnist with The Wall Street Journal and Slate and a tech news writer for Wired, Manjoo has been covering technology since the last dot-com boom, closely following the rise and occasional fall of the sector’s biggest names. Manjoo discusses impending disruptions, the future of how we live and work, and what these changes will mean for specific industries.
In addition to his writing and reporting, Manjoo co-hosts the tech podcast “The Jay & Farhad Show” with CNBC executive editor Jay Yarow and frequently hosts panel discussions at tech conferences including SXSW and CES, where he has interviewed tech CEOs and influencers including Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield. Manjoo is also the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society, which examines the emergence of “fact-free spin and propaganda” on the internet as well as a forthcoming book based on a prior cover story about tech giants Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
Born in South Africa, Manjoo has a degree from Cornell University, where he was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.
Zeynep Tufekci is an associate professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with an affiliate appointment at the Department of Sociology. She is also a faculty associate at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and was previously a fellow at the Center for Information Technology Policy at the Princeton University.
Tufekci’s research interests revolve around the intersection of technology and society. Her academic work focuses on social movements and civics, privacy and surveillance, and social interaction. She is also increasingly known for her work on “Big Data” and algorithmic decision making.
Originally from Turkey, and formerly a computer programmer, Tufekci became interested in the social impacts of technology and began to focus on how digital and computational technology interact with social, political and cultural dynamics. Her work has appeared in a wide range of outlets, from peer-reviewed journals to traditional media and blogging platforms. Her forthcoming book Beautiful Teargas: The Ecstatic, Fragile Politics of Networked Protest in the 21st Century, to be published by Yale University Press, will examine the dynamics, strengths and weaknesses of 21st century social movements.
Tricia Wang is a global technology ethnographer and co-founder of Sudden Compass, a consulting, research, and training firm working with organizations that use data to understand people.
Recognized as a leading authority on social media, youth, human-centered design, and Chinese internet culture, Wang’s work has been featured in The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Fast Company, Makeshift, and Wired.
Wang advises corporations and startups on integrating “Big Data” and what she calls Thick Data—data brought to light using digital age ethnographic research methods that uncover emotions, stories, and meaning—to improve strategy, policy, products, and services. She has worked with organizations including P&G, Nokia, GE, Kickstarter, the United Nations and NASA.
Wang has a bachelor arts degree in communication and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at San Diego. She holds affiliate positions at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). She is also a Fulbright Fellow and National Science Foundation Fellow where she is the first Western scholar to work with China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) in Beijing, China.