Staff

Staff

Access maintains a staff of employees and contractors around the world with offices in New York City, Brussels, San Jose, Santiago, Tunis, and Washington, D.C. Meet Access' current team below.

 

Brett SolomonBrett Solomon | Executive Director | brett [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x4EDC17EB
Brett is co-founder and Executive Director of Access (accessnow.org). Access defends and extends the digital rights of users at risk around the world. By combining innovative policy, user engagement, and direct technical support, the organization fights for open and secure communications for all. Brett sits on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Future of the Internet. Previously, he was Campaign Director at Avaaz.org, a global movement which has rapidly grown into the largest online activist community in the world at almost 20 million subscribers in all 193 countries. He was the first Executive Director of GetUp, an Australian independent political movement which uses new technologies to facilitate Australians' participation in democracy. Brett has worked both locally and internationally on a range of social justice and human rights issues. He honed his career at Oxfam Australia, where he founded the International Youth Parliament (IYP), an international network of young social change leaders from 140 countries tackling issues such as poverty, conflict and globalization. Prior to this, he worked as the Campaign Coordinator for Amnesty International Australia, where his main focus was refugees and asylum seekers, the arms trade and national security. Brett has a bachelors degree in Arts and Law from the University of Sydney and a masters degree in International Law from the University of New South Wales.

 

Gustaf BjorkstenGustaf Björksten | Technology Director | gustaf [at] accessnow [dot] org 0xA70A0F7B
Gustaf has been gaining professional experience as a technologist and information security specialist since 1994, most recently in the area of surveillance technology. He has worked in many different ICT environments and reckons he has seen just about everything. He has worked for dot com startups, led from the front during the internet boom, and endured the dot com bust. He has worked for small companies, rapidly growing companies, and very large corporations in the computer games, education, ISP, pharmaceutical, telecoms, and financial sectors. From 2001-2005 he founded and ran a hackerspace in Melbourne, Australia that housed over 150 computers of every size, description and platform. That hackerspace was also the base from which anti-net-censorship, no-net-tax, anti-war, and other activist campaigns were fought. He is glad to be given the opportunity to apply his technical experience to defend and extend digital human rights for all people.

 

Jochai Ben AvieJochai Ben Avie | Policy Director | jochai [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x9E6D805F
Jochai is a wonk by training. At Access, he heads up the policy team, crafting pragmatic and principled policy guidance on issues surrounding digital due process, data protection, network interference, telecom and spectrum policy, and internet governance reform. Prior to his time at Access, he researched terrorism and reconciliation, the rise of public education, and the relationship between stress and coping. Jochai graduated summa cum laude from Bard College at Simon’s Rock with a BA in Political Science and Social Psychology.

 

Joe SteeleJoe Steele | Director of Operations | joseph [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x066D312E
Joe is responsible for supporting and organizing much of the day-to-day work of the staff, as well as overseeing the organizational budget and financials, fundraising, compliance and growth strategy. Prior to Access, Joe worked as an education and program consultant to an international human rights organization, Heshima Kenya, in Nairobi, Kenya, building sustainable, income-generating programs for unaccompanied youth in Nairobi’s poorest enclaves. Previously, he worked as a high school English and Special Education teacher in the New York City Department of Education as well consulting various education non-profits on curriculum, management and planning. Joe received his master’s degree from Pace University in New York City and before that, his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before that, and currently, he thinks dogs would make awesome people.

 

Katherine MaherKatherine Maher | Advocacy Director | katherine [at] accessnow [dot] org 0xE5E4BCB0
Katherine is the Advocacy Director at Access, where she works to develop the organizations strategic approach across all three arms as well as oversees external communications. Previously, she has worked with UNICEF, the World Bank, and the National Democratic Institute on the use of ICT for human rights, development, democracy, and good governance. Katherine is a fellow with the Truman National Security Project, and sits on their Cyberspace & Security steering committee. She is a member of the advisory committee for the Radio Free Asia Open Technology Fund, as well as the boards of Masterpeace and the Youth for Technology Foundation. Her writing and commentary has appeared in the Economist, Foreign Policy, the Atlantic and the Guardian, among others. Katherine studied at the American University in Cairo, IFPO Damascus, and New York University.

 

Raegan MacDonaldRaegan MacDonald | European Policy Manager | raegan [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0xD1DF9598
Raegan is Access’ European Policy Manager. Originally from Canada, Raegan is based in Brussels, Belgium, and specialises in European policy, with a focus on privacy, data protection, censorship and network neutrality. Raegan has recently been named a Privacy by Design Ambassador by Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner. Prior to joining Access, Raegan worked with European Digital Rights (EDRi), an association of 35 privacy and civil rights groups across Europe. Prior to that, Raegan worked in education, assisting students with disabilities achieve their academic goals, and as a primary school teacher in Hong Kong, before devoting herself to human rights advocacy.  Raegan is a graduate of the University of Vienna (Austria) and the University of Leipzig (Germany) where she received her Masters in Global Studies; her thesis examined the importance of user privacy in the age of ubiquitous computing. 

 

Amie Stepanovich | Senior Policy Counsel | amie [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x1C1DA0C7
Amie Stepanovich is Senior Policy Counsel at Access. Amie is an expert in domestic surveillance, cybersecurity, and privacy law. At Access, Amie leads projects on digital due process and responds to threats at the intersection of human rights and communications surveillance. Previously, Ms. Stepanovich was the Director of the Domestic Surveillance Project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, where she testified in hearings in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as in State legislatures. She is serving as co-chair for the forthcoming 2014 Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference. Amie was named as a Privacy Ambassador by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada and was recently recognized as one of Forbes magazine’s 30 under 30 leaders in Law and Policy. Stepanovich has a J.D. from New York Law School, and a B.S. from the Florida State University.

 

Ben Whelan | Operations Officer | ben [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x1F2EC60E
Ben works as an Operations Officer for Access, which involves opening and supporting our global offices, running the internship program, supporting the staff in their day to day work, and sending many emails. Ben has worked internationally in both the private and public sector, and being British, this includes working for the UK's Ministry of Justice, London Probation and its Prolific Offender Unit, and at the British Embassy in Costa Rica. Arriving in NYC over a year ago, he has worked at the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, New York University and at WITNESS. Ben holds a BA in Economics and Politics from the University of Manchester, UK, and a Masters in International Relations from the University of Leiden.

 

Daniel Bedoya Arroyo | Security Incident Shift Lead | daniel [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0xC21FA059
Daniel is a Security Incident Handler Shift Lead at Access. He works in Access Costa Rica Office. He is currently working on his Masters Degree in Computer Science at the University of Costa Rica. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Electronics Engineer from the Instituto Tecnologico de Costa Rica. Previuosly he worked at Costa Rica's biggest ISP in a Security Operation Center environment, as an Operations Engineer and Quality Assurance Engineer. 

 

Deborah BrownDeborah Brown | Senior Policy Analyst | deborah [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x5EB4727D
Deborah is a Senior Policy Analyst for Access, where she focuses on the intersection of internet governance policy and human rights and specifically works on internet governance reforms. Previously, she has worked with the United Nations Foundation/UN Association of the USA, the National Democratic Institute, and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems where she concentrated on human rights, democracy, and good governance issues. Deborah received her master's degree from Georgetown University in Democracy and Governance and Arab Studies, and her bachelor's degree from Barnard College in Political Science and Human Rights.

 

Estelle MasséEstelle Massé | Junior Policy Analyst | estelle [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x7A755A5F
Estelle is a Policy Intern at our Brussels office. Prior to joining Access, Estelle interned with European Digital Rights (EDRi), an association of 35 privacy and civil rights groups across Europe and at the UNESCO in Barcelona. Estelle graduated with three BA in Applied Languages from the University of Provence, France, the University of Limerick, Ireland and the University of Granada, Spain and a Master in European Law from the University of Granada. Her master thesis examined the shared competences between the EU and its member states in the protection of Fundamental Rights.

 

Francisco Vera

Francisco Vera | Senior Policy Analyst | francisco [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x98166E41
Francisco is based in Santiago, Chile. He specializes in intellectual property, data protection, criminal law and freedom of expression from a regulation perspective. Prior to joining Access, Francisco interned and joined ONG Derechos Digitales, a human rights and technology Chilean organization, being part of the board as vice president. He finished Universidad de Chile's Law school in 2006. Francisco has also worked as associate in civil and criminal law in different law firms in Chile.

 

Jamila Brown | Digital Engagement Manager | jamila [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x34547F89
Jamila is Access' Digital Engagement Manager and is charged with guiding the organization in being digital first in name and practice. Previously, she consulted advocacy groups throughout the African diaspora, particularly in the United States, Central America and the Caribbean, on how to build successful social justice campaigns. Her work as a social entrepreneur was recognized by Echoing Green when her consultancy was named a 2011 Fellowship Semi-Finalist. Her passion for human rights in the tech sector began while acting as the director of two computer literacy programs serving two public housing developments in Washington, D.C. Jamila received her education and training in international relations and international development and communications from Emory University and American University.

 

Jon FoxJonathan Fox | Global Advocacy Manager | jon [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x1B98BA01
Jon brings over a decade of advocacy, campaigning, and community engagement experience in the United States, Middle East, and Southeast Asia to our Washington, D.C. office. His focus at Access is leading the development and implementation of advocacy approaches directed at governments, civil society partners, private sector leaders, and the international community. Jon works in direct collaboration with Access’s policy and technical teams to realize Access’s mission and to "get stuff done." Jon received his master's degree from Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs where his studies focused on Human Rights and International Affairs.

 

Michael CarboneMichael Carbone | Manager of Tech Policy and Programs | michael [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x81B7A13E
Michael is the Manager of Tech Policy and Programs at Access, where he analyzes digital attacks on civil society organizations, supports the development of innovative secure communications technologies, and provides preventative advice to civil society organizations and human rights defenders to stay digitally secure. Prior to Access, he explored the policy, international law, and regional implications of emerging information and communication technologies at the State Department and worked in the intersection of journalism and technology at a number of news organizations and nonprofits including the International Reporting Project. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Michael received his bachelor's degrees from the University of Chicago in Mathematics and East Asian Languages & Civilizations, studied in China at Capital Normal University, Zhejiang University, and the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies, and completed his master's degree at Johns Hopkins University's School for Advanced International Studies in China Studies, International Economics, and International Law.

 

Mohamed ChennoufiMohamed Chennoufi | Security Incident Handler | mohamed [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x254414D4
Mohamed is a computing sciences engineer. He graduated from the Institut supérieur d'Informatique of Tunis el Manar (ISI) in Tunisia. His favorite movie is se7en.

 

 

Nerida Brownlee | Operations and Development Manager | nerida [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x24145805 
Nerida's focus as a member of the Ops team is to support the growth of the organization through oversight of the day-to-day priorities and projects of the Access team and to ensure it is fully functioning on a global scale. Her focus and experience is in providing frameworks, systems and processes, particularly in terms of HR, finances, fundraising and compliance, to support strategic growth. Prior to Access, Nerida was the Chief Operating Officer for Advance, a role that oversaw global operations, people and projects. For 10 years before moving to New York City, Nerida was Chief of Staff at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, a role that oversaw the Managing Director’s Office, while coordinating and prioritizing the work-flow of the Managing Director, the Executive Leadership team and the Board. Nerida has a bachelors degree in Arts from the University of Sydney, a masters degree in Media Studies and a certificate in Media Management and Leadership from The New School, as well as a certificate in Not-For-Profit Accounting from New York University. Nerida is thrilled to be at Access in a role that combines her passions for the media and for making a contribution to the world, whilst developing her international expertise and a global perspective.

 

Peter BourgelaisPeter Bourgelais | Circumvention and Network Interference Technologist | peterb [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x1C16F6D8
Peter is currently working on a second bachelor's degree. Peter is studying Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.  He holds a BA in Political Science magna cum laude from the University of Maine-Orono, and he came to Access after interning with the Civil Initiative on Internet Policy, an NGO based in Bishkek, Kyrgyztsan.  His favorite ice cream flavor   is chocolate chip cookie dough.

 

 

Peter MicekPeter Micek | Policy Counsel | peter [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0xA5BD70B0
Peter Micek leads Access advocacy with telecoms companies, developing norms to increase respect for telecommunications users' rights worldwide. A lawyer by training, Peter completed a JD cum laude at the University of San Francisco School of Law, and in 2010 published "A Genealogy of Home Visits," critiquing suspicionless surveillance of at-risk communities, in the U.S.F. Law Review. Previously, Peter studied political science and journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, and spent 5 years in youth and ethnic media development at New America Media in his native San Francisco. He is licensed by the state bars of California and New York, and has no cats.

 

Rian WanstreetRian Wanstreet | Project Manager | rian [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x24F54E04
Rian is the Project Manager for RightsCon, the conference series hosted by Access dedicated to exploring the role of the private sector in human rights and digital technologies. Rian comes to Access with over ten years experience working with nonprofit, academic and political institutions, having most recently worked with the Center for Media and Communication Studies researching internet governance, spectrum policy and open access. She was a European Commission Erasmus Mundus Scholar from 2009-2011, and received an MA in Public Administration from the University of York (UK) and an MA in Public Policy with a specialization in Media, Information and Communication Policy from Central European University.

 

Fellows

Access Fellows contribute to projects and programs across the organization, including crafting policy in response to new and ongoing conflicts as they emerge around the world, developing documents on topics of current importance, editing reports, compiling data, preparing advocacy materials for internal and external use, blogging and other web-based projects.
 

Aasil AhmadAasil Kazi Ahmad | Policy Fellow | aasil [at] accessnow [dot] org 
At Access Aasil's work focuses on understanding internet freedom issues across Asia and the Middle East particularly in places where government's are hostile towards the free flow of information. He is an entrepreneur focusing on the intersection of technology, political movements and democracy. He has worked on campaigns in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. He is also a co-founder at Votifi.com and co-founded a software company to provide technology solutions for political campaigns in Asia. He graduated from Georgetown University majoring in Science, Technology and International Affairs.

 

Drew Mitnick | Policy Fellow | drew [at] accessnow [dot] org 0xA7B4A0FF
Drew is a policy fellow working on digital due process and privacy. He has experience working on human rights in Asia and the United States. In addition to his work at Access, Drew is a Senior Research Associate for the Public International Law and Policy Group and a law student at American University Washington College of Law. He previously served as the Online Managing Editor of the Human Rights Brief. In a previous life, he lived in Nashville where he played drums for a rock band.

 

James TayJames Tay | Tech Policy Fellow | james [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x86A17B55 
James is a Tech Policy Fellow at Access where his work focuses on Internet governance, Cyber security and cyber threats against global civil society. He earned his Masters of Public Policy from the University of Toronto where his research focused on the nexus of public policy, technology, security and human rights. Prior to joining Access, James was a research associate at the Citizen Lab where he spent 6 years working on various issues including internet governance, privacy/surveillance, cyber security, and circumvention.

 

Kate Westmoreland | Policy Fellow | kate [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0xDA668C35
Kate leads Access’ work on the reform of mutual legal assistance treaties as they apply to online records. She is particularly familiar with the ins and outs of sharing evidence between countries; the practicalities, legalities and the politics. She is a lawyer (qualified in both Australia and California), with experience advising government and the United Nations on law enforcement cooperation, cybercrime and human rights.

 

 

Interns

Access Interns are drawn from academic institutions around the world and provide important capacity and support for the Access team. Access Interns work across the tech, policy and advocacy arms of the organization as well as on operations and development projects. 


Lee Gensler

Lee Gensler | Engagement Intern | lee [at] accessnow [dot] org
Lee is an intern working with the Engagement team at Access. She is focusing on helping with the blog, the Access Express, and campaigns. Lee is a rising senior at Bard College where she is earning her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Human Rights. At Bard she is also involved with running the debate team and student advocacy on the Middle East and labor rights.

 

 

Dillon ReismanDillon Reisman | Tech Intern | dillon [at] accessnow [dot] org
Dillon is an intern working on projects to help users secure their networks and machines against malevolent government and organizational intrusion. As de facto key master at the Access NY office he also helps arrange personal public key email for users. He is currently a rising senior at Princeton University pursuing a BA in Computer Science with a certificate in Information, Technology, and Society. His past research includes methods for reverse engineering integrated circuits from low-level logic gates and an analysis of the failed government "Clipper Chip" key escrow proposal of the early 1990s. He has very strong opinions about ice cream, as he once spent five years working in an ice cream shop.

 

Houssem LarifHoussem Larif | Tech Intern | houssem [at] accessnow [dot] org
Houssem is an intern on the tech team in Tunis office working to make intrusion detection technology available to the normal user. He is currently studying to get his engineering degree from the national school of computer science in Manouba. Previously, he worked on the reverse engineering of an "ip-tv" software. In his spare time, he plays video games, reads comics (and is writing his first one), and used to play guitar for a heavy metal band. He is also really interesting in political and philosophical debates and likes working with Access because of its commitment to values he believes in.

 

Matt Solomon | Policy Intern | matts [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0xCFC6B6AF
Matt is a Policy Intern at our New York office. Currently a third-year student at Fordham University School of Law, Matt has conducted on-the-ground research on the formulation of equitable ICT investment policy in Myanmar, and on access to education in Rwanda. He has a BA in International Studies and Journalism from New York University. Matt previously worked with Open Society Foundations and Human Rights Watch researching and writing on the International Criminal Court, and with the New York State Division on Human Rights conducting housing discrimination investigations. Matt is a devoted dog owner and amateur bonsai tree enthusiast. 

 

Wissem Gouja | Tech Intern | wissem [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x1889DAA4
Wissem is a computer & software engineering student at National School of Computer Sciences and he is also an intern on the tech team in Tunis office. Since his childhood he was fascinated by everything connected with information security. Concerning his experience, he had worked with Cloud Era Ltd company during a summer internship on a project dealing with the platform Elastic-R. In his spare time he loves to spend it in programming contests or watching movies.