Staff

Staff

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

 

Amie Stepanovich | Senior Policy Counsel | Phone Extension x702 | 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 was co-chair for the 2014 Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference and is the Committee on Individual Rights and Responsibilities' Liason to the American Bar Association's Cybersecurity Working Group. Amie was named as a Privacy Ambassador by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada and was recognized in 2014 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.

 

Aureson "Tom" Banaria | Security Incident Handler | tom [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x3A71A2D0
Tom is a Security Incident Handler at our Access Office in Manila. Before joining Access, Tom worked as a Security Consultant for a major security company and developed expertise in penetration testing for different technologies such as web applications, mobile devices and network infrastructure and has also worked as a Security Analyst focusing in network intrusion detection, packets and malware analysis. He was also an instructor in Information Security and is part of the OWASP Manila Chapter leads. His passion for hacking and security all started 11 years ago after finding a copy of 2600 hacker Quarterly magazine in a small bookstore in Pampanga, Philippines. He is also glad to be given the opportunity to apply and share his technical experiences to defend and extend digital human rights for all people fighting for freedom.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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. 

 

Deji Olukotun | Senior Advocacy Manager | deji [at] accessnow [dot] org
Deji Olukotun manages Access' global campaigns to protect the open internet, stop mass surveillance, protect digital privacy, and ensure that our fundamental rights are respected online. He came from the literary and human rights organization PEN American Center, where he founded PEN's digital freedom program and managed its capacity-building work in Myanmar, South Africa, Haiti, and Nigeria. He holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School, a BA from Yale University, and dual masters degrees in Creative Writing and Justice & Transformation from the University of Cape Town, where he was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. He has also worked as corporate counsel for a small technology startup. A devoted fiction writer, Deji is the author of the novel Nigerians in Space (Unnamed Press). His work has been featured in The Atlantic, NPR, The New York Times, and Vice. (Photo cred. Katy Haas)

 

Drew Mitnick | Junior Policy Counsel | drew [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0xA7B4A0FF
Drew is a junior policy counsel working on cybersecurity, digital due process, and privacy. He has experience working on human rights in Asia and the United States. Drew was previously a Senior Research Associate for the Public International Law and Policy Group and served as the Managing Online Editor of the Human Rights Brief. He received his law degree from American University Washington College of Law where he is currently a JD Distinguished Fellow. In a previous life, he lived in Nashville where he played drums for a rock band.

 

Estelle MasséEstelle Massé | Policy Analyst | estelle [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x7A755A5F
Estelle is a Policy Analyst 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.

 

Gustaf BjorkstenGustaf Björksten | Chief Technologist | 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.

 

Jamie Tomasello | Technology Director | jamie [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x66E5FB48
Jamie has been combating Internet abuse and addressing policy issues for over the past thirteen years. With a background in applied behavior analysis and pattern recognition, Jamie has focused her efforts in analyzing technical data points underlying cybercrime, identifying non-obvious data relationships, and profiling cybercriminals. Jamie has been a Technical Chair for the Messaging, Malware, and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG)), a member of InfraGard and the Bay Area Electronic Crime Task Force, and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US and CIPP/IT). Jamie is currently pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Cybersecurity and Psychology from the University of Maryland.

 

Javier Pallero | Policy Analyst | javier [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0xC89034BC
Javier is Access' Policy Analyst for Latin America. Before joining Access, he worked for several years with digital rights organizations in Argentina, conducting policy analysis and promoting human rights activism on the net. He also was a teaching assistant at Cordoba's National University in Argentina on the subject of Internet Law and Economics while serving as a consultant and speaker in the local media. In addition to all of this, Javier is an amateur musician who is passionate about the internet and its power for social change.

 

Joe SteeleJoe Steele | Director of Operations | Phone Extension x705 | 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.

 

Josh LevyJosh Levy | Advocacy Director | josh [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x84C9F275
Josh Levy is Advocacy Director at Access. He's worked for years at the intersections of technology, politics and activism. He was previously Campaign Director at Free Press, the U.S.-based nonprofit, where he fought to protect the open internet and stop government surveillance. He was also Managing Editor of Change.org, the global petition platform, and Associate Editor at Personal Democracy Media. He holds a BA in English and Religion from the University of Vermont and an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College in New York. He lives with his family in Northampton, Massachusetts.

 

Michael CarboneMichael Carbone | Manager of Tech Policy and Programs | michael [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x99AB06246EEBF5A8
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.

 

Nina Komakhidze | Operations Associate | nina [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x8AD196B3 
Nina works at Access as an Operations Associate for the Brussels office, primarily involved in managing the needs of the local office and team and supporting its expansion in the EU capital. Prior to joining Access, Nina worked as an Office Manager for a company from the IT-services sector and has experience setting up student not-for-profits. Nina is currently continuing her studies in Politics and International relations at the University of London (London School of Economics). She loves globetrotting, good food and anything related to combat sports.


Peter MicekPeter Micek | Senior Policy Counsel | peter [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0xA5BD70B0
Peter Micek leads the Access policy team's business and human rights work, advocating for a more rights-respecting telecom and tech sector. He also teaches a course at Columbia University on internet policy and governance. 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 surveillance of at-risk communities. As a law student, Peter defended independent journalists and engaged in Freedom of Information litigation at First Amendment Project. For five years, in his native San Francisco, Peter led youth and ethnic media development at New America Media, and was Web Editor at KALW's daily radio program Your Call. Peter studied political science and journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.  He is licensed by the state bars of California and New York, and has no cats.

 

Raegan MacDonaldRaegan MacDonald | European Policy Manager | raegan [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0xD1DF9598
Originally from Canada, Raegan is based in Brussels, Belgium where she leads Access' EU office and specialises in net neutrality, privacy and data protection. Raegan is a member of the Steering Group for Code Red, an ambitious global initiative to provide advice and resources to assist people who are committed to the goal of protecting rights and freedoms. She is also an Advisory Board member of the Brussels Privacy Hub, an academic research institute focused on privacy and data protection. Since March 2014, Raegan is a Privacy by Design Ambassador, an award from the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada. Prior to joining Access, Raegan worked with European Digital Rights (EDRi), an association of 34 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.

 

Rian WanstreetRian Wanstreet | Special Projects Manager | rian [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x253116C2
In her role as Special Projects Manager, Rian supports the continued growth and sustainability of Access. She works closely with Senior Management, external partners, and Access supporters on multiple projects, including strategic organizational planning and the RightsCon Summit Series. Rian comes to Access with over ten years experience working with nonprofit, academic and political institutions. 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. She is currently a Non-Resident Research Fellow at the Center for Media and Communication Studies.

 

Romel Senoja | Security Incident Handler | romel [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x4A7EAF57
Romel is a graduate of Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) from University of the East, Philippines. Although he is a certified ECE by profession, he found himself more inclined with IT Security as his career advanced. He worked for one of the top banking institutions in the Philippines as information security specialist. Prior to joining Access, he worked for a multinational technology company in strategic outsourcing, where he became part of the security and risk management team. When he learned about Access, its mission, and the individuals it works with and works for, he became interested and inspired, and found it notably distinct in many aspects from working in a corporate world. Romel loves nature.

 

 

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.

 

Carolyn Tackett | Advocacy Fellow | carolyn [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0xA9C98C76
Carolyn first joined the Access advocacy team as an intern in 2012. She now supports the team's work on a variety of projects, including campaign development and web content management. Carolyn is currently a second-year law student at American University Washington College of Law focusing on public international law, including work with the Public International Law & Policy Group, the UN Committee against Torture Project, and American University International Law Review. She graduated from Princeton University, where she focused on international relations and Chinese foreign policy.

 

Deniz Aydin | Policy Fellow | deniz [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0xD08E0F30
Currently a senior double majoring in Political Science and European Studies at New York University, Deniz has been working on issues of internet governance and digital rights in Turkey as a Policy Fellow at Access. She has previously interned at several arts organizations such as the Lincoln Center and NYSCA. Despite loving NYC, she sometimes misses the ferries, tea and cats of her hometown, Istanbul.

 

 

Ephraim Percy Kenyanito | Policy Fellow | ephraim [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0xE6BA8DC1
Ephraim is a Policy Fellow at Access working on the connection between Internet policy and human rights and is also an affiliate at the Internet Policy Observatory (IPO) (created by the Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania). He has passion for Democratic Governance, Youth Work, Human Rights, Transparency and International development with a background of engaging with diverse-range of research & social development organizations (such as Transparency International, MercyCorps (International) and Centre for Law and Research International (CLARION) among others), citizen media/ journalism, and Foreign Policy/ Regional Integration institutions (such as the East African Community Secretariat and the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Trade). He is scheduled to graduate with a Law Degree in 2015 and also has training in Internet Policy and Media Law from University of Oxford and University of Pennsylvania.

 

Lee Gensler

Lee Gensler | Advocacy Fellow | lee [at] accessnow [dot] org
Lee is working with the Advocacy team at Access and focuses on the weekly newsletter, the Access Express. Lee is a graduate of Bard College where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Human Rights. At Bard she was involved with student advocacy on the Middle East and labor 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. 

 

Alix Ladent | EU Advocacy Intern | alix [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x1EFC92D7
Alix is an Advocacy intern at the Brussels office. He is currently in second year of International Security at the Paris School of International Affairs, and has a background in political science and applied mathematics. He previously worked as Digital Activation Intern for Vice France, has been the communication officer at Niños de Guatemala France during two years, and went abroad in Peru that one time. He likes to cook, eat and climb on things.

 

Houssem Larif

Houssem 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.

 

Jack Bussell | Policy Intern | jackb [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0x2629DAF2
Jack is a Digital Due Process intern working out of the DC office. Jack is currently a third-year student at Georgetown Law and received degrees in Economics and Political Theory from the University of California San Diego. Previously, he has interned at the Cato Institute and the Electronic Privacy Information Center. He hopes to work in the privacy field, loves U Street Music Hall, and thinks the weather in DC is dumb. 


Justine Chauvin | Policy Intern | justine [at] accessnow [dot] org | 0xE6F4259E 
Justine is a policy intern working out of the Brussels office. She graduated with a BA in International Relations from the University of Geneva, and a MA in International Politics of the Internet from Aberystwyth University. During her studies, apart from her active involvement in student associations, she focused on the analysis of discourses on cyber-security and online civil rights, as well as on the impact of ICTs on social movements. She hopes to work in the field of digital rights advocacy, loves exploring new cities, and has a passion for politics and debate. 

 

Salma Echahly | Global Advocacy Intern | salma [at] accesnow [dot] org
Salma Echahly is an Advocacy intern working at the New York Office. Salma is an international student from Casablanca, Morocco and is currently a senior at Barnard College majoring in Political Science and Psychology. She has worked at other non-profits including The National Council for Research on Women and hopes to pursue a career in the Human Rights field. When she is not writing disturbingly long research papers, she sings with her A Capella group called Bacchantae and cooks all her meals with Crème Fraiche.

 

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.