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A Message to the CDT Community, from President Leslie Harris

Dear CDT Supporters and Colleagues,

I am writing to let you know that I plan to step down as President of CDT by CDT’s 20th anniversary celebration, March 2014. The Board has appointed a search committee and we have retained a search firm to guide us through the search process. We are beginning the search now in order to ensure that we have selected my successor well in advance of that date and ideally that we will have some overlap time to ensure a smooth transition.

As you can imagine, this has not been an easy decision. My tenure at CDT has been professionally and personally rewarding. I am immensely proud of the institution and its accomplishments during my Presidency. CDT’s reach and influence has never been stronger. The staff has grown threefold, and with offices in the center of US policy-making, the center of technical innovation, and the center of EU policy-making. CDT is now well positioned to influence tech policy globally.

CDT is a great organization, and great organizations do not rise or fall on the presence of any one leader. As many of you experienced first hand, the secret to CDT’s success is our highly regarded staff. They are leaders in their own right, steeped in legal and technical expertise and committed to CDT’s unique multi- stakeholder approach to policy. They are—in a word—extraordinary. It is a privilege to work with such an amazing team as well as with CDT’s network of supporters.

So what happens next? The CDT board has established a search committee led by CDT’s board chair Deirdre Mulligan and including Bill Bernstein, Danny Weitzner, and myself. The committee has interviewed search firms and we have selected Russell Reynolds to assist us in recruiting a new president. Of course, we hope you will all join us in the search for my successor, and your advice and recommendations will be greatly appreciated. I am confident that through the search process we will attract terrific candidates and the next president will be a great leader who will put his or her imprimatur on the organization. This is as it should be, especially given the enormous potential for the organization both domestically and internationally.

As for me, I plan to take some time once I leave CDT to enjoy our first grandchild arriving this fall, and to consider my next steps, albeit with a greater focus on work-life balance. I remain deeply committed to the issues that drew me to CDT and to the extraordinary community of supporters and partners that help make us successful everyday. That is not going to change, but there are many roads left untraveled that I also intend to explore as I consider my future path.

Finally, as many of you know, I took a brief sabbatical this fall to recharge. I’ve come back full of energy, overflowing with ideas, and eager to make the most of every day left at CDT. I am committed to work as hard on behalf of CDT over the coming months as I have over the last eight years. I hope you’ll be at our side now, through the transition, and for the long haul. We have much to accomplish together.

Warm Regards,

Leslie Harris
President, CDT