(BRUSSELS) — The Centre for Democracy and Technology (CDT) is delighted to welcome two distinguished European scholars and human rights advocates to its Board of Directors: Mireille Hildebrandt and Morten Kjaerum.
Hildebrandt is a professor at Vrije Universiteit in Brussels and Co-Director of the Law, Science, Technology, & Society Research Group, where her research focuses on the intersection of law and computer science in constitutional democracies, including on the implications of automated decisions, machine learning and mindless artificial agency. Hildebrandt also holds a chair at the computer science department of Radboud University in the Netherlands, and has been awarded an advanced grant from the European Research Council for a 5-year collaboration between lawyers and computer scientists on the subject of ‘Counting as a Human Being in the Era of Computational Law.’ She is renowned for her work on upholding the rule of law in the digital environment.
“CDT is dedicated to fundamental rights in a time of extraordinary challenges,” says Hildebrandt. “It has a long history of forcefully foregrounding how computational technologies impact the substance of freedom of information, non-discrimination and privacy. I hope to contribute to upholding and reinventing the checks and balances of the rule of law, ensuring that we do not put ‘the human in the loop’ but keep our ‘machines in the loop’.”
Kjaerum serves as Director of the Sweden-based Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. For decades, he has been a champion of human rights. He is the former Director of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency, and was also appointed by the UN Secretary General as Chairperson of the UN Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights and to the Universal Periodic Review Trust Fund for Financial and Technical Assistance. Kjaerum also currently chairs the Board of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles.
“It’s a great honour and privilege to be able to serve on the board of CDT,” says Kjaerum. “CDT is one of the leading organisations addressing the most pertinent issues of the 21st century, namely, how we ensure that technology serves humankind. A human rights framework is a good starting point for this essential journey that I look forward to embarking upon together with an inspiring group of board members and a fantastic staff.”
CDT President and CEO Alexandra Reeve Givens welcomed Hildebrandt and Kjaerum to the Board:
“I am thrilled that CDT will benefit from the scholarship and experience of Mireille Hildebrandt and Morten Kjaerum. Our European work continues to expand under the leadership of veteran human rights advocate Iverna McGowan, as we engage on issues such as the Digital Services Act and regulation to prevent the dissemination of terrorist content online. We are grateful to have the partnership of two such renowned leaders as we work to keep human rights and democractic principles at the centre of EU tech law and policy.”
Hildebrandt and Kjaerum join existing CDT Europe Board members Alan Davidson, Senior Advisor at the Mozilla Foundation, Givens, and Peter Hustinx, who served as the European Data Protection Supervisor from 2004-2014. They will also join CDT’s Global Board.
The Centre for Democracy and Technology is a 25-year-old nonprofit law and advocacy organisation that focuses on protecting human rights and democratic principles in the digital age. The organisation is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has a Europe Office in Brussels, Belgium.