Skip to Content

Nathalie Maréchal Joins CDT as Co-Director, Privacy & Data Project

(WASHINGTON) — The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) welcomes Nathalie Maréchal (@MarechalPhD) as Co-Director of its Privacy & Data Project. She joins CDT from Ranking Digital Rights (RDR), where she was Policy Director for the independent research program at New America that promotes freedom of expression and privacy on the internet by creating global standards and incentives for Big Tech and telecommunications companies to respect and protect users’ rights. 

“The responsible use of data is key to addressing pressing social concerns and improving people’s lives, but irresponsible data use can also harm people and roll back hard-fought gains for people’s rights,” says Nathalie. “I’m excited to join CDT because they’re at the forefront of efforts to tell the two apart, and to help craft sound public policy to ensure digital transformation enhances democracy and social equity rather than undermining them.”

At Ranking Digital Rights, Nathalie led its engagement with governments, international and multilateral organizations, civil society groups, and academia, with the aim of holding companies accountable for their duty to respect human rights. She also managed the researchers and advocates who produce RDR’s signature scorecards, worked with global partners to adapt the organization’s methodology to new issue areas and local contexts, and engaged directly with companies and investors.

In 2018, Nathalie received her PhD in Communication from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Her dissertation, Use Signal, Use Tor’ ? : The Political Economy of Digital Rights Technology, examined the relationship between the transnational social movement for human rights online and the U.S. Internet Freedom Agenda through an ethnography of the “freedom technologists” behind popular secure messaging applications (Signal, WhatsApp, Telegram) and censorship circumvention software (Tor, Psiphon). 

Prior to USC, Nathalie earned an M.A. in International Communication and a B.A. in International Studies from American University.


CDT is a 27-year-old 501(c)3 nonpartisan nonprofit organization that fights to put democracy and human rights at the center of the digital revolution. It works to promote democratic values by shaping technology policy and architecture, with a focus on equity and justice. CDT’s Elections and Democracy team fights election disinformation, supports technology that bolsters a fair and secure vote, and works to build a trusted and trustworthy democracy.