The Center for Democracy & Technology has promoted Joseph Lorenzo Hall to Chief Technologist. Hall’s work will focus on embedding technical aspects and technical analysis into CDT’s work, as well as focusing expert analysis and input into policy environments. He previously served as CDT’s Senior Staff Technologist.
“Joe is one of the most respected and brilliant minds in our field. He has the rare gift of being able to translate very technical concepts in ways that are accessible for policy makers and the general public. Having such an esteemed technologist as part of our team allows us to bring a sound technical perspective and analysis into critical policy debates,” said Leslie Harris, CDT’s President & CEO.
"Chief Technologist at CDT is the dream job for me," said Hall. "Solid technical expertise is the backbone of CDT's work, and carefully embedding technical knowledge into our work is crucial for shaping constructive policy outcomes. Never has the thirst for technical input into the national and global policy arenas been so strong; never before have technical experts realized how important their role is in the policy arena. CDT, our collaborators, and supporters are well positioned to handle what may come, and I'm looking forward to every minute of it."
Prior to joining CDT in 2012, Hall was a postdoctoral research fellow with Helen Nissenbaum at New York University, Ed Felten at Princeton University and Deirdre Mulligan at University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. in information systems from the UC Berkeley School of Information in 2008. His Ph.D. thesis used electronic voting as a critical case study in digital government transparency. In his postdoctoral work, he developed techniques to increase the efficiency and usability of accountability mechanisms in electronic elections. Hall holds Master's degrees in astrophysics and information systems from UC Berkeley and was a founding member of the National Science Foundation's ACCURATE Center (A Center for Correct, Usable, Reliable, Auditable and Transparent Elections). He has served as an expert on independent teams invited by the States of California, Ohio and Maryland to analyze legal, privacy, security, usability and economic aspects of voting systems.
Hall is currently the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the California Voter Foundation, a member of the Board of Directors of the Verified Voting Foundation and a member of the Federal Communications Commission's Computer Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council.
Hall replaces Alissa Cooper, who will be joining Cisco as a Distinguished Engineer. Cooper has been with CDT for nearly eight years and recently received her Ph.D. from University of Oxford.