John B. Morris, Jr. was a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology in Fall 2020. He is also currently a nonresident senior fellow in Governance Studies with the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution. During his tenure, John supported and provided guidance across all of CDT’s core policy teams, including work on free expression, data governance, government surveillance, internet standards, competition, open internet policy, and integrity and security issues in the run up to the November 2020 election.
Until May 2019, John served—under two presidential administrations—as a career member of the Senior Executive Service at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration within the U.S. Department of Commerce. At NTIA, he led the Office of Policy Analysis & Development, which handles a broad range of internet and telecommunications policy issues, including privacy, cybersecurity, national security, surveillance and law enforcement issues, network neutrality, intellectual property, and emerging technology issues.
John has an extensive history at CDT. Prior to joining NTIA in 2011, John was CDT’s General Counsel, and the Director of CDT’s Internet Standards, Technology and Policy Project. He led CDT’s work on free expression issues, and worked actively on privacy, surveillance, cybersecurity, and net neutrality, among other issues. He was active in technical standards development efforts at the Internet Engineering Task Force and the World Wide Web Consortium, and is a co-author of seven IETF “RFC” standards documents focused on privacy.
Before he joined CDT in 2001, John was a partner in the law firm of Jenner & Block, where he litigated groundbreaking cases in Internet and First Amendment law. He was a lead counsel in the ACLU v. Reno/American Library Association v. U.S. Department of Justice case, in which the Supreme Court unanimously extended to speech on the Internet the highest level of constitutional protection.
John received his B.A. magna cum laude with distinction from Yale University and his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was the managing editor of the Yale Law Journal. Following law school, he clerked for Judge Thomas A. Clark of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, worked for three years as a staff attorney at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia, and then joined Jenner & Block in Washington in 1990. He lives with his wife in Maryland, and is the proud father of two children currently pursuing astrophysics and social justice applications of mathematics.