Lily Tsai is an Associate Professor of Political Science at MIT. She founded MIT GOV/LAB in 2014. Her research focuses on issues of accountability, governance, and political participation in developing contexts, with particular emphasis on Asia and East Africa. Her book, Accountability Without Democracy: Solidary Groups and Public Goods Provision in Rural China, was published in Cambridge University's Studies on Comparative Politics and received the 2007-08 Dogan Award from the Society of Comparative Research for the best book published in the field of comparative research. Tsai has also published articles in The American Political Science Review, Comparative Politics, The China Quarterly, and World Development. Tsai received a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University in 2005, and is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright program and the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies.
Cathy Wissink is Director of Technology & Civic Engagement at Microsoft New England. Her job focuses on partnering with civic leaders in greater Boston to use technology to solve large challenges and capitalize on impactful and inclusive opportunities.Cathy works directly with local tech leaders and policy influencers on issues critical to both Microsoft and the tech sector. She represents Microsoft with major tech associations, and develops programs on key issues in the tech policy space. She also plays a key role in overseeing the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center - New England, which was formally announced in October 2013. Cathy joined Microsoft in 2000 and spent her first 9 years working on Windows, focusing on software globalization and helping ensure diverse countries were on the right side of the digital divide. She moved to the Corporate, External and Legal Affairs team at Microsoft in 2009, working on global government affairs, then took her current role in Cambridge in October 2013. Cathy is a Seattle native and is enjoying exploring her adopted city.
Kade Crockford is the Director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts. Kade works to protect and expand core First and Fourth Amendment rights and civil liberties in the digital 21st century, focusing on how systems of surveillance and control impact not just the society in general but their primary targets—people of color, Muslims, immigrants, and dissidents.
The Information Age produces conditions facilitating mass communication and democratization, as well as dystopian monitoring and centralized control. The Technology for Liberty Program aims to use our unprecedented access to information and communication to protect and enrich open society and individual rights by implementing basic reforms to ensure our new tools do not create inescapable digital cages limiting what we see, hear, think, and do. Towards that end, Kade researches, strategizes, writes, lobbies, and educates the public on issues ranging from the wars on drugs and terror to warrantless electronic surveillance. Kade has written for The Nation, The Guardian, The Boston Globe, WBUR, and many other publications, and regularly appears in local, regional, and national media as an expert on issues related to technology, policing, and surveillance.
Abe Rakov is the Executive Director of Let America Vote. In 2016, Abe served as the campaign manager for Jason Kander's U.S. Senate campaign in Missouri, overseeing an effort that raised $13 million while overperforming the presidential campaign by 16 points. He served as Missouri Deputy Secretary of State from 2013-2015, managing a 245-employee government agency with a $45 million annual budget across four offices. Abe ran Jason Kander's successful campaign for Secretary of State in 2012, a campaign that overperformed the presidential ticket by nearly 10 points, and prior to that was Communications Director for Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC). After working on local campaigns after graduating from Northwestern University in 2008, Abe worked as the Deputy Director of Communications and Policy for Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan from 2009-2011. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Gillian Pressman is the Massachusetts Executive Director of Generation Citizen. In her role, she leads strategy, fundraising, and partnerships for GC's Massachusetts programs, which engage over 3,200 middle and high school students per year across 27 schools and 6 school districts. Gillian comes into her role after having grown local Generation Citizen programs as the organization's Greater Boston Site Director and Greater Boston Program Manager. Prior to Generation Citizen, Gillian worked at BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) where she grew and managed BELL's alumni program, the BELL Alumni Society. She has a B.A. in Religion from Princeton University.
Mark Schifferli likes to make life easier through computing. His programming career started at Target Analysis Group, where he processed and analyzed nonprofit revenue data. After seeing his first data visualization application, he was hooked on teasing meaningful stories from large and complicated data sets. This led him to join EnerNOC, an energy management company, where he developed applications for critical real time decision making during electrical grid emergencies.
Prior to programming, Mark contributed to various ensembles in San Francisco’s experimental music scene as a guitarist and recording engineer. Mark graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Indiana University, Bloomington, with a BA in philosophy and minors in math and French.