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Rebecca MacKinnon

New America Foundation

Rebecca MacKinnon is a journalist and activist whose work focuses on the intersection of the Internet, human rights, and foreign policy. She is currently the Senior Bernard L. Schwart Fellow at New America Foundation.

Ms. MacKinnon is cofounder of Global Voices Online (, a global citizen media network, and is also a founding member of the Global Network Initiative (, a multi-stakeholder initiative to advance principles of freedom of expression and privacy in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, MacKinnon worked as a journalist for CNN in Beijing for nine years, serving as CNN's Beijing Bureau Chief and Correspondent from 1998-2001 and then as CNN's Tokyo Bureau Chief and Correspondent from 2001-03. From 2004-06 she was a Fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press and Public Policy Research Fellow and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, both at Harvard. In 2007-08 she served on the faculty of the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Centre, where she taught online journalism and conducted research on Chinese Internet censorship.

In 2009 she continued her research and writing as an Open Society Institute Fellow, then spent the first half of 2010 as a visiting fellow at Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy. She received her AB magna cum laude from Harvard College.

As a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, Ms. MacKinnon is examining U.S. policies related to the Internet, human rights, and "global Internet freedom." Her book, "Consent of the Networked," about the future of freedom in the Internet age, will be published by Basic Books at the end of this year.


Biography last updated December 20, 2010