Leslie Harris

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Leslie Harris "is the President and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology. Ms. Harris is responsible for the overall vision, direction and management of the organization and serves as the organization’s chief spokesperson. Since joining CDT, she has been involved with a wide range of issues related to civil liberties and the Internet, including, government data- mining for counterintelligence, government secrecy, privacy, global Internet freedom, intellectual property, data security and Internet censorship.

"Ms. Harris has over two decades of experience as a civil liberties, technology and Internet lawyer, public policy advocate and strategist in Washington. She testifies before Congress on issues related to technology, the Internet and civil liberties and writes, speaks on Internet issues and is regular contributor to several online publications and blogs.

"Prior to joining CDT, Ms. Harris was the founder and president of Leslie Harris & Associates (“LHA”), a public policy firm committed to harnessing the power of new information technologies for public good. In that capacity, Ms. Harris played a lead role in shaping Internet legislation, including the E-rate program, which brought the power of the Internet to rural and inner city classrooms and public libraries, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) which mandated a privacy regime for children’s personal information on the Internet and the Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization Act, (TEACH) which amended copyright law to support the development of online learning. She was also a key strategist and spokesperson in the effort to defeat the Communications Decency Act.

"Prior to establishing Leslie Harris & Associates, Ms. Harris served in senior leadership positions in two prominent civil liberties organizations. She was the Director of Public Policy for People for the American Way, (“PFAW”) where she directed the organization’s public policy program and served as a national spokesperson for the organization. Earlier, she served as the Chief Legislative Counsel for the Washington National Office of the American Civil Liberties Union.

"She was also in private law practice in Washington.

"Ms. Harris has served in leadership positions in the American Bar Association, including as a member and Chairperson of the Council of the Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities. She has served on the Board of the Health Privacy Project and the Steering Committee for OpentheGovernment.org. She is also active in local community affairs and is a member of the Washington Women's Forum." [1]

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  1. Leslie Harris, Center for Democracy & Technology, accessed January 10, 2009.