DSC_0369Urs Gasser – Principal Investigator

Urs Gasser is the Executive Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and a Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School. He is a visiting professor at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) and at KEIO University (Japan), and he teaches at Fudan University School of Management (China)Urs Gasser serves as a trustee on the board of theNEXA Center for Internet & Society at the University of Torino and on the board of the Research Center for Information Law at the University of St. Gallen, and is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin. He is a Fellow at the Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research.

Dr. Gasser has written and edited several books, and published over 100 articles in professional journals. He is the co-author of “Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives” (Basic Books, 2008, with John Palfrey) that has been translated into 10 languages (including Chinese), and co-author of “Interop: The Promise and Perils of Highly Interconnected Systems” (Basic Books, 2012, with John Palfrey).

Urs Gasser’s research and teaching activities focus on information law, policy, and society issues. Current projects – several of them in collaboration with leading research institutions in the U.S., Europe, and Asia – explore policy and educational challenges for young Internet users, the regulation of digital technology (currently with focus on cloud computing), ICT interoperability, information quality, the law’s impact on innovation and risk in the ICT space, cybersecurity, and alternative governance systems. He graduated from the University of St. Gallen (lic.iur., Dr.iur.) as well as Harvard Law School (LL.M. ‘03) and received several academic awards and prizes for his research, including Harvard’s Landon H. Gammon Fellowship for academic excellence and the “Walther Hug-Preis Schweiz”, a prize for the best doctoral theses in law nationwide, among others.

Before returning to the Berkman Center as Executive Director in 2009, Urs Gasser was Associate Professor of Law at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), where he led the Research Center for Information Law as Faculty Director. Prior to his St. Gallen appointment, Urs spent three years as a resident fellow at the Berkman Center, where he was appointed Faculty Fellow in 2005. During his first stay at the Berkman Center from 2002-2005, he was the lead research fellow on the Digital Media Project, a multi-disciplinary research project aimed at exploring the transition from offline/analog to online/digital media. He also initiated and chaired the Harvard-Yale-Cyberscholar Working Group, and was a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School in the 2003/04 academic year.

Dr. Gasser frequently acts as a commentator on comparative law issues for the US and European media. He is also an advisor to international technology companies on information law matters.

Paulina Haduong – Project Fellow

Paulina Haduong is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, exploring the intersections to youth, education, and technology. With Professor Urs Gasser, Paulina is currently working on Cyberlearning, the Digital Problem Solving Initiative, the Student Privacy Initiative, and Youth and Media.

Paulina holds a B.A. in Linguistics from Yale University, where she was a member of Berkeley College, and an Ed.M. in Technology, Innovation, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Sandra OnlineSandra Cortesi – Privacy Expectations & Attitudes

Sandra Cortesi is a Fellow at the Berkman Center and the Director of Youth and Media. She is responsible for coordinating the Youth and Media’s policy, research, and educational initiatives. At the new Youth and Media Sandra works closely with talented young people and lead researchers in the field as they look into innovative ways to approach social challenges in the digital world, including the production and exchange of digital media, youth development in social networking, and digital citizenship.

Together with Urs Gasser and the YaM team, she focuses on the topics of information quality and privacy, about which she has coauthored several publications. Sandra also examines a broad range of youth communication and information technology practices for insights into youth online behavior and emergent policy questions. Sandra continues to also be engaged in European projects in collaboration with the Research Center for Information Law at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. Sandra has a Masters in Psychology, with a specialization in Neuro-Psychology and Human-Computer Interaction, from the University of Basel.

LeahPlunkettLeah Plunkett – School Practices & Policies

Leah A. Plunkett does research with the Student Privacy Initiative.  Leah is also Associate Professor of Legal Skills & Director of Academic Success at the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

Leah has a long-standing commitment to education and education law.  From 2011-2013, she was a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, where she taught first-year legal research and writing and worked on her own legal scholarship.  Previously, she established and served as the first directing Staff Attorney of the Youth Law Project at New Hampshire Legal Assistance.  The Youth Law Project represents low-income and at-risk youth—many of whom are facing criminal charges—in school discipline, special education, and related cases.  She also worked as a Staff Attorney at the National Consumer Law Center in Boston, where she promoted policies, regulations, and laws that advance economic security for low-income and vulnerable populations.  Leah served as a law clerk for Hon. Catherine C. Blake in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland for the 2006-2007 term.

Leah’s scholarly interests take as a starting point the types of situations she saw kids and families face while she was in practice.  Typically, these involved intertwined issues of criminal, family, education, or consumer law.  Her research focuses on the unexpected—and sometimes unwelcome—ways that people find themselves entangled with the criminal justice system in the course of ordinary family life.  She is particularly interested in the way these entanglements manifest themselves for low and middle-income individuals and families.

Leah holds a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where she was a student-attorney at and board member of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau.   She also has an A.B., summa cum laude, from Harvard College in American History & Literature, where she spent much of her time happily making up stories and singing off-key with the Immediate Gratification Players improv comedy troupe.

DT PictureDalia Topelson – Law & Policy

Dalia Topelson is a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, based at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.  Dalia has concentrated her legal practice on intellectual property and media law, particularly in the areas of technology, media and digital content.  Prior to joining Harvard Law School, Dalia worked as in-house counsel at  From 2004-2009, Dalia worked as an associate in the New York law offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and DLA Piper LLP, focusing on intellectually property and technology issues.  Dalia received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Emory University in 1999 and her J.D. and LLM in International Law from Duke University School of Law in 2004.

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