Press Release: Derrick Cogburn at the Forefront of Internet Governance Developments

Cogburn_NETmundial_Micby Maya Aguilar (via

SIS Associate Professor Derrick Cogburn has been a longtime scholar of Internet governance issues. Recently, he has been involved in several significant developments in the Internet governance sphere. Earlier this year, Cogburn was selected as one of three academic representatives to the High-Level Multistakeholder Committee (HLM) of NETmundial, the 2014 Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance held from April 23-24, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Organized and attended by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and co-hosted by the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee and /1net, the groundbreaking conference brought together governments, civil society, academia, IT experts, and businesses to formulate Internet governance principles and create a strategic plan for the further evolution of the Internet governance ecosystem.

“I am honored to contribute to and help shape the international conversations taking place at this critical juncture in global Internet governance,” says Cogburn.

As a HLM member, Cogburn helped oversee NETmundial strategies and fostered the involvement of the international community. This included offering COTELCO, the research center at SIS directed by Cogburn, to serve as a remote hub for virtual participation in the conference. Particularly notable was Cogburn’s facilitation of language insertion around accessibility, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and an inclusive post-2015 international development agenda into the Netmundial Multistakeholder Statement, the conference’s outcome document outlining recommendations and guidelines for the development of future internet laws and principles.

Upon his return from NETmundial, Cogburn was invited to deliver a panel presentation at “Scenarios for the Future of Internet Governance” hosted by the Internet Society’s Washington, DC chapter on April 30. He was subsequently interviewed by the Washington Internet Daily regarding his insight on the future of Internet Governance and an important transition period in the management of Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions from the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Agency to the global multistakeholder community.

The SIS associate professor has been an active Internet governance scholar and figure for over a decade. He has served as a high-level advisory panel member of the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development; founding steering committee member and vice chair of the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet); member of the scientific committee for the Internet Governance Project; and former executive director of the Global Information Infrastructure Commission for Africa. He is the editor of the Information Technology and Global Governance book series which focuses on the complex interrelationships between the social, political, and economic processes of global governance that occur at national, regional, and international levels.

In addition, Cogburn has authored a number of articles, book chapters and conference papers on Internet governance, including: “Why Govern Cyberspace and Social Media” presented at the Why Govern? Conference on Global Governance at American University (2013); “Globalizing Multistakeholder Governance: A Mixed Methods Case Study of the First Five Years of the UN Internet Governance Forum” co-authored and co-presented with SIS Professor Nanette Levinson at the 52nd International Studies Association Annual Convention (2011); “Using Computer Assisted Content Analysis to Explore Multistakeholder Participation in the UN Internet Governance Forum” presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting (2010); “Enabling Effective Multistakeholder Participation in Global Internet Governance Through Accessible Cyberinfrastructure” in The Handbook of Internet Politics (2008); and “Elite Decision-Making and Epistemic Communities: Implications for Global Information Policy” in The Emergent Global Information Policy Regime (2004).

Along with SIS colleague and COTELCO Senior Faculty Associate Nanette Levinson and SOC Professor Laura DeNardis, author of the recent book The Global War for Internet Governance, Cogburn helped create the AU 2030 initiative for global Internet governance research on campus.