Press release: Laura DeNardis receives the Google Faculty Research Award


(via WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 12 2015) — American University’s Dr. Laura DeNardis, Professor and Associate Dean in the School of Communication, is the recipient of a prestigious Google Faculty Research Award for her project “The Destabilization of Internet Governance.” As an information engineer and social scientist, her research studies the social and political implications of Internet technical architecture and governance.

“Because the functions necessary to keep the Internet operational are behind the scenes, citizens and policymakers sometimes assume that “things just work,” said Professor DeNardis. “This project examines how changes to Internet governance, like changes to technology, are also changes in arrangements of power with implications for the stability and constitution of infrastructure as well as individual liberty.”

The Google Research Award supports its mission to make the flow of information universally accessible by encouraging and backing world-class, full-time faculty pursuing research in areas of Computer Science, Engineering, and related fields. Dr. DeNardis’ project will examine the geopolitical forces seeking to change systems of Internet governance and assess the implications of these changes for the stability of Internet technical architecture.

The grant will support doctoral student in communication, Nathalia Foditsch, who has co-lectured in Comparative U.S. Brazil Legal and Judicial Systems at the Washington College of Law, American University and is currently the Internet Governance Project Manager at the Center for Technology and Society at the Fundação Getulio Vargas School of Law in Rio de Janeiro. She is also helping Aspen Institute design a US-Brazilian Dialogue of leaders in the communications policy space. Previously, Nathalia worked for the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the Brookings Institution and the Brazilian federal antitrust authority. Nathalia is a licensed attorney and earned her Master’s degrees in Law and Government and a Master’s in Public Policy. She will be joining Dr. DeNardis at the School of Communication in the Fall 2015.

Dr. DeNardis will be speaking about the destabilization of Internet governance at Columbia University’s Conference on Internet Governance & Cybersecurity on May 14th. Her panel discussion will include remarks from Vinton Cerf, Vice President & Chief Internet Evangelist, Google and Lawrence Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, U.S. Department of Commerce.

“From cyber-security to online censorship, global conflicts over cyberspace are the new spaces in which geopolitical and economic power plays out,” said Professor DeNardis. “This development elevates Internet governance into the ranks of other shared international concerns such as environmental protection, human rights, and counter-terrorism.”