Internet Gov Lab Welcomes New Associate Director and Doctoral Researcher


The AU Internet Governance Lab is pleased to welcome its inaugural Associate Director Dr. Kenneth Merrill to its team, as well as Doctoral Researcher Asvatha Babu this year. Both will play integral roles in advancing the research agenda and programmatic offerings of the Lab.

Dr. Merrill holds a PhD in communication from American University’s School of Communication. His research focuses on the geopolitics of Internet governance, digital media and technology policy, cyber security, infrastructure studies, and science and technology studies. His work has appeared in both academic and popular press. Most recently, he authored a chapter for the edited volume The Turn to Infrastructure in Internet Governance (2016). He holds a M.A. in media studies from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and a B.A. in foreign affairs from The University of Virginia.

Asvatha Babu is a PhD student at American University’s School of Communication studying governments’ use of ICTs and emerging technologies as tools of development and soft power. She is particularly interested in the role of technology in identity management and self-sovereign identity in the developing world. She graduated with her M.A. from the School of International Service at American University, where she focused her studies on cybersecurity and technology policy. She has worked as a Research Fellow at the Blockchain Trust Accelerator at New America; as a Research Associate at the AU Institute on Disability and Public Policy; and has interned at the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore, India, at The Atlantic Council's Cyber Statecraft Initiative, and at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in Washington, DC.