NTIA Administrator Fiona Alexander Joins Internet Governance Lab as Distinguished Fellow

The Internet Governance Lab is pleased to announce that Fiona Alexander, a Presidential Rank Award winner for her leadership at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), will be joining the Lab as a Distinguished Fellow in Residence for 2019/20. In addition to her fellowship with the Internet Governance Lab, Ms. Alexander will also serve as Distinguished Policy Strategist in Residence in the School of International Service where she will engage with students and conduct research on a number of Internet governance and technology policy topics.

Before joining AU, Ms. Alexander was the Associate Administrator for International Affairs at NTIA where she was the principal official responsible for the analysis, development, and execution of international Internet, cyber, and communications policy within the Executive Branch of the United States government. In 2017 she became NTIA’s sole winner of the Presidential Rank Award for her leadership in the two-decade effort to privatize the Internet’s domain name system (DNS). 

Ms. Alexander is a member of the High-level Advisory Group for the Global Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network and was appointed by the United Nations Secretary General to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Multistakeholder Advisory Group.  She also co-led the Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force in its efforts to develop policy, norms and tools for commercial data privacy, online copyright protection, cybersecurity, and the free flow of information.  In her 18 years at NTIA, Ms. Alexander designed and executed a strategy for the successful election of the first woman in the 153 year history of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and negotiated principles for Artificial Intelligence at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

"When I think of policy and thought leaders who have both shaped ethically and understood well the global practice of internet governance, the first to come to mind is our extraordinary alumna, Fiona Alexander,” explains Internet Governance Lab Co-Director Dr. Nanette Levinson.

A graduate of American University’s International Affairs master’s program, Ms. Alexander began her career as an intern at the U.S. Information Agency (now part of the Department of State) where she worked on statistical analysis related to NATO expansion, among other issues. After two years as a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, Ms. Alexander began as a Senior Telecommunications Policy Specialist at NTIA in 2000 where she would go on to serve as a the chief government official tasked with shepherding the privatization of the DNS, a process that would be completed on October 1, 2016 with the formal transition of the DNS functions to the global multistakeholder community. “When the DNS was privatized, that was the end effectively of my internship project at NTIA internship,” explains Alexander of her celebrated tenure at NTIA.

Having successfully steered NTIA through this long and winding transition, Ms. Alexander arrives at AU ready to lend her expertise toward investigating some of the most pressing and consequential questions around the future of Internet governance, including the role of governments and efforts to construct guardrails for an Internet that has morphed in fundamental ways over the past 20 years.