Rebecca MacKinnon, Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation, was named the Hearst Professional-in-Residence for the Spring 2012 semester by the Columbia School of Journalism. In her role as a Schwartz Fellow, MacKinnon conducts research, writing and advocacy on global Internet policy, free expression and the impact of digital technologies on human rights. Her forthcoming book, Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom, will be published in January 2012 by Basic Books.
Andres Martinez, director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Fellows program, said: "Rebecca provides a strong and unique voice in the conversation about freedom of the press. Her work at the New America Foundation has given an urgency to the issue of free expression and her leadership in this arena is exactly what we envision for our fellows. We look forward to seeing Rebecca's expertise being used to help guide and shape young journalists in her role as a Hearst Professional-in-Residence at Columbia."
MacKinnon is cofounder of Global Voices Online (globalvoicesonline.org), a global citizen media network, and is also a founding member of the Global Network Initiative (globalnetworkinitiative.org), a multi-stakeholder initiative to advance principles of freedom of expression and privacy in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.
Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, MacKinnon worked as a journalist for CNN in Beijing for nine years, serving as CNN’s Beijing Bureau Chief and Correspondent from 1998-2001 and then as CNN’s Tokyo Bureau Chief and Correspondent from 2001-03. From 2004-06 she was a Fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press and Public Policy Research Fellow and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, both at Harvard. In 2007-08 she served on the faculty of the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Centre, where she taught online journalism and conducted research on Chinese Internet censorship. In 2009 she continued her research and writing as an Open Society Institute Fellow, then spent the first half of 2010 as a visiting fellow at Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy. She received her AB magna cum laude from Harvard College.