Mallory Knodel and Bernard Shen Elected FOC Advisory Network co-Chairs for 2019-2020

Mallory Knodel
Mallory Knodel

The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) has announced the election of Ms Mallory Knodel and Mr. Bernard Shen as the new co-Chairs of the FOC Advisory Network (AN), a mechanism for facilitating and ensuring ongoing multistakeholder engagement for the Coalition.

Ms Knodel is the Head of Digital for ARTICLE 19 and co-chair of the Human Rights and Protocol Considerations research group of the Internet Research Task Force, while Mr. Shen is an Assistant General Counsel in the Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs Department of  Microsoft.  His work focuses on Microsoft’s policy and practice on freedom of expression, privacy and other human rights across its products and services, and on engagement with external stakeholders on human rights issues and policies.

Ms Knodel and Mr. Shen were elected by the Advisory Network (FOC-AN) following an internal election process,  and will hold their roles until March 2020. They are taking over from the interim co-Chairs of the FOC-AN, Mr. Matthew Shears and Ms Katharine Kendrick, who remain members of the Network.

Speaking on her new role, Ms Knodel expressed her intention to “continue the work of the previous co-Chairs to foster trust and transparency within the FOC”.

She noted that she was looking forward to “bringing the AN and the FOC Members closer through practical coordination activities such as human-centric cybersecurity policy and human rights considerations in algorithmic decision making.”

Regarding his role as co-Chair, Mr. Shen said he would focus his energy on cultivating open-minded discussions, the sharing and understanding of perspectives, concerns and goals within the AN in order to build and provide consensus recommendations to support informed deliberation of key issues by the FOC.

The co-Chairs election process was guided by stakeholder group balance, gender balance, geographic balance, relevant expertise, and commitment to the values of the FOC, as mandated by FOC-AN’s Terms of Reference.

The FOC’s Advisory Network was designed to enhance the Coalition’s multi-stakeholder engagement, including through providing advice on aims, objectives and activities of the Coalition, as well as to support its mission of advancing Internet freedom and human rights online.

The FOC has congratulated the new co-Chairs on their positions, saying it wishes them success in the year ahead.

Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda (MRA) is a member of the FOC Advisory Network.