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Sascha Meinrath is vice president of the New America Foundation and director of the Open Technology Institute (OTI), where he leads efforts to advance policy and regulatory reforms that protect an open and free Internet, safe communications, and promote competition in mobile and wireline telecommunications. An unapologetic advocate for consumers and a counterweight to the major telecom and wireless industry lobbyists in Washington, Sascha was named to the “TIME Tech 40” in 2013 as one of the most influential figures in technology, and was also named to the “Top 100” in Newsweek's Digital Power Index in 2012. Sascha has also been described as a "community Internet pioneer" and an "entrepreneurial visionary."
Sascha founded the Open Technology Institute to serve as an innovative tech-tank that promotes public policy solutions while also serving as a center of innovation that develops technological advancements in collaboration with universities and experts around the world. Sascha has grown OTI into a leader in ‘mesh’ wireless research and development, launching the Commotion Wireless Project, which strengthens communities by providing tools to build their own local communications infrastructures. Meinrath also joined Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet, to create Measurement Lab (M-Lab) –- a platform for researchers around the world to deploy Internet measurement tools and empower the public with useful information about their broadband connections. He coordinates the Open Source Wireless Coalition, dedicated to the development of open source, interoperable, low-cost wireless technologies, and hosts the annual International Summit for Community Wireless Networks (IS4CWN).
Sascha has previously worked with Free Press, the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), the Acorn Active Media Foundation, the Ethos Group, and co-founded the Champaign-Urbana Wireless Network (CUWiN) Foundation, and the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center Foundation.
In recognition of his impact as a telecommunications policy expert, he was named in 2009 as one of Ars Technica's Tech Policy "People to Watch" and is also the 2009 recipient of the Public Knowledge IP3 Award for excellence in public interest advocacy. Sascha has been a leading voice calling for accountability over the government’s leaked program that spies on Americans’ phone records and online activities, and is advancing the policy debate over how Congress and the White House should regulate the cybersecurity-industrial complex.
Sascha’s work is a testament to his lifelong commitment to reducing poverty, racial inequality, and injustice, values he embraced while growing up in a rough inner-city school in New Haven, Connecticut. A son of an immigrant from Brazil, Sascha has a three year-old daughter who is both a pre-schooler and budding Internet freedom fighter.