My First Year as President and CEO of Public Knowledge

July 15, 2020
a creative and connected future

One year ago today, I took over the reins as President and CEO of Public Knowledge. Our nation has faced some challenges in these unprecedented times, and I could not be prouder of the work our staff has accomplished over the past year.

In addition to our daily outreach to policymakers, coalitions, and the public, during that time, we’ve written dozens of letters to regulators, including calling on Congress to address the lack of competition among dominant digital platforms, sharing our policy proposals to tackle rampant misinformation and disinformation online, and helped lead the campaign for important affordable broadband provisions in COVID-19 stimulus bills.

We’ve provided expert witness testimony before Congress 7 times, on topics ranging from Big Tech’s impact on small businesses, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s protections for platforms and internet users, and the necessity of connectivity during the pandemic. We’ve also published leading papers on policy topics from protecting vendors’ data on digital platforms, to balancing gatekeeper control dominant platforms have over app stores, to improving the copyright ecosystem’s termination right for creators.

I’m very proud that we’ve begun expanding our reach and making our expert policy analysis available to a broader audience. We’ve held nearly a dozen events, open to the public and with a wide range of experts, to grapple with topics like algorithmic amplifications and hate speech, personal privacy protections during the pandemic, and the threat of extinction towards local journalism.

I’m also proud that as we fight for free expression online, we recognize that freedom cannot be separated from the basic rights to vote and protest that online tools are used for every day to bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice.

This only scratches the surface of our work. I’m honored to be leading such an effective organization, and no matter what the future holds, we will continue to fight for a creative and connected future for all.

Your support has helped make all these achievements possible. I hope you will consider contributing to our efforts as we plan for the rest of 2020 and the years to come. And I hope you will check out some ways to take action on these issues. For real change to happen, we need members of the public like you to share their stories with policymakers.

About Chris Lewis

Christopher Lewis is President and CEO at Public Knowledge. Prior to being elevated to President and CEO, Chris served for as PK's Vice President from 2012 to 2019 where he led the organization's day-to-day advocacy and political strategy on Capitol Hill and at government agencies. During that time he also served as a local elected official, serving two terms on the Alexandria City Public School Board. Chris serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Local Self Reliance and represents Public Knowledge on the Board of the Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (BITAG). Before joining Public Knowledge, Chris worked in the Federal Communications Commission Office of Legislative Affairs, including as its Deputy Director. He is a former U.S. Senate staffer for the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and has over 18 years of political organizing and advocacy experience, including serving as Virginia State Director at GenerationEngage, and working as the North Carolina Field Director for Barack Obama's 2008 Presidential Campaign and other roles throughout the campaign. Chris graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelors degree in Government and lives in Alexandria, VA where he continues to volunteer and advocate on local civic issues.