Public Knowledge Appoints Chris Lewis to Succeed Kimmelman as President and CEO

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Today, Public Knowledge is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Lewis as the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer as Gene Kimmelman steps down from the position. Lewis brings 17 years of experience in policymaking and political activism, including the last decade working in technology policy at the Federal Communications Commission and as Vice President at Public Knowledge. His career has focused on promoting the values of justice and community, including two recent terms as a locally elected school board member in his home of Alexandria, Virginia. You can find a full bio of Chris here.

As Public Knowledge defends the internet in 2020 and beyond, it will continue promoting its fundamental values to make sure no one is left behind in the new digital era. This entails fighting for the public interest even as the nation’s largest broadband providers, wireless carriers, and media conglomerates -- increasingly the same entities -- modernize our communications infrastructure and challenge the public’s right to free expression online. 

As the country awaits crucial decisions on net neutrality and massive telecommunications mergers, Public Knowledge will continue serving as a voice for consumers and the broader technology-using public. As more Americans begin questioning the market dominance of Big Tech, Public Knowledge will continue bringing the stories of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and innovators to Capitol Hill. And in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Public Knowledge will continue defending consumers’ right to privacy. Under Kimmelman’s leadership Public Knowledge has prioritized investing in a new generation of tech policy advocates, and the elevation of Chris Lewis as President and CEO is an important return on that investment.

The following can be attributed to Maura Corbett, CEO and Founder of the Glen Echo Group and Board Chair at Public Knowledge:

“Chris Lewis has the rare combination of public interest advocacy experience, strategic vision, and dedication to the community that makes him a wonderful fit as Public Knowledge's President and CEO. We're elated that he's accepted the opportunity to lead the organization into its next chapter.”

The following can be attributed to Chris Lewis, President and CEO of Public Knowledge:

“I am grateful to be selected as the third President and CEO of Public Knowledge. Our Founder, Gigi Sohn, and outgoing President Gene Kimmelman have both served as role models of what public interest advocacy is all about. I am proud to follow in their footsteps as we work to build on this foundation.

“Our generation of Americans are living in a time when technology is more integrated in our daily experience than ever before. This brings exciting new innovations and experiences, but it also requires smart policy to protect the long-standing values and expectations of the American people. This includes the first amendment freedom of expression, fair and functional access to creative works, and affordable access to communications. These values are central to Public Knowledge’s mission and work, and we will continue to work with all communities to defend these rights in our technology infused society.”

As a part of this leadership transition, Public Knowledge appoints Gene Kimmelman as Senior Advisor. Kimmelman will continue providing strategic counsel for increasing competition in the technology marketplace. He will also continue developing the next generation of public interest advocates through a fellowship program that trains young advocates with a diverse background to promote fairness and openness in technology. Kimmelman’s decades of experience in media and tech policy, especially antitrust policy, will be a tremendous resource as Public Knowledge remains at the vanguard of technology and internet policy.

The following can be attributed to Gene Kimmelman, Senior Advisor at Public Knowledge:

“It is time for a new generation of public interest advocates to lead Public Knowledge, and Chris Lewis has just the right ideals and skills to rise to the occasion. I’m thrilled to hand the baton to Chris and step aside to support the excellent team of advocates he will lead.”

Additionally, Public Knowledge is pleased to announce the promotion of Eboni Speight, John Bergmayer, and Phillip Berenbroick to new senior leadership roles as Chief Operating Officer, Legal Director, and Policy Director, respectively. These changes will support Public Knowledge in its work to promote a creative and connected future for all Americans.

Eboni Speight previously served as the Director of Human Resources and Administration at Public Knowledge, where she supervised budgeting, compensation, and employee relations. As the new Chief Operations Officer, she will oversee all employee relations, administrative duties, and finance functions.

John Bergmayer has served at Public Knowledge for nine years, most recently as a Senior Counsel specializing in telecommunications, internet, and intellectual property issues. As the new Legal Director, he will lead Public Knowledge’s legal work before the courts and supervise legal and policy analysis across all of the organization’s issues, with a special focus on intermediary liability and copyright. John’s leadership will make sure that all stakeholders -- including ordinary citizens, artists, and technological innovators -- have a say in shaping emerging digital policies.

Phillip Berenbroick previously served as the Senior Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge, where he focused on broadband competition, media mergers, spectrum policy, and copyright reform. As the new Policy Director, he will supervise and manage Public Knowledge’s advocacy as well as advise policymakers on Capitol Hill, the Federal Communications Commission, and at executive agencies to create technology policies that serve the public interest.

The following can be attributed to Chris Lewis, President and CEO at Public Knowledge:

“In their own unique ways, Eboni, John, and Phillip have been essential pillars in Public Knowledge’s work over the past few years. Eboni Speight’s work behind the scenes makes the Public Knowledge office function at a high level under the limited resources of a nonprofit. Her attention to detail and passion for fairness makes her a perfect fit for our organization. John Bergmayer’s years of expert legal analysis across every issue in the Public Knowledge portfolio makes him a natural choice as our Legal Director. He is respected in the broader community for his intelligence and policy acumen, and inside the organization for his mentorship and project management skills. Phillip Berenbroick is a relentless advocate who has also developed a deep knowledge of broadband, spectrum and competition policy. As Policy Director, he will set the pace in managing relationships on Capitol Hill.

“I am excited to elevate each of these talented individuals to new responsibilities as a part of this transition and I trust that they will continue the Public Knowledge tradition of expert policy analysis and advocacy in the defense of the public interest.”

You may view our staff page for more information on all hires, or review our new blog post, “My Journey to CEO and the Future of Public Knowledge,” to learn more about Chris Lewis and his public interest career.

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