Ambassador Karen Kornbluh is senior fellow and director of GMF’s Digital Innovation Democracy Initiative which works to help shape a future in which technology strengthens rather than undermines democratic values. This program contends with the challenge of online disinformation as well as other technology policy issues including 21st century jobs and innovation, democratic implications of frontier technologies, and cyber dimensions of national security. In addition, it will develop a framework for global transatlantic leadership on technology policy.
A leading voice at the intersection of digital and economic policy, technology, and foreign affairs, Kornbluh comes to GMF from the Council on Foreign Relations, where she was senior fellow for digital policy. Kornbluh served as policy director to Barack Obama during his term in the United States Senate and was the Obama administration’s ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) from 2009 until 2012. In this role she spearheaded development of the first global Internet Policymaking Principle and launched both the OECD's Gender Initiative and the Middle East-North Africa Women's Business Forum.
Kornbluh earlier served in the Clinton Administration as deputy chief of staff at the Treasury Department and in a number of senior positions at the Federal Communications Commission. She was on the Senate staff of John F. Kerry. In these positions she coordinated policy processes that developed key components of the emerging Internet policy framework.
In addition to her extensive government service, Kornbluh served as executive vice president for external affairs at data company Nielsen. At strategy firm Telesis, she consulted to Fortune 500 manufacturing companies. She began her career as an economist at forecasting firm Townsend-Greenspan.
Kornbluh was a visiting fellow at the Center for American Policy and a Markle Fellow and she served on the U.S. Federal Economic and Statistics Advisory Council; was a senior advisor to McKinsey on technology, a member of the World Economic Forum’s AI, IoT and Future of Trust Network, and co-chair of the Chamber of Commerce’s Digital Connect forum.
Her work on gender and family led to her founding the New America Foundation Work and Family Program, and writing on “The Family Trap” and “The Mommy Tax.” Her work on these issues was featured in a New York Times profile, Kornbluh’s writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic Monthly, Democracy, and the Harvard Law and Policy Review, as well as several anthologies.
She continues to serve on the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, and is a Mozilla Fellow and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.