Quentin Palfrey is a non-resident senior fellow with GMF Digital. Palfrey is an experienced lawyer who has held a number of government and nonprofit leadership roles in technology and health care. He also currently serves as the president of the International Digital Accountability Council, an independent watchdog created to improve digital accountability through international monitoring, investigation, education, and collaboration with online applications and platforms.
During the Obama administration, Palfrey served as senior advisor for jobs & competitiveness in the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy and deputy general counsel for strategic initiatives at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In those positions, Palfrey played a leading role in efforts to develop baseline consumer privacy legislation centered on the idea of a consumer privacy bill of rights. He served as the lead White House staffer in connection with passage of the America Invents Act, the launch of the Patents for Humanity Initiative, and the re-launch of the Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board.
Prior to his time in the Obama administration, Palfrey served as the first chief of the Healthcare Division in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, where he oversaw multi-million-dollar litigation and investigations against insurance and pharmaceutical companies and played a key role in decisions relating to the implementation of Massachusetts' landmark healthcare reform law.
Palfrey has also led several nonprofit organizations, including J-PAL North America (MIT's poverty lab), where he worked to improve the efficacy of social services in the areas of health care, economic mobility, housing, and education; Global Access in Action, a project of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet Society at Harvard University that seeks to improve access to lifesaving medicines for the world's poorest populations; and the Voter Protection Corps, which seeks to overcome obstacles voters face to registering, voting, and having their votes count.
Quentin was the 2018 Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts.
Palfrey is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.