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Conference on Internet Governance & Cyber-security

School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in collaboration with The Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG)

May 14-15, 2015 | Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Avenue,

Italian Academy, Columbia University campus, New York City, 10027

Day 1: Internet Governance | Day 2: Cyber-security


In May 2015, the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University hosted a major forum in collaboration with the Global Commission on Internet Governance to examine critical issues associated with Internet governance and cyber security.

Watch Highlights of the Internet Governance & Cyber-security Conference

Read the proceedings from the Conference

(click image below for pdf)

The conference featured: 

  • Nine panels over one and a half days.
  • Over 40 thought leaders including leading Columbia University faculty from SIPA, business, law, engineering, journalism; GCIG Commissioners and affiliated researchers; influential US and international policy makers, entrepreneurs, legal experts, technologists, and corporate executives from around the world.
  • An agenda covering the most pressing policy issues in the worlds of internet governance and cyber-security including privacy, security, innovation, international trade and cross border data flows,  data protectionism, human rights, freedom of expression and much more.
  • A series of expert background papers that form a basis for discussion for each of the panels.

Notable addresses included:

  • Steven Bellovin, Professor, Department of Computer Science, Columbia University
  • Vinton Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist, Google
  • Michael Chertoff, GCIG Commissioner & former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, United States
  • Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics, Columbia SIPA
  • Kevin Mandia, Chief Operating Office & Senior Vice President, FireEye
  • Eli Noam, Director, Columbia Institute for Tele-Information, Columbia Business School
  • Marietje Schaake, GCIG Commissioner & Dutch member of the European Parliament
  • Brad Smith, General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
  • Lawrence Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, US Department of Commerce


This conference was hosted by:

Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs

For nearly 70 years, SIPA has been equipping future leaders with the skills, knowledge and intellectual curiosity to solve the world’s most critical public policy challenges. Through a rigorous and multidisciplinary curriculum, practical capstone projects and field work that engage real world issues, and connections to world-renowned scholars and practitioners, SIPA students learn to make a positive difference in the world, whether in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. At home in Columbia’s prestigious university community and the global City of New York, SIPA is also a uniquely diverse, international and entrepreneurial community that brings together world leaders of diverse backgrounds, skills, and perspectives.

SIPA recently launched a new initiative around technology and policy called ‘Tech&Policy@SIPA’. This ambitious effort fuses public policy, engineering, data science and entrepreneurship through a variety of activities, including new courses on data analytics and visualization; a Challenge Grant that invites graduate students to combine ICT and data to solve urban challenges globally; participation with Columbia Entrepreneurship in a start-up lab in lower NYC; and interdisciplinary research around internet policy issues including internet governance and cyber security. This new research is aimed at deepening collaboration at Columbia University across disciplines as well as convening interdisciplinary expert groups, such as at this Conference. By equipping the next generation of public policy students and scholars with a deeper understanding of new technology, nurturing organizations that are building novel tech-based solutions to pressing public policy problems, and supporting cutting-edge interdisciplinary research, SIPA is stimulating a host of creative endeavors at the intersection of technology and public policy.


This conference was held in collaboration with:

The Global Commission on Internet Governance

The Global Commission on Internet Governance was established in January 2014, to articulate and advance a strategic vision for the future of Internet governance. With work commencing in May 2014, the two-year project will conduct and support independent research on Internet-related dimensions of global public policy, culminating in an official commission report.

Chaired by Carl Bildt, the commission will inform concrete policy recommendations for the future of Internet governance, by providing a framework both for coordination among advanced industrial democracies and for addressing the interests and values of states that are uncertain about the future of multi-stakeholder governance. Key issues to be addressed by the commission include governance legitimacy and regulation, innovation, online rights and systemic risk.

Launched by two independent global think tanks, the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and Chatham House, the Global Commission on Internet Governance will help educate the wider public on the most effective ways to promote Internet access, while simultaneously championing the principles of freedom of expression and the free flow of ideas over the Internet.