Rebecca MacKinnon is a journalist and activist whose work focuses on the intersection of the Internet, human rights, and foreign policy. As an Open Society Fellow, she conducted research for her first book, Consent of the Networked, which will be published in January 2012 by Basic Books.
Currently a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, MacKinnon is examining U.S. policies related to the Internet, human rights, and “global Internet freedom.” She is cofounder of Global Voices Online, a global citizen media network, and is also a founding member of the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder initiative to advance principles of freedom of expression and privacy in the information and communications technology sector.
Fluent in Mandarin, MacKinnon served as CNN’s Beijing bureau chief and correspondent from 1998 to 2001 and then as CNN’s Tokyo bureau chief and correspondent from 2001-03. She has been a fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, both at Harvard; in addition, she taught online journalism and conducted research on Chinese Internet censorship at the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Centre.
MacKinnon received her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Harvard College.