Vera Franz is deputy director of the Open Society Information Program, where she oversees the program’s interrelated portfolios on the threats to open society created by information technology. This includes work to limit surveillance powers of governments and corporations, counter discrimination based on algorithmic decision-making, and confront the manipulation of our public sphere. Previously, she led the program’s intellectual property reform initiative seed-funding and developing the global Access to Knowledge movement, which successfully advocated for the adoption of the Marrakesh Treaty for the Blind by the World Intellectual Property Organization. Franz represents the Open Society Foundations on the advisory board of Ariadne, the European network of funders for human rights and social change.
Before joining Open Society, Franz held a research post with the Austrian Techno-Z Research and Development Institute, was an external lecturer at the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Salzburg, Austria, and lived in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, working for local nongovernmental organizations.
She has studied in Austria, Canada, Italy, and the United Kingdom and holds an MSc in media and communications from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an MPhil in political science from the University of Salzburg.