Live from the Freedom Online Coalition: how the FOC works for people around the world

27 March 2023  13:30 - 14:30

Virtual Event | Organised by Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) | Held in Washington, DC (USA) in English
Contact details: [email protected]
Advancing respect for human rights
Register here

The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, in partnership with the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC)​ Chair, the United States, is pleased to present an exciting event live from Washington D.C during the week of the Summit for Democracy. Featuring remarks from U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, tune in to hear about the work of the world’s first, and only, global Internet freedom alliance, the U.S. Government’s “plan of action” for its chairship, and how the Coalition’s 36 member countries and an array of civil society and industry allies are working together to ensure the digital world is a rights-respecting and democratic one.

Join us Monday, March 27th at 1:30pm EDT / 11:30am PDT / 7:30pm CEST for this high-level briefing, followed by a conversation with leading civil society voices on how the FOC and its collaborators utilize the Coalition to drive collective responses and actions on some of the most pressing and wide-reaching issues of our era. You’ll hear experts and activists discuss how the FOC is uniquely positioned to tackle complex issues like Internet shutdowns and surveillance technologies, developing norms around artificial intelligence, and elevating the positive role of human rights defenders.

Head here to register for the virtual event on March 27thth. You can follow along through our live stream here or on YouTube.


Ambassador Wendy Sherman

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State

Twitter: @DeputySecState

Wendy R. Sherman was confirmed by the Senate on April 13, 2021 and sworn in as the 21st and first female Deputy Secretary of State on April 14, 2021.

Prior to assuming this position, Deputy Secretary Sherman was professor of the practice of public leadership and director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. She was also a Senior Fellow at the School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and a Senior Counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group.

From 2011 – 2015, Deputy Secretary Sherman served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, where she traveled to 54 countries and led the U.S. negotiating team that reached agreement on a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between the P5+1, the European Union, and Iran for which, among other diplomatic accomplishments, she was awarded the National Security Medal by President Barack Obama.

She previously served at the State Department as Counselor under Secretary Madeleine Albright, as Special Advisor to President Clinton and Policy Coordinator on North Korea, and as Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs under Secretary Warren Christopher.

She also previously served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, was Chair of the Board of Directors of Oxfam America, and served on the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Policy Board and Congressional Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation and Terrorism.

Deputy Secretary Sherman attended Smith College, and received a B.A. cum laude from Boston University and a Master’s degree in Social Work, Phi Kappa Phi, from the University of Maryland.

She is married to Bruce Stokes and has a daughter, Sarah, and two grandsons.


Boye Adegoke

Senior Manager, Grants and Program Strategy, Paradigm Initiative

Twitter handle: @adeboyeBGO

Boye Adegoke leads Paradigm Initiative Digital Rights Programs in Africa, which include advocating for right-respecting digital policies in Africa through policy interventions, stakeholder engagements, capacity building, strategic litigations, coalition building, and media campaigns. Adeboye led advocacy for the passage of the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill by the Nigeria’s parliament. Adeboye is an Alumni of the African School on Internet Governance. He has written several article and authored many reports. He is a co-author of the Digital Rights in Africa report by Paradigm Initiative. Adeboye has very strong legislative engagement and policy influencing experience, having worked and influenced many legislations and policies  in Africa. He co-founded the Monkmedia Yellow Pages in 2006 as an undergraduate at Obafemi Awolowo University. Prior to joining Paradigm Initiative, he worked in the private sector as a banking officer and was head of business development at one of Nigeria’s first indigenous virtual and serviced workspaces between 2011-2014. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and a professional certificate in public relations.


Juan Carlos Lara, 

Executive Director, Derechos Digitales

Twitter: @DerechosDigitales

  1. Carlos Lara is a Chilean lawyer, specializing in law and technology, currently the Executive Director of Derechos Digitales, a non governmental organization based in Santiago de Chile that promotes and defends digital rights in Latin America. He has worked as a consultant in intellectual property for public and private entities, has been a research assistant at the Centre of Studies in Cyber Law at the University of Chile, and received an LL.M. from UC Berkeley. In Derechos Digitales, he leads research and policy analysis on technology and data privacy, equality, freedom of expression, and access to knowledge and human rights in online platforms.

Alissa Starzak

Vice President, Global Head of Public Policy, Cloudflare

Twitter: @Cloudflare

Alissa Starzak is the Vice President and Global Head of Public Policy at Cloudflare, a web performance and security company that is on a mission to help build a better Internet. Prior to joining Cloudflare, she served as the 21st General Counsel of the Department of the Army, after confirmation by the Senate. Prior to that position, Starzak served in a variety of other national security positions, including at the U.S. Department of Defense and as Counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. She also worked in private practice and clerked for the Honorable E. Grady Jolly, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She graduated from Amherst College and the University of Chicago Law School.


Khushbu Shah O’Shea

Nonresident Fellow, Digital Forensic Research Lab

Twitter: @KhushbuOShea

Khushbu Shah O’Shea is a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab and formerly, Rest of World’s editorial director. Previously, she led newsrooms and bureaus for a start-up award-winning global newsroom and the National Public Radio’s Georgia Public Broadcasting. Previously at CNN, she produced, reported, and managed coverage on the ground across Latin America, the United States, and Asia. She has also managed network coverage out of Syria and Ukraine. She has produced, written, and edited work on the ground from the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the United States. Shah has launched and led more than two dozen newsroom partnerships while leading an award-winning global newsroom start-up with the New York Times, Associated Press, and the Guardian, among dozens of other publications, including a TIME magazine cover with an all-women Afghan newsroom. She began her career in Kabul, Afghanistan, where she spent two years at Moby Media Group, the parent company of TOLO News. Her writing has appeared in the Atlantic, Guardian, Washington Post, Businessweek, and elsewhere. Khushbu holds a Master of Science from the London School of Economics in Comparative Politics and a bachelor’s from the University of California, Berkeley. She is an advisor to Report for the World and a yet-to-be named effort to support Afghan newsrooms in exile. She is a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member. Khushbu is also a member of the Asian American Journalists Association and a member of the South Asian Journalists Association.