EFF is honored to announced that Gigi Sohn, a leading public advocate for the concept that broadband Internet should be open, affordable, and competitive, has joined our board of directors. A lawyer and innovator who has both counseled and stood up to the Federal Communications Commission—albeit not always at the same time—Sohn has fearlessly worked for over 30 years to make U.S. communications networks accessible to all consumers and protective of user privacy.
Gigi has focused throughout her career on defending competition and innovation policies to advance net neutrality and broadband access and affordability. As counselor to former FCC commissioner Tom Wheeler from 2013 to 2016, Gigi played a big role in the FCC’s adoption of the strongest-ever net neutrality rules, earning recognition in the tech press as one of the “Heroes Who Saved the Internet.”
Gigi helped co-found Public Knowledge (PK), the nation’s leading nonprofit representing consumer interests in telecommunications policy, and served as its president from 2001 to 2013. At PK Gigi stood up for fair use and consumer rights in the face of entertainment industry attacks, warned Congress and policymakers that AT&T’s planned merger with T-Mobile would greatly reduce competition while driving up prices for customers, and pushed the FCC to strengthen its net neutrality proposal in 2010.
“Gigi has been a close collaborator with EFF for nearly 20 years,” said EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn. “During her time leading Public Knowledge we worked together on too many issues to count, including stopping SOPA/PIPA in Congress. Gigi then helped make tremendous things happen on Network Neutrality and ISP Privacy during her tenure at the FCC. We are delighted that she’s agreed to share her wisdom and experience with us as an EFF Board member.”
Known internationally and respected in Washington D.C., Gigi advised Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton on telecom issues and received EFF’s Pioneer Award for her advocacy of consumer rights in the digital world. She is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and a Benton Senior Fellow and Public Advocate. Gigi has been a fellow at Mozilla and the Open Society Foundation.
Gigi lives in Washington D.C. with her wife, Lara Ballard, their daughter Yosselin and their cats, Pepe and Zap. When she’s not spending time with family or cooking and entertaining, Gigi practices Krav Maga and cheers on hopeless New York sports teams.