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Internet Policy Institute To Be Formed
 
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April 12, 1999
 
Contact: Graeme Browning
  Ph:   202-828-8832
  email:   browning@fleishman.com

WASHINGTON, DC, April 12, 1999 – A new global Internet policy and research institute will be formed later this year, a group of business leaders and representatives of nonprofit groups and academic institutions announced today. The Internet Policy Institute will be an independent, nonprofit research and educational institute chartered to provide objective, high-quality analysis, research, education, and outreach on a full range of economic, social and policy issues affecting and affected by the global development and use of the Internet.

The Institute will begin operation later this year when funding is finalized and staff has been hired, said Kimberly Jenkins, chair of the Institute's working group, and founder and chairman of Highway 1, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that serves as a nonpartisan resource on information technologies for Congress and federal, state and local government leaders.

"This is the right idea at the right time. In less than a decade the Internet has grown from a network used primarily by university researchers and computer hobbyists to a thriving communications medium that links more than 100 million individuals worldwide," Jenkins said. "With the policy makers of both the United States and many of the major industrialized nations focusing an increasing amount of attention on the Internet, it has become critical to bring the global thinking, research and debate on these issues together in one central location."

Jenkins said the Institute will have a physical presence in the Washington region, but will also have an active presence on the Internet, where it can draw on the research being conducted on online issues by scholars from around the world. While its initial staffing will be limited, the Institute will eventually add staff researchers and senior fellows.

Seed funding for the initial stages of the Institute's formation has been provided by several companies and institutions including America Online, Inc., NASDAQ, the Morino Institute, MCI Worldcom, Network Solutions, Inc., the Potomac KnowledgeWay, the World Information Technology and Services Alliance.

The idea for the Institute surfaced in mid-1997 when the Potomac KnowledgeWay, a Herndon, Va.-based nonprofit organization, identified a need for an academically-linked, nonpartisan organization that could conduct high-level research on Internet-related issues.

The Potomac KnowledgeWay, which serves as a catalyst for regional collaboration to promote growth in the information and communications industry, then hired The Washington Advisory Group, a science and technology consulting firm, to research and manage the proposal for and implementation of the institute.

"We are extremely pleased that the discussions of the last two years have culminated in the launch of this initiative. We are particularly grateful to Dr. Jenkins for her willingness to lead the effort to fully establish the institute," said Fred Bollerer, president and CEO of the Potomac KnowledgeWay.

"The willingness of senior people from the Internet community to devote their time and energy to this effort is, perhaps, the best measure we have of the importance and promise of this new venture," added Mario Morino, Potomac KnowledgeWay chairman.

In December 1998 an exploratory group of leaders from the industry, academia and nonprofit sectors met to discuss the concept, and The Potomac KnowledgeWay took the lead in establishing the working group. Members of the working group now include:

  • Kimberly Jenkins, Chairman, Highway 1, and chair of the Working Group
  • Alfred R. Berkeley, President, NASDAQ Stock Market
  • Erich Bloch, President, Washington Advisory Group, LLC
  • Earving L. Blythe, Vice President for Information Systems, Virginia Polytechnic Institute
  • Fred L. Bollerer, President and CEO, The Potomac KnowledgeWay
  • Jack Breese, Assistant Director, Microsoft Research, Microsoft Corp.
  • Michael A. Daniels, Chairman, Network Solutions, Inc. and Sector Vice President, Science Applications International Corp.
  • Esther Dyson, Chairman, EDventure Holdings, Inc., and interim chairman, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
  • Sherrilynne Fuller, Head, Division of Biomedical Informatics, University of Washington School of Medicine
  • B. Keith Fulton, Director for Technology Programs and Policy, National Urban League
  • Robert E. Kahn, President, Corporation for National Research Initiatives
  • Alan G. Merten, President, George Mason University
  • Harris N. Miller, President, Information Technology Association of America
  • Mario Morino, Chairman, The Morino Institute
  • Dan Mote, President, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Theodore O. Poehler, Vice Provost for Research, Johns Hopkins University
  • Adam C. Powell III, Vice President, Technology and Programs, The Freedom Forum
  • Jonathan Sallet, Chief Policy Counsel, MCI Worldcom
  • Larry L. Smarr, Director, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Alan G. Spoon, President and CEO, The Washington Post Co.
  • Robert Templin, President, Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology
  • George Vradenburg III, Senior Vice President, Global and Strategic Policy, America Online, Inc.

"During the next several months the working group will establish an organizational structure for the Institute and begin reaching out to national and non-U.S.-based companies and institutions for participation," said Erich Bloch, president of The Washington Advisory Group. "In the early summer we intend to establish a board of directors, finalize operational funding and begin the search for a president."

The Potomac KnowledgeWay Project is a nonprofit leadership organization that acts as a catalyst, thought leader and idea incubator to help prepare and educate the Greater Washington region to be a global leader in the information and communications industry.

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