The Century Foundation (TCF) is pleased to announce that Jonathan Mayer has won this year’s Janice Nittoli “Forward Thinking” Award. Mayer will receive a $5,000 stipend to support his proposal for a policy paper that will lay out an ambitious state-level agenda to protect consumer privacy in a time of federal retrenchment.

Mayer previously served as a World Wide Web Consortium academic representative, playing a lead role in the effort to develop a Do Not Track web privacy standard. From 2015 through earlier this year, he was chief technologist for the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau, where he contributed substantially to writing the landmark internet service provider privacy rules (recently rolled back by Congress). Mayer is currently serving as a legislative fellow for U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (CA-D), advising the senator on data security, surveillance, net neutrality, and other technology related matters. He graduated from Princeton (A.B., 2009), Stanford Law School (JD, 2013), and is expected to complete a Stanford Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2017.

Mayer’s policy proposal responds to the absence of federal leadership on consumer privacy protection. Appreciating that the federal government’s role in enforcing privacy is likely to continue diminishing over the next few years, Mayer calls for treating “states as laboratories for security and privacy policy.”

“Mayer has a crucial perspective for this moment,” said TCF Senior Fellow Barton Gellman, who leads the foundation’s Privacy, Surveillance, and Technology program. “His paper will add real strategic depth to our growing body of practical, policy-focused research.”

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to give the Nittoli Award to such a deserving candidate,” said TCF President Mark Zuckerman. “We look forward to publishing his impactful paper.”

The Janice Nittoli “Forward Thinking” Award encourages young analysts to develop policy recommendations that embody TCF’s spirit of creativity and boldness. The award was created in honor of Janice Nittoli, who served as TCF’s president from August 2011 to March 2014. This year’s award is announced shortly after she passed away.

“We were very saddened to learn last week of Janice’s passing and extend our sympathies to her family and friends,” said Zuckerman. “This award will ensure her commitment to tackling the nation’s most challenging public policy issues will be handed down to a new generation of scholars.”