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Michael R Nelson


Adjunct Professor


Communication, Culture, and Technology (CCT)
General profile


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Since January, 2009, I have been teaching courses and doing research on the future of the Internet, cyber-policy, technology policy, innovation policy, and e-government. After working as a full-time visiting professor, I scaled back to teaching just one class a term. In June, 2012, I took a full-time job at Bloomberg Government where I am analyzing technology policy and how it affects businesses, investors, and the general public. (See Then in August, 2013, I joined Microsoft as a Principal Technology Policy Strategist, working to help define Microsoft's vision of the connected future and help governments around the world understand and promote emerging technologies. In July, 2014, I left Microsoft and now consult on information technology trends and Internet policy.

Prior to joining the Georgetown faculty, I was Director of Internet Technology and Strategy at IBM, where I managed a team helping define and implement IBM's Next Generation Internet strategy. My group worked with university researchers on NGi technology, shaping standards for the NGi, and communicating IBM's NGi vision to customers, policy makers, the press, and the general public. Until recently, I served as the Internet Society's Vice President for Public Policy. I recently became Chairman-Elect of the Technology Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Trustee of the Institute for International Communications.

Prior to joining IBM in July, 1998, I was Director for Technology Policy at the Federal Communications Commission, where I helped craft policies to foster electronic commerce, spur development and deployment of new technologies, and improve the reliability and security of the nation's telecommunications networks.

Before joining the FCC in January, 1997, I was Special Assistant for Information Technology at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where I worked with Vice President Gore and the President's Science Advisor on issues relating to the Global Information Infrastructure, including telecommunications policy, information technology, encryption, electronic commerce, and information policy.

From 1988 to 1993, I served as a professional staff member for the Senate's Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space, chaired by then-Senator Gore. I was the lead Senate staffer for the High-Performance Computing Act.

I have a B.S. in geology from Caltech, and a Ph.D. in geophysics from MIT.


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  • Ph.D. (1988) Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Geophysics
  • B.S. (1981) California Institute of Technology, Geology