Aligning Tech Law & Policy Today to Benefit the LGBTQ Community of Tomorrow

Panels & Networking Happy Hour

About the Forum

The 3rd Annual Fall Policy Forum

The laws and policies that govern technology have the ability to benefit the LGBTQ communities of today and tomorrow. During our 3rd Annual Fall Policy Forum we are going to discuss the importance of aligning these policies to increase diversity in the workforce pipeline and how the next steps in open Internet could drastically change the Internet we know today.

Location – Date – Time

Rayburn House Office Building B-369
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
2PM – 6PM

Forum Agenda

Forum Agenda

Open each section below for more information.

Keynote Speaker – Dr. Marvin Carr, White House OSTP

Dr. Marvin D. Carr is the Policy Advisor for STEM Education, Innovation and Diversity to the U.S. Chief  Technology Officer, Megan Smith, within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In this capacity, he works with Federal agencies, local leaders, the business community, and academia to support access to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) for all Americans, especially those on the margins. Part of his work involves leveraging local engagement to enhance the STEM and Innovation aspects of the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, which promotes opportunity for boys and young men of color and other young people.

Before he came to the White House, Marvin worked with schools and government in Baltimore to implement STEM training and tutoring for inner city youth and their parents. Marvin has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Morgan State University, a Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and his Doctorate in Electrical Engineering from Morgan State. His research explores the relationship between race, gender, culture and cognition, and their impact on success in educational math software programs. Dr. Carr is a Kapor Fellow, a Fellow of the Partnership for Public Service, and an active member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and a national leader in the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.,

Tech companies today are starving for diverse talent interested in STEAM fields crucial to their business. This conversation will explore the current challenges faced by companies as they look to diversify the current workforce and pipeline. We will also talk about the solutions for filling that pipeline with diverse untapped talent. Speakers: (Please review bios in the speakers section.)

  • Lisa Hayes – VP, Programs and Strategy, CDT – @AWashingtonGirl
  • Karen-Michelle Mirko – VP, Marketing, Sales and Meaningful Collisions, NACCE – @KMMirko
  • Eric V. Patridge, PhD – President, OSTEM – @EricPatridge

Although many people think that the FCC’s decision on open internet settles the matter, nothing could be further from the truth. From the courts to Congress, action is taking place to modify or outright repeal the FCC actions.  This panel will discuss whether the current decision helps or harms LGBT communities as well as why both proponents as well as opponents of the current rules should pay close attention to the current court case and potential congressional action. Speakers: (Please review speaker bios in speaker section below.)

  • John Bergmayer – Senior Staff Attorney, Public Knowledge – @Bergmayer
  • Doug Brake – Telecommunications Policy Analyst, ITIF – @DBrakeITIF
  • Shawn Chang – Wiley Rein, LLP
  • Nicholas Degani – Comm. Ajit Pai’s Office, FCC – @NickDeganiFCC

Forum Speakers

Forum Speakers

Full list of speakers will be announced soon.

At Public Knowledge, John does legal and policy advocacy at the FCC, other federal agencies, courts, Congress, and international bodies.  He appears in the media (radio, TV, print, and online), and has represented Public Knowledge at WIPO, the OECD, and the European Parliament, and has testified before Congress several times.  He blogs frequently at and has written op-eds for national media.

John is a member of the DC and Colorado bars and a graduate of the University of Colorado Law School. He earned a J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School (’09), where he was elected to the Order of the Coif, and a B.A. in English from Colorado State University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

John was a member of the Colorado Army National Guard for six years, and was called to active duty for homeland security missions during his undergraduate studies. While in the National Guard, John received the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal four times, and other awards, and was a member of the Colorado National Guard Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High-Yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP).

At the University of Colorado, he was production editor of the Journal on Telecommunications & High Technology Law (where his student note was published in spring 2009) and co-President of the Technology and Intellectual Property Society. He was a semifinalist in the National Telecommunications Moot Court, and was involved in a number of projects with the Technology Law & Policy Clinic. While in law school, he worked as a law clerk for Governor Ritter’s Office of Legal Counsel, as well as working with the state of Colorado on a number of broadband-related initiatives. He also worked as a summer associate in a DC law firm, investigated copyright issues for a Denver TV station, and interned with Public Knowledge.

A former Chief Counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives, Shawn uses his extensive Capitol Hill experience to assist clients with matters pertaining to communications, technology, commerce, transportation, and energy. He provides strategic advice on legislative, public policy, and legal issues, with an in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of Congress and administrative agencies. Shawn serves as a co-chair of Wiley Rein’s LGBT & Allies Affinity Group.

Nicholas Degani comes to Commissioner Pai’s office from a detail to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, where he served as counsel under Chairman Fred Upton and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden. His portfolio included communications issues and agencies, with a focus on the Universal Service Fund, intercarrier compensation, privacy, cybersecurity, agency jurisdiction and spending, and the administrative process.

Before his detail, Mr. Degani served as an Attorney Advisor in the Wireline Competition Bureau’s Telecommunications Access Policy Division, where he worked on issues related to the Universal Service Fund’s low-income and schools and libraries programs, as well as contributions and eligible-telecommunications-carrier issues. Mr. Degani has also worked in the Commission’s Office of General Counsel and the Wireline Competition Bureau’s Competition Policy Division, where he worked on pole attachment issues, transaction review, broadband policy, and numbering issues related to Internet-based Telecommunications Relay Services. Mr. Degani entered the Commission through the Attorney Honors Program in 2007.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Degani served as a law clerk for Judge Jeffrey Sutton of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and magna cum laude from Yale University, where he studied Electrical Engineering/Computer Science and History.

Lisa Hayes is the Vice President, Programs and Strategy, for the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT). Lisa has led teams in operational roles for more than 15 years and has deep experience in law, public policy and nonprofit governance. Her legal background is in constitutional law and policy, including free speech and privacy issues. Lisa’s career has been split between the private and nonprofit sectors. She has experience working with national nonprofits on program management, strategy, government relations, fundraising, grasstops outreach and providing legal counsel. While not entirely immune from the grand rhetoric of Washington, Lisa delights in helping organizations set practical goals, build alliances, and make measurable progress. Before joining CDT, she served as a member of the senior teams at the American Constitution Society and the Alliance for Justice.

Earlier in her career, Lisa spent a decade in private practice, and was a partner in a prominent Seattle law firm. She successfully represented clients in more than a dozen trials and appeals, many of which involved technology policy. Lisa has been engaged in diversity and pipeline issues for nearly two decades, and oversees CDT’s work to increase diversity in the technology profession. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Lotus Circle, a Global Network for Women. When in private practice, she served as chair of the Diversity Committee for her law firm and was appointed by Washington State to the Gender & Justice Commission and to the Glass Ceiling Task Force.

Karen-Michelle Mirko is the Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Meaningful Collisions at the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE). A catalyst and connector in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Karen-Michelle fosters an innovative community college culture that fuels economic vitality through entrepreneurship – in the classroom, off campus and in the president’s office. Passionate about igniting an entrepreneurial mindset, she pilots and partners to create educational programs to help people start to think entrepreneurially as well as start and grow a business.

Before NACCE, Karen-Michelle worked with a range of firms from American Express OPEN and NYC Business Solutions to develop private-public partnership programs that resulted in increased business starts and firm growth. Through content marketing and public relations, she was also able to position those partners as thought leaders in entrepreneurship and small business. A founder herself, Karen-Michelle opened The Vintage Thrift Store with a local non-profit in Manhattan and later launched beta&pivot, a marketing, sales and communications firm in Brooklyn.

Eric-PatridgeEric V. Patridge, Ph.D., is an experimental chemical biologist and is broadly trained in disease-related programs. His research background spans across all domains of life, and his expertise includes complex proteins, natural product metabolites, and small molecule drug candidates. After joining Yale University in 2009, Dr. Patridge coordinated programs in cancer biology, cellular resistance mechanisms, and the development of both synthetic anticancer agents and natural product antibiotics. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College and Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. His additional research efforts include artificial intelligence, computational drug design, FDA drug databases, DNA modifiers, and biophysical characterization of redox-dependent Phase II enzymes. Beyond his professional training, Dr. Patridge has also contributed significant effort in equity programs across the STEM fields, including an academic publication related to Campus Pride and his role as Co-Founder / President of oSTEM Incorporated, the national society serving LGBTQ+ students across all STEM fields.

Doug Brake is a Telecommunications Policy Analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. He specializes in broadband policy, wireless enforcement, and spectrum sharing mechanisms. He previously served as a research assistant at the Silicon Flatirons Center at the University of Colorado, where he sought to improve policy surrounding wireless enforcement, interference limits and gigabit network deployment. Prior to that, he served as a Hatfield Scholar at the Federal Communications Commission, assisting with the implementation of the Advanced Communications Services section of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. Doug holds a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School and a Bachelor’s in English Literature and Philosophy from Macalester College.


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