Ben Scott is Senior Adviser to the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation in Washington DC and a Visiting Fellow at the Stiftung Neue Verantwortung in Berlin. Previously, he was Policy Adviser for Innovation at the US Department of State where he worked at the intersection of technology and foreign policy. In a small team of advisers to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he worked to help steward the 21'st Century Statecraft agenda with a focus on technology policy, social media and development.
Prior to joining the State Department, for six years he led the Washington office for Free Press, the largest non-profit organization in the US dealing exclusively with media and communications policy. As policy director for Free Press, he headed a team of lawyers, researchers, and advocates, and directed a public interest policy agenda to expand affordable access to an open Internet and to foster more public service journalism. He was frequently called as an expert witness before the US Congress. Before joining Free Press, he worked as a legislative aide handling telecommunications policy for then-Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds a PhD in communications from the University of Illinois.
Pick up any contemporary analysis of political campaigns, and it is conventional wisdom that the "Internet revolution" has fundamentally changed how politics works. Political media outlets are fragmented. Politicians and ministries are on Facebook. And the marketplace of ideas operates according to a new logic of networked information flows. Yet few public interest NGOs have mastered how to be advocates, much less how to leverage online tools to amplify the effectiveness of their work. That has to change if we are going to use the Internet to create a more open, participatory and responsive government.