Samir Jain is the Director of Policy at the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT). He leads CDT’s policy advocacy and manages CDT’s core policy teams in conjunction with its CEO. His work includes shaping and overseeing execution of CDT’s policy agenda and strategy, and representing the organization before policymakers, regulatory agencies, civil society, industry, and the media.
Samir has 25 years of experience in senior roles in government and private practice working at the forefront of technology law, policy, and regulation. He served in the Obama Administration as Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice and as Senior Director for Cybersecurity Policy for the National Security Council. In those positions, he advised leadership at the White House and DOJ on cybersecurity and technology policy; coordinated development of cybercrime and privacy legislation and policy in areas such as encryption and defense of critical infrastructure; managed responses to significant cyber incidents; and led the team responsible for international engagements on issues such as law enforcement cooperation, cyber norms, and cyber-enabled intellectual property theft. He was a primary architect of the Presidential Policy Directive on United States Cyber Incident Coordination and played a key role in developing the Executive Order authorizing sanctions for malicious cyber-enabled activities.
Samir also was a partner at the law firms of WilmerHale and Jones Day. He started his career as a communications lawyer and worked on regulatory and litigation matters ranging from net neutrality to electronic surveillance. As the Internet emerged, he played a lead role litigating landmark cases such as Zeran v. America Online, establishing that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act generally immunizes social media and other online services from liability for third-party content.
Over time, his practice spanned advising on cyber risk mitigation; leading data breach and cyber incident responses; counseling clients on global privacy compliance, and handling investigations by the FTC and state Attorneys General; advising on law enforcement and national security issues; and counseling on issues affecting emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things.
Samir has served on the Education Advisory Board for the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), as an Affiliate with the Technology Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and as an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School. He holds a B.S. from Stanford University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.