Melanie Teplinsky

Melanie Teplinsky

Senior Fellow

Melanie Teplinsky has over 25 years of experience working on cyber law and policy issues in positions across the private sector, government, and academia. At American University, she previously served as an adjunct professor at the Washington College of Law (WCL); serves as a faculty fellow at the Internet Governance Lab; and is a member of WCL’s National Security Law Brief Advisory Board.

Before joining WCL, Ms. Teplinsky practiced technology law at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where she counseled multinational clients on a wide array of cyberlaw issues including cybersecurity, data protection, and electronic surveillance. She later served on the (pre-IPO) advisory board of CrowdStrike, Inc., a next-generation cybersecurity technology company.

Pursuing her childhood passion for cryptography, Ms. Teplinsky began her career at the National Security Agency at age sixteen. She subsequently served in a technical capacity at the Institute for Defense Analyses' Center for Communications Research; analyzed U.S. encryption policy at NIST’s Computer Security Lab; and researched networked technologies at SAIC’s Center for Information Strategy and Policy.

During the Clinton Administration, Ms. Teplinsky served in the Executive Office of the President (EOP), tackling a wide variety of information technology policy issues while dividing her time as an intern between OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Information Technology Branch and the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Ms. Teplinsky writes and speaks extensively on cyberlaw and policy issues. Her publications include law review articles, book chapters, and numerous articles. She also penned a series of opinion pieces as a columnist for the Christian Science Monitor’s privacy and cybersecurity section (i.e., Passcode). Ms. Teplinsky has appeared on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and as a featured guest on “Midday,” and she regularly fields interview requests from a variety of global media outlets (e.g., Reuters, Canadian Broadcasting Company, Politico, Voice of America).

Ms. Teplinsky is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, a Harry Truman National Scholarship recipient, and served as a law clerk to the honorable Judge Rya W. Zobel in the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (1999-2000 Term).