Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez has appointed Ashkan Soltani as the agency’s Chief Technologist, succeeding Dr. Latanya Sweeney, who is returning to Harvard University, where she founded and directs Harvard’s Data Privacy Lab.
Soltani will join the FTC in November and advise the Commission on evolving technology and policy issues. He is a technology consultant and researcher whose work has focused on privacy and security issues for more than 20 years. Soltani has previously served as a technical expert for the Commission, and worked at the FTC between 2010 and 2011 as a staff technologist.
“Technology and online and mobile platforms are continuing to evolve at a rapid pace and will remain a key focus for the FTC as more and more consumers adopt mobile devices and tablets,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “I am pleased to welcome Ashkan to our talented team where he will play a vital role in continuing our important work on behalf of American consumers.”
“I am very grateful to Latanya Sweeney for her outstanding work and public service on behalf of consumers, and particularly for her leadership in strengthening the Commission’s efforts to better protect sensitive consumer information,” Ramirez said.
Soltani has worked as a technical expert for multiple state attorneys general. He has also worked as an investigative reporter for The Washington Post, sharing with his co-authors in a 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, and The Wall Street Journal, and as a researcher for The New York Times. Earlier in his career, Soltani was employed as a manager and consultant for two security technology companies including Sophos.
Soltani earned a master’s degree in Information Management and Systems from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego.
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