Jameel Jaffer

Director, Knight First Amendment Institute, Columbia University 

Jameel Jaffer directs the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, whose mandate is to defend the freedoms of speech and the press in the digital age through strategic litigation, research, and public education.  Since its establishment three years ago, the Institute has initiated cutting-edge litigation relating to free speech on social media, surveillance, and government secrecy, and it has launched several major research projects—most recently, a project focused on “the technology giants, monopoly power, and public discourse,” which will culminate in a symposium at Columbia University in the fall of 2019. Jaffer previously served as deputy legal director at the ACLU, where he oversaw the organization’s work on free speech, privacy, technology, national security, and international human rights. Jaffer’s recent writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, and the Yale Law Journal Forum. He is an executive editor of Just Security, a national security blog, and his most recent book, The Drone Memos, was published by The New Press in the fall of 2016.

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