Professor of Practice, Harvard Law School
Executive Director, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society
Urs Gasser is the Executive Director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and a Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School. His research and teaching activities focus on information law, policy, and society issues and the changing role of academia in the digitally networked age. Current projects – several involving the Global Network of Internet & Society Centers, which he helped to incubate – focus on the governance of evolving and emerging technologies such as Cloud Computing, the Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence, with a particular interest in privacy and security issues and the broader implications of these technologies, including questions of agency and autonomy. As a longer term research interest, he studies the patterns of interaction between law and innovation, and innovation with the legal system in the digital age.
Dr. Gasser has written and edited several books on digital technology issues, and published over 100 articles in professional journals. He is the co-author of “Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives” (Basic Books, 2008 and 2016, with John Palfrey), which has been translated into 10 languages (including Chinese), co-author of “Interop: The Promise and Perils of Highly Interconnected Systems” (Basic Books, 2012, with John Palfrey), and author of the forthcoming book “The Future of Digital Privacy: A Navigation Aid” (MIT Press, 2017). Additional information about his research can be found on his SSRN author page.
In addition to his appointments at Harvard, Urs Gasser is a guest professor at KEIO University (Japan), was a visiting professor at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), and taught at Fudan University School of Management (China). He serves as a trustee on the boards of the NEXA Center for Internet & Society at the University of Torino, the Digital Asia Hub, and the Research Center for Information Law at the University of St. Gallen. He was fomerly a member of the International Advisory Board of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin, a Fellow at the Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research, and served as a Senior Advisor to the World Economic Forum’s Future of the Internet Initiative.
Urs graduated from the University of St. Gallen (lic.iur., Dr.iur.) as well as Harvard Law School (LL.M. ‘03) and received several academic awards and prizes for his research, including Harvard’s Landon H. Gammon Fellowship for academic excellence and the “Walther Hug-Preis Schweiz,” a prize for the best doctoral thesis in law nationwide, among others. Before returning to the Berkman Klein Center as Executive Director in 2009, Urs Gasser was an Associate Professor of Law at the University of St. Gallen, where he led the Research Center for Information Law as Faculty Director. Prior to his St. Gallen appointment, Urs spent three years as a resident fellow at the Berkman Klein Center, where he was later appointed Faculty Fellow. He also initiated and chaired the Harvard-Yale-Cyberscholar Working Group, and was a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School.
Dr. Gasser frequently acts as a commentator on digital technology, policy, and society issues for the US and European media. The disclosure of related outside interests and activities can be found here.