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Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs
Professor of the Practice of Computer Science
Areas of Interest: Digital policy, cybersecurity, privacy and civil liberties, intelligence, open government and information sharing, U.S. national security policy process.
Timothy H. Edgar is a former national security and intelligence official, cybersecurity expert, privacy lawyer and civil liberties activist. He teaches at Brown University and Harvard Law School.
Edgar launched his professional career at the American Civil Liberties Union shortly before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He left the ACLU to become the intelligence community’s first deputy for civil liberties in 2006. Edgar tells the story of trying to make a difference inside America’s growing surveillance state in Beyond Snowden: Privacy, Mass Surveillance and the Struggle to Reform the NSA, winner of the 2018 Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize.
In 2009, after President Barack Obama announced the creation of a new National Security Council position “specifically dedicated to safeguarding the privacy and civil liberties of the American people,” Edgar moved to the White House, where he advised Obama on privacy issues in cybersecurity policy.
In 2013, Edgar left government for Brown University to help launch its professional cybersecurity degree program. At Brown, he is a Professor of the Practice of Computer Science and a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Edgar is a contributing editor to Lawfare and his work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, Foreign Affairs, and Wired.