American Association for Public Broadband: Executive Director
Gigi Sohn is a Distinguished Fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and a Benton Senior Fellow and Public Advocate. She is one of the nation’s leading public advocates for open, affordable and democratic communications networks. For over 30 years, Sohn has worked across the country to defend and preserve the fundamental competition and innovation policies that have made broadband Internet access more ubiquitous, competitive, affordable, open and protective of user privacy.
From 2013 to 2016, Sohn was counselor to former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Tom Wheeler. Singled out by Chairman Wheeler as “the conscience of the Chairman’s office” for her tireless advocacy on behalf of American consumers and competition, the Daily Dot named her one of the “Heroes Who Saved the Internet” in recognition of her role in the adoption of the FCC’s 2015 network neutrality rules.
From 2001-2013, Sohn served as the co-founder and CEO of Public Knowledge, a leading Washington-based communications and intellectual property policy advocacy organization serving the interests of consumers. She was previously a project specialist in the Ford Foundation’s Media, Arts and Culture unit and executive director of the Media Access Project, the first public interest communications law firm.
In 1997, President Clinton appointed Sohn to serve as a member of his Advisory Committee on the Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters. The Electronic Frontier Foundation awarded her an Internet Pioneer Award in 2006. In 2018, the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ gave her the Everett C. Parker Award, which is given in recognition of an individual whose work embodies the principles and values of the public interest in telecommunications and the media. In 2019, the National Journal named her to its list of “50 people changing the game in Washington.” In March 2021, The Washingtonian magazine named her one of its “Most Influential People in Washington.”
Sohn is a long-time advocate for LGBTQ+ equality. She served as president of the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers (now the LGBT Bar Association) of Washington, D.C., from 1994-1997 and was elected as the first openly LGBTQ+ member of the District of Columbia Bar Board of Governors. She also served on the District of Columbia Bar Task Force on Sexual Orientation and the Law.
Sohn lives in Washington, D.C., with her wife, Lara Ballard, and their daughter, Yosselin.