Beth Simone Noveck

Professor of Law (On Leave)
Director, Democracy Design Workshop

Beth Simone Noveck

Professor Beth Simone Noveck served in the White House as the first United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer and founder and director of the White House Open Government Initiative (2009-2011). UK Prime Minister David Cameron appointed her Senior Advisor for Open Government. She served on the Obama-Biden Transition Team and was a volunteer advisor to the Obama for America campaign on issues of technology, innovation, and government reform.

She focuses her scholarship, activism and teaching on the future of democracy in the 21st century. Specifically, her work addresses how we can use technology to create more open and collaborative government. With a grant awarded to New York Law School from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, she is collaborating with colleagues to create a research network on the impact of technology on democratic institutions.

She founded the Democracy Design Workshop: Do Tank, a program for the design of law, policy, and technology to foster openness and collaboration. With support from the Sloan Foundation, she is currently prototyping OrgPedia, the Wikipedia of firms. With the support of the Omdiyar Network, MacArthur Foundation and seven leading patent-holding firms, she designed and built the U.S. government’s first expert network Peer To Patent. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Council of Europe and AmericaSpeaks have sponsored her research on online communities by funding the Cairns Project, graphical software to support group formation and collaboration. She also received a grant from ICAIR to support the creation of Democracy Island, an experimental space within a virtual world for research on citizen participation.

A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, she was named one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company magazine, ” Top 25 Game Changers” by Politico and one of the “Top Women in Technology” by Huffington Post. A Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, she spoke at TEDGlobal on the future of government.

Her book Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger and Citizens More Powerful (Brookings Institution Press 2009), appeared in Arabic, Chinese, Russian and in an audio edition. She is also co-editor of The State of Play: Law, Games and Virtual Worlds (NYU Press 2006). Her new book, The Networked State will appear with Harvard University Press. She tweets@bethnoveck and blogs at the Cairns Blog.

She is on leave 2012-2014 and visiting at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and the MIT Media Lab.


Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful, Brookings Press (2009). Chinese (2011), Arabic (2011), Audio Book (2011).

Ex Machina: Law, Technology and Society Book Series (Co-Editor with Prof. J.M. Balkin) (NYU Press).

The State of Play: Law and Virtual Worlds, Jack M. Balkin and Beth S. Noveck, eds. (NYU Press, 2006).

Architecture, Law and Virtual Worlds, Guest Editor, First Monday Special Issue, (January 2, 2006).

Articles and Chapters in Books

Open Government (Laurel Ruma, ed., O’Reilly Media 2010).

Visual Deliberation, in Online Deliberation, Todd Davies, ed. (University of Chicago Press, 2009).

A Complex(ity) Strategy for Breaking the Environmental Logjam (with David R. Johnson), in Breaking the LogJam: An Environmental Law for the 21st Century, NYU Environ. L. Rev. (Fall 2008).

The Future of Collaborative Governance (with David R. Booth) in Government 2.0, nGenera Reports (Fall 2008).

Government by the People, in 21 Century Democracy, Alison Fine, Ed. (Personal Democracy Forum, June 2008).

Open Patent Examination: A One-Year Research Report. Center for Patent Innovations Report on Peer-to-Patent Pilot (June 15, 2008).

Peer to Patent First Anniversary Report, Beth Simone Noveck et al. (June 2008)

Peer-to-Patent: Collaborative Patent Examination. Tokugikon, No. 249 (May 2008) (in Japanese and English).

Wiki Government: How Open-Source Technology Can Make Government Decision-Making
More Expert and More Democratic
in Democracy Journal (Dec. 2007).

Wikipedia and the Future of Legal Education, 57 J. L. Ed. 1 (2007).

The New Paradigm for Legal Information (with Ethan Katsh) in Law Library Journal (Spring 2007).

Peer to Patent: Collective Intelligence and Intellectual Property Reform, 20 Harv. J. L. Tech. 123 (2006).

Trademark Law and the Social Construction of Trust: Creating the Legal Framework for On-Line Identity, 83 Wash. U. L. Q. 1733 (2006).

A Democracy of Groups, First Monday, vol. 10, no. 11, at (November 7, 2005) (peer reviewed).

Democracy The Videogame: Virtual Worlds and the Future of Collective Action in The State of Play: Law and Virtual Worlds, Jack M. Balkin and Beth S. Noveck, eds. (NYU Press, 2006).

Courtroom Applications of Virtual Environments, Immersive Virtual Environments, and Collaborative Virtual Environments. Law & Policy, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 249-270. (with Bailenson, J.N., Blascovich, J., Beall, A.C. ) (2006).

The Future of Citizen Participation in the Electronic State, I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society, Vol. 1, Issue 1 (2005).

Society’s Software, 74 Fordham L. Rev 101 (2005) (with David R. Johnson).

The State of Play: An Introduction, 49 N.Y. L. Sch. L. Rev. 1 (2004)

Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron: Legitimizing Modernism in Law and Music in Paare und Paarungen: Festschrift Werner Wunderlich, Margarete Springeth and Ulrich Muller, eds., (2004).

Unchat: Democratic Solution for a Wired World in Democracy Online: The Prospects for Democratic Renewal Through the Internet, Peter Shane, ed., (2004).

The Electronic Revolution in Rulemaking. 53 Emory L. J. 1 (2004).

Designing Deliberative Democracy in Cyberspace: The Role of the Cyber-lawyer. 9 B.U. J. Sci. and Tech. L. 1-71 (2003).

Die Wirkung der Bilder in den USA: Die Reaktion der Medien in einer traumatisierten Gesellschaft, in Die Offene Gesellschaft in Zeiten ihrer Bedrohung, Peter Christian Hall, ed. (2003) (The Effect of the Images in the USA: The Reaction of the Media in a Traumatized Society)

El Espacio Transparente: Derecho, Tecnologia y Democracia Deliberativa en la Sociedad de la Informacion, in Journal Frónesis of the Institute of Philosophy of Law of the Universidad del Zulia, Venezuela (2003) (translated into Spanish).

Book Review, Digital Diplomacy, Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 117, No. 2 (Summer 2002).

CyberForum: Harmful and Illegal Content Regulation in Europe, (Rapporteur’s Report, Council of Europe, January 2002).

Democracy’s Demise? The Impact of Internet Technology on the Perception of Democratic Legitimacy, in Demokratie: Modus und Telos (Andrei Markovits and Sieglinde Rosenberger, eds., forthcoming, Boehlau Verlag, 2001).

Citizen Participation and New Technology, Elektronische Demokratie: Bürgerbeteiligung per Internet zwischen Wissenschaft und Praxis (Verlag C.H. Beck, Information and Law Series, Vol. 24, 2001).

Indian Convergence Legislation Analysis, commissioned by Center for Democracy and Technology, available online at

The Impact of Internet Technology on Democratic Legitimacy, in the Aventis Foundation Triangle Forum Working Paper Series: How We Want to Live Tomorrow (Spring 2001), 1-29, available at

Paradoxical Partners: Electronic Communication & Electronic Democracy, in The Internet Democracy and Democratization (Peter Ferdinand, ed., Frank Cass, 2000), 18-36.

Rating and Filtering: A Best Practices Model, in Protecting Our Children on the Internet: Towards a New Culture of Responsibility (Bertelsmann Foundation Press, 2000) (with J.M Balkin and K. Roosevelt), 199-263.

Developments in U.S. Direct Broadcast Satellite Regulation, in SatelliteFinance (June 7, 2000) (with O. Kurtin).

Financial Community Fixes Online Data Privacy, in The National Law Journal (January 24, 2000).

Global Navigation Satellite Systems, in Outer Space, Intn’l Bar Assoc. Journal (January 2000) (with O. Kurtin).

The Regulatory Context of Acquisitions and Investment in U.S. Telecommunications, in TelecomFinance (November 24, 1999) (with O. Kurtin), also reprinted in the Journal de l’Union des Avocats Européens.

Transparent Space: Law, Technology and Deliberative Democracy, in Cultural Values, (Catherine Kratz, ed., Blackwell Publishers, October 1999), 472-492.

Accelerating on the Datenautobahn: German Politics and the Regulation of New Media, in Breakdown, Breakup, Breakthrough: Germany’s Tortured Path to Modernity (Carl F. Lankowski, ed., Berghahn Books, October 1999), 137-155.

Under Siege: Data Privacy in Hong Kong and Elsewhere, in INFO, (August 1999), 309-313.

Thinking Analogue about Digital Television: Bringing European Content Regulation into the Information Age, in Convergence and European Digital Television Regulation (Christopher Marsden and Stefaan Verhulst eds., Blackstone Press, 1999), 37-65.

Un Internet Public n’est-il qu’un rêve?, in L’Humanité (June 24, 1999).

Third Generation Wireless in New York Law Journal (June 1, 1999) (with O. Kurtin).

FCC Gains Upper Hand Over Local Telephone Companies, in National Law Journal (April 26, 1999) (with O. Kurtin).

FCC Proposes Rules for 2GHz, in Satellite Finance (April 15, 1999) (with O. Kurtin).

Jews in German Society, in The Cambridge Companion to Modern German Culture (Eva Kolinsky & Wilfried Van der Will, Cambridge University Press 1998) (with A. Markovits), 86-109.

Universal Services in the United States: Unjust, unreasonable and unaffordable? The E-Rate Debate, Comment in International Journal of Communications Law and Policy, Nr. 1 (August 1998), available at

The Information Economy as Information Society: Training the Business Leaders of a Wired World, in Universität und Praxis (Spoun, Müller-Möhl and Jann, eds., Neue Zürcher Zeitung Press, 1998), 519-535.

Fasten Your Seat Belts: Safe Driving with No Speed Limits on the German Datenbahn, in Intellectual Property Worldwide (November/December 1997) (with F. Maennel).

Hitler’s Willing Bankers, in 15 German Politics and Society 2, 96-112 (1997) (with Laurent Jedermann), 96-113.

Anti-Semitism in Hugo Bettauer’s Vienna, in Yale Companion to Jewish Writing and Thought in German Culture 1096-1996 (Sander Gilman and Jack Zipes, eds., Yale University Press, 1997), 440-447.

Garbage, the City and Death: The Fassbinder Controversy, in Yale Companion to Jewish Writing and Thought in German Culture 1096-1996 (Sander Gilman and Jack Zipes, eds., Yale University Press, 1997) (with A. Markovits), 805-811.

West German Reaction to the Holocaust 1945-1990, in The World Reacts to the Holocaust (David Wyman and Charles Rosenzveig, eds., Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996) (with A. Markovits), 391-447.

Der Kampf um Wien: Sexuality and Politics in Hugo Bettauer’s Vienna 1918-1925, in Jura Soyfer and his Time (Studies in Austrian Literature, Culture and Thought) (Donald Daviau, ed., Ariadne Press, 1995).

The Political Culture of First Republic Austria, in Austria in the Nineteen Fifties (Gunter Bischof, Anton Pelinka and Rolf Steininger, eds., Transaction Press 1994), 138-171.