The Open Technology Fund (OTF) announced today that Libby Liu will be the organization’s first-ever Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In this role, Ms. Liu will lead OTF in its continued growth and development as a newly independent organization. Laura Cunningham, previously OTF’s Principal Director, will become the organization’s first-ever President.
“No one is better suited to lead the new Open Technology Fund corporation than Libby Liu,” said United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM) Board and OTF Board Chairman, Ken Weinstein. “Having led Radio Free Asia for well over a decade, she knows well the challenges of battling the world’s most formidable censorship powers and the importance of enabling citizens living under authoritarian rule to freely access information and independent journalism. She recognized early the need for a new approach in battling China’s Great Firewall and advance Internet freedom worldwide. With Libby Liu as CEO, the Open Technology Fund will continue to act as a world leader in support of global Internet freedom.”
“I am honored by the opportunity to lead the Open Technology Fund as CEO,” said Ms. Liu. “Since day one, OTF has been a passion project with a deeply important purpose: enabling citizens worldwide to access and exchange information, freely and securely. And for the past seven years, we’ve worked hard to build a more sustainable community of practice premised on effectively combating repressive online censorship and surveillance. Together with OTF’s incredible new president Laura Cunningham, we are committed to building off OTF’s successes and elevating the inspiring work of the Internet freedom community.”
As President of Radio Free Asia (RFA), Ms. Liu launched OTF as a program of RFA in 2012 with federal funding granted through the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM). For the past seven years, Ms. Liu has overseen the incubation and evolution of the OTF program, providing essential leadership, strategic planning, and visionary thinking. Now, as CEO Ms. Liu will lead OTF as it becomes a standalone non-profit and independent grantee under the USAGM, separate from RFA.
Serving as RFA’s President since September 2005, Ms. Liu oversaw RFA’s transformation from a radio broadcaster to a wholly digital, interactive multimedia news organization. Working to fulfill RFA’s congressional mandate to provide balanced, objective news and information to citizens in East Asia’s closed societies during a period of rampant Internet connectivity growth and the rise of China’s Great Firewall, Ms. Liu has extensive firsthand experience and a long history of demonstrable success with combating online censorship.
Laura Cunningham first joined OTF as Principal Director in June 2019. She will now join Ms. Liu in leadership as OTF’s first-ever President. Previously, Laura was the Senior Advisor for Internet Freedom in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, where she led the Department’s Internet freedom programs focused on technology development, digital security, Internet policy advocacy, and research.