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The Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows Program — a collaboration between the Ford Foundation and Mozilla — is an international leadership initiative that brings together the best emerging technology talent and civil society organizations to protect the open Web. The program fills a critical niche: it provides an ecosystem for the next generation of open Web advocates to make an early impact. As threats to digital freedom proliferate, it’s critical to have capable leaders.

Each year, Fellows spend 10 months embedded at leading advocacy organizations to safeguard the Internet as a global public resource. The 2015 host organizations are:

  • American Civil Liberties Union, Massachusetts
  • Amnesty International
  • Association for Progressive Communications
  • Free Press
  • Open Technology Institute
  • Public Knowledge

2015 Fellows

Paola Villarreal, American Civil Liberties Union, Massachusetts

Data for Justice is a data-driven advocacy tool that visualizes information critical for eliminating injustice in communities.

Read more on the project's Knight News Challenge application

Tim Sammut, Amnesty International

Website, @t1msammut, Contact Info

Fellowship projects

  • Secure Communications Framework: An approachable framework for human rights researchers that helps them understand how to communicate with contacts around the world safely in the context of varying threats and information sensitivity.
  • Community Incident Response: Help human rights organizations in Amnesty's worldwide network access technical assistance during active digital attacks.

Personal projects

Things created

Andrea Del Rio, Association for Progressive Communications

Many of the bad things that happen offline are also true online: for example violence against women, discrimination against LGBT people, hate crimes, inequality of access to basic services or censorship. The project I am working on right now called The Feminist Principles of the Internet aims to inspire people not only to imagine a Feminist Internet but actually build one that is fair, inclusive, empowering and safe for everyone.

Month two blog post:

Drew Wilson, Free Press

Drew is embedded in Free Press' Internet2016 campaign and is building tools that internet rights advocates can use to bootstrap their own activism projects.

Gem Barrett, Open Technology Institute

Gem is a member of the MLab team at OTI, helping to build the largest collection of open Internet performance data on the planet.

Gem is the recipient of the 2016 DCFemTech Powerful Woman Programmer award

Tennyson Holloway, Public Knowledge

Tennyson is working on projects that inspire and educate future web advocates. "What can i do for the" is a website that represents a vision of a story based platform that educates, inspires, and assists users to join the open web movement. His other projects involve creating web games that explain tech policy Washington issues, such as copyright and patent trolls.

Some of the projects Tennyson is working on include:

You can find Tennyson's blog about his projects and the fellowship at