Principal Investigator

Urs Gasser

Urs Gasser is the Executive Director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. He teaches at Harvard Law School, at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) and Fudan University School of Management (China). He is a visiting professor at KEIO University (Japan) and a Fellow at the Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research. Urs Gasser has written several books, is the co author of “Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives” (Basic Books, 2008, with John Palfrey) that has been translated into 10 languages (including Chinese), and has published over 70 articles in professional journals. His research and teaching activities focus on information law and policy issues. Current projects, several of them in collaboration with leading research institutions in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, explore policy and educational challenges for young Internet users, the regulation of digital technology (currently with focus on cloud computing), ICT interoperability, information quality, the law’s impact on innovation and risk in the ICT space, and alternative governance systems. He graduated from the University of St. Gallen (J.D., S.J.D.) as well as Harvard Law School (LL.M.) and received several academic awards and prizes for his research.


Sandra Cortesi

Sandra Cortesi is a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and there the Director of the Youth and Media project. She is responsible for coordinating the Youth and Media’s policy, research, and educational initiatives, and is leading the Digitally Connected collaboration between the Berkman Klein Center and UNICEF. At Youth and Media Sandra works closely with talented young people and lead researchers in the field as they look into innovative ways to approach social challenges in the digital world. Together with Berkman Klein Center’s Executive Director Urs Gasser and the Youth and Media team, she focuses on topics such as inequitable access, information quality, risks to safety and privacy, skills and digital literacy, and spaces for participation, civic engagement, and innovation. Sandra supports the following Berkman Klein projects and initiatives: Youth and Media, Student Privacy Initiative, Digital Problem-Solving Initiative, Digital Literacy Resource Platform (DLRP), Harmful Speech Online, and Coding for All. See publications here.

Research Associate

Alexa Hasse

Alexa Hasse is a Research Associate for the Youth and Media project at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Prior to this position, she worked in a healthcare startup, and in the Personal Robotics Group at the MIT Media Lab. A Boston native, Alexa received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Boston College in 2012, and went on to receive two Master’s degrees. She completed a Master of Education in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education in 2013, and a Master of Arts in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology from Boston College’s Lynch School of Education in 2015. Her research interests include how youth develop a sense of identity on social media, and the intersection of technology use and moral development. In her free time, Alexa loves yoga, traveling, going to concerts, and exploring Boston.

Project Coordinator

Sonia Kim

Sonia Kim is a Senior Project Coordinator for the Youth and Media project at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. She graduated from Brown University with an A.B. in English and from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with an Ed.M. in Learning and Teaching. Prior to the Berkman Klein Center, Sonia was a teacher, instructional designer, and Fulbright Fellow. She has worked with students aged 5 to 65 in Boston, San Francisco, and Seoul, South Korea.

Project Fellows

Leah Plunkett

Leah A. Plunkett is a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and an Associate Professor of Legal Skills & Director of Academic Success at University of New Hampshire School of Law. As a member of the Youth and Media team at Berkman Klein, Leah researches and writes about student privacy and digital citizenship among K-12 learners. At UNH Law, she works with students on skill-building for success in law school, on the bar exam, and in legal practice, as well as teaches an Access to Justice course. Leah is a former Climenko Fellow & Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School and was the founder of the Youth Law Project at New Hampshire Legal Assistance. Leah is a graduate of Harvard College, where she performed with the Immediate Gratification Players improv comedy troupe, and Harvard Law School, where she was training director for the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau.

Project Team

Elsa Brown

Elsa Brown studies at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She primarily works in illustration and digital art, and hopes to become an illustrator and comic book creator. She is interested in online creative content and the value of online discussion. At Youth and Media Elsa has created illustrations that were then paired with YaM reports, briefs, and slides.

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith studies animation at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.  She creates both animated and illustrated works, focusing primarily on characters and storytelling.  At Youth and Media she creates visual assets for projects such as reports and blog posts.

Melanie Tan

Melanie Tan is an independent animator, and comic artist living and working in Boston, Massachusetts. Growing up as a Cambodian girl in a predominantly white neighborhood, Melanie’s work focuses on safe spaces and making your own home using bright colors, soft shapes, and cozy textures. In 2017 she received the Emerging Student Leadership award for her work with Loop Groop, a student run organization that aims to make animation accessible through short looping sequences. She brings those themes and characteristics to her work within Youth and Media, making the reports, articles, and presentations visually appealing and approachable.  Melanie currently studies animation at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Claudia Thomas

Claudia Thomas studied animation at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She is an animator and illustrator who works digitally in both 2D and 3D. She is fascinated by the endless artistic possibilities created by digital media and the Internet and hopes to explore them in her work. At Youth and Media, she creates illustrations and animations to accompany reports and other media. See some of her illustrations at

Pedro Maddens Toscano

Pedro Maddens Toscano is a Research Assistant for the Youth and Media project at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in May 2018 obtaining a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering with a Minor in International Affairs. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Technology and Policy.

In collaboration with:

  • Lionel Brossi
  • Christian Fieseler
  • Andres Lombana
  • John Palfrey