Principal Investigator

Urs Gasser

Urs Gasser is the Executive Director of the Berkman 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 Center and 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 collaboration between the Berkman 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 Center’s Executive Director Urs Gasser, Berkman Fellow Paulina Haduong, 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.

See publications here.

Sandra continues to also be engaged in European projects in collaboration with the Research Center for Information Law at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. Sandra has a Masters in Psychology, with a specialization in Neuro-Psychology and Human-Computer Interaction, from the University of Basel.

Sandra supports the following Berkman projects and initiatives: Youth and Media, Student Privacy Initiative, Digital Problem-Solving Initiative, and Cyberlearning.


Oset Babur

Oset Babur is a senior studying Political Science and Economics at Wellesley College. She has conducted research at the MIT Sloan School of Management on how companies like Twitter and Facebook are impacting our interpretation of the First Amendment under pressure to share data, and has examined this paradigm as an intern at the EastWest Institute in New York City. Oset also studied abroad at the Queen Mary University of London last fall, where she focused on European Union economic policies, and the expansion of euroskepticism. Currently, she is on the editorial board of multiple publications at Wellesley, serves on the Political Science Majors’ Council, and intends to attend law school in the years following graduation. She gets excited about British literature, recommending music, running, and Earl Grey.

Briggs DeLoach

Briggs DeLoach is a research assistant whose scholarly interests revolve around Internet identities and norms, and how these concepts shape the conduct of international politics.  During undergrad, he explored a variety of academic areas, ranging from labor history to genocide.  Outside of academia, Briggs promoted youth activism by co-directing the 2013 installment of the nation’s oldest student-run public affairs conference.  He focused the event on youth empowerment around the globe and brought in international experts to brainstorm means of overcoming impediments to empowerment.  He brings a variety of prior experience to the Youth and Media team that includes political campaign work, policy analysis and prescription on Capitol Hill, and financial analysis for a commercial real estate firm.  Briggs enjoys exploring quaint New England towns, skiing, and political activism.  He graduated in May 2015 from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, with Highest Honors in both Political Science and History.

Melodie Ha

Melodie Ha is a recent graduate of Wellesley College, where she majored in Political Science and Chinese Language and Culture. She has previously studied abroad at Fudan University in China, and King’s College London in the UK. Her interests include looking at Chinese social media and web culture, censorship and privacy issues, and cybersecurity. While she was at Wellesley, she competed for the Wellesley Debate Society and served as a tutor for the Chinese department. Melodie enjoys running, kayaking, and is a huge fan of brunch.

Eric Liao

Eric is part of the Youth and Media team and is interested in making podcasts to tell stories related to YaM’s research in an effort to reach a broader audience. After graduating from Harvard in 2013 with a degree in Government, he did a temporary stint in finance before quitting to explore his interests. Eric hails from San Jose, California and would consider going back to the nice weather and beaches after the drought ends and the highly anticipated earthquake hits since he likes to take long showers in peace.

Erin Maher

Erin Maher is a recent graduate of Yale University, where she earned a degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is interested in the ways digital platforms build cultural assumptions into their structures, as well as the ways users react to and against these encoded political, moral, and gendered values, particularly through the formation of online communities. Her work in this area culminated in her senior thesis, “Men are from Reddit, Women are from Tumblr: Gender, Community, and the Online Platform.” While at Yale, Erin was an active participant in the tech and musical communities, where she served as a developer for the university and the drum major of the Yale Precision Marching Band respectively. Erin holds a deep and abiding love for skiing, cooking, getting distinctive haircuts, and of course, the internet.  

Mary McCrossan

Mary McCrossan joined the Youth and Media team in January 2012 as an Digital Media Producer assistant. Mary graduated in the spring of 2011 with a BA in Broadcast Journalism from Suffolk University and is interested in social and digital media. She brings her experience in video editing to help the lab with media content creation.

Supported by:

Paulina Haduong

Paulina Haduong is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. She holds an Ed.M. in Technology, Innovation, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Linguistics from Yale University. In her spare time she enjoys experimenting with baking bread.

Hannah Offer

Hannah Offer is a rising senior at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California. She is interested primarily in social and digital media’s effect on education, as well as the role social media can play in empowering citizens in local and global contexts to generate change. During the school year, Hannah works with middle school students to discuss safe and effective ways to use social media and serves as Editor-in-Chief of her school’s newspaper and academic journal.

Claire Leibowicz

Claire Leibowicz is a junior at Harvard College concentrating in Mind, Brain, and Behavior-Psychology with a secondary in Economics. She works on both Youth and Media and the Digital Problem-Solving Initiative. Outside of Berkman, Claire has led discussions on cybersecurity and privacy for high school students in Hong Kong, Madrid, San Francisco, and Boston through Harvard Model Congress.