PUBLISHED:October 08, 2015

Center for Innovation Policy announces founding members of advisory board

Duke Law’s Center for Innovation Policy has named 10 founding members to its advisory board, including senior officials from four of the world’s largest technology companies. 

Joining the board are Rebecca Arbogast, senior vice president for global public policy at Comcast; former Eli Lilly General Counsel Robert A. Armitage; Dean Brenner, senior vice president, government affairs at Qualcomm; GeneCentric Diagnostics CEO and Hatteras Venture Partner Myla Lai-Goldman; Wiley Rein Partner and former FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell; Katherine Oyama, senior policy counsel at Google; Andrew Reinsdorf, senior vice president, video policy at AT&T; angel investor, entrepreneur, and former AOL Time Warner Chief Technology Officer William J. Raduchel; former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Chief Administrative Patent Judge James Smith; and University of Colorado Law School Dean Philip J. Weiser.

“Our lightning-fast digital economy flows from the intersection of innovation, investment, public policy, and the law,” said McDowell, who served on the Federal Communications Commission from 2006 to 2013. “Under its visionary leadership, the Center for Innovation Policy will look over the horizon to explore new technological worlds that have yet to come into focus. The prospects are exciting, and there is no better place to be doing this than Duke University."

Advisory board members will assist the center in convening roundtables and conferences around cutting-edge subjects in innovation policy. On Oct. 9, the center is hosting a conference in Washington examining the future of video competition and regulation. Previous conferences have focused on drug development, Internet regulation, and patent reform.

“On behalf of AT&T, I’m eager to participate in the Duke Center for Innovation Policy and engage with our fellow members in discussion about the dynamic video marketplace and how best to innovate for consumers,” said Reinsdorf.

The Center for Innovation Policy brings together legal professionals, technology and business leaders, government officials, and academic experts to identify improvements to federal law and policy that will promote innovation and economic growth. The center focuses on federal policy affecting information, communications, and intellectual property. It has a partnership with the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Duke's Fuqua School of Business and is also part of the university-wide Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative funded by Duke alumnus David Rubenstein.

The center’s faculty co-directors, law professors Stuart Benjamin and Arti Rai, have done extensive academic work on spectrum auctions, broadband regulation, patent system improvement, and effective diffusion of federally funded research. Benjamin, the Douglas B. Maggs Professor of Law, and Rai, Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law, have also translated their research into practice through appointments to senior executive positions at the FCC and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, respectively. The center’s executive director, Stephen Merrill, was a senior staffer in the Senate before founding and leading the National Academies’ Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP) Program. During Merrill’s tenure, STEP produced numerous influential policy recommendations, including proposed changes to the patent system that served as a blueprint for the America Invents Act of 2011.

“The Center for Innovation Policy was founded as an open forum for exchanging ideas, so we are pleased to have assembled an advisory board that represents such a diverse range of viewpoints,” said Rai. “We thank our founding members for their support of the center and look forward to engaging them in discussions about the future of the innovation economy.”

Added Weiser, a telecommunications expert who previously served as senior advisor for technology and innovation to the National Economic Council Director at the White House and deputy assistant attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division: "The Center for Innovation Policy is a unique endeavor to approach innovation policy issues from first principles, bringing together thought leaders across disciplines, and looking for creative solutions. I am delighted to support its important work.”

For information about becoming a member of the center, or to request additional information, visit the Corporate Membership page of the center’s web site or contact Stuart Benjamin, Arti Rai, or Stephen Merrill.