Alan Davidson ’89, SM ‘ 93 (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow) says that doing his job at Google is a lot like drinking from MIT’s legendary fire hose. Davidson joined the Google team in May 2005 as head of its Washington, DC, government affairs office. He quickly found himself dealing with a conflict with the U.S. Justice Department, censorship in China, and debates about the company’s future.
“Google is a very, very interesting place,” he says with a laugh. But Davidson is well qualified to meet the demands of engineers, lawyers, and politicians. He holds a JD from Yale Law School and has served as the associate director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a nonprofit group in Washington, DC, dedicated to promoting civil liberties online. “I really had a front-row seat for the early legal battles surrounding the Internet,” he says. His role at Google involves advocacy and bridging the gap between engineering and government cultures.
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