Stanford Cyber Initiative receives Hewlett Foundation grant

Dec. 8, 2014, 6:05 p.m.

The Stanford Cyber Initiative was recently awarded $15 million from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to approach cyber issues through interdisciplinary examination. The sum is part of $65 million that the Hewlett Foundation’s Cyber Initiative will distribute over the next five years. MIT and UC-Berkeley are also recipients of the grant.

According to its website, the Stanford Cyber Initiative is “Stanford’s university-wide initiative to understand cyberspace, cybersecurity and the challenges and opportunities that networked information pose to humanity.”

Researchers will examine cyber issues as they become increasingly more complicated and more prevalent. They will look at the effects cyberspace and related technologies have on society. Researchers already plan to study networked information, as well as its legal issues and its impact on national security, in the context of intellectual property, civil liberties and society.

“We want to better understand the short- and long-term consequences and implications of the pervasiveness of digital technology in our lives,” said Stanford’s vice provost and dean of research Ann Arvin to the Stanford Report.

The team will immediately begin developing seminars and conferences and organizing dialogue and supported research on the topic of cybersecurity. The Cyber Initiative involves the collaboration of leaders and experts in a wide range of fields, including computer science, law, the social sciences, engineering, political science and education.

“Faculty and students will expand existing research efforts and conversations with the goal of building a safer, better world that balances humanity’s concerns with the promise of new technologies,” said Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar M.A. ’96 Ph.D. ’00, professor of law, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and one of the founders of the initiative.

Stanford already hosts a “cyber boot camp” for U.S. congressional staff and a variety of ongoing speaker series with leaders in the industry and the government. Stanford also hopes to broaden the impact of the work through a highly interdisciplinary approach.

“Choices we are making today about Internet governance and security have profound implications for the future,” said Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer, a former dean of the Stanford Law School. “To make those choices well, it is imperative that they be made with some sense of what lies ahead and, still more important, of where we want to go.”


Contact Alexandra Bourdillon at abourdil ‘at’

Alexandra Bourdillon '18 is a freshman from Cupertino, CA. When she's not eating waffles, she can be found reading tea leaves or quantifying the land-speed velocity of a swallow (African, not European). After Stanford she hopes to explore the world, although the Bay Area will always be her home. To contact Alexandra, email her at abourdil ‘at’

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