Internet Freedom Festival Fellowship

Professionals from around the world joining forces in the curation of the Internet Freedom Festival program

As an event created for this community, by this community, the Internet Freedom Festival Fellowship is designed to ensure that the IFF plays host to meaningful and inclusive exchange that speaks to the most immediate and important needs of its participants.

The 2017 IFF Fellows

The IFF Fellows are an outstanding and diverse cohort of 28 professionals & community leaders. Coming from 19 different regions, they will work together to review and select sessions across the entire IFF Program, to ensure that diverse viewpoints and voices are well represented.

The Community Fellows


Dalia Othman

Tactical Technology Collective

Dalia coordinates the Gender and Tech programme at Tactical Tech – prior to joining the team, she was a two-year Research Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and a Visiting Scholar at MIT’s Center for Civic Media. Dalia has worked at tech startups, taught New Media at both Birzeit University and Bard College (Abu Dis campus) in Palestine, and co-founded Vecbox, the first hackerspace in Palestine.


Matt Mitchell


Matt is a security researcher, operational security trainer, and data journalist who leads CryptoHarlem, impromptu workshops teaching basic cryptography tools to the predominately African American community in upper Manhattan. Previously, he worked as a data journalist for The New York Times and as a developer for CNN, Aol/Huffington Post, and other news organizations. Currently, Matt is a Mozilla-Ford 2016 Open Web Fellow based at civil rights & social justice organization, ColorOfChange.


Olivia Ito


Olivia Ito is the Community Manager at ASL19 and coordinates Iran Cyber Dialogue (ICD) – an annual event to strengthen the global community working towards improved online access to information in Iran. The lifetime question she’s trying to answer is, “How do you best facilitate communities in a way that drives collaboration and change?”. In her free time, she is a lover of food, travel, and Brazilian jiu jitsu.

Training & Best Practices Fellows


Natasha Msonza

Digital Society Zimbabwe

Natasha (Stash) is a Zimbabwean based digital security trainer, and co-founder of the Digital Society of Zimbabwe, a voluntary network of technologists and trainers that specializes in building the digital resilience of human rights defender communities at risk. Stash is currently an Open Technology Fund fellow, implementing a digital security elections roadmap supporting selected human rights defender organizations in the face of increasing digital threats.


Kody Leonard

ISC Project

Kody Leonard is a Senior Information Security Manager for The ISC Project. Based in Johannesburg, South Africa he focuses on improving digital security practices of human rights, civil society, and independent media organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. Kody also works with LGBTI communities to raise awareness and increase engagement with the digital security community. He previously worked on projects in Senegal and Sudan.


Melanio Escobar


Melanio Escobar is a communicator, organizer, and digital security trainer from Caracas, Venezuela. He is the director RedesAyuda, a Venezuelan human rights NGO that works across social networks both analog and digital, as well as a professor at Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (UCAB). Melanio also serves as the host of TV show #NotiTweets and radio show Humano Derecho Radio, both of which engage communities through social and political commentary.


Rebel Dalit

Mukti Labs

Rebel Dalit is the founder of Mukti Labs, the first Dalit, Bahujan, and Adivasi technology collective working at the intersection of art, story, design and security. Mukti Labs is dedicated to ending caste apartheid and religious intolerance, as part of the ongoing redefinition of South Asian identity in India and in the diaspora, and works to help create strategies that counter intractable systems of oppression and elevate communication and privacy rights.

IF: Present & Future Fellows


Katitza Rodriguez

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Coming from Peru, Katitza Rodriguez is the International Rights Director at EFF and focuses on corporate surveillance around the world. She is currently finishing a comparative analysis of surveillance laws and practices in 12 countries in Latin America, and works with civil society groups in the region on campaigns to pressure local companies to be more transparent regarding government data requests.


Nathalie Marechal

University of Southern California

Nathalie is a PhD candidate in Communication at the University of Southern California, where she is writing a dissertation titled “Defying Censorship, Evading Surveillance: The Political Economy of Circumvention Technology.” She is also a Senior Research Fellow at Ranking Digital Rights, where she researches ICT companies’ impact on free expression and privacy worldwide. An IFF veteran, Nathalie is excited to return to Valencia as a 2017 IFF Fellow.


Marios Isaakidis


Marios Isaakidis (Prometheas) is a hacktivist developing Open Source tools that secure our digital freedoms. A PhD student on Anonymous Communications at University College London, he researches the intersection of privacy, anonymity and decentralization; previously, he has lead development of eQualitie’s CENO censorship circumvention tool, contributed to the Freenet anonymous publishing platform, and represented communities such as Mozilla and fedora. An IFF veteran, he assists activists and NGOs in securing their communications.


Sylvia Musalagani


Sylvia Musalagani, a programme officer for the Freedom of Expression programme at Hivos, is actively involved in policy and advocacy for internet access and privacy in East Africa and works with change makers in the region to promote freedom of expression and access to information. Sylvia identifies and support CSOs, creative hubs, journalists, artists, human rights defenders and bloggers, developing safe spaces for them to build creative skills, receive mentorship and access audiences.

Tools & Technology Fellows


Meg Hood


Meg is the Rapid Response Coordinator for the Civil Society Centre for Digital Resiliance (CiviCDR). She has a background in information security and building anti-harassment tools. She is also an MSc Computing student, specialising in data management, information security and digital forensics.


Enrique Piracés


Enrique Piracés. works at the intersection of human rights, science, and technological innovation. His focus has been both the implications of the use of technology in the context of human rights as well as the opportunities that new scientific and technological developments open for NGOs and practitioners. He is an advisor to multiple international projects and organizations, and a lecturer on the implications of the use of technology in human rights practice.


Darian Patrick

Wikimedia Foundation

Darian Anthony Patrick leads the Security team at Wikimedia Foundation. Darian has nearly two decades of experience working as a software and security engineer, developing solutions for social justice, educational, and private sector organizations. Among a range of concerns, Darian is passionate about technical issues related to privacy; ending toxic behaviors in community spaces; race, gender, and economic equity; and alternatives to the carceral state.


Matthew Finkel

Tor Project

Matt (not to be confused with the other, much cooler, Matt) is the quiet person
in a group conversation who simply listens and lets everyone else talk. He
probably has an opinion, but he won’t share it until there’s a reason. Matt is
a volunteer with The Tor Project and has contributed in numerous ways over the
last few years. Currently, he is involved with improving the Tor community and
transforming it into a safer and more welcoming place for people who are not
privileged white men (he says as a privileged white man). He eats anonymity
and privacy preserving tools for breakfast, and cryptography for a midnight

Policy & Advocacy Fellows


Abir Ghattas


Abir Ghattas is a Lebanese activist, blogger and a digital communication strategist with a focus on women rights, freedom of speech and digital security in the MENA region. She heads Global Voices digital advocacy project “Global Voices Exchange” and is also the Outreach Director for Majal a network of digital platforms centered on two complementary goals: freedom of expression and access to information. She is always online and somewhere between Marseille and Beirut.


Nighat Dad

Digital Rights Foundation Pakistan

Nighat Dad is a lawyer who founded the not-for-profit organization Digital Rights Foundation. In 2015 she was named Time magazine’s list of next generation leaders for helping women in Pakistan fight online harassment. In 2009 Dad started working around the issues of online violence against women and noticed a serious lack of legal support for victims. That was when she decided to work on tech related policies and laws in Pakistan, awareness raising around a secure and open Internet for all.


Angelina Huynh

Viet Tan

Angelina Trang Huynh is the Advocacy Director of Viet Tan, an organization promoting democratic change in Vietnam. She directs Viet Tan’s efforts on grassroots engagement and Internet Freedom through training of activists, localization and dissemination of circumvention and security tools, and international advocacy. She successfully led the lobbying for a US Congressional resolution (H.Res.672) supporting Internet Freedom in Vietnam, and works closely with civil society in Vietnam in promoting the use of tech for social change.

Regions & Groups Fellows


Dhyta Caturani


A feminist activist working on the intersectional issues of human rights, social justice, gender & sexuality rights and tech. Currently working on digital security training project for women and LGBT activists in Indonesia as a Digital Integrity Fellow of Open Tech Fund.




Xeenarh is a lawyer and grassroots activist who works as a holistic security trainer with at-risk communities in sub-saharan Africa. Her focus is on individual human rights defenders and the organizations that work to promote equality and acceptance.


Renata Aquino

E. I.

Renata Aquino Ribeiro is an independent researcher, teacher and one of
the partners at E.I. Consulting, with a PhD in Education from the
Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP). Holding over 15 years of
experience in technology and education markets, Dr. Ribeiro has
acquired a broad knowledge of e-learning and instructional design,
teaching in universities, education and technology projects involving
NGOs, public and private schools, and corporate training programs.

Communications & Design Fellows


Sarah Aoun


Sarah Aoun is a digital strategist with a focus on human rights, gender, and international policy. Originally from Lebanon and currently based in Brooklyn, New York, she is a lead trainer on data-driven storytelling, part-time web developer, and expert on data visualization and strategy.


Erin Mazursky


Erin Mazursky is the Founder and Executive Director of Rhize, a global network that supports emerging social movements around the world. Erin brings over a decade of experience in movement-building, technology, human rights and advocacy to her work. She has worked with dozens of movements around the world including in Turkey, Uganda, Colombia, India, and Albania. Before starting Rhize, Mazursky managed the Alliance for Youth Movements, convening youth movements for collaboration and tech innovation.


Tara Tarakiyee

Jordan Open Source Association

Tara is an internet rights performance artist exploring the themes of decentralisation, privacy, autonomy and access reparations through the medium of digital security, internet rights and governance. As a long time member of the Jordan Open Source Association, they have led advocacy campaigns against online censorship, worked on research mapping the infrastructure, legislation and policy aspects of censorship and surveillance, and have worked to increase knowledge in digital security in diverse communities.


Nathaly Espitia Diaz


Nathalie, a journalist, activist and social communicator, focuses on developing campaigns and communication strategies for projects related to technology, culture, art and gender perspective – examples of her work include the 2015 AlertaMachitroll campaign addressing online gender-based harassment and trolling, as well as numerous others supported by the Colombian Ministries of Culture and of Information & Communication Technologies. Currently the communications coordinator for Fundación Karisma, Nathalie is deeply involved with Creative Commons Colombia, as well as Noís Radio, Radio Relajo and La Vox Populi – collectives for experimental radio and sound art.

Journalism & Media Fellows


Ricardo Gonzalez

Article 19

Working with ARTICLE 19 for the past nine years, Ricardo Gonzalez is currently the head of their global protection programme, where his work has been focused on the delivery of holistic security trainings, design of security plans and emergency response protocols for journalists and media houses, as well as human rights activists and organizations. Before joining ARTICLE 19, he collaborated with civil organizations working on humanitarian relief during natural disasters in indigenous communities. He writes a weekly column on issues related to social movements and human rights ( and he produce and host a weekly current affairs show.


Sheryl Mendez

Freedom House

Sheryl Mendez has worked for nearly a decade providing emergency assistance or logistical support to journalists – she is currently a Program Manager on Freedom House’s Emergency Assistance team, providing rapid response grants to journalists and other human rights defenders worldwide who are at-risk due to their work. A founding member of the ACOS (A Culture of Safety) Alliance, an unprecedented collaboration between news organizations, press freedom NGOs and journalists to promote journalist safety, Sheryl is also a published photojournalist who has trained journalists and photographers in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, and covered wars and their aftermath in Libya, Lebanon, and Iraq.


Ela Stapley

Factual MX

Ela Stapley is a freelance journalist and co-founder of Factual, a Mexican non-profit working with journalists throughout Latin America on media and technology projects.  For the past five years, Ela and Factual have brought journalists together from throughout the region to discuss the latest issues in digital media. In 2011, Ela co-founded Hancel, a panic button app for journalists at risk. It taught her a lot about what works and what doesn’t in tech projects.  Ela has an MA in International Journalism from Cardiff University, UK.

The IFF Fellowship

Time Commitment

3 – 4


The IFF Fellows are an evolution of the former Track Leads. They are experts in specific areas of interest in the Internet Freedom community, and are familiar with the challenges that the different groups and regions around the world are currently facing.

The biggest role of an IFF Fellow is to be a good listener and connector. They serve as the voice of the community, ensuring that desires, topics, and goals of all participants are represented.

In coordination with other IFF Fellows, they review all incoming session proposals, serve as guides for presenters before and during the Internet Freedom Festival, and reach out to different individuals and organizations around the world to participate in the gathering.

Fellowship Scope of Work

The core responsibilities of the IFF Fellows are:

  • Identifying regional and global theme-related topics and challenges;
  • Outreaching to theme-related individuals and organizations for proposal submissions;
  • Designing and curating the IFF program by reviewing and selecting session proposals;
  • Being a point of contact for their theme during the IFF;
  • Setting data capturing processes, and capturing outcomes and stories during the IFF;
  • Writing a final report encompassing theme-related outcomes and stories to be shared with the community;

Additional Responsibilities Include:

  • Regional community mapping;
  • Regional community engagement;
  • Organizing local outreach events;
  • Outreaching to potential local funders;
  • Writing content for the IFF blog;

Fellowship Timeline

  • IFF Fellowship application opens
  • Call for proposals launch
  • IFF Fellowship candidate review and selection
  • 2017 IFF Fellows public announcement
  • Open CFP
  • Outreach to presenters and submitters
  • Final Deadline for the Call for Proposals
  • Begin final session review
  • Final session review and work with presenters
  • Design 2018 IFF Program
  • Announce 2018 IFF Program Schedule
  • Travel dates deadline
  • Refine sessions working with presenters
  • Write your IFF Community Stories Blog Post
  • Finalize press releases on topics and presentations
  • Travel to IFF
  • Point of contact during the IFF
  • Capture outcomes and stories during the IFF
  • Write a final report encompassing theme-related outcomes and stories to be shared with the community

How to Apply

To apply to become an IFF Fellow, please fill out the IFF registration form and select “Tell me more” from the “Would you like to participate in the curation of the IFF program by becoming a Fellow” checkbox.

Fellow Selection Criteria

The main requirements to become a 2017 Internet Freedom Festival Fellow are:

  • Able to commit to be at IFF 2017 (5 to 10 of March);
  • Demonstrated expertise/experience in a Theme area;
  • Commitment to community building and strengthening;
  • Deep understanding of Internet Freedom community;


  • IFF Team
  • IFF 2016 Track Leads

Fellowship Support Funds

Travel support may be available for those Fellows that require it. If travel funding is a must for your involvement as an IFF Fellow, please fill out the IFF Fellowship Travel Assistance Form.

IFF Fellowship Contact

team [at] internetfreedomfestival [dot] org