Cameron F. Kerry

Ann R. and Andrew H. Tisch Distinguished Visiting Fellow - Governance Studies, Center for Technology Innovation

Cameron Kerry is a global thought leader on privacy and cross-border information flows. He joined Governance Studies and the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings in December 2013 as the first Ann R. and Andrew H. Tisch Distinguished Visiting Fellow. Previously, Kerry served as general counsel and acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he was a leader on a wide of range of issues including technology, trade, and economic growth and security. He continues to speak and write on these issues, focusing primarily on privacy and information security, along with the international digital economy.

During his time as acting secretary, Kerry served as chief executive of this Cabinet agency and its 43,000 employees around the world, as well as an adviser to former President Barack Obama. His tenure marked the first time in U.S. history two siblings have served in the president’s Cabinet at the same time.

As general counsel, he was the principal legal adviser to the several Secretaries of Commerce and Commerce agency heads. As co-chair of the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee on Privacy and Internet Policy, Kerry spearheaded development of the White House blueprint on consumer privacy, Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy. He then led the administration’s implementation of the blueprint, drafting privacy legislation and engaging in privacy issues with international partners, including the European Union. He was a leader in the Obama administration’s successful effort to pass the America Invents Act, the most significant overhaul of the patent system in more than 150 years. He helped establish and lead the Commerce Department’s Internet Policy Task Force, and was the department’s representative on cybersecurity issues and similar issues in the White House “Deputies Committee.”

Kerry also played a significant role on intellectual property policy and litigation, cybersecurity, international bribery, trade relations and rule of law development in China, the Gulf Oil spill litigation, and many other challenges facing a large, diverse federal agency.  He travelled to the People’s Republic of China on numerous occasions to co-lead the Transparency Dialogue with China as well as the U.S.-China Legal Exchange and exchanges on anti-corruption.

In addition to his Brookings affiliation, Kerry is a visiting scholar at the MIT Media Lab. He also served as senior counsel at Sidley Austin LLP in Boston, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., where his practice involved privacy, security, and international trade issues. Before Kerry’s appointment to the Obama administration in 2009, he practiced law at the Mintz Levin firm in Boston and Washington and taught telecommunications law as an adjunct professor at Suffolk University Law School.

Kerry has also been actively engaged in politics and community service throughout his adult life. During the 2004 presidential campaign, he was a close adviser and national surrogate for Democratic nominee John Kerry, traveling to 29 States and even Israel.

He has served on the boards of nonprofits, and is currently on the board of the National Archives Foundation.

The Ann R. and Andrew H. Tisch Distinguished Visiting Fellows in Governance Studies are individuals of particularly noteworthy distinction. The fellowship is designed to bring distinguished visitors from government, business, journalism, and academia to Brookings to write about challenges facing the country. Kerry is the first to be named to this prestigious fellowship.

202.797.6090 — GS
Business & Industry
Technology & Innovation
Telecommunications & Internet
Governance Studies
Center for Technology Innovation
Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies Initiative
Additional Expertise Areas
Intellectual property and patent reform
Privacy and security
Global trade
Internet governance
Telecommunications law and policy
Current Positions
Ann R. and Andrew H. Tisch Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Governance Studies
Visiting Scholar, MIT Media Lab
U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy
Past Positions
Acting Secretary, United States Department of Commerce
General Counsel, United States Department of Commerce
Member, Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo, P.C.
Adjunct Professor, Suffolk University Law School
Associate, Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering
Law Clerk to Senior Judge Elbert P. Tuttle, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Senior Counsel at Sidley Austin LLP
J.D., magna cum laude, Boston College Law School, 1978
B.A.,cum laude, Harvard College, 1972