Cameron F. Kerry

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

Cameron Kerry joined Governance Studies and the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings as the first Ann R. and Andrew H. Tisch Distinguished Visiting Fellow in December 2013. In addition to his Brookings affiliation, Cameron Kerry is Senior Counsel at Sidley Austin, LLP in Boston and Washington, DC, and a Visiting Scholar the MIT Media Lab. His practice at Sidley Austin involves privacy, security, and international trade issues. Kerry served as General Counsel and Acting Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce, where he was a leader on a wide of range of issues laying a new foundation for U.S. economic growth in a global marketplace. He continues to speak and write on these issues, particularly privacy and data security, intellectual property, and international trade.

While Acting Secretary, Cameron Kerry served as chief executive of this Cabinet agency and its 43,000 employees around the world, as well as an adviser to the President.  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, and oversaw the work of more than 400 lawyers across these agencies.  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 150 years.  As co-chair of the National Science & Technology Council Subcommittee on Privacy and Internet Policy, he spearheaded development of the White House blueprint on consumer privacy, Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World.   He then led the Administration’s implementation of the blueprint, drafting privacy legislation and engaging on privacy issues with international partners, including the European Union.  He helped establish and lead the Commerce Department’s Internet Policy Task Force, which brings together agencies with expertise in the 21st Century digital economy.

He 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.

Before his appointment to the Obama Administration in 2009, Cameron Kerry practiced law at the Mintz Levin firm in Boston and Washington.  His practice covered a range of complex commercial litigation and regulation of telecommunications.  He tried cases involving significant environmental and scientific evidence issues and taught telecommunications law as an adjunct professor at Suffolk University Law School.

Prior to joining Mintz Levin, he was an associate at Wilmer Cutler & Pickering in Washington, D.C. and a law clerk to Senior Circuit Judge Elbert P. Tuttle of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  During the 2004 presidential campaign, Cameron Kerry was a close adviser and national surrogate for Democratic nominee John Kerry. He has been deeply involved in electoral politics throughout his adult life. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College Law School (1978), where he was winner of the school’s moot court competition and a law review editor. and a cum laude graduate of Harvard College (1972).

Cameron Kerry also has been actively engaged in politics and community service throughout his adult life.  In 2004-04, he was a senior adviser and national surrogate in the U.S. Presidential campaign, traveling to 29 States and Israel.  He has served on the boards of non-profits involved in civic engagement and sports.

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
Senior Counsel at Sidley Austin LLP
U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy
World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Data-Driven Development
Advisory Committee of the Future of Privacy Forum
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
J.D., magna cum laude, Boston College Law School, 1978
B.A.,cum laude, Harvard College, 1972