Michael R. Nelson works on Internet-related global public policy issues for CloudFlare, a startup that has improved the performance and security of more than 2 million Web sites. Prior to joining CloudFlare in early 2015, he was a Principal Technology Policy Strategist in Microsoft’s Technology Policy Group and prior to that was a Senior Technology and Telecommunications Analyst with Bloomberg Government. In addition, since January, 2009, Michael Nelson has been teaching courses and doing research on the future of the Internet, cyber-policy, technology policy, innovation policy, and e-government in the CCT Program at Georgetown University.
Prior to joining the Georgetown faculty, Nelson was Director of Internet Technology and Strategy at IBM, where he managed a team helping define and implement IBM's Next Generation Internet strategy. His group worked with university researchers on NGi technology, shaping standards for the NGi, and communicating IBM's NGi vision to customers, policy makers, the press, and the general public. He has served as Chairman of the Information, Communication, and Computing Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is a member of the AAAS's COSEPP committee, serves as a Trustee of the Institute for International Communications, and was selected to be a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum.
Prior to joining IBM in July, 1998, Nelson was Director for Technology Policy at the Federal Communications Commission, where he helped craft policies to foster electronic commerce, spur development and deployment of new technologies, and before that was Special Assistant for Information Technology at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. There he worked with Vice President Gore and the President's Science Advisor on issues relating to the Global Information Infrastructure, including telecommunications policy, information technology, encryption, electronic commerce, and information policy.
From 1988 to 1993, he served as a professional staff member for the Senate's Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space, chaired by then-Senator Gore and was the lead Senate staffer for the High-Performance Computing Act.
He has a B.S. from Caltech and a Ph.D. from MIT.