Hello, World!

By Guthrie Kuckes | April 25, 2024

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A beautiful morning sunrise
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Photo credit David Zawila via Unsplash

My name is Guthrie Kuckes and I’m delighted to be joining NDI’s Democracy and Technology team as a Program Associate focusing on digital resilience globally.

Growing up, I think my early perspective on politics was shaped by the news I read about the Arab Spring. I marveled at the ability of large masses of people to come together to protest for change against such deep opposition, and was fascinated by the analyses I read at the time that pinpointed the use of digital tools as a key factor in the transformation sweeping the MENA region.

My interest in the use of technology for good only grew as I shortly thereafter learned to code, and spent many nights reading about how easily bad actors could glean immense amounts of personal information by exploiting the insecure networks and weak cryptographic protections that were common at the time.

I later explored a variety of interests in college as part of my International Relations degree at Boston University, but the intersection of Democracy and Technology would remain a throughline for me as I volunteered with a student organization developing pro-bono software around social justice causes, studied the role of technology in protest movements, and used data science within the Democracy Rights and Governance field through my internships at the Carter Center.

After a year on NDI’s Political Parties team, I’m highly excited to be joining the DemTech team to help advance internet freedoms globally and work on protecting the digital security of many of NDI’s partners on the frontlines of the fight for rights and freedoms. During my time on the Parties Team, I worked with social movements and established political parties globally to more effectively connect with citizens and aggregate citizen interests through improved policy-making, coalition building, and digital communications structures, including working towards new team guidance on the use of social media for parties. I’m proud to continue the spirit of this work with the DemTech team as I broaden my focus to include work focusing not only on parties but also on parliaments and CSOs.

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