Our People

Paul Waters

Director, Digital Democracy Initiative

Paul Waters is the Director of the Digital Democracy Initiative at Democracy Fund, an independent foundation working to ensure that our political system can withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. Paul leads the Digital Democracy Initiative which is committed to building an inclusive and multiracial democracy in the United States where civil and human rights are respected online and grounded in an equitable digital civic infrastructure that is open, just, trustworthy, and resilient. This portfolio includes funding to advance data policy innovation within a human rights framework, develop meaningful transparency and oversight mechanisms to counter disinformation, and support media policy avenues to fund local, community, and equitable journalism, centered on the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

Paul joined Democracy Fund in 2014 to build up the engaged journalism and civic information portfolio. Previously, he served as a Legal Fellow at the Federal Communications Commission in the Office of the Chairman and Wireline Competition Bureau. At the FCC, Paul helped to draft policies supporting the deployment and adoption of high-speed Internet in the United States.

Paul earned his Juris Doctorate at George Washington University Law School and graduated magna cum laude from the George Washington University, receiving a B.A. in political communication and international affairs. Paul served on the board of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE) and the News Integrity Initiative Advisory Council.

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