James X. Dempsey

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James X. Dempsey

  • Senior Policy Advisor, Geopolitics, Technology, and Governance at the Cyber Policy Center
  • Lecturer at the UC Berkeley School of Law


Jim Dempsey is senior policy advisor to the Stanford Program on Geopolitics, Technology and Governance and a lecturer at the UC Berkeley School of Law, where he teaches a course on cybersecurity law in the LLM program. Until May 2021, Jim was Executive Director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology. In 2012, after Senate confirmation, he was appointed by President Barack Obama as a part-time member of the U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent agency within the federal government charged with advising senior policymakers and overseeing the nation’s counterterrorism programs. He served in that position until January 2017, while also running BCLT.

From 1997 to 2014, Dempsey was at the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), a non-profit public policy organization focused on privacy and other issues affecting the internet, where he held a number of leadership positions. Prior to that he was deputy director of the Center for National Security Studies (1995-1997) and assistant counsel to the House Judiciary Committee (1985-1995), focusing on privacy, FBI oversight, and surveillance issues. 

Jim graduated from Yale College and Harvard Law School.