Katy Glenn Bass Joins Knight Institute as Research Director

September 07, 2018

The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University announced today that Katy Glenn Bass, formerly the director of Free Expression Research and Policy at PEN America, has joined the Institute as research director. Glenn Bass will develop an interdisciplinary research program that focuses on identifying and illuminating issues and trends affecting the system of free expression in the digital age. 

“Katy comes to the Knight Institute with a remarkable breadth of experience in advocacy and research relating to free speech and human rights, and a deep commitment to the values that already inform the Institute’s work,” said Jameel Jaffer, the Knight Institute’s executive director. “I can’t imagine anyone more qualified than Katy to take on this crucial role, and I’m delighted to have her on board.”

Glenn Bass’s work at PEN America included producing reports analyzing issues affecting free expression in the U.S. and around the world. Prior to joining PEN, she was the director of Clinical Programming at NYU Law’s Center for Constitutional Transitions, and has also taught in the Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic at Fordham Law School. Glenn Bass is the co-author of Suppressing Protest: Human Rights Violations in the U.S. Response to Occupy Wall Street. She has also worked in Harare, Zimbabwe for Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and for the International Crisis Group in South Africa.

“I’m thrilled to join the Knight Institute as it tackles complex new questions regarding speech in the internet era,” said Glenn Bass. “Free speech and press freedom are under serious threat, and I am eager to contribute to the Institute’s work in defending these core principles during this period of seismic change.”

The Knight Institute’s research program has already tackled a broad spectrum of issues relating to First Amendment freedoms in the digital age. In 2017, the Institute commissioned a series of essays exploring new structural threats to the system of free expression. The Institute has also hosted events to inform and provoke public discussion, including “A First Amendment for All?,” co-hosted with the Columbia Law Review and the Center for Constitutional Governance, and “DISRUPTED: Speech and Democracy in the Digital Age,” co-hosted with the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. Earlier this summer, the Institute announced that Jamal Greene, Dwight Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, joined the Institute as a visiting scholar for the 2018-2019 academic year.

About the Knight Institute

The Knight First Amendment Institute is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization established by Columbia University and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to defend the freedoms of speech and press in the digital age through strategic litigation, research, and public education. Its aim is to promote a system of free expression that is open and inclusive, that broadens and elevates public discourse, and that fosters creativity, accountability, and effective self-government.