New leader for EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is changing up its leadership at the top for the first time in more than a decade.

Legal director Cindy Cohn will assume the mantle as the online rights group’s next executive director, the organization announced on Wednesday.

She takes the place of Shari Steele, who has held her role for 14 years and been at the EFF for 22.


"I've spend most of my working life at EFF, and it's hard to imagine leaving this amazing group of people," Steele said in a statement. "I'm so incredibly proud of this organization.”

During Steele’s time at the helm, the EFF has grown from a handful of staffers to a 60-person organization, and its budget has risen from less than $1 million in 1999 to nearly $9 million. She will remain at the organization until April.

Cohn’s promotion comes just a day after she helped to argue a landmark case about the constitutionality of a controversial National Security Agency program in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday morning.

She first started with Electronic Frontier Foundation more than 20 years ago and has been its legal director since 2000.

In her statement, Steele called Cohn a “brilliant lawyer, a charismatic leader, and a moral compass” for the group.

Cohn will be replaced as legal director by Corynne McSherry, the organization's intellectual property director.

Cohn also formerly served as general counsel for the EFF, and will replaced in that role by Kurt Opsahl, who worked as the deputy general counsel.

Additionally, the group announced on Wednesday that senior staff attorney David Greene, who joined last year, will become the EFF’s new civil liberties director.