The Engine team and board are excited to announce that Julie Samuels has agreed to join as our first Executive Director, and has been appointed President of Engine Advocacy and Engine Foundation.
Julie has served on the Foundation board since its formation in 2012, where she has been an invaluable resource for the organization. Now we’re delighted to have convinced her to join us full-time.
Julie’s appointment is a major turning point for us. Today, Engine is a still-growing nonprofit organization (two, technically) and our staff produces economic reports, and provides policy guidance, direct advocacy, and member services to hundreds of startups. Engine’s staff and volunteers have done an amazing job of self-directing and building the organization you see today, with leadership coming from within the team, and from board members.
Julie’s job is now to take the organization through its next growth phase. She has committed to growing the team (we’re hiring!), launching a new policy fellowship program, building up a more substantial and diverse funding base, and exploring the social issues around technology in addition to Engine’s core set of focus areas. 2014 is going to be a big year.
And for those who don’t know Julie, she’s joining us from the Electronic Frontier Foundation where she was a Senior Staff Attorney, and the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents (we swear). She’s also on a number of advisory boards, is a regular speaker at a host of prestigious places (CES, Harvard, Princeton - you get the idea), and Julie started her career as an entertainment and IP attorney. But Julie’s no ordinary lawyer. She was an advocate and journalist before law school at Vanderbilt, and interned at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications -- where the modern internet browser was born -- while still an undergraduate at the University of Illinois.
Since then, Julie has argued in the Megaupload case, has written a number of briefs for our nation’s highest courts, launched TrollingEffects.org and advised countless startups. Not to mention the hard work of maintaining a Twitter account in her dog’s name! (You can follow Julie on Twitter here.)
We believe there’s nobody better to represent startup entrepreneurs around the country, and make sure we do everything we can to foster economic growth, innovation, and achievement -- in the United States and abroad.
If you’re at SXSW this week and next, please stop by any of our many events, including this immigration reform event with many of our tech partners, and give her a warm welcome.
You can also find the press release about Julie’s appointment here.