Steph Alarcon was a senior technologist with the M-Lab project, helping to build a measurement framework for the Internet. As the global network has grown from a curiosity to a near-ubiquitous presence, so has the need to understand its power, its inequities, and its unknowns.
Alarcon stumbled into the tech world just before the Dot Com boom and became fascinated with Open Source almost immediately. While working as a systems administrator, she spent her free time with community radio advocates, media activists, and makers/hackers/DIYers of many stripes. With one foot in the server room and the other in grassroots organizing, she learned how to critique tech culture and has strong interests in diversity and environmental sustainability in tech.
Prior to joining New America, she was a sysadmin for the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and an organizer with her local hackerspace, The Hacktory. She holds a B.A. in English writing and a Certificate in Latin American studies from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master of environmental studies from the University of Pennsylvania. As a child, she thought that working at a think tank sounded like the coolest job ever.