Dr. Jesse Sowell, Assistant Professor of International Affairs
Bush School of Government and Public Service
Texas A&M University.
Dr. Sowell is an APWG Research Fellow in Residence and Advisor to the APWG Applied Research Secretariat
Dr. Sowell is currently an Assistant Professor of International Affairs in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. Dr. Sowell is also an Honorary Lecturer in the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at University College London. He holds a PhD in Technology, Management, and Policy from the Engineering Systems Division at MIT. Dr. Sowell’s research focuses on understanding the transnational, non-state institutions and governance mechanisms shaping the management of resources critical to Internet operations vis a vis conventional (state-based) domestic and international governance mechanisms.
Dr. Sowell’s research spans three levels of organizational and institutional analysis: governance, rule-making, and resource management within function-specific organizations; the collaborative challenges faced by these organizations; and how these function-specific organizations can engage with conventional governance and regulatory regimes as credible knowledge assessors. In terms of the governance of the Internet’s infrastructure, Dr. Sowell has evaluated models of consensus-based decision making critical to the Internet’s day-to-day operations, the strengths and weaknesses of these models for coping with uncertainties endemic in managing a global Internet, and how these contribute to political authority within these often informal organizations and non-state institutions. Complementing the institutional supply and demand of technical and operational capabilities and capacities necessary for coping with uncertainties endemic in complex engineering systems (the Internet in particular), Dr. Sowell’s work also evaluates the organizational capabilities and capacities necessary to bridge the knowledge, coordination, and collaboration gaps between these epistemic communities and state-based policy makers and regulators. The third level of analysis focuses on how these kinds of coproduction of knowledge can be integrated into conventional policy and regulatory design, creating the feedback mechanisms necessary for the kinds of sustainably planned adaptive governance necessary to keep pace with technological changes and uncertainties that characterize modern digital platforms in the infrastructure and at the application layer.
Dr. Sowell’s work builds heavily on fieldwork with industry actors. Dr. Sowell is a Senior Advisor at the Messaging, Malware, and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG), co-chairing the Internet of Things Special Interest Group. From 2015-2018 Dr. Sowell directed M3AAWG’s Outreach efforts developing cybersecurity capabilities and capacity in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia Pacific, and Africa. He also advises the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) on issues relating to the the impact of the EU’s General Data Protection Directive (GDPR), recently coordinating the “Symposium on Policy Impediments to eCrime Data Exchange” for APWG.EU. He is also working with the APWG on the development of a consortium of academic researchers, industry experts, and policy makers to provide effective advice to government actors on the implications of emerging cybercrime threats.
Before his current appointment at the Bush School, Dr. Sowell was a Cybersecurity Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University.