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CITP Lecture Series: Paul Misener – Innovation with Purpose: Working Backwards at Amazon and Creating Cases of First Impression for Policymakers

Thursday, April 14, 2016
4:30 pm


Sherrerd Hall, 3rd Floor Open Space
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At Amazon, we innovate on behalf of customers. Some of our most important innovations seemed downright crazy at first, and nearly all were initially derided by some observers. Customer Reviews, Marketplace, Amazon Web Services, CreateSpace, Kindle, Fulfillment by Amazon, and Amazon Prime Air are but a few of the innovations that have puzzled pundits. Many also have posed novel questions for policymakers, some of whom are uncomfortable with the pace of innovation or simply the fact that new technologies and services often don’t fit neatly into existing regulatory systems. Could customer-focused innovation itself have novel characteristics that could be recognized and appreciated by policymakers acting in the public interest?


Paul Misener is’s Vice President for Global Public Policy, and has served in this position for 16 years. Both an engineer (B.S., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Princeton University, 1985) and lawyer (J.D., George Mason University, 1993; Distinguished Alumni Award, 2001), he is responsible for formulating and representing the company’s public policy positions worldwide, as well as for managing public policy specialists in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

Formerly a partner in the law firm of Wiley, Rein & Fielding, Paul also served as Senior Legal Advisor to a Commissioner of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Prior to this government service, he was Intel Corporation’s Manager of Telecommunications and Computer Technology Policy, and leader of the computer industry’s Internet Access Coalition.

In the late 1980s, Paul was a policy specialist for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, where he was a U.S. delegate to several conferences of the ITU. Prior to that, he designed radio communications systems. In 2013, he chaired the technical subcommittee of the FAA’s advisory committee on airplane passenger use of portable electronics.