Common Cause is pleased to announce that Ishan Mehta has joined Common Cause as the Director of the Media and Democracy Program. Ishan will lead program staff and build on the program started by former FCC Commissioner & Common Cause Special Advisor Michael Copps. He will lead campaigns to engage the public and policy makers on key initiatives including promoting an open internet, fostering competition in the media marketplace, and ensuring broadband access for all Americans.
Prior to joining Common Cause, Mehta worked for U.S. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, where he focused on technology policy supporting the Senator on the Senate Commerce, Appropriations, and Foreign Relations Committees. He successfully drafted and negotiated bipartisan bills into law on cybercrime (Better Cybercrime Metrics Act), AI (AI in Government Act), and tech-enabled abuse (Safe Connections Act) by working to build coalitions that included civil society groups, associated industry players, and academics. He has also worked as a National Security Policy Advisor for the centrist think tank Third Way, as a research fellow for the Internet Governance Project and as a computer engineer for the Intel Corporation.
“Ishan brings a wealth of experience to the position – including a proven ability to build effective coalitions – at a critical juncture for numerous areas within the Media and Democracy program,” said Marilyn Carpinteyro, Common Cause Interim Co-President. “We look forward to Ishan bringing Common Cause’s 1.5 million members’ voices to bear on numerous issues, including the fights for net neutrality and equitable broadband deployment and against the ongoing problem of media consolidation.”
“Common Cause has been at the forefront in the push to deliver effective and equitable solutions for some of the biggest issues we face in the media and democracy field, and we welcome Ishan’s leadership in our work to hold power accountable,” said Michael Copps former FCC Commissioner & Common Cause Special Advisor. “Ishan’s background in the field extends from the private sector, through think tanks and on to Capitol Hill where he helped to draft and ultimately pass laws that have had a positive impact on families from coast-to-coast.”
“I know from experience the important role that Common Cause plays in the field as both advocate and watchdog and I am excited to lead the Media and Democracy Program as we deal with a rapidly changing landscape,” said Mehta. “The work done by Common Cause is critical to holding the FCC, FTC, and other government agencies accountable while working with federal, state and local lawmakers and allied organizations to restore and advance the democratic values in our media and technology policy.”
Mehta holds masters degrees in public policy and computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. In his spare time, he enjoys playing tennis, watching basketball, and cooking.