Renée DiResta is the technical research manager at Stanford Internet Observatory, a cross-disciplinary program of research, teaching and policy engagement for the study of abuse in current information technologies. Renee investigates the spread of malign narratives across social networks, and assists policymakers in devising responses to the problem. Renee has studied influence operations and computational propaganda in the context of pseudoscience conspiracies, terrorist activity, and state-sponsored information warfare, and has advised Congress, the State Department, and other academic, civil society, and business organizations on the topic. At the behest of SSCI, she led one of the two research teams that produced comprehensive assessments of the Internet Research Agency’s and GRU’s influence operations targeting the U.S. from 2014-2018.
Renée regularly writes and speaks about the role that tech platforms and curatorial algorithms play in the proliferation of disinformation and conspiracy theories. She is an Ideas contributor at Wired. Her tech industry writing, analysis, talks, and data visualizations have been featured or covered by numerous media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Yale Review, Fast Company, Politico, TechCrunch, Wired, Slate, Forbes, Buzzfeed, The Economist, Journal of Commerce, and more. She is a 2017 Presidential Leadership Scholar, a 2019 Truman National Security Project security fellow, and a Council on Foreign Relations term member.
Renée is the author of The Hardware Startup: Building your Product, Business, and Brand, published by O’Reilly Media.
Previously, Renée was the Director of Research at New Knowledge. She was part of the founding team and ran marketing and business development at Haven, the transportation management technology platform that’s transforming trade logistics for commodity, CPG, and food shippers. Before that, Renée was a Principal at seed-stage venture capital fund O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV), where she invested in early technology startups with a focus on hardware, manufacturing, and logistics companies. She spent seven years on Wall Street as an equity derivatives trader and market maker at Jane Street, a top quantitative proprietary trading firm in New York City.
Renée has degrees in Computer Science and Political Science from the Honors College at SUNY Stony Brook. She is a 2017 Presidential Leadership Scholar, a Council on Foreign Relations term member, and a Truman National Security Fellow. She is a Staff Associate at the Columbia University Data Science Institute, a Harvard Berkman-Klein Center affiliate, and is a Founding Advisor to the Center for Humane Technology. She is passionate about STEM education and childhood immunization advocacy, and is one of the co-founders of parent advocacy organization Vaccinate California. For fun, she explores data sets and loves cooking and making things. Renée and her husband, Justin Hileman, are the parents of two feisty little people.
In late 2017, ahead of a series of Congressional hearings, Facebook, Twitter, and Alphabet each turned over a data set containing text, images, videos, and other content that they attributed to the Internet Research Agency. I led one of two teams that investigated that data set with the goal of understanding the tactics, techniques, and procedures leveraged by this malign actor in an influence operation that targeted American society over a multi-year period that included the 2016 election. This is the analysis, as provided to the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
In 2019, a new data set emerged: a collection of Pages attributed to the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (Главное управление Генерального штаба Вооружённых сил Российской Федерации), known as the GU (or by its prior acronym GRU). I led a team that investigated that data set, which included previously unseen social media activity related to DC Leaks and other hack & leak operations executed by the GRU. Our team uncovered residual as well as active fake personas still publishing state-sponsored propaganda in unwitting independent media publications worldwide. This is the analysis of that activity, as provided to the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
This book is for entrepreneurs who want to create companies around physical products. It turns the complex process of building a hardware startup into a series of accessible steps, to guide founders from the earliest stage of an idea to a beautiful final product that sells.
Written by three experts with deep experience in hardware businesses, The Hardware Startup gives you practical strategies for funding, market research, branding, prototyping, manufacturing, and distribution. Two dozen case studies of real-world startups illustrate possible successes and failures at every stage of the process.
I write and speak about influence operations, the algorithms that shape our society, and tech policy. Here are a few selections.