Tech Fellow, Ford Foundation

Cynthia Conti-Cook

Cynthia Conti-Cook is a tech fellow, working with the foundation’s Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice team to help build grantees’ capacity to respond to the expanding use of surveillance technologies against immigrant communities, as well as the potential use of technology to criminalize people who seek or aid abortions.

As a civil rights litigator and public defender, most recently at the Legal Aid Society of New York, Cynthia led class and individual civil rights federal and state actions, bringing impact litigation on a range of policy matters. She also pioneered a first-of-its-kind public database (CAPstat) that tracks misconduct by New York City police officers, providing a critical means of transparency to an issue that has historically been shrouded in secrecy. Her work on CAPstat has been featured in The New York Times, New York Daily News, and El Diario, and is being replicated by other public defender offices across the country. Cynthia’s work at Ford also includes supporting the mass incarceration team’s efforts to help the field leverage technology to advance police accountability, and to help the team better understand and respond to algorithmic bias in bail, sentencing, and parole considerations.

Cynthia served as a 2018-19 Data & Society fellow, working on a variety of topics related to surveillance and the intersection of technology and social justice.