Kathryn Montgomery, PhD

Kathryn Montgomery, PhD. is Research Director and Senior Strategist for the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD). In the early 90s, she and Jeff Chester co-founded the Center for Media Education (CME), where she served as President until 2003, and which was the predecessor organization to CDD. CME spearheaded the national campaign that led to passage of the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) the first federal legislation to protect children’s privacy on the Internet. From 2003 until 2018, Dr. Montgomery was Professor of Communication at American University in Washington, D.C., where she founded and directed the 3-year interdisciplinary PhD program in Communication. She has served as a consultant to CDD for a number of years and joined the full-time staff in July 2018.

Throughout her career, Dr. Montgomery has written and published extensively about the role of media in society, addressing a variety of topics, including: the politics of entertainment television; youth engagement with digital media; and contemporary advertising and marketing practices. Montgomery’s research, writing, and testimony have helped frame the national public policy debate on a range of critical media issues. In addition to numerous journal articles, chapters, and reports, she is author of two books: Target: Prime Time – Advocacy Groups and the Struggle over Entertainment Television (Oxford University Press, 1989); and Generation Digital: Politics, Commerce, and Childhood in the Age of the Internet (MIT Press, 2007). Montgomery’s current research focuses on the major technology, economic, and policy trends shaping the future of digital media in the Big Data era. She earned her doctorate in Film and Television from the University of California, Los Angeles.