Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman

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Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman
Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman NYC 2012.jpg
Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman in New York City, 2012
Born (1981-11-14) 14 November 1981 (age 40)
Brisbane, Australia
Alma materDuke University

Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman (born 14 November 1981) is an Australian-American activist. She is the founder of SumOfUs, and served as the executive director until 2016. In March 2012, she and her group were active critics of working conditions at Apple Inc. supplier Foxconn.[1][2] From 2020 until 2022, Taren served as president of New Media Ventures, a non-profit venture capital firm focused on progressive organizations.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

She is the daughter of DePauw University professors, former Georgetown basketball player Bruce Stinebrickner and author Kelsey Kauffman, the granddaughter of Rear Admiral Draper Kauffman and great granddaughter of Vice Admiral James L. Kauffman.[5][6] She was raised in Greencastle, Indiana.[7]

She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in mathematics from Duke University in 2004.[8]


She has worked in social-impact technology, Democratic politics, consumer advocacy, corporate accountability, environmental advocacy, and the U.S. labor movement, including time with groups such as Avaaz.org, the Alliance for Climate Protection, MoveOn.org, and the AFL-CIO.[9][10] She founded SumOfUs in 2011, serving as Executive Director and growing the organization to 5 million members worldwide. She went on to serve as Senior Product Manager at Change.org, entrepreneur-in-residence at New Media Ventures, and then as the President of New Media Ventures starting in March 2022,[11] leading the organization during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and prioritizing work on voting rights and local media.[12] She also serves on the board of Consumer Reports.[13]

Personal life[edit]

She was the partner of Internet activist Aaron Swartz until his death.[14] In 2011, Swartz was prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz for violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), and, facing the risk of 50 years imprisonment and a million dollars in fines if he exercised his Sixth Amendment right to a public trial and was convicted, he died by suicide in 2013. She discovered his body.[15]


  1. ^ Inside Apple: Changes Made at Foxconn. ABC News. 29 March 2012. Event occurs at 7m30s. Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Alt URL
  2. ^ Stern, Joanna (29 March 2012). "Apple Foxconn Investigation: Serious Worker Rights Issues Reported, Major Changes For Chinese Workers Promised". ABC News.
  3. ^ Ralph, Elizabeth (20 March 2020). "Women Rule: Your definitive Guide to women, politics and power". POLITICO. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  4. ^ Andersen, Ted (22 March 2022). "Tuesday Digest: Identity firm confirms hack; Chevron workers strike". San Francisco Business Times. Archived from the original on 22 March 2022. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  5. ^ "Kelsey Kauffman". Amazon.com. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman is Aaron Swartz's Girlfriend who found him". ShowBizDaily. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  7. ^ Robert A. Duffey Scholar-Athlete Award, Georgetown University Scholar-Athlete Award. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  8. ^ "Crain Lecture Series Welcomes Pollster Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman", Depauw University, 26 November 2006. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman". Social Transformation Project.
  10. ^ "Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman". Placements. Bridge Partners.
  11. ^ George, Christie (18 March 2020). "Announcing NMV's New President, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman". New Media Ventures. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  12. ^ Rinker, Brian (18 November 2020). "Money Talks: VC Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman invests in the progressive movement". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  13. ^ "About Us: Our People". Consumer Reports. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  14. ^ Peltz, Jennifer (19 January 2013), "Hundreds honor information activist Swartz", Associated Press, USA Today. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  15. ^ MIT Concludes It Did Nothing Improper In Case Of Internet Activist's Aaron Swartz's Suicide — Swartz's Girlfriend Calls 'BS', Business Insider, Alyson Shontell, July 30, 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2020.