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Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman

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Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman
Stinebrickner-Kauffman in New York City, 2012
Taren Kate Stinebrickner-Kauffman

(1981-11-14) 14 November 1981 (age 42)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  • Australia
  • United States
Alma materDuke University

Taren Kate 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 organisations.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Taren Kate Stinebrickner-Kauffman[5] was born on 14 November 1981 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, as 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.[6][7] She was raised in Greencastle, Indiana.[8]

She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in mathematics from Duke University in 2004.[9]


Stinebrickner-Kauffman 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.[10][11] She founded SumOfUs in 2011, serving as Executive Director and growing the organisation 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 was the President of New Media Ventures starting in March 2022,[12] leading the organisation during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and prioritising work on voting rights and local media.[13] She also serves on the board of Consumer Reports.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Stinebrickner-Kauffman was the partner of Aaron Swartz until his death.[15] In 2011, Swartz was prosecuted by U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz for violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), and, facing the risk of up to 35 years imprisonment and $1 million 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.[16]


  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. Archived from the original on 20 October 2020. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  3. ^ Ralph, Elizabeth (20 March 2020). "Women Rule: Your definitive Guide to women, politics and power". POLITICO. Archived from the original on 5 April 2022. 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. ^ "2nd year of REU site". University of Massachusetts Amherst. Retrieved 17 June 2024 – via Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval.
  6. ^ "Kelsey Kauffman". Amazon.com. Archived from the original on 11 January 2023. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman is Aaron Swartz's Girlfriend who found him". ShowBizDaily. 5 February 2013. Archived from the original on 23 July 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  8. ^ Robert A. Duffey Scholar-Athlete Award Archived 29 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Georgetown University Scholar-Athlete Award. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Crain Lecture Series Welcomes Pollster Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman" Archived 27 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Depauw University, 26 November 2006. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman". Social Transformation Project. Archived from the original on 24 September 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  11. ^ "Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman". Placements. Bridge Partners. Archived from the original on 11 January 2023. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  12. ^ George, Christie (18 March 2020). "Announcing NMV's New President, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman". New Media Ventures. Archived from the original on 30 November 2022. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  13. ^ Rinker, Brian (18 November 2020). "Money Talks: VC Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman invests in the progressive movement". San Francisco Business Times. Archived from the original on 18 November 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  14. ^ "About Us: Our People". Consumer Reports. Archived from the original on 1 April 2024. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  15. ^ Peltz, Jennifer (19 January 2013), "Hundreds honor information activist Swartz" Archived 16 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Associated Press, USA Today. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  16. ^ MIT Concludes It Did Nothing Improper In Case Of Internet Activist's Aaron Swartz's Suicide — Swartz's Girlfriend Calls 'BS' Archived 11 January 2023 at the Wayback Machine, Business Insider, Alyson Shontell, July 30, 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2020.