Justitia’s CEO, Jacob Mchangama, is expanding the “Future of Free Speech Project” internationally by opening a office on Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Birgitte Arent Eiriksson is appointed as the director of Justitia’s Danish office.
Jacob Mchangama said, “Since launching the Future of Free Speech Project in 2020, Justitia has significantly expanded its international focus on freedom of speech, becoming a highly respected organization with a great deal of expertise and influence on the subject. The limits of free speech are at the top of the global agenda, with issues surrounding the regulation of social media, the rise of authoritarian states, and democratic regression. Our collaboration with Vanderbilt University in the US will further strengthen Justitia’s ability to achieve the same reputation, credibility, and impact on international freedom of speech issues as it has achieved nationally in Denmark.”
The expansion means that Jacob Mchangama will move to the US to lead the Future of Free Speech Project and will also become a Research Professor at Vanderbilt University. At the same time, Justitia’s current Deputy Director, Birgitte Eiriksson, will be appointed as director and take over the leadership of Justitia’s Danish office and activities. However, Jacob Mchangama will still be Justitia’s Danish expert on freedom of speech issues and will continue as CEO of Justitia’s overall organization.
Søren Johansen, Chairman of Justitia’s board of directors, welcomes the strengthening of Justitia and states: “Since the founding of Justitia, it has been the intention that we should be active internationally. In the board, we are very happy that, thanks to the great efforts of Jacob, Birgitte, and the rest of Justitia, we are now able to achieve that goal. With this strengthening of our international profile, we will also become even better in Denmark, and I am particularly pleased that Birgitte has agreed to lead the Danish office.”
Birgitte Arent Eiriksson is excited to lead Justitia’s Danish branch and continue Justitia’s values: “In Denmark, we see a tendency for freedom rights and legal certainty to often take second place when decisions are made on how Danish society should be organized. More than ever, there is a need for an independent organization that dares to engage in principled discussions and come up with pragmatic solutions for how to design a society with the necessary respect for citizens’ legal certainty and rights. This applies whether it concerns citizens’ and businesses’ opportunities to assert their rights, the digitization of the public sector, counterterrorism and crime fighting, or the authorities’ powers more generally. I look forward to leading Justitia in Denmark and working every day to push our society in the right direction.”
Jacob Mchangama sees Birgitte Arent Eiriksson as the natural choice for a new Danish director and states, “Since joining in 2017, Birgitte has been a huge asset for Justitia, which has given us impressive impact and credibility in areas such as digitization, legal certainty for the socially vulnerable, and access to judicial review. There is enormous respect for Birgitte’s professionalism and integrity among experts, journalists, and decision-makers, and by putting Birgitte at the helm of Justitia’s Danish activities, I am convinced that Justitia will continue to play an important role in the public debate and decision-making in Denmark.”
Justitia is Denmark’s only independent legal think tank. All of Justitia’s activities aim to provide impartial and factual contributions to the public and political debate. The goal is to create systemic and legislative improvements that protect and strengthen the rule of law, individual freedoms, and democratic principles that support a democratic state. Justitia is based in Denmark, but works both nationally and internationally. In the spring of 2023, Justitia is expanding its activities with a permanent office at Vanderbilt University in the United States. Justitia was founded by current CEO Jacob Mchangama in the summer of 2014.
About Jacob Mchangama
Jacob is the founder and CEO of the independent legal think tank Justitia and the head of Justitia’s newly established department in the US. Jacob deals with issues related to fundamental freedoms, particularly freedom of expression. He has published several books on the topic and countless articles and op-eds in Danish and international media. Jacob speaks about freedom of expression around the world at influential institutions such as Yale University, Stanford, Columbia University, the British Library, and more. He has recently published the book “Free Speech – A History from Socrates to Social Media” by the US publisher Basic Books, which has received positive reviews in, among others, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian. Jacob is also the creator of the podcast Clear and Present Danger – A history of Free Speech. Jacob has received several awards for his work, including the Liberal Party’s Freedom Prize, Jyllands-Posten’s Freedom of Expression Prize, the Golden Grundtvig, the Blixen Prize, and the Hørup Debate Prize.
About Birgitte Arent Eiriksson
Birgitte Arent Eiriksson is the director of Justitia’s Danish department. Birgitte has been with Justitia since 2017 and, as vice director, has been responsible for the daily operations and has managed several different projects on, among others, the digitization of Danish society, the legal protection of vulnerable citizens, legal protection in criminal proceedings, and citizens’ opportunities to have their rights reviewed. Birgitte gives many presentations on Justitia’s focus areas, actively participates in the public debate, and is a co-author of several books on the technological development of the Danish welfare state and the latest legal commentary on the Traffic Act. Birgitte is a lawyer and Master of Public Governance and in 2021 received the Thomas Gerstenberg Foundation’s scholarship for her work on legal protection. Birgitte is also a member of the Data Ethics Council and several award committees, boards, and public follow-up groups, among others. Previously, Birgitte held various positions in the Ministry of Justice area, including at the National Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions.
For questions and comments:
Jacob Mchangama, +45 24 66 42 20, email@example.com
Birgitte Arent Eiriksson: +45 30 86 84 97, firstname.lastname@example.org