Multi-stakeholder Governance Processes for Cyberspace: A Visit from Virgilio Almeida


The Brazilian Professor Virgilio Almeida met with my media and information policy class today via Skype. As chair of the very successful NETmundial Internet governance conference in San Paulo in 2014, and chair of Brazil’s Internet Governance Committee (, he is particularly well placed to discuss developments around Internet governance, his topic for this class. We were fortunate to catch him while a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, where he is associated with the Berkman Center, but he was very generous with his time. Instead of organizing a meeting of over a thousand members of civil society, business, government and the technology communities, he was just as practiced in speaking to a small university seminar.

His talk spelled out the many challenges facing multi-stakeholder governance, particularly with respect to his current interests in cybersecurity. His discussion of lessons learned in organizing NETmundial was particularly engaging, specifically in how useful it seemed that he focused the conference on arriving at a set of principles and a roadmap for moving ahead. His session with my class left me with a greater sense of optimism about the prospects for multi-stakeholder governance.


Virgilio A. F. Almeida is a Visiting Professor at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University and Fellow of the Berkman Center. He is also a full professor of the Computer Science Department at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil.

His areas of research interest include large scale distributed system, Internet governance, social computing, autonomic computing and performance modeling and analysis. He received a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Vanderbilt University, an MS in Computer Science, from the Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro and a BS Electrical Engineering from UFMG, Brazil. He was a visiting professor at Boston University, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) in Barcelona, Polytechnic Institute of NYU and held visiting appointments at Santa Fe Institute, Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratory and Xerox Research Center.

He is a former National Secretary for Information Technology Policies of the Brazilian Government (2011 to 2015). He is the chair of the Brazilian Internet Governance Committee ( He was the chair of NETmundial, Global Multistakeholder Conference on the Future of Internet Governance, that was held in Sao Paulo in 2014.

He published over 150 technical papers and co-authored five books on performance modeling, including “Performance By Design” (2004) “Capacity Planning for Web Services” (2002), and “Scaling for E-business” (2000) published by Prentice Hall.

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