Kate Downing is an intellectual property attorney and has spent her entire career working with software technology companies. Having worked with companies large and small, she has experience in building out processes and policies from scratch as well as working with a wide variety of stakeholders to hone and improve established procedures. While her focus has been in the product area, her experience in working on commercial deals, channel deals, various partner programs, sponsorship agreements, marketing agreements, and procurement matters has allowed her to see all the moving parts at a company at once and to design processes and policies that not only take into account all parts of the product life cycle, but that can easily scale and adapt as a company grows.
Kate’s passion for open source began in law school, under the tutelage of Eben Moglen, long-time attorney for the Free Software Foundation, founder of the Software Freedom Law Center, and author of the GPL 3. She interned at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and helped write the first complaint against the NSA for warrantless wiretapping.
At VMware and ServiceNow, she dedicated her time to designing, building, and testing internal compliance tools in collaboration with their respective internal tools teams. She is no stranger to writing specs, creating wireframes, and massive amounts of QA. So much so, that Kate and her husband, Steve Downing, co-founded Critterdom LLC, a software company whose Open Sorcerer product substantially cuts down the time it takes to manually review source code for licenses and create a customer-facing disclosure of that source code.
Kate is a board member of the PolyForm Project and a member of the Linux Foundation, the Open Source Initiative, and the Blue Oak Council. She is also an advisor to FOSSA.
Kate is licensed to practice in California and Washington state. Kate graduated from Columbia University School of Law (Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar) and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business (Magna Cum Laude) with a double major in Finance and International Business. You can learn more about Kate Downing here.