Nabiha Syed is the chief executive officer of The Markup, an award-winning journalism non-profit that challenges technology to serve the public good. Under her leadership, The Markup’s unique approach has been referenced by Congress 21 times, inspired dozens of class action lawsuits, won a national Murrow Award and a Loeb Award, and been recognized as "Most Innovative" by FastCompany in 2022.
Before launching The Markup in 2020, Nabiha spent a decade as an acclaimed media lawyer focused on the intersection of frontier technology and newsgathering, including advising on issues around the Snowden revelations and the Steele Dossier, access litigation around police disciplinary records and privatized services, as well as privacy and free speech issues globally. Described by Forbes as “one of the best emerging free speech lawyers”, she has briefed two presidents on free speech in the digital age, delivered the Salant Lecture at Harvard, headlined SXSW to discuss data privacy after Roe v. Wade, and was awarded the NAACP/Archewell Digital Civil Rights award in 2023 for her work.
A California native and daughter of Pakistani immigrants, Nabiha holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, where she co-founded one of the nation’s first media law clinics, a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, and a law degree from Balliol College, Oxford, which she attended as a Marshall Scholar. She serves on the boards of the New York Civil Liberties Union, The New Press, and the Scott Trust, among others. At Columbia Journalism School, Nabiha has been adjunct faculty teaching media law to journalism students
Nabiha lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two young sons. She is a lifelong Girl Scout, and probably has Thin Mints in her handbag right this minute.