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Richard Sobel explores the relationships between citizens and governments as a Senior Research Associate in the Program in Psychiatry and the Law at Harvard Medical School, and a Senior Research Fellow and Policy Director at the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research in Storrs, CT. His work includes the policy analysis of privacy and confidentiality issues, particularly on constitutional and political questions about governmental databanks and identification schemes. It also explores the influence of public opinion on foreign policy in the U.S. and abroad. The privacy and foreign policy strands became more closely allied in the post-911 era of concerns for how international issues like anti-terrorism affect the domestic realm, including civil liberties.

Previously, he was a Fellow at the Berkman Center on Internet and Society at Harvard Law School and a Fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government. In teaching at Princeton University, Smith College, the University of Connecticut, and Harvard University, his courses include public policy analysis, the social consequences of technology, social movements, and public opinion in foreign policy. He is a former board member of the Eastern Connecticut Civil Liberties Union, a founder and director of the Cyber Privacy Project, and a member of the Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union Technology and Privacy Committee. He is also a member of the New York Times College Program Advisory Board, the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations (CCFR), and the American Political Science Association. He has been a consultant on public opinion to the New York Times/CBS poll, the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations study of American Public Opinion and U.S. Foreign Policy, and organizations concerned with privacy and medical confidentiality.

Dr. Sobel has published four books, with another forthcoming. The most recent are International Public Opinion and the Bosnia Crisis (with Eric Shiraev; Lexington, 2003) and The Impact of Public Opinion on U.S. Foreign Policy Since Vietnam: Constraining the Colossus (Oxford, 2001). His previous books are Public Opinion in U.S. Central America Policy: The Controversy over Contra Aid (Rowman & Littlefield, 1993) and The White Collar Working Class (Praeger, 1989). People and Their Opinions: Thinking Critically about Public Opinion, with Eric Shiraev, is forthcoming (Longman, 2004). His articles include: "The Degradation of Political Identity Under a National Identification System" (Journal of Science and Technology Law, Winter 2002), "The Demeaning of Identity and Personhood in National Identification Systems," Journal of Law and Technology (Spring 2002), respectively, pre- and post-September 11th perspectives on national ID systems, and "No Privacy for All? Serious Failings in the HHS Medical Records Regulations," Journal of Biolaw and Business, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2002. He has also contributed to an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on the Hiibel ID case.

His work and comments on privacy, confidentiality, and public and foreign policies have appeared in the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Newsday, USA Today, Time International and Washington Post. He has been interviewed on privacy, confidentiality, citizenship, immigration, and foreign affairs issues on NPR, WGN, CNN and CBS radio affiliates and on WGBH and Global TV. He has spoken on topics including "The Bill of Rights," "National Identity Cards," "HIPAA, Medical Confidentiality, and Consent" and "The Impact of Public Opinion on Foreign Policy." Recently he keynoted "The Conference on International Information Policy and E-Society" at National ChengChi University. A native of Chicago, Dr. Sobel received a bachelor degree from Princeton University and a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

He can be contacted by email at