Meet the Team

We are a global and remote team who believes that privacy matters in technology.

Aaron Hmel

Marketing / Communications Specialist

Aaron joined Least Authority in 2021. He brings over 20 years professional experience in commercial business, including sales, marketing, and event management to the team. He spends his free time at hockey rinks, soccer fields, and motorsports tracks.

Allon Bar

Product Manager and UX Researcher / Designer

Allon focuses on user experience, research and privacy. Prior to joining Least Authority, he was a design/user researcher with product-focused companies, and a research coordinator and human rights specialist with the Ranking Digital Rights project. In addition to having worked with the United Nations and NGOs around the world, Allon has engaged in international policymaking in U.S. Congress and at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Amber O'Hearn

Board Member / Least Authority Enterprises Manager

Amber has an eclectic background with publications in several fields, including theoretical mathematics, cognitive psychology, computational linguistics, and more recently, nutrition and biology. She is an advocate of privacy-preserving and censorship-resistant technologies.

Anna Kaplan

Cryptography Researcher

Anna’s interest lies in everything cryptographic. She studied Mathematics and Politics & Technology at the Technical University of Munich and interned at the Zcash Foundation and at IBM Research Zurich before joining Least Authority. She also enjoys to give talks about practical cryptography and zero-knowledge proof systems.

Arsenii Efremenko

Operations Assistant

Arsenii is an energetic zoomer on a mission to bring fun into our harsh and scary world.

Bjørn Ihler

Web Developer

Bjørn has been developing and running websites and online communities for the past 15 years. His current focus is keeping the web cool, especially the sites of Least Authority and Private Storage. He also has a passion for data analytics while also venturing into graphics, and is very excited about keeping activists and others safe through tech.

Chris Wood

Lead UI / UX Developer

Chris is a former academic philosopher with research and teaching interests relating to privacy, censorship, and the ethics of design. A long-time Free Software advocate and hobbyist hacker, Chris is passionate about tools and technologies that empower ordinary people. He is the lead developer of Gridsync, a cross-platform Tahoe-LAFS-based desktop application that aims to make secure and distributed storage easy and accessible for everyone.

Dr. Dorothee Landgraf, LL.M

General Counsel Least Authority Group

Adjunct Professor of Law, Duquesne University School of Law, Pittsburgh, PA (USA)

Doctor Juris (PhD), University of Cologne, Germany

Master of Laws (LL.M.) for Foreign Lawyers, Duquesne University School of Law, Pittsburgh, PA (USA)

Dylan Lott

Security Researcher / Engineer

Dylan is a distributed systems engineer specializing in peer-to-peer networks. He previously worked at Storj building their DHT and overlay network. He works mostly in Go, JavaScript, and Python. He’s working on a database in his spare time and lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Florian Sesser

Engineering / Operations

Florian celebrates the beauty of elegant solutions that sometimes can be found in cybernetics. Making computers work for the people makes him smile.

Gabrielle Hibbert

Government Affairs and Policy Officer

She / They

Gabrielle started her early career in public policy, working on Capitol Hill. In 2018, she formally joined the web3 space and has contributed research on zero knowledge based identity management systems, tokenized based emergency aid, and data privacy.

Jan Winkelmann

Security Researcher / Engineer

Jan’s interests lie in distributed systems and cryptography. As a software developer, he has worked on IPFS and currently works on Secure Scuttlebutt. As a student, he designed and analyzed key exchange protocols.

Jawid Jamiulahmadi

Security Researcher / Engineer

Jawid has more than 8 years of experience working as a programmer and software engineer. He has been involved in the Ethereum eco-system since 2016 and is passionate about how blockchain can change the future of financial and decentralized systems.

Jean-Paul Calderone

Engineering / Operations

Jean-Paul has been programming for over twenty years and programming in Python for over fifteen. He is best known as a core developer on the Twisted project.

Jehad Baeth

Security Researcher / Engineer

Jehad is a software engineer, an internet freedom enthusiast and an aspiring academic with a focus on information quality and data privacy and security. He has worked in a variety of companies adopting different Tech Stacks.

Jessy Bissal

Technical Editor

Jessy has over a decade of experience editing professional and academic documents in the Information Technology, Electronics, Healthcare, Education, Financials, and Communication Services Sectors. Before joining Least Authority, she taught Rhetoric and Composition at the university level and worked as a B2B/B2C copywriter/texter.

Lauri Hmel

Finance / Business Operations

Lauri has a background in accounting and finance, and more than 20 years of experience in business. She works on finance, reporting, and business operations and development for Least Authority.

Liz Steininger

CEO / Managing Director

Before taking over as CEO, Liz spent over 15 years supporting the advancement of digital rights, access to information, freedom of expression and open source software as a Program and Project Manager, Strategist and Analyst.

Margherita Sgorbissa

People / Office Coordinator

Margherita has been working as office and people coordinator for the last four years and for different companies in Berlin. Graduating in the Gender Studies master at the HU Berlin, she is also involved in humanitarian and social projects with a focus on gender equality, intersectional feminism and womxn empowerment. She has joined Least Authority in 2019 to help making the workplace a great, organized and cozy space.

Meejah

Engineering / Operations

Author of txtorcon, core developer of Crossbar.io/Autobahn, and contributor to other open source projects such as Twisted and Tor. Meejah has 20 years of development experience in many fields.

Mirco Richter

Lead Software Security Analyst

Mirco is a mathematician and computer scientist living in Berlin. He has been working and conducting research in the Blockchain space since 2011 and mostly focuses on Cryptography and Consensus Algorithms.

Nicole Ernst

Security Researcher / Engineer

Nicole worked in the world of FinTech as a Software Developer prior to developing a fascination for decentralized finance and all things crypto. She is interested in the technical side of cryptocurrencies and blockchains as well as their societal and economic implications.

Nishit Majithia

Security Researcher / Engineer

Nishit is a blockchain and traditional researcher. He is also passionate about decentralized and privacy technology. Nishit has experience in auditing smart contracts for different Eco-systems like Ethereum, Solana and Cosmos. He also built Wotop, a TCP protocol tunneling to send traffic over Http(s).

Rai Yang

Security Researcher / Engineer

Rai is an open source technologist, developer and researcher. Passionate about decentralized and privacy technology and its impact on democratizing social and economic systems. Rai worked on and contributed to various blockchain projects including Ethereum 2.0/1.0, Libp2p, Livepeer and other research initiatives. He also built Raven, a network privacy protocol for blockchain and p2p message broadcasting.

Ramakrishnan Muthukrishnan

Security Researcher / Engineer

Ramakrishnan (Ram) has been programming in the industry for about 19 years, mostly working with low level operating system software. He has worked in big and small companies and has been an active participant in the Free Software movement as a hobbyist.

Sajith Sasidharan

Security Researcher / Engineer

Sajith has been programming for twenty years now, and has spent some of that time in small and large companies, academia, and public research labs. He is interested in the intersection of libre software and privacy/security technology.

Shane Farrell

Communications Specialist

Shane is a communications specialist at Least Authority. He works closely with the marketing team and on PrivateStorage. Prior to joining Least Authority, he worked for a decade in the Middle East as a journalist, security consultant and humanitarian, and co-launched a security risk mapping software in Kenya. He speaks five languages.

Shareef Dweikat

Security Researcher / Engineer

Areas of Expertise

  • React js
  • React Native
  • Flutter
  • Security Researcher

Steven Jung

Security Researcher / Engineer

Steven is a software engineer with enthusiasm for blockchain and security. He is becoming a perfectionist and likes to spot flaws not just in code, but anywhere else. Based on years of development and audit experience, he hopes that no errors will get out of sight.

Sven M. Hallberg

Security Researcher / Engineer

Applied scientist of insecurity and freelance programmer. Cryptologist by night.

Sylvia Blaho

Technical Writer

Sylvia has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her background in academic research (PhD and post-doc in Formal Linguistics, Master’s in English) is complemented by over 10 years of experience in editing, typesetting and instructional design. As a Technical Writer, Sylvia has worked on security audits, product documentation, policy and process descriptions, newsletters, blog posts, tutorials and trainings.

Tiffany Ou

Designer

Tiffany has worked as a graphic designer for 15 years, specializing in information architecture, brand identities, and multi-platform design and production. She has extensive experience working within start-ups as well as global corporate environments — covering a wide range of clientele industries, including technology, finance, hospitality, entertainment, and creative services.

Zooko Wilcox

Founder / Board Member

Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn has more than 20 years of experience in secure distributed systems, free and open source software, and startups. Currently, Zooko is the Founder and CEO of the Electric Coin Company, the creators of Zcash.