Irene Wu

Yahoo! Fellow 2007–2008

As the first Yahoo! Fellow in 2007-2008, Dr. Irene Wu explored the way that evolving information technology can change political interaction within countries. She focused in particular on four countries—China, Russia, India and Brazil—in order to determine if past government reactions to changes in communications are related to the way online communications have been put to use in current politics. To watch Dr. Wu’s presentation of her fellowship paper in full, please click here.

During her time as a Yahoo! Fellow, Dr. Wu and the two Junior Fellows, Steve Leu, and Liza Chuykova, also ran a serious of online discussions with Georgetown students. They worked to create a wiki page and analyzed how wiling students were to contribute to the site and how authoritative they found information drawn from crowdsourced wiki-type sites. More information on this project can be found here.

Before coming to Georgetown for the Yahoo! Fellowship, Dr. Wu was Chief Data Officer and Director of research in the International Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission. Since then, she has returned to work at the FCC, most recently as a Senior Advisor in the Policy Division of their International Bureau. She has also been an adjunct professor at Georgetown in the field of Communication, Culture and Technology, teaching classes such as Network Communities: International Politics and Regulating Networks: Politics and Culture in the Information Economy.

She has also published an online book in 2011 called “Network Communities” ( in which she examines the roles of online “network communities” in enacting political change and the way that information and ideas can be used as sources of political power. Her 2008 book, “From Iron First to Invisible Hand: The Uneven Path of Telecommunications Reform in China” lays out the history of telecommunications growth in China while analyzing sometimes contradictory policies of the Chinese government in regulating information technology.

Dr. Wu received her B.A. from Harvard University and Ph.D. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She also spent time studying at the National Taiwan Normal University, University of Puerto Rico, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.