Pierre de Vries is a Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Spectrum Policy Initiative at the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His current work focuses on maximizing the value of radio operation by managing potential and actual interference better, both before and after rulemaking. Previous projects have included regulatory paradigms for the internet/web, alternative conceptual models for wireless policy, spectrum allocation in the TV white spaces, and the impact of intangibility on decision-making in the digital world.
2011 – present:
2007 – 2010: Research and consulting
2006 - 2007: USC, Los Angeles
1993 – 2005: Microsoft Corp, Redmond
De Vries started at Microsoft’s Redmond campus in July 1993 as a Program Manager in the Advanced Consumer Technology group. His titles have included Chief of Incubation; Senior Director of Advanced Technology and Policy; Director of User Experience Design; and Director of Strategic Planning. He worked for a number of senior managers, notably Craig Mundie, the company's Chief Research and Strategy Officer. He has managed teams ranging from eight to 50 people.
In the course of twelve years he: designed and directed the construction of the first Microsoft Home demo suite in 1995; created the company’s first integrated User Experience Design team, including hiring the company’s first full-time anthropologist; developed the 2002 Trustworthy Computing Framework, which set the direction for a path the company is still following; ran an incubation that built a prototype context web service; started up the Venice wireless mesh incubation; managed incubations for Craig Mundie, CTO; supervised the 2004 start-up of the European Microsoft Innovation Centre (EMIC) from inception to a twenty-strong team playing an increasingly influential role in the European Framework Programme for collaborative research; led Microsoft’s efforts get harmonized 5GHz unlicensed spectrum world-wide; and framed the company’s world-wide “connected computing” technology policy agenda.
He is a co-inventor on six US patents (5819032, 6148304, 6928428, 6968179, 7363008, 7437683).
1990 – 1993: Art school
1987 – 1993: Venture capital and technology consultancy
De Vries worked for Korda & Co, a London-based seed capital company and consultancy, from February 1987 to December 1990 (latterly part-time while at art school). He advised corporate customers like Pearson and Scientific Atlanta on the likely evolution and business impact of new technologies such as satellite television and electronic publishing. He also evaluated potential venture capital investments, negotiated investments and relationships, and served as a start-up board member.
1980 – 1987: Study in theoretical physics
De Vries graduated B.Sc. (Honours) (cum laude) in theoretical physics in 1983 from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He received a PhD in quantum field theory from Oxford in 1987 (supervised by Chris Llewellyn Smith, FRS), published as “The operator product expansion for minimally subtracted operators” in Nuclear Physics B (1988).
Service: De Vries is currently a member of the FCC Technological Advisory Council, and a board member of TPRC. He has previously served on the boards of the Northwest Vipassana Association (Treasurer), Bread for the World (Finance Committee), and Seattle's Center on Contemporary Art, COCA (Treasurer).
Updated July 2016