Curriculum Vitae

Pierre de Vries is Co-director of the Spectrum Policy Initiative at the Silicon Flatirons Center of the University of Colorado, Boulder. His current work focuses on maximizing the value of radio operation by better managing potential and actual interference, both before and after rulemaking. He is also Visiting Senior Scientist at the Institute for Networked Systems of RWTH Aachen University. He was a Technology Advisor to Harris Wiltshire & Grannis LLP, Washington DC (2007–2010) and a Senior Fellow at the Annenberg Center for Communication of the University of Southern California (2006–2007). Prior to this he held various positions at Microsoft including Chief of Incubation, and Senior Director of Advanced Technology and Policy. He holds a D.Phil. in theoretical physics from the University of Oxford.

2011 – present:

Executive Fellow and Co-Director of the Spectrum Policy Initiative, Silicon Flatirons Center, University of Colorado, Boulder

2007 – 2010: Research and consulting

Senior Adjunct Fellow, Silicon Flatirons Center, University of Colorado, Boulder

Research Fellow, Economic Policy Research Center, University of Washington (Seattle) 

Technology Advisor, Harris Wiltshire & Grannis LLP, Washington DC

2006 - 2007: USC, Los Angeles

Senior Fellow at the Annenberg Center for Communication, University of Southern California, 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

De Vries decided in 1990 to refresh his thinking by making a radical career change. He talked his way onto a one-year Fine Arts Foundation course at the Kingston University, London starting in September 1990, which led to being accepted on the Kingston BFA course, majoring in sculpture. He was hired by Microsoft at the beginning of his final year.

While in art school he made a living doing consultancy. His projects included managing consumer market research programs for major UK retailers including Bass and Northern Electric; devising course materials for Computer Science courses at Kingston University; researching and prototyping a multi-media teaching tool for the International Consortium for Environment and Development; and working as technology advisor on a TV documentary about “the electronic frontier,” which led to his hiring by Microsoft.

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