Jenny Toomey is the director of the foundation’s Catalyst Fund, a $50 million, three-year investment to build the field of Public Interest Technology. Previously, she led Ford's International Technology and Society Team and the U.S. Internet Freedom team, supporting efforts to preserve the open architecture of the internet and expand access, transparency, innovation, and participation. Before that, she was the interim director for the Civic Engagement and Governance program and a senior program officer for Internet Rights. She joined the foundation in 2008 as the program officer for Media and Cultural Policy.
Jenny co-founded the independent record label Simple Machines in the 1990s, which produced more than 70 releases. She is also a musician and composer who has performed on 12 albums, dozens of compilation records and singles, and a musical. After closing Simple Machines, Jenny was a copywriter at The Washington Post. She also wrote music and technology reviews there and for The Village Voice, CNET, SPIN, and other music and technology publications.
Her work organizing musicians to support the Federal Communications Commission's low-power radio initiative led her to co-found the Machine, an online forum for musicians that focused on the intersection of music and technology. In 2000, Jenny founded the Future of Music Coalition where, as executive director, she testified before Congress, the FCC, and the U.S. Copyright Office to advocate for the rights of musicians in the emerging digital landscape. She has championed the rights of artists and music lovers on five continents and spoken about music and technology at hundreds of institutions and media outlets.
Jenny graduated from Georgetown University with an interdisciplinary major in philosophy, English, and women's studies.