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CEO Luncheon with Robert Kahn of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives

January 12, 2005, 12:00-2:00 p.m.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
1330 Maryland Ave. SW
Washington, DC



  • John Freeman, Precursor
  • Blair Levin, Legg Mason
  • Jim Lucier, Prudential Securities

Robert Kahn, founder and president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI) Robert Kahn, founder and president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), was the first featured speaker in The Progress & Freedom Foundation's "Innovation Agenda 2005" CEO Lunch series. The event took place on January 12th at the Oriental Mandarin Hotel in Washington, DC.

Kahn discussed hot-button Internet policy topics concerning Internet governance, the Internet standards process, evolution of the Internet, and the role of the "Digital Object Architecture" in managing information on the net. Following his comments, he was questioned by a panel of analysts - John Freeman of Precursor, Blair Levin of Legg Mason, and Jim Lucier of Prudential Securities. Kahn, along with Vint Cerf, developed the TCP/IP protocol for the U.S. Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the early 1970s, and that open protocol has allowed the Internet to become what it is today. In 1986, Kahn founded CNRI to pursue research and development for the national information infrastructure. One initiative CNRI has launched, known as the digital object architecture, in an open architecture for information management that allows data structures (called Digital Objects) to be identified by unique, persistent identifiers called handles. Handles are resolved by a scaleable, distributed system called the "Handle System." This system is similar in some ways to the Domain Name System, but it differs in that it identifies data structures rather than just wires, machines, or files. Digital Objects may be mobile or stored in one or more "Repositories."

CNRI is a not-for-profit organization formed in 1986 to foster research and development for the National Information Infrastructure. Among CNRI's major goals is a program of research to identify and nurture infrastructural technologies and services that will unlock the potential of information and knowledge along with technology itself. CNRI promotes various collaborative activities that create productive synergies among government agencies, universities, and private organizations; undertakes targeted research in technologies for management of digital objects and high-speed networking; design/fabrication support for MEMS and nanotechnology; and supports various educational initiatives in the public interest.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation