The New America Foundation has announced that James Vasile will join the think tank’s Open Technology Initiative as the director of the Open Internet Tools Project (OITP).

OITP is a collection of open-source projects that seek to build an unfettered Internet, according to OTI.

“OITP is unique in that it can improve entire ecosystems, nurture ambitious projects and still prioritize end users at every step along the way, ” Vasile said.  “Right now, we have an urgent need and opportunity to help people talk directly to each other without restriction, surveillance or censorship.”

The Open Technology Initiative first gained widespread media exposure in 2011 when the group developed “Internet in a suitcase,” in part with a $2 million State Department check, so foreign dissidents could interact amidst highly censored and monitored communication infrastructures.

“James brings extraordinary technical acumen and legal knowledge that an incubator project like the Open Internet Tools Project needs,” said Sascha Meinrath, director of the Open Technology Initiative, in a statement.

Vasile holds a law degree from Columbia and a bachelor’s degree from Fordham College.