June 22, 2014

Person Details


It is with a sad heart that the news of Bill Washburn's passing on June 22, 2014 is being shared with all of his connections, colleagues, acquaintances and friends.

Bill had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma and cardiac amyloidosis in the spring of 2011. An avid runner and health enthusiast, the diagnosis came as a complete surprise.

Bill earned a PhD and Masters degree from Stanford University in Public Policy and Ethics and spent over two decades as a trust evangelist and strategist, moving between companies in Silicon Valley and London. His final position was Founding Executive Director of the Berkeley Mobile International Collaborative, located in Berkeley, CA.

Bill was the father of 3 sons and an avid fan of literature, music, dance meditation and gardening. During the 3 years of his illness, Bill faced each challenge with his unique blend of courage, strength, grace and humor. He also dedicated a great deal of time and energy toward the writing and publishing of his first poetry book "Becoming William" (available at lulu.com). At the time of his passing, Bill was deeply loved and living in Sonoma county with his partner of nine years, Anna Corba. He will be greatly missed.

William (Bill) Washburn was the Executive Director at OpenID Foundation and Chairman of the Board at XDI.org.

Bill Washburn arrived on the Internet officially as the first Executive Director of the Commercial Internet Xchange (CIX) Association – the non-profit global trade organization of Internet service providers (ISPs) in the early 1990s. CIX and it’s leading members successfully led the effort to allow commercial and private use of the Internet. This occurred during the summer of 1994 and then Washburn became Senior Vice President of Business Development for MecklerMedia where the Internet World tradeshows and publications were created in the mid-1990s.

In 1997 Bill became part of the founding team of RealNames Corp. where he was Chief Policy Officer and Evangelist. In 2001, he became Executive Director and Board Chair of the non-profit XDI.org which was one of the first end-user trust and identity focused Internet organizations. In 2005 Bill joined the founders of Opinity Corp. as Executive Vice President.

Earlier, while working in the administrations at Stanford University and Colorado State University respectively, Dr. Washburn was part of the IT community that was instrumental in developing the regional NSFnet networks that constituted the major part of the backbone of the original Internet in the research and higher education realm. Education: Ph.D. and M.A. from Stanford in Policy Analysis and Philosophy.

Jobs (2)

Executive Director
Executive Vice President

Board & Advisor Roles (1)


Education (3)


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