A successful Internet entrepreneur, author and speaker on technology and government, Charles Jennings founded the companies Swan Island Networks (where he is currently CEO); GeoTrust (acquired by Verisign in 2007 for $250 million); and Preview Systems (2000 IPO). With Esther Dyson and Lori Fena, he also founded the Internet privacy assurance leader, TRUSTe, whose privacy assurance mark consistently is one of the Internet’s most recognizable symbols.
Jennings is the author of six books, including The Hundredth Window: Protecting Your Privacy and Security in the Age of the Internet (Simon & Schuster, 2000), which has been translated into four languages and distributed world-wide. Jennings is a periodic op-ed columnist for The Oregonian, and his work with Swan Island was the focus of a major feature story in WIRED Magazine’s December 2005 issue.
Jennings has been a speaker at top conferences worldwide. In 1999, he was a keynoter at the United Nations 50th Anniversary Conference on Human Rights in Toulouse, France. In 2000, he debated Shawn Fanning, founder of Napster, before 5000 people at a high tech conference in New York City. In the past year, he has been speaking about Web 2.0 and “private cloud” services at events ranging from the U.S. government’s National Fusion Center Conference in Kansas City, to the Nobel Public Services Summit, an annual event held in conjunction with the Nobel Prize Awards in Stockholm and Oslo.
Honors in high tech include the Federal 100 Award given by Federal Computer Week to the 100 most influential people in government technology; and the Oregon Entrepreneurial Networks’ Individual Achievement Award (one of the highest business awards in Oregon).
Jennings holds two patents for secure content distribution over public networks and one for secure wide-area emergency networks. He is the architect of Oregon’s award-winning Connect & Protect information sharing system, a finalist for the Mitretek Innovations Award in Homeland Security given by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard; and of Swan Island Networks’ current TIES® platform.
Jennings served four years as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at The Northwest Academy, an award-winning, honors-based private high school. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife of 38 years, the artist Christine Jennings.