Ben Werdmuller

Senior Director of Technology

Ben Werdmuller is ProPublica’s senior director of technology. He leads the development and execution of the organization’s technology strategy across engineering and IT.

Previously, he was the inaugural chief technology officer at The 19th. Prior to that, he spent his career working on mission-driven startups as a technology leader, founder, adviser and investor.

He was the West Coast director of investments at Matter Ventures, an accelerator that supported early-stage media startups in partnership with organizations like PRX, KQED, The Associated Press and The New York Times. He has taught product design to teams from those partner organizations as well as over 75 startups. He has also taught equitable product design at venues including the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism and the Harvard Kennedy School.

Elgg, an open-source social networking platform he co-founded and built, was used by organizations like Oxfam and Greenpeace to train aid workers, by the governments of several nations as a state-level intranet and by social movements around the world as a medium to collaborate and share resources.

An advocate of an open, independent web, he has participated in W3C working groups as an invited expert and spoken widely about indie web topics. He has been blogging since 1998 and continues to write about open source and the open web on his personal site at

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