James P. Steyer

CEO, Common Sense Media | Critically Acclaimed Author
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James P. Steyer is one of the most respected experts and entrepreneurs on issues related to children, education, media, and technology in the United States. He is the Founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, the nation's leading nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and impactful voice they need to thrive in today’s evolving media and technological landscape.

Jim is the author of critically acclaimed books about the impact media and technology have on children. Talking Back to Facebook: A Common-Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age is a compelling exploration of how social media and cellphone technology have transformed the lives of today's young people — often in much more dramatic ways than today's adults might suspect. The Other Parent: The Inside Story of the Media's Effect on Our Children was a turn of the century introduction to the new media reality children were facing. Most recently, he edited a collection of essays from prominent figures called Which Side of History: How Technology is Reshaping Democracy and Our Lives.

For more than 30 years, Jim has taught popular courses at Stanford University. He is a consulting professor in the Stanford School of Education as well as the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, teaching a variety of courses on civil rights, civil liberties, and education issues. Among other honors, Jim has received the university's highest teaching honor, the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching, which is awarded annually to three Stanford professors. 

Jim’s dedication to bettering the lives of children predates the founding of Common Sense in 2023. He has had founding and executive leadership roles in JP Kids, Children Now, and Center for the Next Generation, all organizations focused on children’s education, media, and advocacy. He also spent years working as a tutor and teacher to at-risk and disadvantaged children in New York City, East Palo Alto, and Oakland.
Jim began his professional career as a law clerk for Justice Allen Broussard of the California Supreme Court. He then served as a civil rights attorney, working for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. There, he helped spearhead the Poverty and Justice Program, focused on developing national legal and legislative strategies on behalf of lower-income African Americans. In addition, while still in law school, Jim was a founder and original chairperson of the East Palo Alto Community Law Project. This nonprofit law office served for over 30 years as the primary source of legal services for lower-income families in East Palo Alto and has been the training ground for hundreds of students at Stanford Law School.

In addition to his activities as an advocate, author, and teacher, Jim serves regularly as an expert commentator on many national TV and radio programs. He frequently appears on national television on shows and networks including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fresh Air, The CBS Morning Show, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and 20/20. Jim Steyer is a graduate of both Stanford University and Stanford Law School.


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Commentary: Rein in social media companies, for kids' sake
Times Union
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OpenAI partners with Common Sense Media on kids' safety
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The State of Kids and Families in America 2024
Common Sense Media
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One in ten teens already uses ChatGPT for school. Here’s how to guide them.
Washington Post
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Is Social Media Bad for Kids' Mental Health?
Open To Debate
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When it Comes to AI, Let's Mover Fast and Fix Things
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Efforts to Rein In AI Tap Lesson From Social Media: Don't Wait Until It's Too Late
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Common Sense Media, a popular resource for parents, to review AI products' suitability for kids
Tech Crunch
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Expert predicts AI to hit children 'like a freight train'



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