Portrait of Josh Benaloh

Josh Benaloh

Senior Cryptographer


Josh Benaloh is Senior Cryptographer at Microsoft Research and an elected director of the International Association for Cryptologic Research. He earned his S.B degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and M.S., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University where his 1987 doctoral dissertation, Verifiable Secret-Ballot Elections, introduced the use of homomorphic encryption to enable end-to-end verifiable election technologies.

Dr. Benaloh’s numerous research publications in cryptography and voting have pioneered new technologies including the “cast or spoil” paradigm that brings voters into the verification process with minimal burden.

He has served on the program committees of dozens of cryptography and election-related conferences and workshops and is a frequent speaker on the history, development, and mechanisms behind verifiable voting.

Among other side interests, Dr. Benaloh recently completed two years as chair of the Citizen Oversight Panel for the Seattle region’s Sound Transit agency that is currently investing about $1 billion per annum in improving the region’s mass transit infrastructure. He has also authored numerous puzzles used in a variety of Seattle-area puzzle competitions.





Background Information

I have been with the Microsoft Corporation since 1994. I earned an S.B. in Mathematics from MIT in 1981, an M.S. and M.Phil. in Computer Science from Yale University in 1985, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Yale University in 1987. I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto from 1987 through 1990, and an assistant professor at Clarkson University from 1990 through 1994.

Service to the Research Community

  • Member of the United States Department of Commerce Technical Advisory Committee to Develop a Federal Information Processing Standard for the Federal Key Management Infrastructure, 1996-1998
  • Member of California Internet Voting Advisory Committee, 2000
  • Secretary of the International Association for Cryptologic Research, 1999-2004
  • Elected Director of the International Association for Cryptologic Research, 2007-present
  • General Chair, International Association for Cryptologic Research — CRYPTO Conference, 2006
  • General/Program Chair, Workshop on Trustworthy Elections (WOTE), 2007
  • Program Chair, RSA Conference — Cryptographers’ Track, 2014
  • Member of National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on the Future of Voting:  Accessible, Reliable, Verifiable Technology, 2017
  • Member of the Program Committees for Crypto ’89, SAC ’95, Crypto ’96, CT-RSA ’01, Eurocrypt ’01, Crypto ’01, SAC ’03, Asiacrypt ’03, IEEE Security and Privacy ’04, IEEE Security and Privacy ’05, CCS ’05, EVT ’06, WOTE, ’06, VOTE-ID ’07, ISC ’08, Asiacrypt ’08, EVT ’08, VOTE-ID ’09, Asiacrypt, ’09, EVT/WOTE ’09, EVT/WOTE ’10, RLCPS ’11, VOTEID ’11, EVT/WOTE ’11, EVT/WOTE ’12, VOTE-ID ’13, CT-RSA ’13, EVT/WOTE ’13, EVT/WOTE ’14, SAC ’15, CT-RSA ’15, CT-RSA ’16, CT-RSA ’17
  • Referee for numerous research journals


IACR Board of Directors — Candidate Statement

I have been a member of the IACR for more than thirty years and have served on its Board of Directors for seventeen years in a variety of capacities:  director, officer, and conference chair.  I seek an opportunity to serve one final term to help this organization — which has given so much to me and others — transition through some difficult challenges.

We have recently brought Real-World Crypto into the IACR family, and we must adapt to the perspectives and priorities of the new members that this brings.  We are experimenting with new publication and review models such as conference-journal hybrids and are still seeking better ways to provide gold open access to all IACR publications.  Just during this past year, attempts to develop a consistent and predictable policy on conflicts of interest have proven to be more difficult than anticipated.

I am proud to have taken the lead in bringing a fully-verifiable on-line election system to the IACR.  Since its introduction in 2010, the on-line system increased participation by 50%, eliminated the costs of printing and mailing paper ballots, provided IACR members with a more convenient means to express their will, and improved accuracy by ensuring that there are no ballots which have to be disqualified due to voter errors and by producing a cryptographically-verifiable tally.

Other accomplishments in which I take pride include work on codifying and finally settling the anonymous submission policy used in all IACR general conferences, helping bring greater financial discipline — both as a member of the organization’s endowment committee and in my past role as a general chair, working with many program chairs as the Board’s liaison, and helping address some of the community’s most difficult issues as a member of the Board’s ethics committee.

We have an excellent mix of experience and youthful vigor on the current Board, and I hope to spend a final three-year term helping to keep things moving steadily and, where appropriate, reminding others of how we have come to do things the way that we do.