Nick Sullivan

Engineering | Cryptography | Research | Leadership

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About Me

Thank you for taking time to look at my website! I’m a passionate technology leader and an expert in cryptography and computer security. I've co-authored numerous publications in top-tier peer-reviewed journals, given talks at major academic and industry conferences, been quoted frequently on the media. I take a collaborative and empathetic approach to technology work, which helps me lead diverse and effective teams as well as provide actionable advice to companies and individuals as a technical advisor.
I like to think outside of the box and back up my ideas with action. I'm a supporter of open source software and actively support initiatives that make the Internet more secure, private and accessible for everyone.
At the end of the day, I’m motivated by wanting to make a difference in people’s lives – whether that be by helping create more secure networks or finding ways to enable more equitable access to technology and information around the world.

What I Do


Public Speaking and Media

As a public speaker, I have had the pleasure of sharing my expertise across a wide range of topics and audiences. I have held keynotes and spoken at conferences and events, building relationships with attendees from industry, academia, and government. My knowledge has been clinically tested in the media as well, with quotes on technology subjects appearing in Nature, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, ABC News, CNN, Forbes, Bloomberg and WIRED magazine. It has been an incredible journey so far and I am proud of being able to share my thoughts on these important issues that shape our society today.


Volunteer Work

I get a lot of joy from contributing to the ongoing evolution of the Internet through volunteer work. My accomplishments in this area are extensive, ranging from chairing working groups to serving on review boards and steering committees for conferences like Real World Cryptography. I have been part of program committees for major events like USENIX Security, PETS, and the IETF Applied Networking Research Workshop. Additionally, I am proud to be an RFC author at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), one of the world's foremost organizations dedicated to developing and continuously improving Internet protocols. For me, helping ensure the Internet continues to serve its user in a secure and privacy-conscious manner provides great satisfaction.


Technical Advisory

I am actively seeking strategic advisory positions and board positions in impact-driven organizations.
Working with technology-focused startups and non-profits is hugely rewarding to me. Being able to advise and guide organizations with my knowledge and experience has been an immense privilege. I’ve been able to help entrepreneurs pursue success in various aspects of the industry - from product development to privacy enhancing technologies. My approach combines a combination of strategic advice, fresh insights and hands-on guidance to ensure a company's success. This has allowed me to be a facilitator of progress by encouraging disruptive innovation - not only for myself but also for those I advise or invest in as well.



I have made over a dozen investments in private companies, focusing on founders whose vision I believe in. Through my role as an angel investor and venture capital LP, I provide crucial capital, guidance, and expertise to help these companies grow and succeed. I aim to identify exceptional opportunities and actively engage with the companies I invest in, offering strategic guidance and leveraging my network to help them navigate challenges and achieve their goals. My track record showcases my dedication to supporting innovative startups and driving positive change in the startup ecosystem both in the United States and internationally.
If you are raising capital as an early-stage company and would find value in having me as an angel investor, please reach out.

Selected Experience

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JULY 2013 – JULY 2023

Head of Research

Cloudflare Inc.

I founded and lead Cloudflare Research, a group within Cloudflare focused on helping build a better Internet through R&D efforts. I am also Senior Director of Technology at Cloudflare.

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JULY 2007 – JUNE 2013


Apple Inc., Cupertino CA

I led the development of key aspects of Apple's iTunes Store.


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Bachelor of Mathematics

Double degree in Pure Mathematics and Combinatorics & Optimization

University of Waterloo

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Master of Science

Interdisciplinary degree in Mathematics & Statistics and Computer Science

University of Calgary

Get in touch with me if you have any questions about my work


My Approach to Research

My research approach is one that combines experimentation and engineering to find practical solutions for complex, large-scale issues. This method leverages computer science principles in order to gain insight into potential ways of solving problems on the Internet before they are implemented at a global scale. By devoting resources towards projects which have clear potential benefits but lack existing efficient solutions, my goal is to meaningfully contribute towards advancing bleeding edge technology while advocating positive change across the entire web ecosystem.

Recent Projects

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Cloudflare Research


Cloudflare Research is a team of researchers and engineers who explore opportunities to leverage fundamental and applied computer science research to help change the playing field for the betterment of the Internet.

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Messaging Layer Security


Messaging Layer Security (MLS) is a security layer for encrypting messages in groups of size two to many. It is being built by the MLS working group at the IETF. MLS is designed to be efficient, practical and secure. MLS provides confidentiality, integrity and authentication for all members of a group chat.

Selected Media Appearances and Quotes

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Interview about the severity of the Heartbleed vulnerability and the Cloudflare Heartbleed challeng.

CNBC (2014)

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Interview of the history and timeline of the Cloudbleed vulnerability.

The Screen Savers (2017)

Best Service Provider

Quoted in "Protecting your data on the web is about to get faster," an article about the release of TLS 1.3.

CNET (2018)

Best Service Provider

Short segment about how Cloudflare uses Lava Lamps to help secure the Internet.

ABC Action News (2019)

Best Service Provider

Featured in a story how researchers used AI to reconstruct faces from only an audio recording of the person's voice.

Slate Magazine (2019)

Best Service Provider

Quoted in "The race to save the Internet from quantum hackers" about the transition to post-quantum cryptography.

Nature (2022)

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