About us

Critterdom was founded in 2017 and is based in Santa Cruz, California. Critterdom is a supporter of open source software and a strong believer in open source compliance. Today, it’s safe to say that it’s not software that’s eating the world, but open source software. At a time when open source has reached unprecedented sophistication and ubiquity, it’s unfortunate that compliance tools have lagged far behind. Our mission is twofold: make full compliance simple and accessible to everyone employing open source software and enable open source project managers to make sure all parts of their codebase follow the project’s licensing policies.

Kate Downing

Co-Founder, General Counsel

Kate Downing is a seasoned intellectual property attorney, with a deep background in open source compliance. Kate has spent her career designing and building tools that help engineers and lawyers communicate efficiently, making sure that legal services are just as agile as the development. Kate managed open source compliance at VMware, managing a team of 12 other attorneys, providing regular trainings for engineers, and scaling VMware’s tools and processes as the company grew five-fold. As ServiceNow’s first product counsel, Kate designed a homegrown open source compliance application for ServiceNow’s platform and created a sophisticated compliance framework that will continue to scale with ServiceNow’s explosive growth. Kate is a graduate of Columbia Law School and Georgetown University.

Steve Downing

Co-Founder, CTO

Steve Downing is a veteran software engineer, formerly an engineering manager at Palantir Technologies, and before that, a software engineer at Google. Steve has spent his career building reliable products for a variety of customers, making sure the software is easy to understand and that the customers' problems get solved. Steve graduated with a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and represented them twice at the ACM-ICPC world finals.