Tonya M. Evans

Professor & Global Leader in Tech, IP, Crypto Innovation
Tonya M.

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Tonya M. Evans (@IPProfEvans) is a global leader, accomplished academic and administrator, and world-renowned speaker with over twenty years of experience in law, innovation, academia, and entrepreneurship. Dr. Evans currently serves as tenured Professor of Law at Penn State Dickinson Law School. Beginning July 1, 2022, she will commence a five-year co-hire appointment to the Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences to continue her interdisciplinary research. Her work focuses on the legal, regulatory, policy, and economic justice implications of new technologies and innovation; specifically, distributed ledger technologies, cryptocurrencies, and other cryptographically secured digital assets including non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi), and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).

Dr. Evans was named to the prestigious Forbes 50 Over 50 List in the category of Investment to honor 50 women who are shaping the future of finance, fueling high-growth businesses and forging a more innovative and inclusive financial future. She was also named to the Fastcase 50 of 2021 list, an annual award that recognizes 50 of the smartest, most courageous, innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the law. In 2018, Prof. Evans received the inaugural Blockchain Enterprise Award in the category of Governance and Policy Leadership during the Blockchain Revolution Global Conference in Toronto.

Prior to joining the Dickinson Law faculty, Professor Evans served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at the UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law, created and directed the law school’s Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Law Online Professional Certificate Program.

Dr. Evans served as Chairperson of the Maker DAO’s Maker Ecosystem Growth Foundation from 2020-2021 to oversee the final phase and full decentralization of the MakerDAO. She is also member of the Bermuda Global FinTech Advisory Board and Observing Member of the Global Blockchain Business Council.

In 2020, Dr. Evans created the Advantage Evans™ Academy and launched her popular course, From Cash to Crypto™, and NFT Law Guide for Creatives and Collectors. She also hosts a weekly show, the Tech Intersect™ Podcast, that features both new and notables working at the intersection of law, business, and technology to lead in the future of work, wealth and creativity.

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Next Level Leadership in the Age of Intentional Innovation

DEI “Decentralized”: How Inclusion and Equity is Essential to Fulfill the Power, Promise and Value Proposition of Web3

From Cash to Crypto: Financial Inclusion in the New Digital Cash Frontier

Crypto Assets and the Law: The legal implications of cryptocurrencies and blockchain

Decode the Future of Work and Wealth

Your S.E.C.U.R.E. Advantage

Compliant Community-Centered Crypto Banking: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Other signature presentations include:

  • The Digital Property (R)Evolution: Leveraging IP assets in a web 3.0 world  
  • Empowering Artists of Color: The Intersection of Music Rights, Race, and Technology  
  • Small Business as the Engine of the Cryptoeconomy  
  • Decentralized Finance as Economic Justice  
  • From Cash to Crypto: Finding Your Financial SHINE in the Future of Work, Wealth and Creativity (course and companion book in progress)  
  • Decode the Future (course and companion book)  
  • NFT Law Guide to the Future of Creativity (course and companion book)  
  • NFTs and Creative Empowerment  
  • Inheriting Digital Scarcity: Planning for a Bitcoin Estate  
  • Managing Digital Scarcity: Blockchain Use Cases for Digital Rights Management  
  • The Building Block(chains) of the Orphan Works Solution and other Copyright Challenges

Global Blockchain Business Council: Global Leaders Series with Prof. Tonya Evans
Opening Keynote by Tonya Evans: The Future of Access, Inclusion and Equity in a Web3 World
Ethereal 2021: Crypto Law Experts Talk Decentralized Legal Landscape
DeFi Summit 2021: Are NFTs Legal? The world of NFT copyright and ownership issues
Bloomberg: Don’t Want to Leave Behind Minorities in Web 3.0
SporticoLive: Collectibles 2.0
Unchained Podcast: What Exactly Do You Get When You Buy an NFT? Three Lawyers Discuss
Cheddar TV News with Brad Smith
Cheddar TV News “None of the Above” with JD Durkin


“As the first keynote speaker at our first Blockchain Law for Social Good Center conference, Prof. Evans put blockchain’s potential front and center for our audience. She discussed the ways that blockchain and Web3 can offer financial inclusion opportunities to populations excluded from traditional finance and banking services. Her keynote was dynamic and engaging!”

Michele Neitz
Professor of Law GGU School of Law; Founding Director, Blockchain Law for Social Good Center

"I have had the pleasure to participate with Professor Evans in many many panels. She is truly a thought leader in the blockchain and the NFT space and a remarkably talented professor. She is truly a rare exception - a strategist who not only understands the industry, but someone who can also truly contextualize her views and always deliver the best advice."

Olta Andoni
Esq. Deputy General Counsel at Ava Labs

"Tonya has a knowledge base that is both deep and broad. She has a knack for discussing very complex issues in an understandable way. I feel privileged that she agreed to be a guest speaker for my Technology in the Practice of Law course at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. Her presentation added engaging, real world context to the assigned readings. She explained the many applications of blockchain technology and the myriad areas in which the legal profession and lawyers are being impacted by this technology. She was candid in sharing your thoughts and experiences, particularly with regard to evolution of her career. She is an amazing educator."

Tanya Thomas

"Tonya is as far out front on the interaction between web2, web3, Intellectual Property and the Law as I've ever encountered!"

Jacob Martin
General Partner, 2 Punks Capital

"Professor Evans is an expert at IP matters and applications of legal analysis to emerging technologies, particularly blockchain, crypto finance, and non-fungible tokens. I enjoy her highly informed technical approach to analysis, delivered with her uniquely approachable and engaging style. As a proud Penn Stater and “Sternie” from NYU, I enjoyed her recent discussion with Stern’s Scott Galloway on topics of crypto finance and NFT’s. I highly recommend Professor Evans for educational and legal work in these areas."

Jens Thorsen

"Tonya Evans is Brilliant! I needed a trusted resource related to the legal side of NFTs and she was able to help answer my questions right away with detailed answers. If you are looking for a crypto expert ur search is over. Just chat w Tonya! She is a wealth of knowledge."

Nina Blankenship
CEO, Crypto Tutors

"Tonya was our keynote speaker in a Crypto Masterclass for the Black@INBOUND "Community presented by HubSpot. She is a tremendous subject matter expert on crypto law and brought a wealth of knowledge to our Community. As an educator, she breaks down concepts in a way that engages her audience and provides both an educational and inspirational message. We were grateful to have her strategic insight for this event."

Kassandra Mendes
Sr. Marketing Manager, DEIB Community Programs, Hubspot

"Loved speaking to Professor Evans about democratizing finance DeFi & opportunities to build generational wealth."

Scott Galloway
Prof. G Podcast Host

"I joined From Cash to Crypto to accelerate my own understanding and comfort with crypto. Now I can: 1. teach my daughters about how money is evolving; and, 2. point leaders I work with to great resources in this arena. Tonya Evans delivers all this and more in a digestible, inclusive, practical manner while also building a sense of community. She helps each participant start where they are and helps them to take their next steps forward to be empowered. You are in good hands with Tonya."

Lee Ann Del Carpio
President, Inner Power International

"Tonya was speaker on our regulatory panel at our Association's Inaugural Blockchain in Healthcare Summit. She was an active participant and contributed insightful and meaningful value to conversations on regulatory frameworks that will aid in Blockchain's widespread adoption. We look forward to having her in Future events and Summits."

Chrissa MacFarlane
Founder & CEO, Patientory, Inc.

"I had the pleasure of engaging with Tonya a few months ago because she was one of the Blockchain expert speakers at the 2019 HUE Tech Summit. Her knowledge of blockchain technology is outstanding and she truly inspired the attendees with her talk. She is a professional and down-to-earth leader to watch."

Jumoke K. Dada
Founder & CEO, HUE Tech Summit

"Professor Evans was a great panelist at Voice of Blockchain and an even better dinner guest at a private function afterward. Her unique ability to teach in any setting made a difficult subject dissolve into an easy conversation. I recommend her as a public speaker who will put effort into her participation in an event."

Joe “Disruption Joe” Hernandez
Founder Voice of Blockchain