New professor studies government and technology

Jane E. Fountain, whose research focuses on the intersection of institutions, global information and communication technologies and governance, has joined the faculty of the Department of Political Science and the Center for Public Policy and Administration (CPPA).

Fountain, who previously served as associate professor of public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, is the director of the National Center for Digital Government, a National Science Foundation-funded initiative to build global research capacity, advance practice and strengthen the network of researchers and practitioners engaged in building and using technology and government.

Her current studies include the examination of institutional processes that influence the adoption and use of information technologies in government, the structural and behavioral characteristics of inter-organizational networks, and the political economy of gender in computing and new media. Fountain has authored or co-edited three books, including “Building the Virtual State: Information Technology and Institutional Change,” published in 2001 by Brookings Institution Press, as well as articles, book chapters, working papers, reviews and government reports.

Fountain holds master’s degrees from Harvard and Yale universities and a double doctorate in political science and organizational behavior from Yale, where she was a Yale Fellow and a Mellon Foundation Fellow. She has served as a member of the research advisory board of the Internet Policy Institute, the advisory board of MassConnect for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the governing group of the Committee on Information Technology, International Cooperation and Global Security of the Social Science Research Council and the executive committee of the White House-sponsored National Internet Voting Study.

In addition to directing the national center, Fountain will also lead the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences’ Science, Technology and Society (STS) Initiative, aimed at promoting multidisciplinary collaboration among the natural, physical and social sciences, engineering and public policy areas and to provide an interdisciplinary forum to research and discuss issues in science and technology.

The Science, Technology and Society Initiative and the National Center for Digital Government are both based within CPPA.