Internet Pioneer Ethan Zuckerman Named to Interdisciplinary Faculty Appointment at UMass Amherst

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Ethan Zuckerman, Internet pioneer, author and co-founder of the blogging community Global Voices, will be joining the UMass Amherst faculty this fall as an associate professor of public policy, communication and information.

Zuckerman’s interdisciplinary position is jointly supported by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) and the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS), with his tenure home in the School of Public Policy (SPP).

Zuckerman comes to UMass after nearly a decade at MIT, where he served as director of the Center for Civic Media and associate professor of practice in media arts and sciences at the MIT Media Lab. The author of the book Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection (W. W. Norton, 2013), his research focuses on the use of media as a tool for social change, the role of technology in international development and the use of new media technologies by activists.

John McCarthy, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, said, "Bringing Ethan Zuckerman to UMass Amherst catalyzes and amplifies our campus strengths in informatics, communication, digital technologies and public policy. His ambitious and innovative digital public infrastructure project represents our land-grant aspirations to advance social change for the common good.”

In 2005, Zuckerman co-founded Global Voices, which showcases news and opinions from citizen media in more than 150 nations and 30 languages, publishing editions in 20 languages. Through Global Voices, and as a researcher and fellow for eight years at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, Zuckerman has led efforts to promote freedom of expression and fight censorship in online spaces.

In 1999, Zuckerman founded Geekcorps, an international, non-profit, volunteer organization that sent IT specialists to work on projects in developing nations, with a focus on West Africa. Previously, he helped found Tripod.com, one of the web's first “personal publishing” sites.

In addition to authoring numerous academic articles, Zuckerman is a frequent contributor to media outlets such as The Atlantic, Wired and CNN. A sought-after public speaker, he received his bachelor's degree from Williams College and, as a Fulbright scholar, studied at the University of Ghana at Legon.