Ethan Zuckerman is an associate professor of public policy, communication, and information, as well as director of the UMass Initiative for Digital Public Infrastructure, focused on reimagining the internet as a tool for civic engagement.
Prior to coming to UMass, Zuckerman was 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. 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. The author of Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection, he will publish a new book, Mistrust: Why Losing Faith in Institutions Provides the Tools to Transform Them (W.W. Norton), in early 2021.
In 2005, Zuckerman co-founded Global Voices, which showcases news and opinions from citizen media in more than 150 nations and 30 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, nonprofit, 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. He received his bachelor's degree from Williams College and, as a Fulbright scholar, studied at the University of Ghana at Legon.