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Gabriel Accascina has been working in Information Technology in the development context since '92. He was the Regional Coordinator of the UNDP Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme, which assists countries in using IT and Internet to foster sustainable development activities. Between '82 and '91 Mr. Accascina worked in IT and media in Silicon Valley managing his own consultancy firm. From '92 to the present he worked in a number of developing countries in Africa and mainly Asia-Pacific combining IT and development in a wide range of environments, including education, technical assistance and public policies.Mr. Accascina has started and carried out a number of initiatives, from the first public Internet connection in four countries, to the Network Academies Project in partnership with Cisco Systems, the Mobile Internet Unit, and the IT Development Project in East Timor. He holds a Masters degree in development communication.

Michael Best works on e-development initiatives at the MIT Media Lab where he is on the research faculty. Michael is researching new technologies for social and economic development in the emerging world. In particular, Best is interested in e-commerce and communication environments, and system software, that is appropriate and appropriable by the majority world. Michael is exploring first-class information technologies that are suitable for people who make less than two dollars a day. Best received the BS in computer science from UCLA, and the SM and PhD from the MIT Media Lab. Prior to MIT he spent five years as a software engineer at Thinking Machines Corporation where he developed compilers, networks, and database and I/O systems.

John Gage is the Chief Researcher and Director of the Science Office, for Sun Microsystems, Inc. He is responsible for Sun's relationships with world scientific and technical organizations, for international public policy and governmental relations in the areas of scientific and technical policy, and for alliances with the world's leading research institutions. He is a member of the Mathematical Association of America, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society (ISOC). In 1995, Gage created NetDay, a volunteer project to bring the resources of world high-technology companies to all schools and libraries to connect them to the Internet. Gage is a frequent host on Sun's "Digital Journey" - and ongoing series of Web-based multimedia programs. He has also served on a variety of advisory panels in the United States and abroad. Gage attended the University of California, Berkeley, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the Harvard Graduate School of Business. He did doctoral work in mathematics and economics at the University of California, Berkeley.

Craig Warren Smith has been active for nearly a decade in launching various international task forces and organizations to close the Digital Divide. Craig began his focus on the Digital Divide in 1995, when he sold his publication, Corporate Philanthropy Report, to take on an 18-month consulting role at Microsoft where he recommended policies for the company’s support of nonprofit organizations. Later, as director of The Conference Board’s Global Corporate Citizenship Program, he received a grant from the Ford Foundation to conduct a two-year assessment of internal policies by computer and telecommunications corporations for closing the Digital Divide through their market-building activities. He later was co-organizer of a major conference held on the eve of Seattle’s WTO conference, “Seeking Solutions to the Digital Divide,” which was hosted by Bill Gates, Sr. He also founded Digital Partners (, a nonprofit organization that focuses on encouraging members of the IT diaspora to engage in poverty alleviation in their home countries. In May, 2001, he resigned from Digital Partners to establish, as a policymaking forum linked to Harvard’s Center for International Development and the MIT Media Lab. He also maintains an active consulting practice. He was asked to become Senior Consultant to the United Nations, helping Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his executive staff establish the UN ICT Task Force. It currently includes helping the Australian international agency, AusAid, establish a $200 million eLearning initiative for the developing world, and helping the former Canadian Foreign Minister, Lloyd Axworthy, establish a Digital Divide research program at the University of British Columbia.

Magda Ismail is a Research Associate at ITG and a Visiting Scientist at MIT. Prior to joining CID, she was Director of I.T. Programs at the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. Ismail was also Assistant Manager of the Information Highway Unit at the Cabinet Information and Decision Support Center. She was a founding member and chair of the Electronic Commerce Committee of the Internet Society of Egypt. Ismail has been one of the major players to catalyze the use of electronic commerce in Egypt and took part in writing Egypt's Electronic Commerce Initiative. Her research interests focus on policy issues related to Internet, e-government, and e-commerce for developing nations. A graduate of computer science, Ismail received her master's degree in Analysis, Design, and Management of Information Systems from the London School of Economics.

Tariq Mohammed
is a Research Assistant in the Information Technologies Group at CID. He recently co-authored eight country profiles in the Global Information Technology Report 2001-2002: Readiness for the Networked World published by Oxford University Press. He also helps organize the eDevelopment Seminar Series. His background in information technology and development includes working with a consulting firm to assess multilateral development bank ICT projects  for a major telecommunications firm. Prior to Harvard, he worked for the Aga Khan Foundation USA in promoting food security in Central Asia as well as assisting in their public awareness campaigns. He graduated from Bowdoin College, holding a B.A. in Government with a concentration in International Relations. 

Michael Putnam is a Research Assistant in the Information Technologies Group at CID. He has been working for the past four years applying information technology to organizational challenges. For the past two years he was Director of eCommerce for MARKEM Corporation, building a variety of Internet-based systems for the manufacturer of industrial equipment with operations worldwide. Prior to this, Michael was an Analyst in the Business eCommerce Research team at Forrester Research, conducting research on B2B eCommerce and global Internet regulation. He has presented to the OECD on the status of US B2B eCommerce, advised the US Commerce Department, and been widely quoted in the press. Michael holds a BSE with Honors in Science, Technology and Society from Stanford University, and is currently working toward a Master in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.



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