The Berkman Center for Internet & Society has announced a
significant leadership transition as Professor William (Terry)
Fisher steps down after 12 years as Chair of the Board of Directors
and Professor Jonathan Zittrain, the co-founder of the Berkman
Center and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at
Harvard Law School, assumes the role. The change will be effective
as of July 1, 2014.
Said Harvard University Provost Alan M. Garber: "Under Terry
Fisher's extraordinary leadership, the Berkman Center has become
known as the home of some of the most penetrating thinking about how
we interact with cyberspace and how it can be developed to serve
society better. We are indebted to him for nurturing and helping to
shape this unique resource for Harvard and the world. Jonathan
Zittrain is a most worthy successor. Long a pillar of the Berkman
community, he has the intellect, breadth of interests, creativity,
and dedication to ensure that the center will remain vital - indeed,
indispensable - at a time when the Internet is woven into more and
more aspects of our lives."
Said HLS Dean Martha Minow: “Terry Fisher’s stellar leadership has
ensured the Berkman Center’s vibrant collaborations across
disciplines, sectors, and geographies, while also providing an
unerring commitment to combining creativity with a focus on the
opportunities and challenges afforded by cyberspace and the
communities and communication it enables. I join with the Provost
and Directors in delight that Jonathan Zittrain will take up the
role of chair. As one of the co-founders of the Center and as a
fount of superb ideas, Jonathan brings deep knowledge and innovative
spirit to this extraordinary effort."
Urs Gasser, the Berkman Center’s Executive Director and a Professor
of Practice at HLS, said, “The Berkman Center team is deeply
grateful for all that Terry Fisher has contributed to the Center and
the community during his extraordinary tenure, and wishes him a
truly well deserved and restful sabbatical in 2014-2015. Recognized
as a visionary here at Berkman and around the world, Jonathan
Zittrain will continue to inspire and delight the community and help
deepen our national and international network of partners across all
sectors.” He noted that Zittrain’s faculty appointments with the
Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Harvard
John F. Kennedy School of Government will further strengthen the
Center’s collaborations across Campus.
Terry Fisher has led the Berkman Center since 2002, helping to shape
it during a period of maturation and expansion. Under his guidance,
the Center has grown from a small research unit at Harvard Law
School into a University-wide Center and a world-renowned community
of scholars and activists, engaged in rigorous research and socially
responsible innovation. He navigated the Center through the lean
times of the fiscal crisis and oversaw the successful incubation of
numerous projects and initiatives that have changed the landscape of
academic inquiry pertaining to information technology.
Zittrain’s transition to the position of Faculty Chair represents
both momentum and re-commitment to the ethos and spirit in which he
co-founded the Berkman Center with Charlie Nesson in 1997.
Professor Zittrain’s commitment to and passion for the development
of innovative research and teaching programs will continue to infuse
the Center’s direction and activities, building on the strong
foundation and programs that flourished under Terry Fisher’s
leadership, said Dean Minow.
As the Berkman Center’s principal governing body, the Board of
Directors shapes the Berkman Center’s overall vision and makes
significant financial, research, academic, personnel, governance,
and other overarching strategic decisions. Terry Fisher remains a
member of the Board, joined by Professors Yochai Benkler, Susan
Crawford, John Deighton, Charles Nesson, Felix Oberholzer-Gee, John
Palfrey, Jeffrey Schnapp, Stuart Shieber, and Mark Wu. Board member
Urs Gasser continues as Executive Director, leading implementation
of the vision and objectives set forth by the Board.