Robert Faris is the research director at the Berkman Klein Center where he contributes and provides oversight to research at the center. His research includes the study of digital communication mechanisms by civil society organizations and social movements, and the emergence and impact of digitally-mediated collective action, as well as the influence of networked digital technologies on democracy and governance and the evolving role of new media in political change. His current work includes applied research into the networked public sphere drawing on the Media Cloud platform, the monitoring and measurement of Internet activity and content controls based on the Internet Monitor platform, and research into the phenomenon of harmful speech online.
He, along with Yochai Benkler and Hal Roberts, is the author of Network Propaganda.
Prior to joining the Berkman Klein Center in 2006, Rob worked in Latin America and Asia on issues related to economic development, public policy and environmental management. He has held research positions at the Harvard Institute for International Development and at Harvard’s Center for International Development where he worked on applied research projects focused on the role of natural resource management in economic development. At the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Rob designed and carried out participatory regional planning studies using geographic and economic simulation tools to assess the economic, ecological, and social implications of urban development. Rob has worked in numerous South Asian countries while living in Nepal, where he taught science as a Peace Corps volunteer and ran an adventure travel business.
Faris holds a M.A. and PhD. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania.