John Palfrey, the Berkman Klein Center’s executive director from 2002-2008, spoke with The Harvard Gazette about his new position as the president of the MacArthur Foundation.
“At the Berkman Klein Center we were grantees of the MacArthur Foundation. That was certainly a way we got to know the work of the foundation and to appreciate its people and its wonderful work. The foundation supported our work exploring how young people are learning and interacting differently in the digital era, as well as our efforts to understand how internet censorship worked around the world,” Palfrey said. “We worked on these topics in an international context, in a much more complex world, and seeing the way in which problems intersected with one another and trying to figure out the best way to use philanthropic funds to improve the world was so exciting. To have been a grantee trying to do that, trying to affect people’s lives directly through our work — that was hugely helpful in thinking how one would help to lead a philanthropic organization.”