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Announcing our search for a new Executive Director

Announcing our search for a new Executive Director

Since 1997, Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society has pioneered the study of, and building within, the digital environment in the public interest. The Center now seeks an Executive Director to help us shape the Center’s next generation of work and engagement on technology and society. 

This is a rare and unusual opportunity to join a flourishing, intellectually robust international community of faculty, students, fellows, and affiliates from multiple disciplines and backgrounds, dedicated to studying and improving the digital space by building in it. The Center works on the cutting edge of research and development while operating amid, and benefiting from, one of the most revered educational institutions in the world. We contain history and innovation, ambition and humility. The reach of the Center is global and local. The work and well-being of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society are profoundly strengthened by our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, ability, and more. Our passionate, committed community builds, studies, educates and connects. We make a difference in the world. And we are looking for a very special leader.

Both internet and society have changed dramatically since the center’s inception, and the Executive Director will help lead the Center at an exciting, daunting, and critical moment. BKC’s perennial strengths have included its ability to convene rigorously thoughtful people from inside and outside academia and across disciplines, who critique and refine each other’s ideas, and who make positive societal impact. With activities both inside and outside academia, we survey and assess the current state of internet and society and build platforms that enable ourselves and others to interpret and improve our world. Our independent research has addressed critical issues including harmful speech, privacy, and internet governance and accountability. Our collaborative efforts, including CopyrightX, AGTech Forum, Assembly Forum and iLaw, have allowed experts and students alike to understand, discuss, and develop tech policy, both in convenings and through innovative teaching and learning platforms. Some of our projects have spun off into independent organizations including the Creative Commons, the Digital Public Library of America, and the Public Radio Exchange.

We seek a leader who can help fulfill our aims to deepen our ways of collaborating, educating, and nimbly addressing the quickened pace of internet and society research.

Building upon our past successes and addressing the most pressing issues of the moment, our current research and programs focus on re-envisioning social media, supporting effective global public policy for AI and other technologies, addressing mis- and disinformation, and creating a variety of innovative educational programs designed to bring early career scholars and young people into internet and society efforts at BKC and beyond.

We are launching the Institute for Rebooting Social Media, a three-year research initiative to accelerate progress towards addressing social media’s most urgent problems, including misinformation, privacy breaches, harassment, and content governance. We are running international educational efforts in the form of research sprints, research clinics, and a summer institute on topics including digital self determination, ethics and access to education during COVID, and AI policy and inclusion. Across our current and new projects we are working even more in collaboration with others, convening senior experts and junior scholars in different configurations and in collaboration with our community of staff, fellows, affiliates, and faculty associates.

The successful candidate will draw upon the best of BKC’s legacy while leading the Center to its next form.They are a strategically-minded, analytical, and inspiring leader, a discreet facilitator, and a seasoned problem solver who works with intellectual confidence, discretion, and flexibility. They have technical savvy, high emotional intelligence, and a command of process. They are authentic, positive, and energetic. They are able to build trust and engage a range of stakeholders, including academics, staff, entrepreneurs, practitioners, policymakers, and philanthropic funders. The Executive Director will demonstrate an affinity for working with culturally and politically diverse communities, being comfortable with the unique make-up of BKC, and having a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Applications for the role should be sent to the Harvard job portal. Review of applications will begin on July 23, 2021 and continue until the position is filled. If the job posting is live on the Harvard job portal, we are still reviewing applications. If you would like to nominate an individual or have specific questions about this opportunity, please contact ExecutiveDirectorRole@cyber.harvard.edu.