John Palfrey, a respected educator, author, legal scholar, and innovator with expertise in how new media is changing learning, education, and other institutions, will serve as the sixth President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, effective September 1, MacArthur Board Chairman Dan Huttenlocher announced today. Since 2012, Palfrey has served as Head of School for Phillips Academy Andover.
Before coming to Phillips Academy, he served as the Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School. In that role, he expanded the Library’s reach and services, finding innovative ways to use digital technologies to enhance the school’s scholarship and teaching. Palfrey is the author or co-author of nine books, most focused on new media and learning, including Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces: Diversity and Free Expression in Education; Born Digital: How Children Grow Up in a Digital Age; and BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google.
In the nonprofit sector, Palfrey was Executive Director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society from 2002 to 2008, when it received MacArthur support. The organization seeks to explore and understand cyberspace. He was the founding board chair of the Digital Public Library of America, which leverages technology to help ensure that knowledge and information are broadly accessible to all for free. And he served as board chair at LRNG, a nonprofit launched and supported by MacArthur, which aims to help close the equity gap by transforming how young people access and experience learning and connect to the world of work.
Read the Complete Announcement