Ethan Zuckerman

PO Box 669,Williamstown, MA 01267, USA

Phone: +1 413.499.4565  Fax: +1 413.499.4557





January 2003 – Present: Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA, USA

The Berkman Center is a leading thinktank and platform for activism around issues of intellectual property, telecommunications policy and other legal issues concerning the global Internet. Berkman emerged in 2002 as a thought leader around Internet policy for developing nations.


Fellow, January 2003 – present.

As a fellow, I am researching and writing a number of papers on the role of open source software in developing nations, information technology and economic opportunity in developing nations and technology transfer using volunteers. I am spearheading a project called DevelopmentForge, designed to create a codebase of open source software for international development purposes, developed in cooperation with bilateral and multilateral aid agencies. I have also designed a set of Open Source tools – called Global Attention Profile – that provide a comparative, quantitative profile of a media source’s coverage of different nations.


November 1999-Present: Geekcorps, North Adams, MA, USA

Geekcorps is an international volunteering agency which sends technology professionals from developed nations to mentor technology businesses in developing nations. It has the twin goals of creating thriving IT sectors in underdeveloped nations, and building lasting ties between geeks in the developed and developing worlds. Founded as an independent nonprofit, Geekcorps is now an autonomous division of the International Executive Service Corps, a business-skills focused volunteer agency founded in 1965 by David Rockefeller. Geekcorps’ work has been recognized by publications including the New York Times, USA Today and Fortune, and has received awards from MIT Technology Review, Linux Journal and the Stockholm Challenge.


Executive Director and Big Geek, Geekcorps, August 2001 – present

In August, Geekcorps merged with IESC. I became a Vice President of the Geekcorps Division within IESC, and changed my Geekcorps’ title to ED and Big Geek. Oversaw the merger and the subsequent integration of the Geekcorps team into the IESC framework. Served as a member of the IESC senior management team, advised board of directors on expansion, fundraising issues.


Raised $750,000 in funding from USAID to continue our work in Ghana. Oversaw expansion of Geekcorps programming into Mongolia, Jordan, Armenia and Rwanda. Developed “The Geek Index”, a statistical tool for determining the developing nations most likely to develop successful IT economies. Invited by the National Security Council to help design a potential Presidential Initiative, the Digital Freedom Initiative, including exploratory travel to Senegal. Research travel to over a dozen developing nations.


In January 2003, co-founder Ana Maria Harkins accepted the Executive Director title and I moved to a part-time role at Geekcorps, focused on evangelism and advocacy in a continuing role as Founder.


CEO, co-founder, Geekcorps, November 1999 – August 2001

Founded Geekcorps, Inc. Recruited core management team, board of directors. Sent two classes of volunteers to Ghana, completing a wide variety of technical assistance programs. Raised over $400,000 in private sector donations to support our program and research efforts.


1998-July 1999: Lycos, Inc., Waltham, MA, USA

Tripod merged with Lycos in 1998, and as a core member of the Tripod team, I remained in Williamstown to continue developing the brand. My Tripod responsibilities expanded to include a role within research across the Lycos network, as well as plugging staffing holes experienced during the acquisition.


VP, R&D, Tripod, 1998-July 1999. Performed technical due diligence on technical partners. Identified and investigated potential acquisition targets. Managed the $4 million acquisition of Established a relationship between Lycos and the MIT Media Lab. Assisted in Lycos’s defense against patent litigation. Helped create the Lycos Research Group, a cross-organization team of strategic thinkers.


Director, Membership Services, Feb. 1998-September 1998. In the wake of the sudden departure of our Membership Director during the Lycos merger, assumed supervision of team responsible for answering 15,000 member emails per week. Established and hired an Abuse department to manage responses to threatened lawsuits and to cooperate with law enforcement agencies. Initiated searches for an email management system and hired successor.


General Manager,, October 1998-March 1999. In a short-term assignment, assumed bottom-line responsibility for, 11th most visited site on the Internet. Established budget and staffing plan for organization. Stabilized server platform, which allowed traffic to increase 300% in six months. Began transition of daily operation of the site from the site’s founders in Maryland to a Williamstown, MA-based team. Hired core technical and production personnel, transitioned leadership to current GM.


1994-1998: Tripod, Inc., Williamstown, MA, USA

I joined Tripod while pursuing a graduate degree at RPI. Tripod’s need for a fulltime technical expert compelled me to withdraw from RPI and give Tripod my full attention. In addition to everyday responsibilities, I was a member of Tripod’s senior management team and the technical expert on the teams that raised our two rounds of venture capital funding and which oversaw our sale to Lycos.


In the four years I worked with Tripod, the company grew from 4 employees and a valuation of $100,000, to 70 employees, 5 million users and a valuation of $58 million. When we sold the company, we were one of the 15 most visited sites on the Internet.


VP, R&D, 1997-1998. Hired and trained a team of researchers and advanced development specialists. Created a set of statistical tools that identified Tripod’s most active publishers and advocated corporate policy changes based on our discoveries. Initiated the research that led to Tripod’s “gizmo” data feed architecture and “memberCGI” product.


VP, Business Development, 1996-1997. Led the engineering effort to develop a shrink-wrapped package of community tools (homepage builder, chat, conferencing, profiling, email), codenamed “Metros”. Led the sales effort to market Metros to clients within the Internet and entertainment worlds. Coordinated a successful defense of a lawsuit brought by the Software Publishers Association.


Webkeeper/Webmaster, 1995-1996. Hired and trained Tripod’s technical and programming staff. Supervised the transition of Tripod’s technology from outsourced to in-house. Oversaw development of Tripod’s core technology, including Homepage Builder, chat system, bulletin board system, and HTTP/MOO gateway.


Chief Designer, 1994-1995. Created Tripod’s first logos and corporate identity graphics. Hired and trained a graphic design and production staff, build the original Tripod website, launched in April 1995.



1994-1995 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA

Coursework towards a Master of Fine Arts degree. Withdrew to pursue professional interests.


1993-1994 University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana.

Conducted research on xylophone music of the Dagara people of northwest Ghana under the auspices of a Fulbright fellowship. Studied with ethnomusicologist Kwabena Nketiah, master xylophonist Bernard Woma, and Director of the National Theatre of Ghana, Nii Yartey.


1989-1993 Williams College, Williamstown, MA, USA

Awarded B.A. Philosophy, cum laude. My studies focused on human and artificial cognition, with coursework in cognitive science, neuroscience and computer science.


Public Speaking

Frequent speaker on international digital divide issues, including keynote speech at 2000 NetImpact conference at Thunderbird Management School. Academic lecturing experience on the history of the Internet, the economics of the Internet bubble, corporate social responsibility, and management theory in high-technology corporations. Taught winter semester course at Williams College, January 2001, on “Economics of the Internet”.


Technical Skills

Competent with Mac, Windows and most Unix flavors. Development experience in Perl, LISP, Lingo, Javascript. Experience supervising development in Perl, C, C++, Java. Extensive experience designing and managing high-volume webservers and server-based applications; designing and managing IT solutions for deployment in developing nations.


Recognition and Honors

Honored with Technology in the Service of Humanity Award by MIT Technology Review Magazine, 2002.

Named a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic forum, 2003.



-          Percussionist and composer, especially interested in traditional and contemporary African music. Unabashed accordion music fan and mediocre accordionist.

-          Active in local economic development organizations – board member of The Prospect Foundation, a North Adams-based IT education nonprofit.

-          Investor in and advisor to several early-stage Internet startups, some of which survived 2000-2002.

-          Lousy but enthusiastic woodworker.