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NEW YORK, NY—Zoë Baird, President of the Markle Foundation, announces the additions of two new senior staff appointments to the Foundation. Julia Moffett, formerly Vice President of Communications for NBC News and former Director of Communications and Strategic Planning for the National Security Council, The White House, will become Markle's first Vice President of Public Affairs, effective September 21. Andrew Blau, Director of Communications Policy and Practice at the Benton Foundation, will join Markle as Program Director, effective October 16. Both Ms. Moffett and Mr. Blau will report directly to Zoë Baird. "Andrew and Julia represent the next generation of leaders. They both have unique perspectives, and have already played critical roles in shaping the public policy process, specifically as it relates to media, politics, telecommunications and technology," explained Zoë Baird. "Adding Julia and Andrew to our senior team will strengthen, and, I'm sure, deepen Markle's ability to meet our goal of being at the forefront of employing communications technologies to enhance learning and promote more effective democracy." Andrew Blau has been Director of Communications Policy and Practice at the Benton Foundation, since 1993. He is a noted telecommunications industry expert, and one of the most innovative and effective voices on the public issues created by the communications revolution. He is regularly quoted in the media for his views on telecommunications and media policy, including in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and on television and radio. Blau has testified before Congress about the role of non-profits in the information age, and frequently speaks at industry and trade conferences on the Internet and public policy. At Benton, Blau significantly expanded the telecommunications and media policy programs, created the Communications Related Headlines, a national electronic service; negotiated a significant agreement with the National Endowment for the Arts to support Internet access and training for arts institutions; and organized the Public Interest Summit between the Clinton Administration and non-profit and foundation leaders. Prior to his post at Benton, Blau helped open the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Washington, DC office, where he developed the public interest group's positions on telecommunications and Internet policy. He was on the Senior Research Staff at Columbia University's Institute for Tele-Information, and before that he was the Assistant for Communications Policy, United Church of Christ. Blau is Chairman of the Urban Libraries Council and he has been appointed by the National Academy of Sciences to a high-level committee on the future of the Internet. He has served as advisor to the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the City of Seattle, and Microsoft Corporation on issues of communications technology and philanthropy. He graduated with honors from Swarthmore College. Julia Moffett has a strong record of using communications to enhance public understanding of and support for difficult domestic and international issues. She was Vice President of Communications for NBC News from 1997 through 1998, where she served as the top spokesperson and strategist for the public positioning of the network news division. She oversaw all press, communications and publicity activity for NBC News. Prior to NBC, Moffett was Director of Communications and Strategic Planning for the National Security Council, The White House, where she was responsible for communications strategies for all national security and international economic issues affecting Presidential foreign and national policy. Prior to her role as Director of Communications, Moffett served as Special Assistant to The White House Director of Communications in the Office of the Chief of Staff/Strategic Planning and Communications. There, Moffett was part of the strategic team that oversaw communications for the President's major domestic events and initiatives. Before joining the White House staff, Moffett held a variety of political and consulting posts including positions with the 1992 presidential campaign, the staff of Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), former Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, and several non-profit organizations. During that time, she produced President Clinton's first Economic Conference in Little Rock; coordinated the congressional delegation trip to the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro; and helped to direct Rock the Vote's Motor Voter campaign. Moffett graduated with highest honors from Wesleyan University.
NEW YORK, NY—Some of the world's leading experts on virtual communities and the Internet say society must create formal, inter-disciplinary forms of research to better examine the powerful impact the Internet is having on our boardrooms, classrooms, courts and legislatures. The call to have more robust and dedicated courses of study of life online at the world's top universities was the centerpiece of a recent M.I.T./Markle Foundation panel, Virtual Communities: Questions, Theories and Opportunities. Panelists are now part of an effort to organize a worldwide conference at M.I.T. intended to gather social scientists in fields ranging from Sociology and Psychiatry to Architecture and the Humanities slated for the fall of 1998. The panelists joined a multi-discipline group of top M.I.T. scholars, including Sociologist Sherry Turkle and M.I.T. Artificial Intelligence Lab Scientist Roger Hurwitz, in setting the agenda for the adoption of formal courses of study on how cyberspace impacts society. "Tens of millions of people are sitting in front of screens all day, and that's influencing the way we think, the way we identify with ourselves and the way we socialize," said panel participant and noted author Howard Rheingold. A lot of decisions about how our children and grandchildren will be able to communicate in the future are being made on the basis of remarkably little knowledge, but the number of people doing research on the subject could fit in a small room. "We need a much larger, better-funded sphere of research on the subject." said Rheingold, whose pivotal book, The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier, has been acclaimed for delving into how we behave differently online and offline. The panel also included lively discussion on how to safeguard the free and open content control of the Internet in the future. Amy Bruckman, an M.I.T. PhD. and Georgia Tech faculty member who has created virtual communities for children and professionals, warned of the Disney Dilemma, or a growing domination of Internet content by media and entertainment conglomerates. She mentioned concerns raised in a recent meeting held with the creators of Disney Online, a children's site open only to paid subscribers, in which she clashed with Disney's philosophy about controls in the structure of its virtual community. Their plans are in some ways, oxymoronic," said Bruckman. "The great promise of the Net is the way people are contributing and how users are creating content. But if you let people contribute content, it's not always going to be squeaky or Disney-perfect. Will the polished, perfect content overwhelm the imperfectly created content?" Bruckman also dismissed conventional wisdom alleging that participation in Virtual Communities somehow leads to deviant behavior. As with anyone managing a gathering of people, Bruckman said, you have to be prepared to manage the "one weirdo who can do a lot of damage." Bruckman recommended strategy for manage troublesome participants: lay the same ground rules you would if you were hosting a party in a private home. Panelist and UCLA scholar Marc Smith, who has launched an exhaustive study to map traffic and behavior in the myriad of different UseNet discussion groups, said, "We don't know how group dynamics or political power are developed yet in social cyberspaces." Smith said that 1.2 million different people had posted to the Usenet in the past ten days, and pointed out that the wide majority are participating not during leisure time, but from the office during 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. "The Usenet is distributed by a large, decentralized anarchy, and yet its still robust after 17 years," said Smith. "By examining the Usenet, in aggregate, over time, we'll find behavior and patterns we'd never expect. For example, one of the most popular cross posting patterns is between alt.fashion and alt.dieting." University of Toronto sociologist Barry Wellman criticized most research on cyberspace behavior as being filled with traveller's tales, or unscholarly antecdotes. Nonetheless, Wellman believes that research that applies foundations of sociology to the Internet will reveal some new social behaviors, such as the unforseen cyber side effect of a Toronto suburb of "wired" homes he is studying. Homeowners who were promised high-bandwidth access, video phones and other experimental technologies have now begun to use the Internet connections provided in their homes to organize a protest against the developer, who they claim has not delivered much of the technical wizardry promised in the suburb's marketing material. "We have to understand that people have online lives and offline lives," said Wellman. "These people are using an online community to develop offline relationships. They're building their own political organization and a new kind of civic community." "We are just beginning to recognize the importance of cyberspace as a field of study. Many essential questions about the nature of democratic life, about interest groups and the establishment of new forms of community now confront us," said David Thorburn, an organizer of the Media in Transition project and a Professor of Literature and Director of the M.I.T. Communications Forum. This emerging on-line culture is already a major presence in our society, and we must begin to classify, describe and evaluate its impact Virtual Communities: Questions, Theories, Opportunities is the latest panel discussion in the 18-month-long Media in Transition project, a collaboration of the M.I.T. Communications Forum, the M.I.T. Media Studies Program and the Markle Foundation. The primary goal of the project is to establish a conversation, across a wide range of academic, professional and social disciplines, on the impact of new media technology on society. Moreover, the project will examine the roles of political, legal, social and cultural institutions in mediating and shaping technological change. Both the Virtual Community panel and the project will aim to nourish a sense of history by comparing older periods of media transition with our contemporary experience of technological change and instability. The Media in Transition project will consist of a program of seminars, forums, lecture series and cyberspace activities that will be held at M.I.T. during 1997 and 1998. It will conclude with a national conference in 1998. The governing board of The Media In Transition project includes leading M.I.T. faculty members, authors and experts William Mitchell, Dean of The School of Architecture and Planning; Sherry R. Turkle, Professor of Sociology Program in Science, Technology and Society; Peter Donaldson, the Ann Fetter Friedlaender Professor of Humanities; Edward Barrett; Senior Lecturer Program in Writing and Humanistic Study; Markle Foundation President and noted media studies visionary Lloyd Morrisett, and conference co-organizer Henry Jenkins, Professor of Literature and the Director of the Film and Media Studies Program at M.I.T., in addition to Thorburn and Hurwitz. The Media In Transition project is funded by New York City-based Markle Foundation. Founded in 1927, the John and Mary R. Markle Foundation, Inc. was established "to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and the general good of mankind." The Markle Foundation has supported some of the nation's most influential research on how media forms impact society, including partnerships with PBS, CNN, the Children's Television Workshop, and more. Markle Foundation works to improve health and national security through the use of information and technology. Markle collaborates with innovators and thought leaders from the public and private sectors whose expertise lies in the areas of information technology, privacy, civil liberties, health, and national security. Learn more about Markle at www.markle.org.
NEW YORK, NY—Zoë Baird, noted lawyer and business executive, has been named President of the John and Mary R. Markle Foundation, a New York-based philanthropic organization, it was announced today by the Foundation's board of directors. Ms. Baird assumes the Markle Foundation's presidency in January 1998, succeeding Lloyd Morrisett. "We are delighted that Zoë Baird is taking over as President of the Foundation," Markle Chairman Lewis W. Bernard said. "Her diverse background in government, business, public policy and academia, combined with her well-known abilities as a strategic thinker, make her uniquely qualified for this post. Under her leadership, we look forward to the future with great confidence." Mr. Bernard continued: "Lloyd has been an extraordinary leader of the Markle Foundation for the past 28 years, more than a third of the Foundation's life. He has been a visionary and innovative grant-maker, a steward of the public interest and a superb colleague and mentor." Ms. Baird, who has held prominent positions in the public and private sectors over the last 20 years, commented: "This is a tremendously exciting time to assume responsibility for Markle's work. The Foundation's areas of concentration—communications, the media, and the political process—are vitally important. I am very enthusiastic about the opportunity to build on Markle's past excellence as we race ahead in the information age." Ms. Baird, 44, is currently Senior Visiting Scholar and Senior Research Associate at the Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut. Until late 1996, Ms. Baird was Senior Vice President and General Counsel to the Hartford-based Aetna, Inc., where for six years she was responsible for all legal and regulatory affairs and a member of the Chairman's management group. Ms. Baird became nationally known when President William J. Clinton nominated her as the Attorney General of the United States following his election in 1992. In 1993, President Clinton named her to the prestigious President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, on which she still serves. Ms. Baird was the founder and is currently Chairman of Lawyers for Children America, a nonprofit organization concerned with the impact of violence on children, and serves on a number of corporate and public boards. Ms. Baird was previously Counselor & Staff Executive at the General Electric Company, and also has been a partner in the law firm of O'Melveny & Myers. She served as Associate Counsel to President Jimmy Carter in his White House and was attorney/advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice. After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley's Boalt Law School, Ms. Baird was a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Albert Wollenberg in San Francisco. Ms. Baird has written a number of articles on law and public policy, and lectures widely. She is presently researching and writing a book on governmental and business strategies for dealing with global crime issues and new technologies. She is married to Paul Gewirtz, the Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law at Yale Law School. They have two children. Regarding the Markle Foundation, Ms. Baird added: "Markle has multifaceted contributions to make—as a center for developing public policy, as a grant-making institution to promote and support important private initiatives, and as a creative investor in new communications and information technologies. Markle's challenges have never been greater - seeking to increase the promise and reduce the risks that these developments pose for personal, social and political life, both in the United States and globally." Current Markle President Lloyd Morrisett initiated the Foundation's program in communications and information technology in 1969. He is renowned for helping found the Children's Television Workshop (CTW) which he continues to chair—producers of such critically acclaimed educational programming as Sesame Street. He has also served as Chairman of RAND. Morrisett is currently overseeing the Markle Foundation's initiative to study and explore the potential of universal electronic communications in our society. Another principal activity is the "Media in Transition" project, a collaboration between the Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, bringing together scholars, engineers, journalists, corporate leaders, and policymakers to address the political and cultural significance of emerging communications media. Founded in 1927, the John and Mary R. Markle Foundation, Inc. was established "to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge...and the general good of mankind. "Within this broad charter, the Foundation is currently concentrating in communications and the political process, interactive communications technology, and communications policy. Markle Foundation works to improve health and national security through the use of information and technology. Markle collaborates with innovators and thought leaders from the public and private sectors whose expertise lies in the areas of information technology, privacy, civil liberties, health, and national security. Learn more about Markle at www.markle.org.
NEW YORK, NY—The Markle Foundation today announces the launch of the Markle Special Collection of public policy research documents at the PolicyArchive, a project of the Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) and Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. The Markle Special Collection focuses on the ways in which information technology shapes policymaking, particularly in the fields of health, national security, interactive media for children, Internet governance, and global development. PolicyArchive.org, a leading digital library of public policy research, showcases influential policy research from a variety of non-profit foundations. The Markle Special Collection highlights Markle’s most significant publications, including reports and papers that have been instrumental in the creation of laws that seek to protect the civil liberties of all Americans, strengthen national security policies and practices, improve health outcomes, and transform the health care system through information sharing and innovations in technology. These vital documents are now available in a forum that brings them together with other research collections that address the broader spectrum of policymaking for an array of public interest needs.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (PR Newswire)–PolicyArchive.org, the leading digital library of public policy research developed by the Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) and IUPUI University Library, launches a new online portal of research documents sponsored by the Markle Foundation in New York. The Markle Special Collection focuses on the ways in which information technology shapes policymaking, particularly in the fields of health, national security, interactive media for children, Internet governance and global development. “PolicyArchive offers a unique opportunity for us to share our insights and the results of our work in the true spirit of collaboration,” says Stefaan Verhulst, chief of research at the Markle Foundation. “We believe the Markle Special Collection will be of particular value to those interested in finding new ways of addressing critical public needs in the information age.” The Markle collection is one the first of PolicyArchive’s upcoming series of research collections that gather and showcase influential policy research from nonprofit foundations. The Markle Special Collection highlights Markle's most significant publications, including reports and papers that have been instrumental in creating current laws and policies. These vital documents are now available in a forum that brings them together with other collections that address the broader spectrum of policymaking for an array of public interest needs.
Princeton, N.J.—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today kicked off a landmark program to design and test bold ideas for how consumers can use information technology to better manage their health and navigate the health care system. Project HealthDesign: Rethinking the Power and Potential of Personal Health Records, a $4.1 million initiative, has selected eight multidisciplinary teams that will build new tools that advance the field of personal health record (PHR) systems. Grant teams will work collaboratively to design and test a suite of PHR applications that can be built upon a common platform to help people better meet their health care needs in an integrated fashion. Such PHR tools may remind a patient to take medications, provide tailored decision prompts to help people adhere to treatment regimens for diabetes or pain therapy, or transmit data to providers—such as blood pressure readings or exercise levels—that are collected from patient self-testing and biomonitoring devices in the home. "It's not just the wider use of personal health records or online access to the data they store that is so revolutionary," said Stephen Downs, S.M., RWJF senior program officer and deputy director of the Health Group. "Project HealthDesign is challenging the PHR field to focus on the potential for patients, providers and caregivers to use this information to improve their health. The design of the systems over which this information flows is critical, and that is why we’re excited to support the efforts of these technology pioneers to develop the next generation of PHR systems."
New York, NY– "Connecting for Health applauds Secretary Leavitt for moving the nation much closer to the day when patients and medical professionals will be able to exchange potentially lifesaving health information in a secure and private manner. By selecting Connecting for Health’s three community electronic health information exchange to serve as a prototype for the nation, the Secretary has acknowledged the major contribution made to health information technology by the hundreds of organizations involved in Connecting for Health. With the support of the federal government, Connecting for Health will help deliver what the American people want -- a fully connected health care system in the 21st century." - Carol Diamond, M.D., Managing Director, Markle Foundation; Chair, Connecting for Health Background Michael O. Leavitt, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, announced the award of a contract today to the Connecting for Health team to make its three-community health information exchange a prototype for nationwide health information exchange. The Secretary also awarded 3 other related contracts today to develop the nationwide electronic exchange of health information.