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John Palfrey Named New MacArthur President


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.

Palfrey has extensive experience making social change, spanning the education, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors. Since 2012, he has served as Head of School for Phillips Academy Andover. Previously, he was the Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School and Executive Director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. Since 2014, he has served as Board Chairman at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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“I am honored to lead the MacArthur Foundation during such a critical time, when challenges facing people and our planet can seem insurmountable, but the tools of social change are evolving to be even more powerful,” said Palfrey. “I am an optimist, who believes that creativity, rigor, and selective disruption can make outsized social impact possible. I look forward to working with MacArthur’s talented and dedicated Board, staff, and grantees in Chicago, across the nation, and around the world.”

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