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John Palfrey

Head of School at Phillips Academy, Andover
Director, Berkman Center for Internet & Society

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John is the Head of School at Phillips Academy, Andover.  He also serves as a Trustee of the Knight Foundation and the President of the Board of Directors of the Digital Public Library of America.

John’s research and teaching focus on new media and learning.  He has written extensively on Internet law, intellectual property, and the potential of new technologies to strengthen democracies locally and around the world.  He is the author or co-author of several books, including Intellectual Property Strategy (MIT Press, 2011); Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives (Basic Books, 2008); and Access Denied: The Practice and Politics of Global Internet Filtering (MIT Press, 2008).

John served previously the Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School.  He is a director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, where he was executive director from 2002-2008. John came back to the Harvard Law School from the law firm Ropes & Gray, where he worked on intellectual property, Internet law, and private equity transactions. He also served as a Special Assistant at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration.  He previously served as a venture executive at Highland Capital Partners and on the Board of Directors of the Mass2020 Foundation, the Ames Foundation, and Open Knowledge Commons, among others.  John was a Visiting Professor of Information Law and Policy at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland for the 2007-2008 academic year.

John graduated from Harvard College, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard Law School.  He was a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar to the University of Cambridge and the U.S. EPA Gold Medal (highest national award).

Last updated September 24, 2013