Michael L. Best, associate professor of international affairs and computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has been appointed as director of the newly formed United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) based in Macau, China.
Best brings to the UNU-CS expertise in merging international affairs, technology, and global development. Under his leadership, the UNU-CS will develop the next generation of computer and social scientists who will shape the global information society. He will enhance capacities in computing and the application of information technology through policy research programs as well as doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships.
Commenting on his appointment Best said, “I am honored to have been selected to lead the UNU Computing and Society Institute. My goal is to develop the Institute as a center of excellence in the United Nation’s system effectively responding to the needs of the developing world in the crucially important areas of computing and information technologies.”
An example of Best’s work and its far-reaching potential for the United Nations was his project using social media to monitor national elections in African nations enabling real-time response to issues such as fraud, intimidation, and violence.
The Rector of the UNU, Professor David M. Malone said, “I am very pleased to welcome Professor Best to the UNU system. “I am confident that with his background in information technologies and international development, he will make a very significant contribution to the research of UNU and to policymaking of the United Nations as a whole.”
Best’s appointment begins January 17, 2015, but he will continue teaching and working on campus through the spring semester, then move to Macao, China where the UNU-CS is headquartered.
Michael L. Best is an associate professor in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts Sam Nunn School of International Affairs with a joint appointment in the College of Computing. He also directs the Technology and International Development Lab. He is a faculty associate of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, as well as co-founder and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the influential journal Information Technologies and International Development.