Michael Gurstein - Executive Director

Dr. Michael Gurstein - Executive Director

Dr. Gurstein is currently Executive Director of the Centre for Community Informatics Research, Development and Training (Vancouver BC and Cape Town, South Africa); Research Professor in the School of Management at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark); and Research Professor in the Faculty of Management at the University of Quebec (Ouatouais).

A Canadian, he completed a B.A. at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada and a Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge and was a senior public servant in the Provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan. From 1992-95 Dr. Gurstein was a Management Advisor with the United Nations Secretariat in New York. Prior to this Dr. Gurstein was the President of Socioscope Inc. a management consulting firm based in Ottawa Canada which specialized in policy and program analysis, and evaluation.From 1995 to 1999 Dr. Gurstein was the NSERC/SSHRC Associate Chair in the Management of Technological Change and Founding Director of the Centre for Community and Enterprise Networking at the University College of Cape Breton, Sydney Nova Scotia Canada. In the latter post he pioneered in the development of sustainable community based technology developments. Based on this work Dr. Gurstein has been a leader in the development of the strategic and policy thinking concerning community ICT implementations (Community Informatics) and has advised and consulted widely in this area including with a number of UN agencies, and Departments and agencies of the Canadian, US, and Australian governments among others.

In late 2002, Dr. Gurstein was awarded a substantial grant from the Ford Foundation to support his research work in the area of Community Informatics in addition to research grants from the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council (Canadian Research Alliance for Community Innovation and Networking -- CRACIN and the US National Science Foundation. He has lectured or taught at among others Harvard University, the University of California Los Angeles, University of Michigan, Rensellaer Politechnical Institute, the University of Milan, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Toronto and taught at the University College of Cape Breton, the Technical University of British Columbia where he was "Team Leader" (Dean) of Management, and as Visiting and Clinical Professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

His edited book "Community Informatics: Enabling Communities with Information and Communications Technologies" (Idea Group, 2000) provided a focal point for the development of "Community Informatics" as the discipline concerned with enabling communities with Information and Communications Technologies. Dr. Gurstein has served on the Board of the Vancouver Community Network, the British Columbia Community Networking Association, and Telecommunities Canada. He is currently on the Steering Committee of the Global Telecentre Alliance, and on the High Level Panel of Advisors of the United Nation's Global Alliance for ICT for Development.

He is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Community Informatics and Foundation Chair of the Community Informatics Research Network. He recently completed a continuing Advisory relationship with the (Canadian) Northern Indigenous Communities Satellite Network in the creation of its Research Consortium and a six month posting in South Africa where among other activities he organized a major event bringing together community informatics practitioners, researchers, the private sector and government to explore areas of cooperation in community based service delivery among other areas.

He has consulted to the governments of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Nepal, South Africa and Jordan and to the Ford Foundation, the UN Development Program, and the European Union among others. Dr. Gurstein has served on the Board of the Vancouver Community Network, the British Columbia Community Networking Association, Telecommunities Canada, and was a Charter Member of the Steering Committee of the Global Community Networking Partnership and is currently on the Steering Committee of the Telecentres of the Americas Partnership, and the (US) Association for Community Networking.