danah boyd Joins I School Advisory Board

Social media researcher danah boyd is joining the School of Information Advisory Board, the School announced today.

Dr. boyd is a senior researcher at Microsoft Research, a research assistant professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a visting researcher at Harvard Law School, an adjunct associate professor at the University of New South Wales, and a research fellow of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.

She is also an alumna of the School of Information, where she received her Ph.D in 2008. Before coming to Berkeley, boyd received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Brown University and a master’s degree from MIT Media Lab.

Dr. boyd is “the reigning expert on how young people use the Internet,” according to Fortune Magazine, who named her the smartest academic in tech. The Washington Post dubbed boyd “the high priestess of social networking” and Technology Review named her one of 2010’s 35 Innovators under 35. In 2010, Dr. boyd won the CITASA Award for Public Sociology from the American Sociological Association.

Dr. boyd's research explores the intersection of technology, society, and policy. Most of her work examines how American youth incorporate social media into their daily practices in light of public fears and anxieties about young people’s engagement with technologies like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and texting. She is interested in how mediated environments alter the structural conditions in which teens operate, forcing them to manage complex dynamics, interact before invisible audiences, navigate context collisions, and negotiate the convergence of public and private life. She is currently examining how teenagers develop a sense of privacy in light of engagement in highly public online settings. She is also exploring the role of technology in teens’ risky behaviors by looking at a range of practices that include sexting, bullying, self-harm, and teen relationship violence. Her work in this area forms the foundation of her upcoming book, “It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens” (Yale University Press).

“I'm thrilled that danah has agreed to join the Advisory Board,” said School of Information dean AnnaLee Saxenian; “danah is not simply an illustrious alumna; her work has redefined the way researchers and policymakers think about social media use among teenagers. It also exemplifies our cross-disciplinary approach to understanding information, which exists at the intersection of technology and social life.”

Saxenian added, “danah has been a great friend of the School, and she will be a terrific asset on the Advisory Board.”

The School of Information Advisory Board is made up of respected business leaders, technologists, and creative thinkers from Silicon Valley and beyond, who provide external perspective, vision, and support for the School’s strategic direction.

Dr. boyd joins current Advisory Board members Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media; Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, Inc.; Reid Hoffman, partner of Greylock Partners and co-founder of LinkedIn and PayPal; Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr and Hunch; Genevieve Bell, director of Intel Corporation’s Interaction and Experience Research; James Manyika, director (senior partner) at McKinsey & Company; Hal Varian, chief economist of Google; Qi Lu, president of Microsoft's Online Services Division; Ellen Levy, vice president of strategic initiatives at LinkedIn; and Carl Bass, president and CEO of Autodesk, Inc.