Brian Forde, former White House senior advisor for mobile and data innovation, has joined the MIT Media Lab as director of digital currency. In this newly created position, Forde will work with researchers across the Institute and leading experts at other universities around the world in a new initiative to address some of the most critical challenges to creating a safe, stable, and secure digital currency.
“We are fortunate to have Brian join the Media Lab to help organize an important research agenda to get cryptocurrencies right,” Media Lab Director Joi Ito says. “Brian’s experience mainstreaming emerging technologies from the rural mountains of Nicaragua to the White House will be invaluable as he tackles the challenges of digital currency — one of the most promising emerging technologies for the next 10 years.”
Forde has spent more than a decade at the nexus of technology and public policy. At the White House he was responsible for determining how the Obama administration would leverage open data and emerging technologies to address the president's national priorities. In this role, his work included launching initiatives in climate change, natural disasters, and open data, and leading the revitalization of Detroit. He was also key to formulating the White House Tech Inclusion and TechHire initiatives, bringing together leaders from the technology community, large corporations, and advocacy groups to support the hiring and training of more women and minorities in technology. In recognition of this work, Forde was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
"While at the White House, Brian led extraordinary initiatives to leverage the power of tech and innovation to make the future of America ever brighter," says Todd Park, White House advisor for technology. "From helping drive efforts to aid the revitalization of Detroit, to leveraging emerging technologies to support survivors during Hurricane Sandy, to breaking down barriers to a more diverse tech sector, the impact of Brian's work will continue to be felt by Americans for years to come."
Prior to joining the Obama administration, Forde brought advances in technology to Nicaragua, first as a Peace Corps volunteer and then as the co-founder and CEO of Llamadas, S.A., one of the largest Internet phone service providers in that country.
“As a technologist, there’s no more exciting place to work than the MIT Media Lab,” Forde says. “The innovations that come out of the Media Lab have made a truly global impact. I look forward to working with the faculty and students and collaborating with developers, academics, entrepreneurs, governments, and nonprofits to help us get closer to a more robust and viable digital currency that could have tremendous benefits around the world.”
In launching this digital currency initiative, the Media Lab will work closely with faculty members, researchers, and students across the campus. More information is available at: https://medium.com/@medialab/launching-a-digital-currency-initiative-238fc678aba2