John G. Palfrey ’01, Harvard Law School’s Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law and vice-dean of Library and Information Resources, has been appointed the 15th Head of School at the Phillips Academy Andover, the academy announced Nov. 14. He will leave HLS and officially begin at Phillips Academy in July 2012.
He will succeed Barbara Landis Chase, who last spring announced her plans to retire at the end of the 2011-2012 school year.
In a message to the HLS community, Dean Martha Minow said: “I hope you will join me in congratulating John on this new and exciting opportunity to lead a school he loves, while also working with me to find wonderful ways to thank John for his extraordinary work here. His innovative leadership of the Library and all of the advances in networks and information access it has come to represent, his critical and ongoing work developing and expanding the Berkman Center, his inspired teaching, his important scholarship, and his superb colleagueship all deserve celebration. I am working with John both on plans for transition and ways to involve him in this community even after July 1 when he takes on his new role. It will be sad not to have him in our midst every day but I look forward both to his continuing connections here and to his success in this new endeavor.”
The full announcement from Phillips Academy is available here.
Palfrey has led a broad range of groundbreaking initiatives during his tenure at HLS. Under his guidance, the HLS Library has devised innovative technologies and strategies for the discovery, access, and delivery of information while enhancing its world-class collection.
In addition to his work in the classroom and the HLS library, Palfrey is faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, where he served as executive director from 2002 to 2008. As executive director, he secured funding for and oversaw programs to examine the far-reaching effects of the Internet and digitized information. He has great interest in the intellectual development of students, particularly the intersection of adolescents, technology and access to information.
Palfrey’s research and teaching focus on Internet law, intellectual property, and the potential of new technologies to strengthen democracies locally and around the world. His most recent book, “Intellectual Property Strategy,” was published by MIT Press in October. He is the co-author of Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights, and Rule in Cyberspace (Ronald Deibert, John G. Palfrey, Rafal Rohozinski & Jonathan Zittrain eds., MIT Press 2010). Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives (Basic Books, 2008) and co-editor of Access Denied: The Practice and Politics of Global Internet Filtering (MIT Press, 2008).
Palfrey earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2001, a M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge in 1997, an A.B. from Harvard College in 1994 and is a 1990 graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy. He practiced law at Ropes & Gray LLP for one year before returning to HLS to help launch the Berkman Center for Internet and Society in 2002. He earned tenure as the Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law in 2008.
Previous HLS coverage of Professor Palfrey is available here: