Chris Coward

Chris Coward is Senior Principal Research Scientist at the University of Washington Information School, director of the Technology & Social Change Group, and co-founder of the Center for an Informed Public. Chris is one of the early voices in the information and communication technologies and development (ICTD) field where he has studied information access, digital inclusion, digital skills, and civic engagement, primarily in resource limited populations and countries. Much of his work has focused on these issues in the context of public libraries. His current work examines misinformation and civic discourse, with the aim of developing new library programs and services that respond to today’s more fractious information dynamics. He is interested in the integration of digital and physical spaces as a way of fostering more constructive engagements with information.

Chris directs the Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA), a research center he co-founded in 1999 (then Center for Internet Studies) as a social science response to the technological euphoria of the era. Under his leadership, TASCHA has grown in size and stature with projects spanning more than 50 countries. Chris approaches research development as a collaborative endeavor, working with donors and partners to co-design projects that result in applied knowledge. His efforts have influenced Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential Program, the Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries Program, and the International Telecommunication Union’s Digital Inclusion program, among others. In 2019 he was one of five principal investigators to co-found the Center for an Informed Public (CIP), a new center with a mission of resisting strategic misinformation and strengthening democratic discourse. 

Chris is the author of more than 50 articles and conference proceedings. He holds a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Arts in International Studies, both from the University of Washington.