Professor of Political Science and Public Policy
Director, National Center for Digital Government
Director, Science, Technology, and Society Initiative
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Jane E. Fountain is Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Previously, she served for 16 years on the faculty of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Professor Fountain is the founder and Director of the National Center for Digital Government, based at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, which was established with support from the National Science Foundation to develop research and infrastructure for the emerging field information technology and governance. During the past decade, the National Center has sponsored research workshops, seminars, doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships and visiting faculty from throughout the world in addition to its active research programs.
Professor Fountain also directs the Science, Technology and Society Initiative, a campus-wide effort based at the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts. The STS Initiative is designed to build social science, policy and cross-disciplinary research on a range of social, political and economic challenges posed by science and technology. Fountain is the Principal Investigator of the Ethics in Science and Engineering Online Resource Beta Site project and of the International Dimensions of Ethics in Science and Engineering project (IDEESE). She is a co-principal investigator of the Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE) and a Senior Researcher at the Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing, a major nanoscience research center, Fountain developed and directed the Women in the Information Age Project, which was established with a generous gift from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, to conduct research on the participation of women in computing and information-technology related fields and, with its partner institutions, to increase the number of women experts in information and communication technologies.
Fountain is the author of Building the Virtual State: Information Technology and Institutional Change (Brookings Institution Press, 2001), which was awarded an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice and has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. Her articles have been published in scholarly journals including Governance, Technology in Society, Science and Public Policy, the National Civic Review, and the Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery.
Professor Fountain is currently a member of the World Economic Forum Global Advisory Council on the Future of Government. She served on the American Bar Association blue ribbon Commission on the Future of e-Rulemaking and has served on several advisory bodies for organizations including the Social Science Research Council, the Internet Policy Institute, and the National Science Foundation. She has delivered invited lectures and keynote addresses and has worked with governments and research institutions including the World Bank, the European Commission, Knowledge Management Asia Pacific, Japan, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Chile, Estonia, Hungary, Slovenia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Fountain holds a Ph.D. from Yale University, in Organizational Behavior and in Political Science, and graduate degrees from Harvard and Yale Universities. She has been a Radcliffe Institute Fellow, a Mellon Foundation Fellow, and a Yale Fellow.
For a list of Fountain's grants, honors and awards please click here.
For information on her academic appointments, professional activities, and service click here.