Jonathan Obar is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media at Michigan State University and Associate Director of the Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law, a policy research center at MSU.
Dr. Obar also serves as a Public Policy Teaching Fellow with the Wikimedia Foundation, and is a senior advisor with Wikipedia’s Global Education Program. He holds a Media Policy Fellowship with the New America Foundation, and a post-doctoral fellowship with the ‘Politics of Surveillance’ team in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. Jonathan also blogs for the Huffington Post about ICTs and society.
His research focuses on the impact that digital technologies have on civil liberties, civic engagement and the inclusiveness of public culture. His research has been published in a variety of academic journals including: Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Communication Law and Policy, Communication Review, E-learning and Digital Media, Information Policy, Journalism Studies, Academic Exchange Quarterly, the Free Speech Yearbook, Harvard's Program on Information Resources Policy and the proceedings of the ACM’s Computer-Supported Cooperative Work Conference.
Current work includes the Quello Center’s Governance of Social Media project, participation in the Open Society Foundation’s 60+ country Mapping Digital Media initiative, and the implementation and analysis of the SurveillanceWatch and IXmaps counter-surveillance crowdsourcing apps with the ‘Politics of Surveillance’ team.
Dr. Obar is a former CAMRAwiki Fellow and served as a PI on a $160,000 grant funded by the Department of Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Center for Advanced Microbial Risk Assessment (CAMRA). The focus of the project was to build and study an expert wiki and related mobile apps that can facilitate communication in the event of a national crisis.
Jonathan has an M.A. in Media Studies from Syracuse University and a PhD in Mass Communications from Penn State University.