MIT has appointed Joichi Ito as the next director of the MIT Media Lab, succeeding Frank Moss, who was held the role for five years.
A longstanding tech entrepreneur and advocate of internet freedom, Ito, 44, is currently board chair (and previously served as CEO) of Creative Commons, a non-profit organization focused on developing and supporting legal and technical tools to encourage legal sharing and reuse. Ito also sits on the board of directors of the Mozilla Foundation, which promotes openness, innovation and participation on the Internet; WITNESS, an organization that empowers human rights defenders with the power of video; and Global Voices, a network of bloggers focusing on free speech.
In 1994, at the age of 28, he founded Eccosys, which eventually became Digital Garage. He also helped establish and later became CEO of PSINet Japan (formerly IIKK), the first commercial Internet service provider in Japan, and helped found Infoseek Japan, the first Japanese commercial search engine. An early investor in internet companies including Flickr, Six Apart, Last.fm, Kongregate, Kickstarter, and Twitter, he was also founder and CEO of the venture capital firm Neoteny.
He has received honors including TIME magazine's 'Cyber-Elite' listing in 1997 (at age 31). BusinessWeek named him one of the '25 Most Influential People on the Web' in 2008.