Edward Happ, senior non-profit IT executive, to head two new information centers at UMSI

Edward Happ

The University of Michigan School of Information (UMSI) has announced the future establishment of two new information centers designed and led by Edward Happ, UMSI’s newly appointed executive fellow.

“Ed Happ has come on board to establish two centers that we believe will make significant contributions toward improving how people connect and communicate in the 21st century,” said UMSI Dean Thomas A. Finholt. “With his technical expertise and extensive background working with international non-profit companies, he’s the ideal choice to head these two new initiatives.”

The first center, The 2G Lab, will create a space to test problem solving and the design of tools and applications that work with the slower mobile phone technology.  While it is common to have 4G coverage in most of the developed countries, 2G is still the primary way people in developing countries access the internet. The lab will simulate a rural or urban context in developing countries in which students will be presented with problems to solve using slow internet connections and simple devices.

The second, The Data4Good Center, will initially focus on technology-related data relevant to non-profit organizations and their communities. While large international organizations are able to do their own data collection and analytics, smaller NGOs and non-profits lack the resources for such analysis, especially for the data science involved with Big Data analysis. The Data4Good Center will train students to gather and analyze data and present their findings to underserved non-profit clients. Amassed data could also provide a resource for researchers within and without the university.

The centers will be designed and managed by Edward Happ, a distinguished senior executive with a background in non-profit management, consulting, financial information services and technology. Happ will serve as an executive fellow at UMSI. 

Happ is the former Global Chief Information Officer of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, based in Geneva, Switzerland, and the former Chief Information Officer of Save the Children, based in Westport, CT.

Before joining Save the Children, he was a senior partner and founder of HP Management Decisions Ltd., a management consultancy, and has held a variety of corporate management positions at the senior vice president and general manager level with Wall Street data providers, service and software product companies.

He is the co-founder and past chairman of NetHope, a U.S.-based consortium of 50 leading international relief, development and conservation non-profits focused on information and communication technology (ICT) and collaboration.

His volunteer service includes five years as technical adviser for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a judge of the Microsoft Imagine Cup, the world’s largest student software competition.

“I am looking forward to working in a university setting where I can apply my 40 years of management and technology experience to teach, advise, research and consult with the next generation of IT leaders,” Happ said.

At UMSI, Happ will teach a new course in Crisis Informatics, as well as one in IT Management.  He will also conduct research in relation to starting up the two information centers. He holds a BA in liberal arts, with honors, from Drew University, where he also did graduate work.

Photos and more information on Edward Happ are available at eghapp.com.

Posted February 16, 2017