Paul Resnick, Founder and Acting Director
Paul Resnick, Michael D Cohen Collegiate Professor of Information at the University of Michigan School of Information, founded the Center for Social Media Responsibility. Resnick, who joined the School of Information in 1997, is also Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs at UMSI, professor of information and interim director of Health Informatics at UMSI. He co-authored the book Building Successful Online Communities: Evidence-Based Social Design. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from U-M and completed his doctorate in computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Garlin Gilchrist II is the executive director of the Center for Social Media Responsibility. He most recently served as Director of Innovation & Emerging Technology for the city government in his hometown, Detroit. Gilchrist II is determined to use technology and civil outreach to change cities and lives. Previously, he was the director of the Center for Community Change in Washington, D.C., and worked for the campaign of former President Barack Obama. He was formerly the director of Innovation & Emerging Technology for the city of Detroit. He was co-founder and advisor of tinyGive, which enables people to quickly donate to nonprofits via Twitter. A member of the board of directors of Voqal, a Colorado-based technology platform for nonprofits, he advises on new media strategies to improve civic engagement and educational opportunities. Gilchrist ran for Detroit City Clerk in 2017.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and computer science from the University of Michigan in 2005, graduating with honors. "Own your engineering mindset and have the confidence to apply that approach to a wide array of problems. The world needs as many problem solvers as possible. It needs us to think about solving problems in a way that can be helpful and beneficial to people across the world."
Note: Gilchrist is currently on leave from the University of Michigan until November, 2018. In the interim, his duties are being assumed by Paul Resnick.
Aviv Ovadya, consultant for the Center for Social Media Responsibility, is a misinformation engineering and design consultant who predicted the 2016 fake news crisis. Ovadya, a Knight News Innovation Fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, sounded the alarm about the vulnerability of social media platforms to propaganda, misinformation and dark targeted advertising from foreign governments months before the November 2016 presidential election.
He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As chief technology officer for the Center for Social Media Responsibility, he is directing projects aimed at ensuring our information ecosystem has a positive impact on society, while identifying, measuring, and mitigating indirect harms of social media and related technologies that impact public discourse such as video and search.
Thomas Finholt, executive sponsor for the Center for Social Media Responsibility, is Dean of the University of Michigan School of Information. His research focuses on: the energy costs of forming and maintaining social ties; computational mediation of trust in virtual organizations; and use of ultra-resolution collaboration environments.