Jane E. Fountain is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the founder and director of the National Center for Digital Government, established in 2002 with support from the National Science Foundation, and directs the Science, Technology and Society Initiative, an interdisciplinary forum for research, teaching and engagement related to emerging technologies. Fountain has been the Chair and Vice Chair and is currently a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Future of Government. In 2014 she received the Federal 100 award from Government Computer Weekly for leadership and innovation in federal government IT, one of only two academics so named.
Fountain works in the areas of institutional perspectives on information technology and governance, innovation in public organizations and cross-agency collaboration, science, technology and society, and women in computing. She is the author or editor of works including The Future of Government: Lessons Learned from around the World (co-authored with the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Government, World Economic Forum, 2011); Building the Virtual State: Information Technology and Institutional Change (Brookings Institution Press, 2001); Digital Government: Advancing a Social Science Research Agenda (NCDG, 2002); and Proposition 2½: Its Impact on Massachusetts (co-edited with L. E. Susskind, OGH, 1983). 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.
Fountain received her Ph.D. from Yale University in Organizational Behavior and in Political Science and master’s degrees from Harvard and Yale Universities. She has been a Yale Fellow, a Mellon Fellow, and Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She served on the faculty of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University for 16 years.