Kenneth Keniston received his B.A. from Harvard College (Government, 1951) and a D.Phil. from Oxford University (Social Studies, 1956) where he was a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College. After being a Junior Fellow at Harvard University, he taught at Harvard and at Yale, where he was Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry. From 1972 to 1977 he was Chairman and Director of the Carnegie Council on Children. Keniston moved to MIT in 1977. He was Director of MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society from 1987-1992 and Director of Graduate Studies from 1992-97. He also founded and was Director of the MIT India Program. He has been a visiting scholar at the Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation (Ecoles des Mines, Paris) and at the University of Paris V (Sorbonne). His research has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Ford Foundation and NEC. Professor Keniston has been a Guggenheim Fellow and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Microsoft Research India.
In recent years, Professor Keniston’s research has focused mostly on information technology and development. His research examines how information and communication technologies are used for development, political transparency, social justice and the improvement of life, especially in rural India. He is the author of nine books and over a hundred articles, reviews, and chapters. His most recent books are, with Deepak Kumar, IT Experience in India: Bridging the Digital Divide (2004); with Rohit Raj Mathur and R.K. Bagga, The State, IT, and Development (2005), and with P. Balaji, a comparative study of six rural information projects, done for the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of the Government of India (2006).