Affiliate Positions

  • Director, Technology & Social Change Group
  • Co-Founder, Center for an Informed Public
  • Affiliate Associate Professor, Information School


  • ICT and development
  • Public libraries
  • Civic engagement


Chris Coward is Senior Principal Research Scientist at the University of Washington Information School. Chris studies issues of information access, digital inclusion, digital skills, and civic engagement, primarily in resource-limited populations and countries. Much of his work focuses on these issues in the context of public libraries. His current work examines misinformation and civic discourse, with the aim of developing new library programs and services that better respond to changes in the information environment. He is interested in the integration of digital and physical spaces as a way of fostering more constructive engagements with information.

Chris directs the Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA), a research center he co-founded in 1999 (then Center for Internet Studies) that explores the role of digital technologies in building more open, inclusive, and equitable societies. Under his leadership, TASCHA has grown in size and stature with projects spanning more than 50 countries. In 2019 he was one of five principal investigators to co-found the Center for an Informed Public (CIP), a new center with a mission of resisting strategic misinformation and strengthening democratic discourse.


  • Master of Public Administration, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington, 1997
  • MA, International Studies, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, 1997
  • BA, East Asian Studies, Columbia University, 1986

Publications and Contributions


  • LIS Forward Forum: Shaping Future Directions for LIS to Thrive and Grow in iSchools. (2022)
    iSchools organziation - Virtual
  • Misinformation Escape Room (2022)
    Dagstuhl Seminar - Wadern, Germany
  • Co-creating an NSF Proposal on Civic Innovation with Community Partners: Case study (2021)
    Going Public: Advocacy, Activism, and Building Trust - Online
  • Community Approaches to Misinformation (2021)
    UW iSchool - Virtual
  • Escape rooms – a new format for fighting disinformation? (2021)
    Media & Learning - Virtual
  • Misinformation Escape Room (2021)
    2021 Washington Library Association (WLA) conference - Virtual
  • Moving Forward with Communities and Technologies (2021)
    Community Day at the 10th International Conference on Communications & Technologies - Virtual
  • The Euphorigen Investigation (2021)
    Next Library Conference - Virtual
  • "You have to hide the vegetables": The need for new directions in misinformation programming (2020)
    Washington Library Association - Spokane, WA
  • Who can we trust? Technology's impact on democracy (2020)
    Town Hall Seattle - Seattle, WA
  • Misinformation and its Malcontents: University of Washington Research and Implications for Libraries (2019)
    ALA Midwinter 2019 - Seattle, WA
  • A Dynamic Approach to Digital Skills (2018)
    Mobile Learning Week - Paris, France
  • Defining and mainstreaming digital skills (2018)
    UNESCO/ITU Mobile Learning Week 2018 - Paris, France
  • Coding for career: Expanding opportunities for youth employment in developing countries (2015)
    Digital Strategies for Development Summit 2015 - Cebu City, The Philippines
  • Challenging the stepping stone theory of technology acquisition: The role of libraries and public access to ICTs (2013)
    5th European Congress on e-Inclusion, Civic Agenda - Brussels, Belgium
  • Connecting youth to emerging employment opportunities: New strategies for telecentres (2013)
    Spark: 4th Global Forum on Telecentres - Granada, Spain
  • Do Public Access ICTs have an Impact on Socio-Economic Development (2013)
    WSIS+10: Towards Knowledge Societies for Peace & Sustainable Development, UNESCO - Paris, France
  • Do public access ICTs make a difference in people's lives? Findings from the Global Impact Study (2013)
    Spark: 4th Global Forum on Telecentres - Granada, Spain
  • Expanding the impact of public libraries: Is the offline/online distinction relevant? (2013)
    Foros Semana - Bogota, Colombia
  • Innovation Spaces: From access to information to access to each other (2013)
    Bogota, Colombia
  • Innovation Spaces: From access to information to access to each other (2013)
    African Library Summit 2013, IFLA - Pretoria, South Africa
  • The Impact of Public Access to ICTs: Findings from a Five-Year, Eight-Country Study (2013)
    ICTD 2013 Conference - Cape Town, South Africa
  • Want open research? Deep dive into the Global Impact Study (2012)
    ICTD 2012 - Atlanta, GA
  • Loki's Loop Escape Room
    Seattle, WA (virtual)