Michael L. Best directs the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) in Macau SAR, China. He is an associate professor, on leave, with the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he directs the Technologies and International Development Lab. Best's research focuses on information and communication technologies (ICTs) for social, economic, and political development. In particular he studies mobile and Internet-enabled services and their design, impact, and importance within low-income countries of Africa and Asia. Additionally, he researched engineering, public policy, and business issues as well as methods to assess and evaluate development outcomes. Professor Best is also interested in the impact of ICTs on the development-security nexus and on post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation.
Professor Best is cofounder and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the widely read Information Technologies and International Development journal, and he spearheads the Global Computing column for Communications of the ACM. He holds a doctorate from MIT and has served as director of Media Lab Asia in India and head of the eDevelopment group at the MIT Media Lab. Best has over 100 published papers in journals, proceedings, and books. He is the recipient of awards including the Stephen A. Denning Faculty Award for Global Engagement (2014), People & Technology Award, Georgia Tech Research Corporation (2011), and Ivan Allen Faculty Legacy Award (2009).