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Dan Cohen takes on leadership role at DPLA

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Dan Cohen has been appointed as founding executive director of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).  Cohen is currently a tenured professor in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University, USA and the director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. He will begin his tenure at DPLA on 18 April.

DPLA is working towards a large-scale digital public library that will make the cultural and scientific record available to all. As part of this, leaders from all types of libraries, museums, and archives, are working with educators, industry, and government to define the vision for a digital library that serves the American public.

As the executive director, Cohen will work to further the DPLA’s mission. He will manage the day-to-day operations of the new organisation, serve as the DPLA’s spokesperson, and advocate for partners within and outside the larger DPLA community, among a range of other critical duties.

'Dan Cohen’s appointment is exceptionally good news for the future of the DPLA,' commented John Palfrey, president of the DPLA Board of Directors. 'Dan’s contributions to the field of digital humanities and to libraries are already extraordinary. He has led major open source development projects, helped to digitise important works of culture, supported teachers and students in accessing fantastic digital materials, and written about the importance of libraries, archives, and museums in a digital age. We are very fortunate that he has agreed to lead the DPLA as the founding executive director.'

'I am so honored to be entrusted with leading the team that will take the next steps in making the wonderful idea of the Digital Public Library of America a reality,' said Cohen. 'The notion of a large-scale open digital library for all, which will connect everyone to the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, is profoundly important. I am deeply thankful for the hard work and tremendous vision of the DPLA’s Secretariat, Steering Committee, and Board of Directors, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and the thousands of Americans who have participated in the DPLA’s planning process. I look forward to building upon this incredible foundation, and to partnering with people and institutions across the country to build a new library for the twenty-first century.'