Profile: Michael Downey

Personal background
Hello! I'm currently the Director of Community for the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) Open Source Center, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation. The Center is a collaborative community promoting knowledge sharing, collaboration, and co-investment in technology and human capacity to support positive social change in FOSS communities around the world.

My career in IT and open source spans nearly two decades both in the healthcare and financial services industries, as well as the nonprofit world. In my role, I help to build a vibrant and active open source software community for high-impact technology for development (T4D) projects that advance the mission of DIAL. As a long-time participant in the T4D community, I'm excited about DIAL’s unique opportunity to help build a digital society that serves everyone.

I served as a US Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, and later was the Director of Community for OpenMRS, an open source health IT software project. During my tenure at OpenMRS, it grew from “stealth mode” to a large open source community, receiving the prestigious Free Software Foundation’s Award for Projects of Social Benefit.

I received two undergraduate degrees in engineering from Purdue University, and did my PhD studies at Indiana University, researching cross-cultural computer supported cooperative work. I'm also on the steering committee for LibreHealth, a new open source community to foster health IT collaboration. A long-time supporter and advocate for free and open source software, I'm a member of organizations like the Free Software Foundation, Open Source Initiative, Internet Society, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
I got involved with the project when it first launched back in 1999 when I was at Purdue, and recently got involved again hearing that things were still going.
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SETI@home and Astropulse are funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and donations from SETI@home volunteers. AstroPulse is funded in part by the NSF through grant AST-0307956.