Oral history interview with Karl Brown [electronic resource], 2013
Associate Director, Rockefeller Foundation.
Scope and Contents
Karl Brown begins by discussing his childhood and undergraduate computer science studies at Stanford University, early career in the automotive industry, and subsequent graduate studies and fellowship work at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Brown then discusses his coming to work for the Rockefeller Foundation and early involvement in the foundation’s Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) project. Brown continues by discussing his work with the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) working group of the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa (PHEA) initiative. Brown discusses his primary role in subsidizing and developing fiber optic networks at African universities, specifically VSATs (very small aperture terminals), the parallels between the structure of internet connectivity on the African continent and those of colonial railway systems, and the importance of broadening fiber optic cable networks within Africa in promoting Pan-African communication and self-determinism. Brown also discusses his involvement in a PHEA e-learning initiative done in cooperation with the South African Institute for Digital Education (SAIDE). Brown concludes by discussing the Rockefeller Foundation’s relations with other foundations involved in PHEA, including the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Ford Foundation, and touching on the Rockefeller Foundation’s current and future work in Africa following the end of the PHEA initiative in 2007.
Copyright by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, 2013.