Director of Community, Open Source for United Nations Foundation
Michael Downey is 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.
Michael’s 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 his new role, he will 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, he is excited about DIAL’s unique opportunity to help build a digital society that serves everyone.
Michael 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 his 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.
He received two undergraduate degrees in engineering from Purdue University, and did his PhD studies at Indiana University, researching cross-cultural computer supported cooperative work. Michael is 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, he is a member of organizations like the Free Software Foundation, Open Source Initiative, Internet Society, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.