Kalev Leetaru to Deliver Keynote Address at NFAIS 2015 Annual Conference

Leetaru’s conference speech will focus on the information user of the future and how information services will evolve in the decade ahead

January 14, 2015, Annapolis, MD – Kalev H. Leetaru, a leading entrepreneur and academic of the Internet era, will deliver the keynote address at the National Federation of Advanced Information Service’s (NFAIS™) 2015 Annual Conference, Sun., Feb. 22, in Washington, DC.

Leetaru, the former Yahoo! Fellow in Residence of International Values, Communications Technology & the Global Internet and adjunct faculty in Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, focuses his current work on the application of “big data” to capture, visualize and forecast global human society.

Leetaru is renowned as the co-creator of the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT) Project, which is credited as being the largest open-access database on human society in existence. The GDELT Project, according to its website, is constructing “a catalog of human societal-scale behavior and beliefs across all countries of the world, connecting every person, organization, location, count, theme, news source, and event across the planet into a single massive network that captures what's happening around the world, what its context is and who's involved, and how the world is feeling about it, every single day.” The GDELT Project, which makes this data available for free for open research, aims to create the first "real-time social sciences earth observatory,” according to Leetaru.

Before joining Georgetown University, Kalev held the Irwin, Boyd Rayward, Josie Houchens, and University Fellowships at the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science. He is a Council Member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on the Future of Government and has recently concluded projects with NBC Universal’s SyFy channel, the United States Institute of Peace, World Bank and United States Army, exploring how “big data” can reshape the way we understand the world around us.

At the NFAIS 2015 Annual Conference, Leetaru’s keynote address, “The User of the Future: Reimagining How We Think About Information,” will center on defining what the concept of information looks like in the future, how users will interact and consume it, and how we evolve and adapt the model of today’s professional information service into the coming decade. Leetaru’s remarks will explore the concept of the user of the future and how we can learn from current trends to reimagine how we think about information and how we deliver it.

“We’re honored and very excited to have Kalev Leetaru deliver the NFAIS 2015 Annual Conference keynote address,” said Marcie Granahan, NFAIS Executive Director. “Kalev is one of most important people who are actively pushing the boundaries and expanding the fast-evolving field of information services. Kalev’s singular expertise and background in information services are a true match with our conference theme, centering on the user experience and demand for quality information.”

LeeLeetaru, who holds three U.S. patents and whose work has appeared in the presses of more than 100 nations, was named one of Foreign Policy magazine's Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2013 and is a regular columnist for the magazine.

The NFAIS 2015 Annual Conference, now in its 57th year, takes place at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, just outside Washington, DC, February 22-24

About NFAIS (www.nfais.org):
The National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS™) is a global, nonprofit, volunteer-powered membership organization that serves the information community – that is, all those who create, aggregate, organize, and otherwise provide ease of access to and effective navigation and use of authoritative, credible information. Member organizations represent a cross-section of content and technology providers, including database creators, publishers, libraries, host systems, information technology developers, content management providers and other related groups. They embody a true partnership of commercial, nonprofit and government organizations that embraces a common mission – to build the world's knowledge-base through enabling research and managing the flow of scholarly communication. NFAIS exists to promote the success of its members and for more than 50 years has provided a forum in which to address common interests through education and advocacy.

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