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Former Internet2 Leaders Mike Roberts and Douglas Van Houweling Inducted Into Internet Hall of Fame

Posted on Apr 08, 2014 by Todd Sedmak
Tags: Community, Frontpage News

Former Internet2 Leaders Mike Roberts and Douglas Van Houweling Inducted Into Internet Hall of Fame

Internet pioneers honored for shaping today’s Internet

DENVER—April 8, 2014—Former Internet2 leaders Mike Roberts and Douglas Van Houweling today joined the elite ranks of notable individuals who have been inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. At a ceremony held in Hong Kong, they were recognized for their significant contributions to the advancement of the global Internet.

Doug Van Houweling is a professor and associate dean for research and innovation
 at the University of Michigan’s School of Information. Mike Roberts currently serves as the principal for The Darwin Group consultancy based in Portola Valley, California.

Mike Roberts’s and Doug Van Houweling’s induction into the Internet Hall of Fame recognizes their vision and teamwork to not only help create the Internet but also to found the Internet2 community and network. Their legacy is impacting global innovation and society beyond anyone’s original imagination. It’s exciting to hear and share this great news with the research and education community during the 2014 Internet2 Global Summit.

– H. David Lambert, president and chief executive officer, Internet2

Doug’s contributions to higher education, to the development of the Internet in the United States, and to the nation’s scientific infrastructure have been immense. Over the course of his long and distinguished career, he was responsible for tremendous advances in the use and application of information technology at three major research universities, and he led numerous initiatives to establish cooperative IT efforts among universities across the country. His visionary leadership as chairman of the Board of MERIT, Inc. during the time it operated and managed NSFNET, was instrumental in the development of the network into a major part of the Internet backbone and in the transition to the modern Internet we know today.

And as the founding president and CEO of Internet2, Doug played a major role in the development of Internet2 as an indispensible part of America’s scientific infrastructure. Over many years, my wife, Laurie, who worked with Doug at the University of Michigan, and I have come to know Doug not only as an exceptionally talented and visionary leader, but also as a man of the highest personal integrity. We applaud his extraordinary achievements, and express our heartfelt congratulations for this well deserved honor.

-- Michael McRobbie, president of Indiana University and chair of the Internet2 Board of Trustees

Mike Roberts has been a steadfast and trusted friend and advisor to research and education networking since the earliest days of NSFNET, through the founding of Internet2 in 1996, and continuing to the current day as research & education networks face new challenges from commercial carriers and from the rapidly shifting environment of higher education. His staunch and thoughtful advocacy is a valuable asset to the community.

– Steve Wolff, former NSFNET program director of the U.S. National Science Foundation; interim chief technology officer of Internet2; and 2013 Internet Hall of Fame inductee

Mike played critical roles in the formation and initial executive leadership of three long-standing Internet nonprofit institutions – Internet2, the Internet Society, and ICANN. In 1996-97, he was the first project director of the Internet2 project, as it was known then, to design and deploy advanced networking infrastructure and applications to support research, teaching, and learning. His work included helping design the initial governance of and formalizing the non-profit organization behind Internet2, which now serves as the primary research and education network in the United States. The organizations that Mike helped launch are distinct in mission and focus, but all remain vitally important to the Internet.

– Steve Corbato, University of Utah deputy chief information officer and Mark Johnson, MCNC Chief Technology Officer and Hall of Fame nominators

Doug Van Houweling has consistently looked and acted ahead of the curve and played a key leadership role in the NSFNET project. In 1987, while CIO at the University of Michigan and Chairman of the Board at Merit, Michigan’s statewide network, he formed the coalition of partners that won the competition for the NSFNET that provided the foundation upon which the global Internet was built. During NSFNET’s tenure, Internet traffic and connectivity grew more than 400 percent per year for seven years. By 1992, when the NSFNET project began transitioning the Internet backbone to commercial providers, over 6,000 networks were connected, one third of which were outside the United Sates. By 1994, networks in 93 countries were connected and the Internet had become a global network. Van Houweling then went on to serve as the founding CEO of Internet2, the National Research & Education Network for the United States.

– Larry Landweber, former Internet2 Board Member and Hall of Fame nominator

More details on the 2014 Internet Hall of Fame inductees, including biographies, photos and induction ceremony videos, can be found at

About the Internet Hall of Fame

The Internet Hall of Fame ( is a recognition program and virtual museum that celebrates the living history of the Internet and the individuals whose extraordinary contributions have made the Internet, its worldwide availability and use, and its transformative nature possible. The Internet Society launched the Internet Hall of Fame in 2012. You can follow the Internet Hall of Fame on Twitter and Facebook.

About Internet2®

Internet2® is a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the nation's leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to solve common technology challenges, and to develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research, and community service missions.

Internet2 also operates the nation’s largest and fastest, coast-to-coast research and education network, in which the Network Operations Center is powered by Indiana University. Internet2 serves more than 93,000 community anchor institutions, 250 U.S. universities, 70 government agencies, 38 regional and state education networks, 80 leading corporations working with our community and more than 65 national research and education networking partners representing more than 100 countries.

Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Denver, Colo.; Emeryville, Calif.; Washington, D.C; and West Hartford, Conn. For more information, visit or follow @Internet2 on Twitter.

Media contact:

Todd Sedmak, Internet2 
PR & Media Relations Manager

202-803-8978 or