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Talk on November 9 at Simon's Rock

GT. BARRINGTON, MA – Simon’s Rock College of Bard will host a discussion by alumnus Douglas Ahlers on reconstruction efforts in New Orleans.  The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held Friday, Nov. 9,  6:15-7:30,  in the Clark Auditorium of the Fisher Science and Academic Center.

Ahlers, an alumnus of Simon's Rock, is a Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.  As a resident and business owner in New Orleans, Mr. Ahlers has also been in the forefront of the efforts to restore vitality to that city, and in his role at Harvard, Mr. Ahlers has been instrumental in applying the resources of the University to the redevelopment needs of New Orleans. After Katrina, he was appointed to the mayor’s Bring New Orleans Back Commission's Economic Development Committee.   He also led a team of Harvard Business School students to help the Mayor's Commission draft the economic recovery plan for the city.  Soon after Katrina, Mr. Ahlers has also launched the Neighborhood Empowerment Initiative in New Orleans.  The Initiative involves volunteer students, faculty and staff of the graduate schools of Government, Business, Education, Law and Design at Harvard University.

Mr. Ahlers is also a fellow at the National Democratic Institute, and in that capacity has served as an election monitor in the Ukraine, Palestine, and Egypt. He has studied the use of technology by many international groups, including extremist organizations, hate groups, and neo-Nazi groups, as well as dissident and opposition groups in North Korea and China. His work is based on the concept of international dialogue and cooperation as a means of establishing international security and stability.

One of the pioneers of e-commerce, Mr. Ahlers has been involved in the development and deployment of online services since the early 1980's. He helped design and build the first online shopping sites and the first online travel site, built the first commercial website on the Internet and created the first banner ad to appear on the Internet. Mr. Ahlers is the cofounder of Modem Media, Inc., where he created comprehensive Internet strategies for Fortune 500 companies. Modem Media subsidiary Poppe Tyson created the first website for the White House and also created the spin-off company DoubleClick. Mr. Ahlers has also started two venture capital firms in the technology arena, funding companies in the areas of online radio, database marketing and data mining.

Mr. Ahlers was a Spring 2005 Fellow at the Shorenstein Center for Press, Politics and Public Policy, where he examined the impact of the Internet on the way people get their news information.   Mr. Ahlers remains an active member of the Simon's Rock Board of Overseers and an active alumnus.  In May of 2006, he addressed the graduating class, discussing the situation in New Orleans and urging students to pitch in and help where they are needed.

Simon's Rock Media Contact:
Briee Della Rocca: 413 644-4706