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New community czar at Microsoft

Harvard teacher will direct company's community investment programs and digital-divide, technology-training initiatives.

Microsoft has appointed Andrea L. Taylor as director for U.S. community affairs. She will oversee the company's community investment programs. Her duties will include work with businesses and nonprofits on volunteer, gift-matching and workforce development programs. She will also oversee Microsoft Unlimited Potential, an initiative designed to bridge the digital divide and train people in technology.

In fall of 2005, Taylor created and taught the course "New Media, Power, and Global Diversity" at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. It focused on the digital divide and ways new media technology can empower individuals in developing countries to affect economic and community progress. Taylor was the founding director of the Media Fund at the Ford Foundation. During her tenure there, the Ford Foundation supported projects such as "Sesame Street" for China and South Africa, the civil rights documentary "Eyes on the Prize" and National Public Radio.