Charles Steinfield, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University. His research focused on the social and organizational impacts of new information and communication technologies. He is an award-winning author and editor of seven books and anthologies and more than one hundred and forty articles published in scholarly venues. He has studied how information technology has reshaped many aspects of social and organizational life, including the impact of electronic commerce on consumers and businesses, the role of new media in supporting virtual team collaborations, the social capital benefits of online social networks, and the applications of new media to aid in economic development in rural and developing regions. His research on the relationship between online social network use and social capital has been heavily cited, with one paper, "The Benefits of Facebook Friends" receiving over 10,000 citations on Google Scholar. From 2012 to 2017, he directed projects in Malawi and Kenya related to ICT and development for the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation, a USAID funded center based at Michigan State University.
Charles Steinfield has been a visiting professor at a number of institutions around the world, including the French National Institute of Telecommunications, Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, Roskilde University in Denmark and the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration. He has also worked in prestigious private research labs including Bell Communications Research in New Jersey and the Telematica Institute in the Netherlands. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the US Agency for International Development, the US Department of Commerce, and the private sector.
He received his Ph.D. in Communication Theory and Research from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California and is a recipient of Michigan State University's Distinguished Faculty and Teacher-Scholar Awards.