By Caroline Jenkins Hanna

The open-access Amherst College Press has hired its first director.

[Update] Amherst’s open-access scholarly press now has its first director, Mark D.W. Edington, a social entrepreneur with a background in higher education.

Edington will oversee the launch of Amherst College Press, which will solicit and edit peer-reviewed books in the humanities and social sciences and make them freely available online (see “Librarians Will Lead the Revolution,” Winter 2013). As part of this effort, he expects the new press to think broadly about the future of the humanities: “What will scholarship in these fields be like in the future? How should it be presented? How do we support the development of knowledge?”

Mark Edington

Edington will oversee the launch of the digital Amherst College Press. Photo by Rob Mattson

Edington came to Amherst in January from the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory, where he was executive director. As a social entrepreneur, he is director and board secretary of 2Seeds Network. He was also a co-founder and first president of the American Committees on Foreign Relations. Ordained in the Episcopal Church, he has served as undergraduate chaplain in The Memorial Church at Harvard and as rector of St. John’s Parish in Newtonville, Mass.

“Mark has a rare and intriguing combination of traits,” says Bryn Geffert, librarian of the college and founder of the press, “namely a strong history of collaborating with faculty, an excellent track record of entrepreneurship and starting new enterprises, and a good background in developmental editing and writing. We believe he will demonstrate that it’s possible for a small institution to produce excellent work under an open-access model.”