Douglas Van Houweling Photo

Douglas Van Houweling

Dr. Douglas Van Houweling was serving as chief information officer at the University of Michigan and chairman of the board of the MERIT Network, a statewide computing network in Michigan in 1987, when the National Science Foundation awarded MERIT the responsibility for the operation and management of its NSFnet national backbone – the foundation upon which the global Internet was built. During MERIT’s seven-year tenure, Internet traffic and connectivity grew by more than 400% per year. By 1992, when the NSFnet project began transitioning the Internet backbone to commercial providers, more than 6,000 networks were connected, one-third of which were outside the United States. And by 1994, networks in 94 countries were connected and the Internet had become a global phenomenon. Read Dr. Van Houweling's full bio here.