From the NY Times article (which I found on Boing Boing):
Mr. Ito… is neither a conventional Japanese technologist, nor your average college dropout.
Raised in both Tokyo and Silicon Valley, Mr. Ito was part of the first generation to grow up with the Internet. His career includes serving as a board member of Icann, the Internet’s governance organization; becoming a “guild master” in the World of Warcraft online fantasy game; and more than a dozen investments in start-ups like Flickr, Last.fm and Twitter. In 1994 he helped establish the first commercial Internet service provider in Japan.
He was also an early participant in the open-source software movement and is a board member of the Mozilla Foundation, which oversees the development of the Firefox Web browse, as well as being the co-founder and chairman of Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that has sought to create a middle ground to promote the sharing of digital information.
“The choice is radical, but brilliant,” said Larry Smarr, director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, a University of California laboratory that pursues a similar research agenda to the Media Laboratory. “He can position the lab at the edge of change and propel it for a decade.”
Ben Hamamoto is a writer born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s been published in the Oakland Tribune and has written for New American Media’s YO! Youth Outlook and the Nichi Bei Times. He is a research manager for the Health Horizons Program at the Institute for the Future. He also edits Nikkei Heritage, the National Japanese American Historical Society’s official magazine and contributes to Nichi Bei News.