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Patrick J. McGovern ’59

MIT Corporation life member

Founder and Chairman, International Data Group, Inc.

MIT Corporation life member

Founder and Chairman, International Data Group, Inc.

Patrick J. McGovern ’59  
MIT Corporation life member 
Founder and Chairman, International Data Group, Inc. 

Pat McGovern was the founder and chairman of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading technology media, events, and research company. IDG’s media brands are found in more than 90 countries, and Mr. McGovern oversaw the launch of more than 300 magazines and newspapers and championed the expansion of IDG’s online network to include more than 450 websites worldwide. IDG also produces more than 700 technology-related events in 55 countries. “Thinking globally” was at the heart of Mr. McGovern’s growth strategy for IDG and the force behind his remarkable track record of identifying and opening new markets. In 1980, Mr. McGovern established one of the first joint ventures between a US company and one in the People’s Republic of China, and in 1993, he established IDGVC, the first venture capital firm in China. 

A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Mr. McGovern was honored for his accomplishments with the James Smithsonian Bicentennial Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, being named Entrepreneur of the Year from Ernst & Young, the Entrepreneurial Leadership Award from the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge, Inc., and the 2009 Bronze Beaver award from the MIT Alumni Association, which is given in recognition of extraordinary service to the Association and to MIT. Mr. McGovern received Lifetime Achievement Awards from American Business Media, the Magazine Publishers of America, and the American Society of Business Publications Editors. He was named a Top Innovator in Business Publishing by BtoB Media Business magazine and Inc. magazine named Mr. McGovern one of its “25 Entrepreneurs We Love.” 

Highlights of this interview include:

  • Story behind the creation of his first company, International Data Corporation.
  • Strategies that allow his businesses and publications to succeed in different countries around the world.
  • Reflections on his overarching vision for establishing the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT.

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