Tech Moves: Online disinformation researcher Kate Starbird gets tenure; Expedia board member Scott Rudin resigns; and more

Kate Starbird. (Tom Reese Photo)

The University of Washington awarded tenure to Kate Starbird, an associate in the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering. Starbird, known for her work on how social media is used during times of crisis, has studied the strategy of Russian trolls in the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

“I’m grateful to my colleagues at the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering for their support and mentorship over the past few years, my research collaborators (especially Bob Mason and Emma Spiro at the iSchool), and the amazing students who have shaped every aspect of this research program — from the questions we ask, to the methods we use, to how we frame and communicate our findings,” Starbird said in an email.

—Hollywood producer Scott Rudin resigned from Expedia‘s board of directors. Rudin, who first joined the board in 2016, produced hits like There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Expedia said in a regulatory filing that Rudin’s departure was “based on the demands on his time from other professional commitments and not the result of any disagreement.” The company did not respond to GeekWire’s requests for comment.

Rudin made headlines earlier this month when he allowed certain community theaters to produce Aaron Sorkin’s stage adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The move was in response to outcry after theaters were forced to abandon their productions upon receiving cease and desist letters from Rudin’s lawyers.

Expedia’s board is led by chairman Barry Diller, also a well-known media and entertainment executive who previously worked at Paramount Pictures and Fox. Diller is also the chairman and senior executive of IAC, which owns The Daily Beast, Vimeo and Tinder parent company Match.

Kevin Collins. (HNTB Photo)

—National civil engineering firm HNTB named Kevin Collins head of its Seattle office, where he’ll lead a team of 230 employees. Collins, who joined the firm in 2013, was the project manager in charge of Sound Transit’s East Link and Lynnwood Link light rail extensions.

Collins succeeded Jim Thomson, who was recently promoted as president of the company’s newly created Northwest region.

“Kevin is a results-oriented professional whose collaborative management style, deep understanding of our communities, and commitment to quality are keys to his successful project delivery for our clients,” Thomson said.