2019 Slate of Council Candidates

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08 March 2019 515 reads


In December 2018, the RDA Council Nominations Committee issued a call for nominations for three open Council positions.  In response to this call, several RDA members were nominated for consideration by the RDA community. The Nominations Committee reviewed these nominations and presented a slate of candidates to the RDA Community in March 2019. 

formal election process will take place between 2 and 16 April 2019 where RDA members will be asked to either accept or reject this slate, with results being determined by a simple majority vote. 

The following members comprise the 2019 Slate of Council Candidates:


Ms Jill BennMs Jill Benn
University Librarian, The University of Western Australia

Jill Benn is currently the University Librarian at the University of Western Australia, a research-intensive institution ranked in the top 1% of universities globally and a member of the Australia’s Group of Eight. Jill’s role requires the direction of over 100 library staff spread over six physical locations, who successfully deliver a range of research and learning services to over 28,000 staff and students. In her role Jill provides institutional leadership for research data and publication initiatives, especially in relation to F.A.I.R. and open access. She is passionate about interoperability, reusability and reproducibility of research and she is focused on across-campus engagement as a key strategy to develop and improve research and learning outcomes. Jill also provides leadership nationally; she was the inaugural Program Director for Fair, Affordable and Open Access to Knowledge for the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), establishing five national projects to improve open research initiatives and she currently chairs the Australian F.A.I.R Policy Statement Steering Group. She has experience on a range of boards and committees and is currently the CAUL Deputy Chair and serves as a board member for the International Association of University Libraries. In addition to her experience, she is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course (best practice board governance), and her commitment to higher education is recognised through Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (UK).


Dr Robert HanischDr. Robert J. Hanisch
Director, Office of Data and Informatics, Material Measurement Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA

Dr. Robert J. Hanisch is the Director of the Office of Data and Informatics, Material Measurement Laboratory, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In this role he is responsible for improving data management and analysis practices and helping to assure compliance with national directives on open data access. Prior to coming to NIST in 2014, Dr. Hanisch was a Senior Scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, and was the Director of the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory, a program funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 

In the past twenty years Dr. Hanisch has led many efforts in the astronomy community in the area of information systems and services, focusing particularly on efforts to improve the accessibility and interoperability of data archives and catalogs. He was the first chair of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance Executive Committee (2002-2003). From 2000 to 2002 he served as Chief Information Officer at STScI, overseeing all computing, networking, and information services for the Institute. Prior to that he had oversight responsibility for the Hubble Space Telescope Data Archive and led the effort to establish the Multimission Archive at Space Telescope—MAST—as the optical/UV archive center for NASA astrophysics missions. He has served as chair of the Program Organizing Committee for the Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems conferences, chair of the Space Science Data Systems Technical Working Group, chair of the Astrophysics Data Centers Coordinating Committee, chair of the Publications Board of the American Astronomical Society, chair of the AAS Working Group on Astronomical Software, and co-chair of the US Decadal Survey Study Group on Computation, Simulation, and Data Handling. He is a past chair of the International Astronomical Union Commission on Data and Documentation. In 1999 Hanisch was a visiting professor at the Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg (CDS), France, and was a consultant to the National Academy of Sciences Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee panel on Theory, Computation, and Data Exploration.


Mr Mark LeggottMr Mark Leggott
Executive Director of Research Data Canada (RDC)

Mark is Executive Director of Research Data Canada, a stakeholder driven organization dedicated to ensuring a sustainable research data management ecosystem in Canada. Mark also manages CANARIE’s RDM funding program, which launched in 2018. Prior to that Mark was the University Librarian at the University of PEI, Founder of the open source Islandora Project, and President of discoverygarden Inc., a private company providing services for Islandora. Mark is passionate about open data, open science, and open source, and the benefits they bring to society.

If approved by the RDA community, these candidates will join Council to serve a three-year (renewable) term, replacing the following members, whose terms complete after Plenary 13 in April 2019:

  • Fran Berman
  • Jean-Bernard Minster
  • Ross Wilkinson

For more information on the Selection Process, refer to the Council Nominations Committee Selection Process and Guidelines.

For more information on the role of RDA’s Council, visit https://www.rd-alliance.org/about-rda/our-leadership/rda-council.html.