RDA Council 2022: Hello and Goodbye

You are here

13 Jun 2022

RDA Council 2022: Hello and Goodbye

Following the RDA Council Elections earlier this year, some changes in this strategic board will take effect from 13 June 2022. The RDA Council is responsible for the overall oversight, success, strategy, and sustainability of the organisation and is a very important governance board. The range and breadth of expertise and skills on the Council is phenomenal and each member provides their time and efforts on a volunteer basis for the benefit of the global community.

Three Council members reached the end of their first three-year term: Jill Benn, University Librarian, The University of Western Australia; Robert [Bob] Hanisch Director, Office of Data and Informatics, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Mark Leggott, Director, International Relations, Digital Research Alliance of Canada.

Jill, Bob and Mark’s terms (2019-2022) on the RDA Council have been colored by the COVID situation, which means that there have only been one or two in person meetings to establish the connections that are fundamental to support and enhance fruitful collaboration. Irrespective of this, all Council members have worked tirelessly to contribute to many important outputs, for example the Strategic Plan, the COVID guidelines and best practices in 2021 and the financial sustainability in 2021. We are truly grateful to Jill, Bob and Mark, as well as the other members, for their efforts and expertise.

Jill Benn, University Librarian, The University of Western Australia, re-elected for a second term, will be joined on the RDA Council by:

  • Lee Wilson, Director of Research Data Management at Digital Research Alliance of Canada.

In their election statements, the three Council members stated:


Jill Benn: “The international reach and growth of RDA and its achievements is both significant and impressive. In the current environment, reducing barriers to the sharing of data and information is more important than ever and this creates a significant opportunity for RDA. I am an advocate for global approaches to increase access, interoperability, reproducibility and reduce research waste, preserve significant datasets, and to enable data and information infrastructures that support solving the world’s greatest challenges.”


Lee Wilson, who has also been involved in RDA and followed the community’s activities for many years stated, “I am keen to continue learning about and contributing to this [RDA] community and believe that serving on the RDA Council will allow me to share back some of the lessons learned in developing a national RDM network and working collaboratively to develop and deliver services to Canadian researchers.”


Dina Paltoo, Assistant Director, Scientific Strategy & Innovation at the US National Institutes of Health was nominated and elected. However, she is currently unable to take up this role due to Ethical aspects. WE are very sorry that Dina is not able to join us now but we are truly grateful to her and NIH for their continued support for the Research Data Alliance.

Robert Hanisch Director, Office of Data and Informatics at the National Institute of Standards and Technology has agreed to extend his term on Council until 2023, when further elections will take place. We are very grateful to Bob for his continued commitment to RDA and for accepting this exceptional request.

Of course, saying hello to new members, also means saying goodbye and, most importantly, thank you to the outgoing member:

  • Mark Leggott, Director, International Relations at the Digital Research Alliance of Canada.

Ingrid Dillo, RDA Council Co-chair, who worked closely with Mark in his role as Council co-chair for two terms, described her experience working with him, “For me, it has been an absolute pleasure to work closely with you as co-chair. During your time in Council, you have contributed to many vital pieces of work: first thing that comes to my mind is the COVID WG, another example is your work on the updating of important governance docs, and you also chaired a nominations committee.”

On behalf of the RDA global community, thank you for your service to the community and we hope that you will remain an active and passionate member of the RDA.

For details on all Council members, see https://www.rd-alliance.org/about-rda/our-leadership/rda-council.html