TAB Elections 2018 Candidate Details

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04 October 2018 1725 reads

The Technical Advisory Board (TAB) provides technical expertise and advice to the Council, and assists in development, review and promotion of RDA Working & Interest Groups.

RDA holds annual elections for TAB membership. The following individuals are candidates for the upcoming 2018 TAB election where 5 new TAB members will be elected. Voting in this election will open at the start of RDA Plenary 12 at International Data Week. All RDA members are eligible and encouraged to vote.

The candidate statements and details below have been clustered based on the geographical region and are otherwise listed in no particular order.

Note that the TAB elections are subject to balancing criteria in order to ensure diversity across the criteria. For full information on the TAB election process and the balancing criteria, please visit see the TAB Responsibilities and Processes document (PDF).

Region: Americas

Ms. Christine Kirkpatrick


Organization Name

San Diego Supercomputer Center, University of California San Diego

Professional Title

Executive Director US National Data Service & Division Director, Research Data Services


My Vision and RDA Experience: RDA brings together a constituency and forum for identifying data challenges and gaps, a place to discover and describe exemplar approaches, as well as an environment for driving future trends in research data.  I look forward to representing the RDA community in strategy and processes, and liaising with Working and Interest Groups to increase cross-pollination and pilots.  I believe RDA should build upon its successes and focus on collaboration between interest groups, as well as complimentary initiatives and organizations.  With a considerable number of RDA outputs, we as an organization should focus attention on resourcing and trumpeting adoption projects.  If elected, I plan to be a force and ally driving new collaborations, and spreading the work of RDA.  I bring a track record of collaborating on impactful projects and initiatives that bring best practices to production data infrastructures.  I am the co-Chair of the RDA National Data Services Interest Group (NDS IG) and a task force member of the CODATA/RDA Data Science Summer Schools for Low and Middle Income Countries. 

My Current Positions and Expertise: I am Executive Director of the National Data Service (NDS), a U.S. initiative focused on how scientists and researchers across all disciplines can find, reuse, and publish data.  At NDS, I lead partnerships with RDA-US, the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP), Earthcube, the Midwest Big Data Hub, and GO FAIR; I take part in sponsored research funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the US Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). I am the Division Director for Research Data Services at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California San Diego, where I lead a large service organization that partners with scientists to streamline and enhance research data management, analysis, and data sharing offerings.  I serve as the Deputy Director and co-PI for the NSF-funded West Big Data Innovation Hub (WBDIH), and am co-PI on the newly established Open Storage Network.  Both projects combine my expertise in building people networks and large-scale cyberinfrastructure (CI) to increase collaborations and ease data sharing and discovery challenges for data-driven research.

Additional Affiliations and Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion: I am a Center Affiliate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (UIUC), the founding location for the US NDS.  I a founding member of the University of California Institute for Prediction Technologies (UCIPT) and participate in social media analytics research projects for public health and social science applications. My interest in structuring successful initiatives and bridging sociotechnical challenges led me to become a member of the Stakeholder Alignment Collaborative.  I co-chaired the Women in Data Science & Engineering Workshop at the 2017 IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering that showcased world class data science research and offered early career scientists mentor perspectives and opportunities. I am  a founding member of Ada’s Lunch Club, an outreach initiative designed to connect underserved undergraduate and graduate populations with SDSC. I was the founding chair of the University of California’s Electronic Accessibility Leadership Team, where I led the establishment of a web accessibility measurement and improvement process, and co-authored our university system’s first electronic accessibility policy.  I hold a Masters from UC San Diego in Architecture-based Enterprise Systems Engineering.   

I am eager to serve the RDA community as a TAB member.


Country: United States Region: Americas Discipline: Engineering and technology


Mr. Robert Quick

Robert Quick

Organization Name

Indiana University

Professional Title

IT Specialist/IT Architect

I am currently serving as the Associate Director of The Science Gateways Research Center (SGRC) at Indiana University. I have worked within the national research cyberinfrastructure in the US for more than 15 years in various roles, including the Operations Officer for the Open Science Grid for 10 years before moving to the SGRC. 

I have been a member of the RDA Organizational Assembly since the 4th RDA Plenary in 2014. Since joining as an organizational member I have taken up the role of Co-Chair in two RDA WG/IGs  - the CODATA/RDA Schools of Research Data Science for Low and Low-Middle Income Countries WG and the Education and Training in the Handling of Research Data IG. I've also helped the outputs from the Data Type Registry, PID Kernel Information, and Research Data Collections WGs, as well as provided input to other RDA groups such as the Data Fabric IG to successfully obtain NSF funding to build the Robust Persistent Identifiers for Data (RPID) Testbed and the newly funded (starting October 1), two-year project the Enhanced RPID testbed. I am also the co-Director of the CODATA/RDA Schools for Research Data Science which held a single school in 2016, two schools in 2017, three schools in 2018 and will grow to 4-5 events in 2019. 

Outside of RDA, I hold positions with the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), the Science Gateways Research Center (SGRC) and Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP). I also act as the Chair of the ACM SIGHPC for Resource-Constrained Environments. 

As for TAB contributions, I'm happy to work and advise any interest group that works in the realm of research cyberinfrastructure, which from my observation is nearly all RDA Groups. I am also happy to go outside of my previous experience comfort zone and research into WGs/IGs that might be outside of my previous direct knowledge. I have outstanding working relationships with previous TAB members Beth Plale and Larry Lannom, and I look forward to continuing their legacy as a part of the TAB.

Country: United States Region: Americas Discipline: Engineering and technology


Dr. Raed M. Sharif

Raed Sharif

Organization Name


Professional Title



I am a political economist with a multidisciplinary background and nearly two decades of research and professional experiences in the information management and policy area worldwide. 

For the past four years, I led the International Development Research Center (IDRC) technology and innovation program in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In this role, I nurtured a strong regional community around open data, data management and data-driven innovation. I also led projects that promoted more inclusive frameworks and best practices in the open science area. Prior to joining IDRC, and for nearly a decade, I was actively engaged in the open access movement, advocating and facilitating better scientific information management and access policies. During this period, I worked with the Board on Research Data and Information (BRDI) at the US National Academies; the national academies in South Africa, China, Brazil and Cuba; contributed to a number of CODATA working groups and led the effort to engage more young researchers in CODATA activities. 

In 2004, I was among the first cohort of Arab scholars to get a full scholarship from the Ford Foundation to pursue my doctoral studies. This scholarship enabled me to get a Ph.D. degree in information science and technology from the Information School at Syracuse University. I also hold an MBA and a Bachelor degree in economics and political science. I feel fulfilled that I spent most of my professional career trying to create the enabling conditions for better and more open utilization of information resources, especially research data, to improve people’s lives. My motivation to join the RDA Technical Advisors Board (TAB) is to continue this work and to focus on three specific areas: 

1- To ensure that issues related to research data management and policy in the global south are properly represented and effectively addressed through the RDA work.
2- To provide strategic insights on the potential risks and opportunities associated with emerging technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, big data and analytics, Blockchain) and their impact on knowledge production and equity, especially in the global south.
3- To promote gender equality and more inclusivity in the research data community. This doesn’t only mean having more women represented in the community but also interrogating some of the structural barriers and power dynamics in the scientific community that could reinforce more biases and marginalization.


Country: Canada Region: Americas Discipline: Social sciences


Region: Asia and Oceania


Dr. Frankie Stevens

Frankie Stevens

Organization Name


Professional Title



I am a consultant in eResearch services, specialising in the application of advanced information and communication technologies to the practice of Research, and am the Research Engagement Strategist at AARNet, the Australian Research and Education Network. Previously, I have held roles with the Australian Research Data Commons, the NSW state body for eResearch, the Research Data Storage Infrastructure Project and was eResearch Programme Manager at the University of Sydney. I have 20 years' experience in the Higher Education Sector, having worked in both the Australian and UK university sectors.

My activities in the Higher Education Sector have centred on enhancing research through the use of advanced expertise in both Scientific and Information & Communication technologies. I have been active in developing strong relationships between research communities, local, state and national eResearch infrastructure initiatives and have stimulated broad awareness raising and promotion of expert capabilities for the Australian Research Sector. I actively participate in local and international conferences and discussions around the discovery, management and re-use of research data, and am a Programme Committee member for the Australasia eResearch Conference.

I hold a PhD in Cell Biomolecular chemistry (Cancer Research) from the University of Manchester, and a Bachelor of Science (Honours), majoring in Biology with European Studies from the University of Sussex. I am a published academic, and also hold a number of Project and Programme Management professional qualifications.

My contributions to the TAB will draw on my Life Sciences expertise, with more recent involvement in bioinformatics, and what software, infrastructure and metadata solutions are required to meet research needs in this discipline. My expertise in analysing and providing infrastructure solutions to the Health and Medical, and imaging research sectors will also be valuable to draw on in the TAB. I also have deep experience in developing and deploying new governance arrangements in research institutions to support research data management, policy and technical approaches to research data usage. I have been heavily involved in developing and delivering research data dexterity related training to both research support sectors and researchers directly. Finally, I have an in depth knowledge of research enabling infrastructure approaches, including networks, storage and collaboration tools. I also have a passion for Open Research, and am hopeful that a successful application to the TAB could help drive this agenda!


Country: Australia Region: Asia and Oceania Discipline: Natural sciences


Region: Europe and Africa


Dr. Fernando Aguilar

Organization Name


Professional Title

IT Specialist/IT Architect


Fernando Aguilar earned his Ph.D. in Science and Technology from the University of Cantabria in 2017. His thesis titled “Data Management in a Cloud Framework: application to the LifeWatch ESFRI” ( details an approach to adopt Cloud Computing technologies to support the data lifecycle in a FAIR way. Dr. Aguilar has been involved in different initiatives related to some of the topics addressed by RDA Working or Interest Groups and Data Management in general and has participated in RDA activities since the 4th plenary. He has been involved in different international projects such as ROEM+ (European Commission Life+) as well as the LifeWatch ERIC (, the European Research Infrastructure for Biodiversity and Environmental Research. Within LifeWatch, he has participated in different actions during the preparatory phase as well as specific projects like the EGI-LifeWatch Competence Cent! re together with EGI, the European Grid Infrastructure, where different LifeWatch national initiatives worked together in the development of services requiring computing resources (Cloud Computing, GPGPUs, HTC) and addressing common technical requirements (storage solutions, Authentication, and Authorization, Virtual Research Environments, etc.). Fernando has also participated in COOPEUS, an international cooperation project that aimed at discovering synergies and gaps among related Research Infrastructures from Europe and the United States as well as addressing good practices to ensure the interoperability.

On the technological side, he has been involved in INDIGO-DataCloud, an EC H2020 project that aimed at developing a set of solutions based on Cloud Computing very focused on the requirements in terms of data management and analysis from different Scientific Communities. Currently, he works as a post-doc in CSIC being involved in the eXtreme-DataCloud project, which aims to develop a set of features to manage the data lifecycle of extremely big and heterogeneous datasets. He also participates in DEEP-Hybrid DataCloud project, which is focused on applying intensive computing techniques (GPUs, low-latency interconnections) for the analysis of large datasets.

His expertise in Data Lifecycle management applying cloud computing technologies based on the work developed in his thesis can contribute significantly to the RDA TAB, providing technical solutions to address potential problems. Furthermore, his background on computing as system administrator and architectural designer of solutions for scientists can provide a real tecnnical support for the RDA TAB, linking both data management and computing that will address big data challenges in research.

Country: Spain Region: Europe and Africa Discipline: Engineering and technology


Dr. Isabelle Perseil

Isabelle Perseil

Organization Name


Professional Title

CTO/IT Director

Actions I will carry out within the framework of the TAB:

  • Networking improvement - Modernize WGs coordination by offering more interactivity through free and scalable collaborative tools.
  • Projects - Propose collaborative projects capable of bringing together the initiatives of the most active members of the working groups, making routine actions more concrete and increasing their impact.
  • Tools - Mobilize national research funding agencies to provide tools for recommendation materials (wizards, educational films, applets)
  • Conferences (dissemination) - Strengthen the GDR's presence in international conferences with a high audience (such as VLDB), by investing more in the implementation of tutorials, invited talks and workshops.
  • Infrastructures - Strengthen collaborations with other infrastructures, especially computing and clouds such as PRACE or DoE in the US or CNGrid in China
  • Exa-scale - Participate in the construction of applications for Exa-scale projects 

Dr. Isabelle Perseil (F), INSERM is heading the Computational Science Coordination and e-infrastructures - She manages a group of 6 experts which provides the best practices in software engineering, Data Management, Big data, deep learning, HPC, Grids,  Cloud  Computing, parallel computing to 300 research units (1200 research  teams). The Computational Science Coordination is working with 13 regional administrations and 23 regional Mesocenters to pool the computational resources (grids and HPC) and train more than 1000 engineers and  researchers to  HPC (OpenMP, MPI and now ORWL) and Big data (MapReduce, Hadoop, Spark, Flink, Storm).
Isabelle Perseil has taught UML at Ecole Centrale de Paris for 15 years and is supervising Daniel Salas thesis (The ORWL model applications in medical research) at the moment. At INSERM, Europe's leading medical research institute in terms of publications and second after the NIH in the world, Isabelle Perseil and her team provide assistance in the management of scientific data from extremely diverse disciplines: genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, public health, medical imaging, metabolism, virology, cancer, neuroscience, cell biology, etc. Isabelle Perseil personally intervened as CDO on the European project ERINHA2 for which she carried out the Data Management Plan.
Dr. Isabelle Perseil is a member of the EUDAT Sensitive data, Dr Perseil is involved in the GOFAIR initiative (creation of the Bioinformatics IN). Isabelle Perseil is involved in many European research projects, among them: EOSC-LIfe, an INFRAEOSC-04 accepted European project headed by ELIXIR, in which Isabelle Perseil is co-leading WP6: FAIRification and provenance services.

Country: France Region: Europe and Africa Discipline: Medical and Health Sciences


Dr. Dimitris Koureas

Dimitris Koureas

Organization Name

Naturalis Biodiversity Center

Professional Title

Director, International Biodiversity Infrastructures


I received my PhD in the field of plant systematics and biogeography. Over the following years I developed a cross-discipline expertise working on the application of information tools to the study of biodiversity. 

I am currently Director for large scale International Biodiversity Infrastructures in Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands. In this capacity I am coordinating the Distributed System of Scientific Collections (DiSSCo), a new pan-European Research Infrastructure for natural science collections across 21 European countries. I also chair the Biodiversity Information Standards International Organisation (TDWG), a pivotal organisation for the development and maintenance of (meta-)data Standards for biodiversity. 

I still maintain a strong interest in teaching as invited lecturer in several MSc programmes across Europe, lecturing on biodiversity informatics and data management.

Since mid-2018 I have been temporarily appointed a TAB member and I hope that I will continue serving the RDA community as a TAB member for the years 2019 and 2020. 

My previous work in RDA:

Over the last 4 years, I have been heavily involved in Interest and Working Groups of RDA. In my capacity either as a co-chair (incl. Disciplinary Collaboration Framework IG, Biodiversity Data Integration IG and Attribution metadata WG) or member, I focused on building the necessary bridges between the RDA community and my community of practice (i.e. biodiversity). 

My focus challenges in RDA: 

Over the last couple of years, we witnessed a noteworthy increase of the number of Interest and Working Groups operating within RDA. A significant proportion of that increase is due to the creation of disciplinary groups. The operation of such groups in RDA is crucial, acting as direct channels of communication and collaboration between RDA and the respective scientific communities. At the same time, the RDA community puts significant amounts of voluntary efforts to produce socio-technical recommendations. These recommendations can help disciplines face challenges around the mobilisation, sharing and re-use of research data. RDA can and should focus on adding value to the community outputs. By improving the current processes, building the right partnerships and supporting adoption of its community products, it can further strengthen its pivotal global role.

In the context above, TAB can play pivotal role. It can provide expertise in improving operational procedures, act as an effective channel of community needs from the bottom up and help better coordinate the ever-growing community, supporting interplay, and streamlining communication. 

My focus in TAB: 

In my TAB role, I expect to continue contributing towards:
(i) Further strengthening the trans-disciplinary perspective of TAB, emphasising the importance of nurturing relationships with the communities of practice within and outside RDA;
(ii) Building mechanisms and light-weight processes to better monitor the activity of groups;
(iii) Developing performance indicators for TAB; and 
(iv) Improving the authoritative voice of TAB, in relevant forums outside RDA.


Country: Netherlands Region: Europe and Africa Discipline: Natural sciences