International Data Forum Committee

Bios of Committee Members

Francine Berman - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Computer Science Department - RDA Council

Dr. Francine Berman is the Edward G. Hamilton Distinguished Professor in Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and a Fellow of the IEEE. In 2009, Berman was the inaugural recipient of the ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award for influential leadership in the design, development, and deployment of national-scale cyberinfrastructure. Prior to joining Rensselaer, Berman was Professor in the UC San Diego Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and first holder of the High Performance Computing Endowed Chair in the Jacobs School of Engineering. From 2001 to 2009, Berman served as Director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) where she led a staff of 250+ interdisciplinary scientists, engineers, and technologists. From 2009 to 2012, she served as Vice President for Research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, stepping down in 2012 to lead U.S. participation in the Research Data Alliance (RDA). Berman is co-Chair of the RDA Council.


Brian Bot - Sage Bionetworks

Brian Bot is a Senior Scientist and Community Manager at Sage Bionetworks, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to exploring open source models in the advancement of biomedical research in Seattle, Washington. Previously, Brian worked in the Department of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics at the Mayo Clinic for 7 years. He has extensive experience in working with clinical and genomic data and has a passion for exploring innovative ways to make science more open and transparent. Brian’s current work involves implementation of strategies and technologies for making complex high dimensional genomic analyses more accessible. At its heart, this work is driven to re-envision how scientists can ensure reproducibility of their research results and communicate complex genomic science to one another and to the public at large. Brian has been an invited speaker at a number of national and international events about his experience in making science more open and transparent.

Geoffrey Boulton - University of Edinburgh - President of CODATA

Geoffrey Boulton is Regius Professor Emeritus of Geology at the University of Edinburgh and a former Vice Principal of the University. He is chair of the Academic Advisory Council of the University of Heidelberg, a member of the Strategic Council of the University of Geneva, President of CODATA, the ICSU body responsible for the constants of science, and president of the Scottish Association for Marine Science. Until recently, he was a member of the UK Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology, the UK's top-level science advisory body, a member of the Council of the Royal Society, chaired its Science Policy Centre and was principal author of the influential Royal Society Report on Open Science. He was chair of the Research Committee of the League of European Research Universities and author of many of its reports, such as ‘What are universities for?’ His research is in the fields of environmental geology and glaciology, and he is currently leading a major project on the Antarctic Ice Sheet. He has won many national and international awards for his research and holds honorary degrees from several UK and European universities.


Robert Chen - Columbia University, Center for International Earth Science Information Network

Dr. Chen is director of CIESIN, the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, a research unit of the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York. He manages the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), a regular member of the ICSU World Data System. In fall 2014, he served on the United Nations Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development. He is a member of the Governing Council of the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan, the Council of the American Geographical Society, and the Science Advisory Board of the Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He co-manages the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Data Distribution Center and is a co-chair of the RDA Legal Interoperability Interest Group, the Data Sharing Working Group of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), and the Thematic Network on Sustainable Development Data of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). He recently helped to develop the innovative immersive exhibit, Connected Worlds, at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, New York. From 2004 to 2012, he served as CODATA’s Secretary-General. His research areas include data integration and stewardship, disaster risk assessment, sustainability indicators, and climate change adaptation and vulnerability. He received his Ph.D. in geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Claudia Emerson -  McMaster Univeristy - WDS Scientific Committee

Dr. Claudia Emerson is Director of the Program on Ethics & Policy for Innovation, and Associate Professor of Philosophy at McMaster University, Canada. Claudia specializes in ethics and policy of research involving human subjects.  Her research is focused on identifying and addressing ethical challenges, ethics-related risk, and policy gaps in global health research, and she has been working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its partners for a decade on these themes.  She is particularly interested in governance models to facilitate data access for data driven decision-making, novel technologies, and disease eradication.  Claudia serves in several advisory capacities related to public health, including the National Ethics Committee for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, and is a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Council for Science, World Data System (ICSU-WDS).  Claudia holds a BSc (Biomedical Science), and MA and PhD in Philosophy (Bioethics).


Elaine Faustman - University of Washington, Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Science - WDS Scientific Committee

Dr. Faustman’s research interests include understanding mechanisms of developmental and reproductive toxicants, characterizing in vitro techniques for developmental toxicology assessment, and development of biologically based dose-response models for non-cancer risk assessment. Her research expertise includes development of tools for incorporating new scientific findings into risk assessment decisions. Dr. Faustman serves as the director of the Institute for Risk Analysis and Risk Communication. She is co-PI of the NIEHS- and NSF-funded Pacific Northwest Center for Human Health and Ocean Studies at UW and director of the Reproductive and Developmental Research Core of the UW Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health. She is an elected fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society for Risk Analysis. She is the current president of the Teratology Society and serves on the executive boards of the Society of Toxicology and NIEHS Council.


Stephen Friend - Sage Bionetworks

Dr. Friend is President of Sage Bionetworks, a non-profit organization that provides tools to empower citizens to contribute both their data and expertise as they see fit. He and his team developed an open-source technology platform, called Synapse, for data-intensive analysis, sharing and reuse, enabling researchers to perform cutting edge computational biology and research. He is engaging the community to crowd-source solutions to complex biomedical questions through targeted DREAM challenges. He previously led Merck & Co’s Basic Cancer Research efforts. He and Dr. Hartwell founded and co-led the FHCRC’s “Seattle Project”, and later co-founded Rosetta Inpharmatics with Dr. Hood.


Sarah Graves - University of Alabama in Huntsville - CODATA Secretary General

Dr. Sara James Graves is the Director of the Information Technology and Systems Center, the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees University Professor and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Her current service includes membership on the National Academy of Sciences Board on Research Data and Information, the Executive Committee of CODATA, the International Council for Science: Committee on Data for Science and Technology; the Science Advisory Board for the Oak Ridge Climate Change Science Institute: the Board of Trustees for the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA), and is a Founding Member, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Science Advisory Board Data Archiving and Access Requirements Working Group.
Dr. Graves directs research and development in large-scale distributed information systems, data mining and knowledge discovery, high performance computing and networking, semantic and collaborative technologies, analysis and visualization of biological and geosciences data.  She has been the Principal Investigator on many research projects with DOD, DOE, NASA, NOAA, NSF, and other entities.  Her degrees are in Computer Science and Mathematical Sciences, and she has served as chair or member of over 100 Ph.D. and M.S. committees.


Hilary Hanahoe - Trust-IT Services Ltd. - RDA EU & RDA Secretariat

Hilary is a Trust-IT Director focusing on the company's international co-operation services & strategies coupled with high-level deployment of digital marketing and communication strategies for public & private clients. She has over 18 years of hands-on experience in scientifically co-ordinating complex international projects in ICT and, running and managing high-level, multi-platform events ranging from large scale conferences in Europe and globally to smaller, focused round table meetings on policy and ICT domain topics. Hilary has a deep commitment in building communications programmes that forge strong bonds and higher levels of involvement with organisations, decision-makers, influencers in the creation of ICT collaboration opportunities for European stakeholders. She served as Coordinator of the recent GRDI2020 initiative which produced a 10 year visionary roadmap on Global Research Data Infrastructures and successfully created a globally connected community of research data stakeholders. She currently coordinates the communication & outreach activities for the EUDAT, iMarine and RDA Europe on behalf of Trust-IT, is one of the European members of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) Secretariat, coordinating communication & outreach activities as well as RDA Plenary meetings.


Robert Hanisch - National Institute of Standards and Technology

Dr. Robert J. Hanisch is the Director of the Office of Data and Informatics in the Material Measurement Laboratory at NIST. 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 this appointment (July 2014) he was a Senior Scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), Baltimore, Maryland, and Director of the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory. In the past twenty-five 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) and continues as a member of the IVOA Executive. 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 responsibilities 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 (ADASS) conferences, chair of the Astrophysics Data Centers Coordinating Committee, and co-chair of the Decadal Survey Study Group on Computation, Simulation, and Data Handling. He is currently president of IAU Commission 5 (Data and Documentation), chair of the IAU Comm. 5 Working Group on Virtual Observatories, Data Centers, and Networks, and co-chair of the Comm. 5 Working Group on Libraries. He completed his Ph.D. in Astronomy in 1981 at the University of Maryland, College Park, working in the field of extragalactic radio astronomy with Prof. William Erickson.


Sandy Harrison - University of Reading - Centre for Past Climate Change - Chair WDS Scientific Commitee

Sandy Harrison is a Professor of Palaeoclimates and Biogeochemical Cycles and Director of the Centre for Past Climate Change at the University of Reading in the UK, and also a Professor in Ecology and Evolution Centre for Research Excellence at Macquarie University, Australia. She studied geography at the University of Cambridge, did her Masters in Geomorphology at Macquarie University and a PhD at the University of Lund in Sweden.
Professor Harrison is a palaeoclimate diagnostician with a special interest in the role of the land-surface, terrestrial biosphere, fire and hydrological processes on modulating regional climates. She uses large-scale syntheses of data in combination with global models to diagnose these interactions. She is Co-Chair of the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP), where she leads the effort to evaluate climate models using palaeoclimate reconstructions and environmental data.


Tony Hey - Chief Data Scientist, UK Science and Technology Facilities Council

As former Vice President of Microsoft Research, Tony Hey was responsible for collaborative university science research engagements collaborations with Microsoft researchers. He also managed the multidisciplinary eScience Research Group within Microsoft Research which focuses on computational genomics, new scientific visualization technologies, and environmental research. Hey left Microsoft in 2014 and is now a Senior Data Science Fellow at the eScience Institute at the University of Washington and also a visiting Professor at the University of Southampton in the UK. Prior to joining Microsoft in 2005, Hey served as director of the U.K.'s e-Science Initiative, managing the government's efforts to build a new scientific infrastructure for collaborative, data-intensive research projects. Before leading this initiative, Hey led a research group in the area of parallel computing and was Head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science, and Dean of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Southampton. Hey is a fellow of the U.K.'s Royal Academy of Engineering and was awarded a CBE for services to science in 2005. He is also a fellow of the British Computer Society, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, the Institute of Physics, and the U.S. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Tony Hey has written books on particle physics and computing and is passionate about communicating the excitement of science and technology to young people. He has co-authored "popular" books on quantum mechanics and on relativity and a popular book on Computer Science - 'The Computing Universe' - published by CUP in November 2014. His research interests focus on parallel programming for parallel systems built from mainstream commodity components. With Jack Dongarra, Rolf Hempel and David Walker, he wrote the first draft of a specification for a new message-passing standard called MPI. This initiated the process that led to the successful MPI standard of today. He also has served on several national committees in the U.K., including committees of the U.K. Department of Trade and Industry and the Office of Science and Technology. Hey is a graduate of Oxford University, with both an undergraduate degree in physics and a doctorate in theoretical physics.


Simon Hodson - CODATA Executive Director

Simon Hodson has been Executive Director of CODATA since August 2013. CODATA exists to promote international collaboration for Open scientific data. Supporting the mission of ICSU, the International Council for Science, CODATA aims to strengthen international science for the benefit of society by promoting improved scientific and technical data management and use. Related to this role, he sits on numerous project Steering Boards and strategic Working Groups in the area of research data. These include the GEO Data Sharing Working Group and the Scientific Advisory Board of CESSDA, the European data infrastructure for the social sciences. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Dryad data repository, a not-for-profit initiative to make the data underlying scientific publications discoverable, freely reusable, and citable. As well as these strategic activities, Simon is directly involved in hands-on activities and research in a number of data related areas. He is co-chair of the RDA-WDS Data Publication Working Group on Cost Recovery for Data Centres co-chair of the CODATA-RDA Data Working Group for Data Science Summer Schools in Developing Countries, which is building in the first instance on CODATA partnerships in Kenya; and co-chair of the RDA Working Group to build a ‘BioSharing Registry: connecting data policies, standards & databases in life sciences’. He is an expert on data policy issues and research data management and has recently contributed to reports on data policy issues for the Danish e-Infrastructure Group and on research data management for a consortium of UK research institutions. Simon has a strong research background, as well as considerable project and programme management experience: from 2009 to 2013, as Programme Manager, he led two successive phases of Jisc's innovative Managing Research Data programme in the UK.


Jean-Bernard Minster - Scripps Institution of Oceanography - WDS Scientific Committee

Bernard Minster is a Professor of Geophysics at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. A civil engineer from the Ecole des Mines de Paris, and a petroleum engineer from the Institut Français du Pétrole (1969), he obtained a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the California Institute of Technology (1974) and a doctorate in Physical Sciences from the Université de Paris VII (1974). Prof. Minster's research interests are centred on seismotectonics, large-scale numerical modelling of earthquakes, and the use of space-based active remote sensing techniques to study the Earth. He is also interested in global data exchange problems. Prof. Minster has chaired various National Research Council (NRC) committees. He chaired the NRC study on Scientific Accomplishments of Earth Observations from Space, and currently chairs the NRC study on Precise Geodetic Infrastructure. He currently serves as Chair of the WDS-SC, as well as on the Earth Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Committee


Mustapha Mokrane - WDS Executive Director

Since March 2012, Mustapha Mokrane is the first Executive Director of the International Council for Science’s (ICSU) World Data System (WDS:, the premium global multidisciplinary network for quality-assessed scientific research data. He established the International Programme Office of WDS in Japan, hosted by the Japanese Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). The IPO coordinates activities and supports trustworthy scientific data services—members of WDS—for the provision, use, and preservation datasets to facilitate scientific research. In addition to representing WDS with partner organizations and at various international meetings, Mustapha Mokrane is also a lead contributor and member of several committees and working groups (Belmont Forum eInfrastructure and Data Management Steering Committee, RDA Organizational Assembly Board, Group on Earth Observation’s Data Management Principles Task Force, Future Earth Data and Information Task Force). Previously, he worked between 2009 and 2012 at ICSU as Science and Information Technology Officer in charge of coordinating ICSU's Scientific Data and Information programmes and the liaison with its partners. He was also responsible for the information technology related activities within ICSU before 2003 and 2009. After moving from Algeria, his home country, he trained as molecular biologist in Marseille, France. Using transgenesis and microarrays technologies, he developed a drosophila model to elucidate the role of a gene involved in human cardiomyopathies. His scientific background covers genetics and bioinformatics and he developed a strong interest for scientific data and information challenges. He holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Aix-Marseille University.


Brian Nosek - University of Virginia, Department of Psychology - Center for Open Science

Brian Nosek received a Ph.D. in from Yale University in 2002 and is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia. In 2007, he received early career awards from the International Social Cognition Network (ISCON) and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). He co-founded Project Implicit ( an Internet-based multi-university collaboration of research and education about implicit cognition – thoughts and feelings that exist outside of awareness or control. Nosek investigates the gap between values and practices – such as when behavior is influenced by factors other than one's intentions and goals. Research applications of this interest are implicit bias, diversity and inclusion, automaticity, social judgment and decision-making, attitudes, beliefs, ideology, morality, identity, memory, and barriers to innovation. Through lectures, training, and consulting, Nosek applies scientific research to improve the alignment between personal and organizational values and practices. Nosek also co-founded and directs the Center for Open Science (COS; that operates the Open Science Framework ( The COS aims to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of scientific research.


Mark Parsons - Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications - RDA Secretary General

Mark Parsons is the first Secretary General of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) and an Associate Director of the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications. Before being appointed Secretary General, Mark was the Managing Director of RDA/United States and the Rensselaer Center for the Digital Society. He focusses on stewarding research data and making them more accessible and useful across different ways of knowing. He has been leading major data stewardship efforts for more than 20 years, and received the American Geophysical Union Charles S. Falkenberg Award as an advocate of robust data stewardship as a vital component of Earth system science and as an important profession in its own right.
Prior to joining Rensselaer, Mark was a Senior Associate Scientist and the Lead Project Manager at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). While at NSIDC, he defined and implemented their overall data management process and led the data management effort for the ICSU/WMO International Polar Year 2007-2008. He is currently active in several international committees while helping lead the Research Data Alliance in its goal of accelerating innovation through data exchange.  As a geographer, his research interests include the role of social interaction in the success, development, and extension of data sharing networks.


Dawn Wright - Environmental Systems Research Institute

Dawn Wright was appointed Chief Scientist of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (aka “Esri”) in October 2011 after 17 years as professor of geography and oceanography at Oregon State University, where she maintains an affiliated faculty appointment in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. Dawn aids in formulating and advancing the intellectual agenda for the environmental, conservation, climate, and ocean sciences aspect of Esri's work, while also representing Esri to the national/international scientific community ( She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Geological Society of America, Stanford University's Leopold Leadership Program, and currently serves on NOAA’s Science Advisory Board. Her research interests include seafloor mapping and tectonics, ocean conservation, environmental informatics, and ethics in information technology. Dawn holds an individual interdisciplinary PhD in physical geography and marine geology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an MS in oceanography from Texas A&M University, and a BS with honors from Wheaton College in Illinois.