STEERING COMMITTEE ELECTIONS: MEET THE NOMINEES

We are seeking a results-driven team to collectively represent a diversity of expertise and experience to move the West Big Data Innovation Hub forward.

The Steering Committee will be tasked with:

  • Engaging a diverse community of data scientists and advocates across all West Region states
  • Serving as hub ambassadors to strengthen the hub’s network of sponsors, collaborators, and active members
  • Formalizing WBDIH Governance – Supporting the Leadership Team in drafting bylaws, policies, processes, and guidelines
  • Collaborating with the Leadership Team on topics including industry partnerships and region-specific initiatives as well as the WBDIH vision and direction

See the initial call for nominations HERE.

To vote for up to 5 nominees, you must be a resident of one of the 13 WBDIH states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming) and be subscribed to the WBDIH mailing list to receive a voting link. Voting is open until July 12, 2016. Thanks for your interest and participation!

 

SectorsThematic Areas
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Government: Local, State, Federal, Territorial or Tribal
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Metro Data Science
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Academia
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Natural Resource Management & Hazards
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Industry: Small Business
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Precision Medicine
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Industry: Large Company
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Data-Enabled Scientific Discovery & Learning
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Nonprofit
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Big Data Technologies
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Funding: Venture Capital or Philanthropy/Foundations
Sectors
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Government: Local, State, Federal, Territorial or Tribal
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Academia
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Industry: Small Business
LC
Industry: Large Company
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Nonprofit
F
Funding: Venture Capital or Philanthropy/Foundations
Thematic Areas
M
Metro Data Science
NR
Natural Resource Management & Hazards
PM
Precision Medicine
S
Data-Enabled Scientific Discovery & Learning
T
Big Data Technologies

 


Nick Baguley

President
Big Data Utah - Evolve STEAM
Utah

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Nick Baguley is a well-known Community Leader in the technology space in the West. His connections in Data Science and Big Data spread around the world. As one of the earliest co-founders of a HUG (Hadoop User’s Group) in the United States and as an entrepreneur, Nick has been able to influence and help create the rising wave of Big Data and Analytics in Utah. He has been heavily involved in the Big Data Hubs and the National Data Science Organizers (NDSO) group from the White House. Through Big Data Utah and Utah Geek Events, he has created and co-organized many large conferences and competitions. He is now creating an International STEAM Innovation District that will help lead smart cities and data initiatives. Nick has acted as an advisor to Universities, Non-Profits, Corporations, Startups, and Individuals for years. This has allowed Nick to impact curriculum, strategic directions for companies, hiring decisions, career advancements and to build communities. Hide Bio


Rebecca Barber

Senior Director, Management Analysis
Arizona State University, Arizona

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Dr. Rebecca T Barber holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy, an M.A. in the Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education, and an MBA, all from Arizona State University. She is considered a leader in the area of predictive analytics in education, teaching seminars for a wide variety of professional organizations. Her professional experience includes a wide range of roles within information technology before moving into finance and planning for higher education.
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Titus Brown

Associate Professor, UC Davis
California

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I’m an Associate Professor at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where I work on genetics and genomics and lead the Lab for Data Intensive Biology. My primary research focus is on new data structures and algorithms for moving from raw data to decision making, with a strong emphasis on sequencing data (at the moment). I am heavily invested in open science, training, open source software development, and reproducibility. In 2014, I was awarded a Moore Foundation Investigator grant in Data Driven Discovery. I am on Twitter at @ctitusbrown (twitter.com/ctitusbrown) and I blog regularly at ivory.idyll.org/blog/; all my source code can be found at github.com/ctb/. My full CV is here.
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Michael Crusoe

Community Engineer
Common Workflow Language project
Nevada

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I am the Co-founder & Community Engineer for a grassroots bioinformatics standards group: the Common Workflow Language project I am also an Alt-academic, independent researcher, and a small business owner (Nevada incorporated and registered). As a trailing spouse with collaborators in the US and Europe I have the privilege of living on both continents and building connections between researchers from the world over. I am an affiliate of, and participant in the ELIXIR european life science infrastructure network and the CHARME european life sciences standardization network. I am also a bioinformatic software packager for Debian Linux (as part of the Debian Med team). https://impactstory.org/u/0000-0002-2961-9670
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Steve Cutchin

Associate Professor
Boise State University
Idaho

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Dr. Steve Cutchin joined the faculty at Boise State University in August 2013 From 2008 to 2013 he was manager of the KAUST Visualization Laboratory Core Facility and the Supercomputer Facility at King Abdullah’s University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. At KAUST he recruited a technical team of engineers and visualization scientists while managing the building of the state of the art scientific data visualization laboratory on the KAUST campus, forged relationships with international university and corporate partners, continued to improve the laboratory and recruit new staff. Prior to his work in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Cutchin worked at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) first as manager of Visualization Services at the San Diego Supercomputer Center and later at California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). He has worked as a Sr. Software Engineer at Walt Disney Feature Animation developing software tools to improve animation production on feature films. He has published articles on Computer Graphics and Visualization, created animations for Discovery Channel and images for SIGGRAPH and Supercomputing conferences and journals. He received his doctorate from Purdue University in Computer Science. Hide Bio


Gary Darling

California Department of Water Resources, Operations Research Specialist III
CA Dept of Water Resources
California

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Gary Darling is an Operations Research Specialist with the California Department of Water Resources, where he is passionate about writing about himself in third person. He served for 8 years as the Chief Information Officer for the California Resources Agency, where he was responsible for the computer and telecommunications for the agency’s 16,000 employees and has served as the geographic information officer for California responsible for GIS statewide.
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Alexander "Sam" Fernald

Director, Water Resources Research Institute
New Mexico State University
New Mexico

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Sam Fernald is the Director of the Federally and State supported New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute (NM WRRI). Dr. Fernald leads the institute in its mission to develop and disseminate knowledge that will assist the state, region, and nation in solving water resources problems.
The NM WRRI, one of 54 water institutes in the nation, encourages university faculty statewide to pursue critical areas of water resources research while providing training opportunities for students, and provides an outlet for transferring research findings to the academic community, water managers and the general public. Professor Fernald also is a faculty member in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences at New Mexico State University.
Dr. Fernald's earned degrees include a 1987 B.A. in international relations from Stanford University, an M.E.M. in 1993 in water and air resources from Duke University, and a Ph.D. in watershed science from Colorado State University in 1997. Dr. Fernald received a Fulbright Scholarship to Patagonian National University, Trelew, Argentina in 2008, and another Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Concepcion, Concepcion, Chile in 2000.
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Thomas Hauser

Director of Research Computing
University of Colorado Boulder
Colorado

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Thomas Hauser is the director of research computing at the University of Colorado Boulder. His group supports about 1,500 researchers from different disciplines in their computational and data related work. In collaboration with the Libraries at CU-Boulder he created the Research Data services (http://data.colorado.edu), to provide support to campus researcher for the data management mandates of federal agencies. He is also chairing the Advanced Rocky Mountain Computing Consortium (www.rmacc.org), which is a regional collaboration to improve the cyberinfrastructure capabilities in the inner mountain region. Additionally, he started leading the Earth Lab cyberinfrastructure and big data efforts. Earth Lab is a new initiative launched. It will capitalize on the data deluge from space and other platforms to accelerate science and train a new generation of data scientists who can address outstanding Earth Science questions.
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Alicia Johnson

Resilience & Recovery Manager
San Francisco Emergency Management
California

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A natural-born problem solver with a super power for getting it done, Alicia Johnson has a penchant for civic innovation. An Emergency Manager by trade, Alicia can count Hurricane Sandy, Super Bowl 50 and an earthquake or two in her portfolio of responses.
She has changed the culture of emergency preparedness with the creation of SF72.org and it's open source sister, City72. A community that plays together, stays together and Alicia is diligently integrating private and non-profit organizations into daily and disaster operations at the City of San Francisco.
Alicia knows how to make change happen from within. Curiosity is her jam and her favorite question is... How might we? .Hide Bio


Nishal Mohan

National Community Leader
US Ignite
California

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Nishal is the National Community Leader for US Ignite and responsible for implementation of the Smart Gigabit Communities initiative. Nishal joined US Ignite after serving as a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow in the Office of the Assistant Director, Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF). He was responsible for developing and driving national initiatives in Big Data and data science, smart and connected health, smart cities and next generation internet and applications through the NSF US Ignite program.
Dr. Mohan previously served as the Director of biology policy for the Federation of American Scientists and Acting Director of Scientists and Engineers for America Action Fund. Nishal also founded and served on the board of directors as the Executive Director of the international multi-organizational Virtual Biosecurity Center. In addition Nishal founded Pandemic Academic, for emerging technology solutions to global infectious diseases. Nishal received his B.S. in biology at CUNY Hunter College and his Ph.D. in molecular biology at Princeton University.
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Dane Skow

Director of Research Services, UWIT
University of Wyoming
Wyoming

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Dane Skow was born in Sioux Falls, SD to a USDA statistician and a home economics teacher, the great-grandson of one of the Mormon Handcart pioneers . Many moves and years later, he finds himself back in the West as Director of Research Services at the University of Wyoming. Trained as a High Energy Physicist, Dr. Skow has spent much of his career working at Dept. of Energy National Laboratories working in international collaborations. A specialist in distributed, parallel processing, he has led simulation, data analytics, software development, computer security and strategy development teams in the US and Europe, in government, academia, and private enterprise. He has been on the leadership team of several data centric projects, including the Open Science Grid, the Global Grid Forum, the Research Data Alliance and the Digital Preservation Network. Dr. Skow is one of the Theme Coordinators for the Natural Resources Theme in the WBDIH.
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Justin Smith

Assistant Professor, Community Economic Development/County Extension Director
Washington State University
Washington

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I'm a versatile, and creative thinker with a passion for research and teaching in the areas of environmental sociology, sustaining natural resource based economies and civic technology. Within these broad topic areas, much of my current work is focused on:
1.) Sustainable Marine Aquaculture for Food and Biofuels;
2.) Using Information Technology in the Research and Practice of Community Development (aka Community Sensing through Big Data);
3.) Social Learning and Social Innovation;
4.) Building Resilient Regional Food Systems.
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Vidya Spandana

Principal
New Knowledge Data Science
Oregon

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Vidya Spandana is a co-founder of New Knowledge, a platform for speed in data analytics and reporting with data science automation. An entrepreneur, her first company was DMV.org, one of the earliest successful govtech companies. Recently, she served her term of duty as a Presidential Innovation Fellow working to bring President Obama’s Executive Order on Open Data to life. During her tenure, she created and led projects with US federal agencies that proved how government open data could drive economic growth in the poorest countries of the world. Vidya has been a mentor and advisor at various early-stage venture firms and startup accelerators such as TechStars, KickLabs and Astia. Today, she serves on two boards: the Oregon Innovation Council and the Presidential Innovation Fellows Foundation and is also the co-host of Partially Derivative, a geeky podcast about data science in practice.Hide Bio


Ian Swanson

Founder & CEO
DataScience
California

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An expert in Big Data and analytics, an accomplished entrepreneur, and a successful executive for such Fortune 500 companies as American Express and Sprint, Ian Swanson is at home in both startups and enterprise-level data organizations. Swanson founded Sometrics, which launched the industry's first global virtual currency platform in 2008 and was acquired by American Express in 2011. That platform -- for which he earned a patent -- managed more than 3.3 trillion units of virtual currency and served an online audience of 250 million in more than 180 countries. Prior to Sometrics, Swanson worked for the secure chat and messaging startup, Userplane, which was subsequently acquired by AOL.
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Kristin Tufte

Research Assistant Professor, Portland State University and Technology Policy Analyst, Volpe Center, U.S. Department of Transportation
Oregon

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Dr. Kristin Tufte brings a wide variety of experience and expertise in the area of data management and application areas of transportation and smart cities to the West Big Data Innovation Hub (WBDIH). Dr. Tufte manages PORTAL — the longest-running public transportation data archive in the nation, containing sensed data from bikes, busses, freeways, traffic signals, light rail and more. PORTAL is funded on an ongoing basis by Portland-area transportation agencies. Dr. Tufte is a key member of the highly-regarded city-university partnership between Portland State University and City of Portland and was the data lead on the City of Portland’s Smart Cities proposal, one of seven finalists in the US Department of Transportation’s Smart Cities Challenge (video: https://youtu.be/JyiuPiLrM48). At Portland State, Dr. Tufte works closely with the Transportation Research and Education Consortium (TREC) which houses one of five National Transportation Centers. In addition, Dr. Tufte is a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Urban Data Committee (ABJ30) and co-chairs the Urban Big Data subcommittee of ABJ30. In her data management role, Dr. Tufte is part of the Intel Science and Technology Center - Big Data (ISTC-BD), centered at MIT. Dr. Tufte has collaborated with colleagues at Intel and Brown to develop a state-of-the art data stream processing system, S-Store. In prior work, Dr. Tufte has helped architect two research data management systems, including one sold to NCR Corporation. Dr. Tufte has collaborated closely with transportation agencies in the Portland-Vancouver area for the past ten years as well as with the private sector including local consulting agencies and Intel. Dr. Tufte has a PhD in Data Management from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Dr. Tufte’s passion is using data and technology to change people’s lives.
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Jackie Wirz

Director of Professional Development and Graduate Student Affairs and Assistant Professor
Oregon Health & Science University
Oregon

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Jackie Wirz directs the Professional Development Center and Graduate Student Affairs at Oregon Health & Science University, in addition to her appointment as the Research Data Ninja and Assistant Professor at the Oregon Health & Science Library. She earned her Ph.D. from Oregon Health & Science University in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and has a B.S. from Oregon State University in Biochemistry & Biophysics. Her research career has spanned 15 years and has covered diverse topics such as transcriptional regulation, macromolecular structure determination, collagen biophysics and DNA repair. Her professional interests include information, data, and knowledge management, as well as the flow of scientific information. She lectures on a variety of topics including professional skills development, data management, scholarly publication ethics, research impact and semantic technologies, and research communication. Jackie is a strong proponent of science outreach and has developed programs and grants designed to promote scientific, data and information literacy.
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Julie Wright

Strategic Advisor
California Council on Science & Technology
California

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Julie Meier Wright is strategic advisor to Collaborative Economics, a nationally recognized company that mobilizes "civic entrepreneurs" - individuals who combine the passion and persistence of a business entrepreneur with the vision and commitment of a transformational civic leader. In that role, she served as a co-producer of the history 2012 California Economic Summit and the follow-on event in 2013. She also served on the Think Long Committee for California's Task Force on Jobs, Infrastructure and the Workforce, and was an advisor on the Lt. Governor's report, An Economic Growth & Competitiveness Agenda for California. She also currently serves as an advisor to the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology.
In 2011 she retired as president and chief executive officer of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation,the premier business-development organization for the greater San Diego region, involved in marketing, public policy, and direct assistance to companies.
Prior to EDC, Ms. Wright served as California's first Secretary of Trade and Commerce and a member of Governor Pete Wilson's Cabinet from 1991 to 1997. She led the Administration's wide-ranging business climate reforms and built a new Agency that expanded the state's international role and presence, opening five new overseas offices. Prior to her time in Sacramento and San Diego, she spent 25 years in executive marketing and public affairs positions in the private sector, including 14 years with TRW Inc., now a part of Northrop-Grumman.
In 2004, EDC received the Global Innovator award from CoreNet Global, the world's premier association for corporate real estate and related professionals. In 2003, the U.S. Department of Commerce awarded EDC its Excellence in Economic Development Award for "Enhancing Regional Competitiveness."
From 2004 to 2006 Ms. Wright served on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board Task Force on Math-Science Education. In 2003, Ms. Wright served on gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger's Economic Recovery Council.
Ms. Wright was named Director of the Year for Not-for-Profit Boards and Director of the Year for Companies in Transition by the Corporate Directors Forum. In 2004, Ms. Wright was named one of the "Women Who Move the City" by San Diego Magazine. In 2002, she received the "Women of Distinction" award from Soroptimist International. In 2001, she received Junior Achievement's San Diego Hall of Fame Lifetime Laureate Award and the San Diego Business Journal's Women Who Mean Business Award. In 1998, she was one of San Diego Magazine's "50 People to Watch." Wright was named California Leader of the Year by Leadership California in 1996 and the nation's Outstanding Secretary of Commerce by the Biotechnology Industry Organization in 1995.
Ms. Wright holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology from the University of Maryland. She has completed the Stanford University Advanced Management College, the Stanford Financial Seminar, and a special program on competitiveness at Harvard University.
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