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Sarah Jones to move to new role at GÉANT
Saying goodbye to any member of DCC staff is always poignant even as we wish them well in their new role. But it is with particular sadness that I announce the forthcoming departure of Sarah Jones, the DCC's Associate Director at Glasgow, who has been a mainstay of our work since she joined HATII in 2006. Sarah will be leaving us at the end of June to take up a new role at GÉANT as their EOSC Engagement Manager on July 1st 2020.
Sarah's background in Archives and her previous role with the UK's AHDS Performing Arts Data Service meant that she came to us equipped with valuable knowledge, which she has extended greatly in the intervening years. I first became aware of her work through the Data Audit Framework and Incremental projects, both externally-funded collaborations that produced results that we are still making use of today. Successful collaboration is an attribute that runs through all the work Sarah does within DCC and outside. She is generous with her time, expertise and enthusiasm and has an enviable track record in bringing disparate groups of people together to agree on and pursue a common goal.
Her contributions to the work of DCC and other organisations have been many and varied and I could not hope to list them all. They include a senior role in our institutional support program, which from 2011 provided tailored support to UK universities to develop research data services and, in doing so, derive lessons that could help others dealing with the same challenges. She has played an increasingly central role in our annual conference, IDCC, from preparing the call for papers to the selection of session chairs. Since taking responsibility for DMPonline in 2013 she has guided its transformation from a Jisc service aimed primarily at UK universities to a truly international subscription service built on an open-source codebase developed with colleagues at UC3 and elsewhere, with a growing team behind it.
She has had a long involvement with the DCC’s training and skills activities, including projects such as FOSTER+ . The Research Data Alliance (RDA) has benefited from her co-chairing of working groups, contributions to task forces and involvement in the European RDA support project. The international community has also welcomed her positive contributions as co-chair of the European Commission's FAIR data expert group and now as an independent member of the EOSC Executive Board.
Impressive as this list may be, simply recounting projects, boards, and events does not give us a complete picture of a person or what others value in them. Her ability to spot problems and help solve them, to heal divisions and lift people’s spirits are recognised and appreciated by us all. It is for these reasons, as well as her expertise and achievements, that we will miss her at DCC. I personally will miss her wise counsel and insight.
Sarah is not severing her links with us entirely. She will, for instance, continue to be a member of the IDCC programme committee. Our loss is definitely GÉANT's gain and we wish Sarah and GÉANT every success with her new role, and hope that this is not goodbye but merely au revoir.