Big Data Innovation Hubs Mark


Meet the National Coordinating Committee of the Big Data Hubs. Learn more about these members below, and visit the regional Hub websites for more information about our full team.



Florence Hudson is Executive Director of the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub at Columbia University, Founder & CEO of FDHint, LLC, a global advanced technology and diversity & inclusion consulting firm, and Special Advisor for the NSF Cybersecurity Center of Excellence.

She is a former IBM Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Internet2 Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, and aerospace engineer at Grumman and NASA. She Chairs the global IEEE/UL P2933 Working Group on Clinical IoT Data and Device Interoperability with TIPPSS – Trust, Identity, Privacy, Protection, Safety and Security, and has published books on TIPPSS. She serves on Boards for Princeton University, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Stony Brook University, Blockchain in Healthcare Today, and the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. She has a BSE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University, and executive business education from Harvard and Columbia Universities.


Dr. Vasant Honavar received his Ph.D.  in 1990 from the University of Wisconsin Madison, specializing in Artificial Intelligence. Honavar is currently a Professor of Information Sciences and Technology (IST),  Computer Science and Engineering, Bioinformatics and Genomics, Neuroscience and Operations Research at Pennsylvania State University.

 He currently holds the  Edward Frymoyer Endowed Chair of IST. He is also the founding Director of the Center for Big Data Analytics and Discovery Informatics, Associate Director of the Institute for Cyberscience, Co-Director of the NIH-funded Biomedical Data Sciences PhD program, and Informatics lead (research) for the NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.

 In 2016, Honavar was appointed as the Sudha Murty Distinguished Visiting Chair of Neurocomputing and Data Science at the Indian Institute of Science. Prior to joining Pennsylvania State University, Honavar served on the faculties of Computer Science, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Neuroscience, and Human-Computer Interaction at Iowa State University (1990-2013) and as a program director in the Information and Intelligent Systems Division of the National Science Foundation (NSF) (2010-2013) where he led the Big Data Science and Engineering Program and contributed to multiple other programs. 



Christine Kirkpatrick oversees the San Diego Supercomputer Center’s (SDSC) Research Data Services division, which manages eInfrastructure for research projects of regional and national scope. Kirkpatrick specializes in operational cyberinfrastructure (CI) at scale and FAIR implementation. Kirkpatrick founded and hosts the US GO FAIR Office at SDSC, is Co-Executive Director of the West Big Data Innovation Hub, Co-PI of the Open Storage Network, and PI of the EarthCube Office (ECO). She serves on the Technical Advisory Board (TAB) for the Research Data Alliance (RDA), and the external Advisory Boards for the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Nordic and the Helmholtz Federated IT Services for Science (HIFIS), and the National Academies of Sciences’ U.S. National Committee for the Committee on Data (CODATA). 

Sarah Stone is the Co-Executive Director of the West Big Data Innovation Hub and the Executive Director of the University of Washington eScience Institute. Stone also directs the UW Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) program which partners student fellows from across the country with project leads from academia, government, and the private sector to find data-driven solutions to pressing societal challenges.


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. Nick founded Evolve STEAM, a training entity focused on Data Science, AI and Data Engineering. Nick President of Alpha Tech Research Corp, CEO and CDO for Front Analytics, and he co-founded, Data Scrubs and more. 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



Dr. Renata Rawlings-Goss is currently the founding Executive Director of the South Big Data Innovation Hub, whose mission is to catalyze partnerships among universities, industry, and government around Big Data, Data Science and the “Internet of Things”. 

She also serves as the Director of Industry Partnerships for the Georgia Tech Institute for Data Engineering and Science (IDEaS). She is a biophysicist by training and pursues continuing efforts to increase the participation of women and under-represented minorities in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design, and Math). To that end, she serves as the President/ CEO of Good with Data, LLC which runs The Data Career Academy. Dr. Rawlings-Goss worked with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, under the Obama administration, to define national Big Data policies and priority goals within the NITRD inter-agency Big Data Senior Steering group. She co-led the writing team for the National Big Data Strategic Plan with partners from (NSF, NIH, DARPA, DOE, NSA, NIST, NOOA, NASA, USGS, NRO, DHS, DOD, EPA, HHS, AHRQ, NARA etc).

Michela Taufer


Michela Taufer is an ACM Distinguished Scientist and holds the Jack Dongarra Professorship in High Performance Computing in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK). Before joining UTK, she was Professor in Computer and Information Sciences and a J.P. Morgan Case Scholar at the University of Delaware where she also had a joint appointment in the Biomedical Department and the Bioinformatics Program. 

She earned her undergraduate degrees in Computer Engineering from the University of Padova (Italy) and her doctoral degree in Computer Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology or ETH (Switzerland). From 2003 to 2004 she was a La Jolla Interfaces in Science Training Program (LJIS) Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), where she worked on interdisciplinary projects in computer systems and computational chemistry.

John MacMullen, M.B.D.H. E.D.


John MacMullen is the Executive Director of the Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub, based at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining the MBDH in 2017, John was a faculty member in the School of Information Sciences at UIUC, where his research and teaching focused on biomedical information problems and science data curation. John has also worked in the data communications equipment industry on acquisitions, alliances, and marketing, and as a consultant. His M.S. and Ph.D are from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Shefali Headshot The Big Data Innovation Hubs


Shefali Mehta is an environmental and agricultural economist and statistician who has spent the past 10+ years working with organizations to tackle problems holistically. Dr. Mehta founded Open Rivers to tailor the support to the individual needs of clients.  

Throughout her career, she has focused on collaborating across disciplines, industries and sectors to identify innovative and pragmatic solutions to complex issues. She has worked with clients across the ag and food value chain. She received her PhD in Agricultural and Applied Economics and MS in Statistics from the University of Minnesota, MPhil in Economics from Cambridge University and a BA in Economics from New York University. Shefali serves or has served on various Boards including  Pheasants Forever, the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Pests and Plant Center, the School of Statistics at the University of Minnesota and Bountifield. You can read more about Shefali’s background and path to founding Open Rivers.

Metro/Urban Data Science

Precision Medicine

Natural Resources & Hazards 

Big Data Technology


Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

Digital Agriculture

Smart, Connected, and Resilient Communities

Water Quality

Big Data in Health

Health and Disparities

Smart Cities and Communities

Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

Environment and Coastal Hazards

Social Cybersecurity


Education + Data Literacy

Urban to Rural Communities

Responsible Data Science: Security + Privacy Ethics

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