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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University has named Jennifer M. Schopf its new director of international networking. On August 1, Schopf officially joined the Office of the Vice President for Information and Technology and CIO to lead IU’s advanced, high-performance networking efforts around the world. She succeeds James G. Williams, IU’s first director of international networking who is now retiring after a 30-year career at the university.

Hear Jennifer talk about her new role.

Schopf brings a wealth of expertise in high performance computing, distributed systems and international networking. She previously served as a program officer at the National Science Foundation (NSF), where she jointly led the EarthCube program and initiatives for international networks, distributed systems and pragmatic software. She was also a member of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Ocean Informatics team, where she assisted with cyberinfrastructure planning across the institute. Prior to this, she spent seven years as a scientist in the mathematics and computer science division at Argonne National Laboratory.

Schopf also spent more than three years as a researcher at the National eScience Center in Edinburgh, UK. She was a member of the Globus Alliance, the director for the SciDAC Center for Enabling Distributed Petascale Science (CEDPS), technology coordinator for the Globus Monitoring and Discovery System (MDS) and director of outreach for Globus.

“Dr. Schopf is eminently qualified to lead this highly critical role for research and education networks. Throughout her impressive career, she has demonstrated an excellent ability to lead while also building a record of many successful collaborations,” said Brad Wheeler, IU vice president for information technology and CIO. “She possesses a solid foundation of network and scientific knowledge, and is well traveled and familiar with the world’s changing political scene – all of which are important as we seek to build relationships with scientists and governments around the world.”

Schopf is taking over the role held by Williams, who has led over $17 million of international networking grants for the university, including IU’s present role operating NSF-funded links to Asia, China and Europe. “Jim Williams has been a stellar worldwide ambassador for Indiana University and the frontiers of collaborative research,” continued Wheeler. “His name is synonymous with trust and confidence in international relations for the complex world of high performance networks.”   

Schopf earned her MS and PhD degrees in computer science and engineering from the University of California, San Diego. Her doctoral advisor was Dr. Francine Berman, an internationally renowned computer scientist and leader in cyberinfrastructure.

“Jennifer’s education, experience and record make her ideal to take the helm of IU’s vast international networking endeavors,” added David E. Jent, IU associate vice president of networks. “She understands that international networking is about relationships, and that successful collaborations are about talking to people and speaking their language. With her vast scientific and professional background, Jennifer will take IU international networking to even greater heights.”

Schopf began her career as an assistant professor in the computer science department at Northwestern University, where she taught classes in operating systems, distributed systems and grid computing. At IU, she will use her experience and scientific background – not to mention her communication skills and vast network – to support international collaborations.

“I’ve spent much of my career having conversations with people, building collaborations and bridging people and groups,” said Schopf. “I understand end-user needs, and I can translate them for developers and programmers in a way that results in success. I’m thrilled to begin this new chapter at IU. Jim has done a fantastic job ensuring that the basic networking infrastructure is in place. One of my first goals is determining how to build the next level of service.”

About International Networking at IU

International networking at IU is dedicated to connecting global researchers and scientists through state-of-the-art, multi-gigabit networking services. To that end, IU operates and manages two networking projects, TransPAC3 and America Connects to Europe (ACE). TransPAC3 connects US researchers with colleagues across Asia, while ACE connects scientists and students to their counterparts in the European Union. Along with support from the NSF, IU international networking funds TransPAC3 in cooperation with its Internet2 and China Next Generation Internet partners. DANTE is the European partner for ACE (also funded in part by the NSF), making balanced contributions to bandwidth and operations. IU experts also lead networking workshops around the world.

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