It is a pleasure for me to share the news that Laura Brown will be our new JSTOR Managing Director. Laura is working closely with Michael Spinella, whose departure was announced in March, through the month of May and will transition fully to the role effective June 1, 2011.I have had the great pleasure and good fortune to get to work with Laura over the last 10 years, first while she was President of Oxford University Press USA and serving as a JSTOR Trustee, and more recently as a colleague at ITHAKA where she has led Ithaka S+R. Laura is one of the most visionary, thoughtful, and effective leaders in scholarly communications, and she has a deep understanding of publishing, libraries, and the academic research environment. There is not a better person to lead JSTOR at this time, and I am very pleased she agreed to take responsibility for its stewardship and continued growth.
Laura brings decades of publishing and operational experience to the position. She spent most of her career at OUP, leading the US operation from 2000-2006. She and her team transformed the press into a major provider of digital academic resources, enhanced its author list, streamlined its operations, and increased its global reach—always focused on balancing their not-for-profit mission with the discipline required to ensure their work could be sustained and continue to thrive in the future.
In 2007, she authored the well-known report, University Publishing in a Digital Age, and then agreed to lead Ithaka S+R. Since joining Ithaka S+R, she has been engaged in a wide-range of projects that span not only publishing, but also libraries, universities, and the cultural heritage sectors. Her work includes: 2CUL, an ongoing effort to explore how Cornell and Columbia University Libraries can share resources; consulting with the University of California to envision the future of its publishing program; helping WGBH radio develop new models for bringing its digital archive to the scholarly community; and working with research centers such as the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World plan for major new online resources. Under her direction, the group has also continued to conduct and publish research aimed at helping libraries during the digital transition and at assisting leaders of digital projects develop stronger sustainability models.
Please join me in welcoming Laura to her new role. I am confident that you will enjoy working with and getting to know her. As those of you who already know her can attest, Laura brings a rare combination of dedication and joy to her work. She has unmatched enthusiasm for the goal to expand access to knowledge and to ensure that it remains preserved and accessible for the very long term.