New director of the EGI Foundation and future plans

Tiziana Ferrari talks about her vision and plans as the new director of the EGI Foundation

The EGI Federation was established on the 10th of February 2010 with the creation of the EGI Foundation. With Tiziana Ferrari in her new position of Director, the second decade starts with new opportunities for scientific discoveries and collaborations. In this interview we ask Tiziana about her views and plans for the EGI Federation.

Q: Tiziana, why did you decide to apply for the position of Director of the EGI Foundation?

I have been contributing to the implementation of the EGI Federation for many years since the times of the EGEE projects, when I have been coordinating the operations of the Italian Grid infrastructure, and I have been leading the Grid team at CNAF, the largest data centre of INFN. Following this, I had the opportunity to work on the EGI governance model, in particular on the separation of duties of the coordinating entity – the EGI Foundation – and its participants. From 2010 as Chief Operations Officer, I have enjoyed working with many national operations teams and WLCG to consolidate and streamline the operation policies and procedures of our federation, and I have been enjoying seeing the community growing and the infrastructure expanding at a +25% annual rate. As Technical Director, I focussed my efforts on expanding the user base. Today we collaborate with major research infrastructures in all scientific domains, we have more than 20 service level agreements in place, and work with an increasing number of research community projects. It was a natural step for me to apply to this new position, to work with my colleagues at the EGI Foundation and push our frontiers to the next level, building on the results of my predecessors, Steven and Yannick.

Ultimately, this job will give me the chance to contribute to the implementation of Europe, a project that has brought peace and prosperity to our generations, and which I want to expand, as a sign of gratitude for those who have contributed to it before me.

Q: What are your objectives for the coming three years?

I will work with our participants to establish distributed human networks that will take care of user support and training, pooling the best experts in a coordinated team. Our research communities are in great need of bespoke solutions and expertise to address their digital needs, and the EGI Federation needs to provide a response to this.

From a technical point of view, I will work with our members and technical teams to evolve the EGI Federation towards a data-centric distributed infrastructure that provides new solutions for federated access to storage, data, computing and applications. Data analytics developed and operated by research communities to support international communities of practice, are a fundamental access point to distributed infrastructures, and they need to become an integral part of our Federation.

From a governance point of view, I will work on promoting our membership programme and on making the EGI Federation a key partner of the future European Open Science Cloud, by contributing to the operations of the EOSC Federating Core and by providing the EOSC Compute Platform, leveraging the capabilities of our national and international members.

Q: How do you plan to achieve these objectives?

I will count on the active participation of our Council members making sure that our strategy meets their expectations and priorities, and with a renewed EGI Foundation team. From January 2020, the EGI Foundation has a new organogram, which includes three departments and 6 different teams.

In 2020, the Strategy Innovation and Communications Department under the coordination of Sergio Andreozzi and the team leads Sy Holsinger and Dimple Sokartara, will focus on evolving the EGI governance and business models, on improving internal and external communications, the management of internal stakeholders, and the expansion of the EGI business programme.

The Finance and Project Department under the coordination of Celine Bitoune, and the team lead Malgorzata Krakowian, will work on the expansion and consolidation of the EGI project office, to increase our collective ability to participate and lead European projects that with support the implementation of our strategy.

Finally, the Services Solutions and Support Department under the lead of Gergely Sipos and the team leads Matthew Viljoen, Diego Scardaci and Giuseppe La Rocca, will consolidate our engagement and support programme, will maintain our technical roadmap to ensure that our services are innovative and in-line with the needs of our user communities.

I wholeheartedly thank the EGI Council, the Executive Board, my colleagues at the EGI Foundation and the whole EGI Community for all their support and efforts in building a common project that is called EGI!

Tiziana Ferrari is the Director of the EGI Foundation and the Project Coordinator of EOSC-hub.