NSF Elevates Irene Qualters and Manish Parashar

By Staff

March 5, 2018

The National Science Foundation announced two significant appointments today. Irene Qualters was named Senior Science Advisor within the CISE Office of the Assistant Director (OAD). Manish Parashar was appointed the Office Director for the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC), the post Qualters held.

Irene Qualters, NSF

Qualters is a well-known NSF veteran whose activities and impact stretch beyond cyberinfrastructure. Parashar joins NSF from Rutgers State University of New Jersey, where he is currently a Distinguished Professor and the founding Director of the Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute and the Applied Software Systems Laboratory. The announcements, effective this week, were made in a Dear Colleague letter from James Kurose, assistant director, NSF, and Erwin Gianchandani, deputy assistant director, NSF Directorate of Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE).

Presented below is an extended excerpt from the announcement which went out under Kurose’s signature:

As Senior Science Advisor, Irene will contribute to strategic leadership and stewardship of new directions within the CISE directorate, particularly in alignment with the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) 10 Big Ideas for Future Investment; support CISE’s expanded efforts in Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) and Midscale Infrastructure; and help sustain the Nation’s leadership in advanced computing through interagency and public-private partnerships,  as articulated in the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI).

Irene has been with NSF since 2009, when she joined the then-Office of Cyberinfrastructure (OCI) as Program Director for High-Performance Computing (HPC). Most recently, she has served as Office Director for the OAC [previously the Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI)] since April 2014, providing exceptional leadership for NSF’s investments in advanced cyberinfrastructure. She has been instrumental in shaping the vision and strategy for NSF’s portfolio of human and technical capabilities and services needed to support science and engineering advances not otherwise possible. With input from the NSF Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and broader community, and in cooperation and coordination with all NSF directorates and offices, Irene has led OAC in developing a vision of its unique role as an enabler at the frontiers of science and engineering. Under her leadership, NSF’s support for high-performance computing (HPC), networking and security infrastructure has continued to innovate to meet the needs of new types of research; data and software cyberinfrastructure programs have matured into investments supporting larger, multidisciplinary communities; and learning and workforce development has emerged as an important new focus area.

Prior to joining NSF, Irene had a distinguished 30-year career in industry, serving in a number of executive leadership positions in research and development organizations in the technology and biotechnology sectors. For example, she spent 20 years at Cray Research across a range of critical leadership roles; and she served for six years as Vice President at Merck Research Labs (MRL), leading Research Information Systems for MRL’s 12,000 researchers worldwide. Irene has demonstrated significant experience managing large organizations, coupled with visionary leadership in software and semiconductor research and development.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Irene for her many (many!) outstanding contributions to NSF, the research community, and the Nation while serving as OAC Office Director (and ACI Division Director) since April 2014. She will be continuing as a key member of the CISE leadership team, with her tremendous dedication, hard work, creativity, and professionalism. I, and I know all of us, look forward to continuing to work with Irene in her new role.

Manish Parashar, NSF

Manish is joining NSF from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where he is currently a Distinguished Professor and the founding Director of the Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute and the Applied Software Systems Laboratory. He also serves as Full Member of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and is Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Business, Computing, and Law at the University of Derby (United Kingdom). Most recently, at Rutgers, he co-led strategic planning efforts in Research Computing and served as the Interim Associate Vice President of Research Computing between 2015 and 2016 to oversee the establishment of the Rutgers Office of Advanced Research Computing.

As many of you will recall, Manish served as Program Director in the then-Office of Cyberinfrastructure (OCI) at NSF between 2009 and 2011, managing a research portfolio that spanned software sustainability, computational and data-enabled science and engineering, and cloud computing. Among his accomplishments was leading the establishment of the crosscutting Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2) program.

Manish holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in computer engineering from Syracuse University and a B.E. degree in electronics and telecommunications from Bombay University (India). He has received numerous honors throughout his career, including a 2013 R&D 100 Award (with ORNL and the Georgia Institute of Technology), the Peter D. Cherasia Faculty Scholar Award from the Rutgers School of Engineering (2014-2017), IBM Faculty Awards in 2008 and 2010, the Tewkesbury Fellowship from the University of Melbourne (Australia; 2006), and the Rutgers Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research (2004-2005). He was elected to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society’s Golden Core in 2016; is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and IEEE; and is an Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Distinguished Scientist.

Manish has co-authored hundreds of technical publications, conference proceedings, journal special issues, and textbooks throughout his career. He is the founding chair of the IEEE Technical Consortium on High-Performance Computing, current Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions of Parallel and Distributed Systems, and serves on the editorial boards and organizing committees of several other journals and international conferences and workshops.

Please join me in welcoming Manish! I am confident Manish will provide continue the tradition of outstanding leadership to OAC as it leads NSF’s investments in advanced cyberinfrastructure essential to the advancement and transformation of science and engineering!

Link to letter: http://www.cccblog.org/2018/03/05/new-nsf-appointments/

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