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Introducing WDS-ITO Associate Director: Karen Payne

Introducing WDS-ITO Associate Director: Karen Payne

We hope that you will join us in welcoming Dr Karen Payne, who was officially appointed in November 2018 as Associate Director for the WDS International Technology Office (WDS-ITO), hosted by Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) at the University of Victoria. ONC is part of the Canadian consortium of three WDS Regular Members selected to host the WDS-ITO.

Karen's first role as ITO Director was to represent WDS at International Data Week—as well as Data Repositories Day—where she met the majority of the WDS community in attendance and discussed with them their technology needs and their expectations of the WDS-ITO. In this regard, Karen plans to contact the representatives of WDS Members Organizations during the first quarter of 2019 to introduce the WDS-ITO and to talk about their involvement in WDS services, such as the Metadata Catalogue.


Dr Payne comes to the University of Victoria from the Division of Information Technology Outreach Services at the University of Georgia, where she managed cooperative agreements from the US Agency for International Development in support of the international community involved in disaster relief and recovery activities. In this role, she served as a subject-matter expert on geo-information design and management, and completed projects in conjunction with the World Food Programme, United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and UN High Commissioner for Refugees. She also conducted field missions with UN-SPIDER to support the national governments of Laos and Mongolia. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Walter B. Hill Fellow Award for sustained distinguished achievement in public service and outreach.

Dr Payne received her PhD, a joint degree in geography and engineering, from the Australian National University, where her work focussed on using artificial intelligence techniques to interpret satellite imagery.