Director of Public Interest Technology and Stuart Rice Honorary Research Professor, UMass Amherst
Faculty Associate, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University


Dr. Francine Berman is the Director of Public Interest Technology and the Stuart Rice Honorary Research Professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences at UMass Amherst. She is a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and was selected as the 2019-2020 Katherine Hampson Bessell Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Berman was the inaugural recipient of the ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award for "influential leadership in the design, development, and deployment of national-scale cyberinfrastructure." In 2015, Berman was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become a member of the National Council on the Humanities. In 2019, she was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2020, Berman was elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. In early 2020, she was also announced as the recipient of the Paul Evan Peters Award which "recognizes notable, lasting achievements in the creation and innovative use of network-based information resources and services that advance scholarship and intellectual productivity". The award is jointly sponsored by the Coalition for Networked Information, the Association of Research Libraries, and Educause.

Berman is a public interest technologist and data scientist. Her current focus is building the community, infrastructure, content, and trajectory of the nascent area of Public Interest Technology. Her scholarly research has focused on the social and environmental impacts of information technology, and in particular the Internet of Things (IoT) -- a deeply interconnected ecosystem of billions of devices and systems that are transforming commerce, science and society. Previous scholarly work has focused on data stewardship and preservation, particularly with respect to the policy, practice and infrastructure needed to ensure the integrity, longevity and usefulness of the data on which modern research relies. Berman sees her current work in Public Interest Technology as a way to design, develop, and manage technology as a tool to maximize benefits, minimize risks and advance humanity in a tech-driven world.

Berman is a founder of the Research Data Alliance (RDA), a community-driven international organization whose mission is to build global infrastructure that enables data sharing and data-driven research. Since its launch in 2012, RDA has attracted over 9600 members from over 130 countries and built data infrastructure in use by groups and projects all over the world. Berman served as co-Chair of RDA's leadership Council and as Chair of RDA's U.S. region for the organization's first 6 years.

Previously, Berman served as Vice President for Research from 2009 to 2012 and the Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor of Computer Science from 2012-2021 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. From 2001-2009, Berman served as Director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC). In this role, she led a staff of 250+ interdisciplinary scientists, engineers, and technologists. She also directed the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI), a consortium of 41 research groups, institutions, and university partners with the mission of developing national infrastructure to support data-intensive and computationally-intensive applications. Concurrently, Berman was Professor in the U.C. San Diego Department of Computer Science and Engineering and first holder of the High Performance Computing Endowed Chair in the Jacobs School of Engineering.

Berman is a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the National Council on the Humanities. Berman previously served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, as co-Chair of the National Academies Board on Research Data and Information, as co-Chair of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access, as co-Chair of the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate, and as Chair of the Information, Computing and Communication Section (Section T) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, among other positions. For her accomplishments, leadership, and vision, Berman has been recognized by the Library of Congress as a "Digital Preservation Pioneer", as one of the top women in technology by BusinessWeek and Newsweek, and as one of the top technologists by IEEE Spectrum.