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IU names new director of international networks

Jim Williams comes out of retirement to head up team of advanced networking professionals, lead two NSF grants

Oct 24, 2022

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—Jim Williams has been named the director of international networks at Indiana University, effective October 1, 2022.

It’s a job he knows well. In 2013, Williams retired as director of the division after 14 years in the role and 30 years at the university. He succeeds Jennifer Schopf, who served in the role from 2013 to 2022.

As director, Williams oversees a team of seven advanced network professionals supporting a variety of endeavors, from niche projects to large-scale research efforts, using high-performance networking as a tool to advance scientific diplomacy. He also serves as principal investigator on the following U.S. National Science Foundation awards:

  • TransPAC5, the latest iteration of the original NSF TransPAC award, launched in 1998 with IU Chancellor and former President Michael A. McRobbie as principal investigator. At its core, TransPAC is a decades-long collaboration in the Asia-Pacific region to improve networks in support of research and education.
  • Networks for European, American, African, and Arctic Research (NEA3R), the successor to the America Connects to Europe (ACE) project. NEA3R is a powerful, cross organizational resource to provide services and bandwidth connecting researchers in the United States with their counterparts in Europe, Africa, and the Arctic.

It’s an honor to have the opportunity once again to continue the groundbreaking work IU has done in the international network space.

Jim Williams

“In Jim’s decades-long career at IU, he displayed exemplary technical and diplomatic skills navigating the world of advanced networks,” said Dave Jent, IU associate vice president for networks. “With Jim at the helm, International Networks will undoubtedly continue to thrive, advancing discovery throughout the United States and the world.”

During his previous tenure, Williams elevated IU’s advanced networking profile around the globe. In retirement, he stayed abreast of the latest developments in high-performance networking, distributed network operations, and development and deployment of networking in support of research and education in developing countries.

“It’s an honor to have the opportunity once again to continue the groundbreaking work IU has done in the international network space,” Williams said. “In the nine years I’ve been away, the world has changed drastically, with cybersecurity challenges more sinister than ever and the COVID-19 pandemic affecting international collaboration in unprecedented ways. I’m up to the task and am ready to make positive change.”

Williams earned a master’s degree in systems science from Michigan State University.

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