Many of us have been reflecting on the challenges of the past year. There is no individual and no organization that has not been affected by the changes and restrictions to our lives during the pandemic, whether personally or at work. When I started my position as Executive Director of Dryad in February 2020, little did I imagine that part of my job description – that of managing a remote team – would become the norm for almost every other organization and business around the world. But the challenges of the pandemic have also provided us with opportunities, such as rethinking how we work together, connect and communicate, while throwing a spotlight on the things we value most.
How each of us takes this forward will differ. For me, working with Dryad as a mission-driven and not-for-profit organization has only reinforced how much I value working side by side with dedicated teams and board of directors to help strengthen the structural and operational foundations of an organization. In our case, this has meant building structures for Dryad to tackle the needs of the scholarly data community in an increasingly complex and international research data environment.
With Dryad on a firm footing, I have decided to move on from my position in May 2021, to focus on building best practices for mission-aligned organizations to follow in terms of community and team engagement. As we have done at Dryad, I am excited to focus on supporting leadership development during times of recovery. I am sad to leave the amazing team, but I do this knowing that Dryad is on the right path and is well positioned for continued success. With the Dryad Board leadership, our current team, structures, community and resources, I am confident in the continued success of the organization in its next phase of development. But now is the time and opportunity for a new leader to navigate Dryad through its next chapter, which will be to operationalize its new strategy and further secure its governance and sustainability.
It is truly an exciting time for Dryad and an opportunity for someone to take it to the next level. In the last year, we’ve renewed our emphasis in the community on open data and open infrastructure, in particular by formally aligning our practices with the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure and by launching key international partnerships with like-minded organizations, such as Zenodo, and with the Open Knowledge Foundation. To build our community across a diverse range of disciplines we also founded a Scientific Advisory Committee. And focusing on our core values of integrity, we expanded and innovated our curation team and approaches, publishing over 8,000 datasets in 2020.
It has been a true honor to work with this community, team and the Board to help drive Dryad forward as a trusted global repository with an increasingly international community and membership. I’m enormously excited both for what is next for Dryad and for whoever will be at the helm. See the Executive Director job posting and come join us!