RENCI’s Dan Reed named to presidential council of advisors

Daniel A. Reed, director of the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), Chancellor’s Eminent Professor and Vice-Chancellor for Information Technology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will be appointed to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) the White House announced this week.

Reed had been a member of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC), a group whose federal charter expired last June. In October, President Bush announced that the functions of PITAC – to advise the president on IT research and development – would be folded into PCAST and that PCAST membership would be expanded to take on the broader role. PCAST advises the president on technology, scientific research priorities, and math and science education. Its members are national leaders in business, research and education, including Dell founder Michael Dell, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, and MIT President Emeritus Charles Vest. Reed was one of 14 appointees announced Monday. Others include F. Duane Ackerman, chairman and CEO of Bell South; Paul M. Anderson, CEO of Duke Energy; Hector de Jesus Ruiz, CEO of AMD; Robert E. Witt, president of the University of Alabama; and Tadataka Yamada, chairman of research and development for GlaxoSmithKline and soon to be executive director of the Global Health Program for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“The expansion of PCAST shows the federal government recognizes that IT is a pervasive element in science and education and that a holistic approach to these issues is necessary,” said Reed. “I am honored to be named to this prestigious council and I look at is as a chance to help our country realize its boldest dreams.”

Reed served as a member of PITAC and as chair of its computational science subcommittee for two years. He is the current chair of the Board of Directors of the Computing Research Association, a member of the National Archives and Records Administration advisory committee, a member of the Biomedical Informatics Expert Panel for the National Institutes of Health’s National Center, and chair of the policy board for the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center. Reed came to North Carolina in 2004 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) from 2000- 2003 and chair of the computer science department from 1996-2001.

Since 2004, Reed has focused on building multidisciplinary teams that bring together RENCI experts in high-end computing, applications, and cyberinfrastructure with scientists, educators, business leaders, and scholars in the arts, humanities and social sciences. As Vice Chancellor for IT, he has focused on integrating and improving the telecommunications, networking, applications, and computing infrastructure at UNC-Chapel Hill.

“I applaud the president’s choice of Dan Reed as a member of PCAST,” said Erskine Bowles, president of the 16-campus University of North Carolina system. “He brings a broad range of knowledge and experience to the job and will be a strong voice for North Carolina as the council develops national priorities for research, education and IT development.”

“Dan Reed’s experience as a researcher and a leader of major collaborative science and technology projects will serve the council and our country well,” said UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor James Moeser. “He is a respected leader in the research and business communities and he understands that in the 21st century, issues in technology, scientific research, and education cannot be considered separately.”