National Library announces appointment of new Director

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has announced the appointment of Dr Sandra Collins to the role of Director.

Dr Collins joins the National Library of Ireland from her role as the Director of the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) in the Royal Irish Academy. She will take up her new role in the NLI on 31st July 2015, and her appointment is for five years and follows an extensive open recruitment process. Dr Collins’ career includes leadership roles in research, industry and public service, with prior positions in the Royal Irish Academy, Science Foundation Ireland, Ericsson telecommunications, and Dublin City University.

Announcing the appointment, NLI board member, Paul Shovlin said:  “We are very pleased that Sandra is joining the National Library as Director.  Her experience and interest in digital preservation in particular is of huge importance as the Library is particularly engaged in the digitisation of records.

“The board and staff of the NLI look forward to working closely with her over the coming years.  With the decade of commemoration now underway and with 1916 commemorations just around the corner, her leadership, expertise and skills will be hugely valuable,” he added.

Speaking about the important role of the National Library of Ireland, Dr Collins said “I am delighted and honoured to take up this post. The National Library of Ireland has such a recognised place in Irish society, culture and learning. I look forward to working together with the staff and Board to build upon the trusted services and grow the research and digital innovation that the National Library delivers, both here in Ireland and across the world with online access.”

Biography of Dr Sandra Collins

Dr Sandra Collins was appointed as the Director of the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) in the Royal Irish Academy in 2011, where she established and led an ambitious national research centre developing both policy and e-infrastructure for digital preservation of cultural and social data. Dr Collins manages a number of national and international research partnerships with organisations including Raidió Teilifís Éireann, the Insight Data Analytics Research Centre, and the Research Data Alliance.

She serves on many international and national policy advisory groups and steering committees, including as Chair of the ALLEA (all European Academies) international E-Humanities Working Group, Rapporteur for the Horizon 2020 Expert Advisory Group on 'European Research Infrastructures' and member of the Horizon 2020 Expert Advisory Group 'Science with and for Society'. She is a member of the National Steering Committee on Open Access Policy and a member of the Public Body Advisory Group for Open Government Data, and the Irish Member State representative at the European Future Internet Forum since 2009.

In 2013 she was named as one of the Top 38 Irish Technology Women (Technology Voice, Intel), and in 2014 as one of Silicon Republic's Top 100 Women in Technology. Inspiring Ireland, a collaborative digital cultural project she managed, won three eGovernment Awards presented by An Taoiseach in 2015.

She was previously a scientific programme manager in Science Foundation Ireland, where she had responsibility for an industry-facing research centres programme with total State investment of over 150M€. She has 10 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry, and a prior appointment as lecturer in DCU School of Mathematics. She is originally a mathematician and received her PhD in 1996 from UCD in the area of nonlinear fluid dynamics.

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