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Past Executive Directors

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Past Executive Directors

1999-2013; Ms Kathleen Cass

Qualified Irish lawyer bringing with her previous experience from legal and INGO communities.

During her 13-year tenure, Ms Cass developed and expanded the international network of the organization by forging extensive collaboration with many international partners including the International Council for Science, ICSU, OECD, UNESCO, GEOSS, GEO, European Commission, Creative Commons/Science Commons.  Working with several CODATA Presidents from various countries, she successfully sourced additional funding enabling the organization to grow its activities and raise its profile within the global scientific community.

Among her accomplishments were:

  • Creating awareness of the impact of the 1996 European Database Directive 96/9/EC on scientific research in the European research area. This led to many scientific academies encouraging their governments to include exemptions to the Directive for research and education purposes when they were incorporating the Directive into National Law.
  • Raising CODATA’s profile as one of the lead scientific civil societies at The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS Geneva 2003-Tunis 2005) highlighting the importance of access to scientific data for research purposes. This was subsequently included in the Agenda for Action and Declaration of Principles signed by more than 80 countries.
  • Oversaw CODATA leadership, in collaboration with KPMG, for the 3rd year review of the GBIF, Global Biodiversity Information Facility- An international network and research infrastructure funded by the world’s governments, aimed at providing open access to data about all types of life on earth
  • Initiated collaboration with Global Earth Observation (GEO), a partnership of more than 100 national governments and 100 Participating Organizations. CODATA played a key lead role in bringing together an agreed White Paper, Implementation Guidelines and Action Plan for GEO data sharing principles.  This collaboration took several years of negotiation and collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
  • Initiated CODATA’s participation in Eurocris ( on Current Research Information System whose objectives are to uniform standard data exchange across Europe- this greatly enhanced the profile of the organization within the European Research Area.
  • Negotiated CODATA’s participation in large European projects- more notably EU FP7 FutureNano Needs- A framework to respond to the regulatory needs of future nanomaterial and markets
  • During her tenure she was responsible for the successful organization of seven international CODATA conferences Italy (2000), Canada (2002), Germany (2004) China (2006), Ukraine (2008), South Africa (2010), and Taipei (2012).

After leaving CODATA, Ms Cass took up a position with VSO International in Cambodia.