Elena Rovenskaya: Candidacy for CODATA Executive Committee Ordinary Member

This is the eighth in the series of short statements from candidates in the coming CODATA Elections at the General Assembly to be held on 27-28 October 2023.  Elena Rovenskaya is a candidate for the CODATA Executive Committee as an Ordinary Member. She was nominated by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. 

Elena Rovenskaya is Principal Research Scholar and Director of the Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA) Program https://iiasa.ac.at/web/asa.html at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria. She is also Research Scholar at the Optimal Control Department of the Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia (currently on leave). 

Elena Rovenskaya served as Ordinary Member of CODATA Executive Committee in 2021-2023. 

Elena Rovenskaya has a background in applied mathematics and computer science. Broadly, her scientific interests lie in the fields of optimization, decision science, and mathematical modeling of complex socio-environmental systems. As one important avenue, recently, she has been focusing her research on using qualitative and quantitative methods to support decisions in settings dominated by uncertainty. 

In her work as the ASA Program Director, Elena Rovenskaya leads a highly international team of more than 100 researchers who focus their efforts on innovating in terms of methods, approaches, and data to be used to support sustainability transformation. ASA research is highly interdisciplinary and often transdisciplinary with many projects involving policymakers and citizens. As one example, Elena Rovenskaya leads Transformations within Reach project that aims to put forward recommendations on how decision-making systems and processes can be improved to catalyze sustainability transformations and identify effective levers of change for this: https://iiasa.ac.at/projects/TwR

In line with her research interests, Elena Rovenskaya was an active member of the CODATA Task Group “Advanced mathematical tools for data-driven applied systems analysis” https://codata.org/initiatives/task-groups/applied-systems-analysis/, which operated in 2021-2023. 

Elena Rovenskaya’s personal statement on the motivation to be considered for the role of an Ordinary Executive Committee Member:  

I am interested in this role because I am very much interested in facilitating a stronger linkage between data and modeling that serves to support decisions related to sustainability at global, national, and local scales. Modeling and policy demands pose specific needs and challenges in regard to data that should feed into models, such as interoperability, validation, non-numeric data – to name just a few. Private sector holds a wealth of data that could be used for sustainability research. Finding ways to use these data in the interests of the society is another important challenge.  

During my first term as Ordinary Member of CODATA Executive Committee (2021-2023), I learnt a lot on how CODATA works towards fulfilling its mission. As one highlight, during this period, I contributed to the development of the CODATA Strategic Plan, which was successfully finalized under the leadership of CODATA President and CODATA Executive Director.

I feel that my expertise in systems analysis, sustainability science, and international scientific collaboration, combined with my understanding of CODATA and challenges & opportunities associated with making research data FAIR will enable me to continue making a positive contribution to the proceedings of CODATA for another term as Ordinary Executive Committee Member.