UMass Amherst CS Professor James F. Kurose will be the new head of NSF CISE

UMass Amherst CS Professor James F. Kurose will be the new head of NSF CISE

National Science Foundation Director France Córdova yesterday announced the appointment of James F. Kurose, UMass Amherst Professor and member of CRA’s Board of Directors, to serve as Assistant Director for the agency’s Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE). CISE is the “home” for computing research at the agency, which supports over 80 percent of all university-based fundamental computer science research in the U.S. Kurose will take over the position in January 2015.

Kurose is currently Distinguished Professor at UMass Amherst’s School of Computer Science, a position he’s held since 2004. He’s been a member of Advisory Committee for CISE, a visiting scientist at a number of industrial research labs, and has served as a member of the CRA Board of Directors for the last seven years.

CRA’s Chair, J Strother Moore, shared his perspective on the appointment with NSF:

“Jim Kurose is a fantastic choice for NSF CISE Assistant Director,” said J. Strother Moore, chair of the Computing Research Association Board of Directors, Inman Professor of Computing in the Computer Science Department of the University of Texas at Austin and former co-chair of the CISE advisory committee. “He has served on the CRA Board for seven years. He is thus very familiar with many issues in computing research and with the potential and broad impact of that research. We at CRA will miss his perspective and wisdom on the Board, but are thrilled that NSF has made such a superlative choice for CISE and the computing research community.”

Kurose takes over the helm of CISE from Farnam Jahanian, who is now VP for Research at Carnegie Mellon University after a successful 3 year stint as CISE AD. Jahanian did an excellent job positioning CISE at the center of many NSF-wide and government-wide research initiatives during his tenure. Kurose joins an agency led by a new director in Córdova and faces the challenge of making CISE as relevant to national research priorities for her as it was to previous NSF Director Subra Suresh.

But my own sense is that Kurose is more than up to the task. He’s been a highly effective and respected member of the CRA Board during his tenure, demonstrating an ability to listen to others thoughtfully, process input objectively, and drive successful projects. Those skills will suit him well in Ballston (and Alexandria, after NSF moves) and on the Hill. We certainly will do what we can to help and wish him the best of luck in his new role!

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CRA is Hiring: Be part of CRA’s Policy Staff!

On October 14, 2013, in CRA, People, by Peter Harsha

CRA is hiring! We’re looking for a new Policy Analyst on our Government Affairs staff. If you’re interested in helping the computing research community make its case in Washington, or know someone who is, please see the ad below!


The Computing Research Association, the national voice of the computing research community, seeks a Policy Analyst for its Government Affairs staff. This person will work closely with the Director of Government Affairs tracking and managing their own portfolio of policy issues, providing research support, planning events, handling some administrative duties, and helping communicate with CRA’s membership.

The ideal candidate will have a Bachelors degree in information technology, public policy or a related field; some experience in a policy-oriented environment; some experience planning workshops or briefings; excellent verbal and written skills; web-skills; and a demonstrated interest in federal research policy and computing. Interested candidates should submit a resume with cover letter describing their qualifications and salary requirements via email to 

About CRA –

The Computing Research Association (CRA) is an association of more than 200 North American academic departments of computer science, computer engineering, and related fields; laboratories and centers in industry, government, and academia engaging in basic computing research; and affiliated professional societies.

CRA’s mission is to enhance innovation by joining with industry, government and academia to strengthen research and advanced education in computing. CRA executes this mission by leading the computing research community, informing policymakers and the public, and facilitating the development of strong, diverse talent in the field.

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As part of its mission to develop a next generation of leaders in the computing research community, the Computing Research Association‘s Computing Community Consortium (CCC) announces the second offering of the CCC Leadership in Science Policy Institute (LiSPI), intended to educate computing researchers on how science policy in the U.S. is formulated and how our government works. We seek nominations for participants.

LiSPI will be centered around a two day workshop to be held April 11-12, 2013 in Washington, DC.  (More details)

LiSPI will feature presentations and discussions with science policy experts, current and former Hill staff, and relevant agency and Administration personnel about mechanics of the legislative process, interacting with agencies, advisory committees, and the federal case for computing. (You can find a list of sessions and speakers from our first offering last November here.)

LiSPI participants are expected to

  • Complete a reading assignment and a short written homework prior to attending the workshop, so that time spent at the workshop can focus on more advanced content,
  • Attend the April 11-12th workshop, which includes breakfast both days, lunch, and a reception with the speakers and invited guests at the conclusion of the first day, and
  • Complete a small-group assignment afterwards that puts to use the workshop content on a CCC-inspired problem—perhaps writing an argument in favor of particular initiative for an agency audience, or drafting sample testimony on a CCC topic.

LiSPI is not intended for individuals who wish to undertake research on science policy, become science policy fellows, or take permanent positions in Washington, DC. Rather, we are trying to reach work-a-day academics who appreciate that our field must be engaged in helping government.

The CCC will provide funds for hotel accommodations for two nights of local expenses (hotel, meals) for the April 11-12 workshops. Nominees are expected to pay their own travel expenses, though there will be a limited fund available for participants who cannot attend unless their travel is provided.

Eligibility and Nomination Process

LiSPI participants are expected to have the experience and flexibility in their current positions to engage with government. University faculty members should be from CS or IS departments and be post-tenure; industrial researchers should have comparable seniority. Participants should be adept at communicating. They must be nominated by their chair or department head and must have demonstrated an interest in science policy, especially as it relates to computer science (and closely allied fields).

Specifically, the nomination process is as follows

  • A chair or department head proposes a LiSPI candidate by visiting ( and providing the name and institution of the nominee, along with a letter of recommendation.
  • The candidate will then be contacted by the CCC and asked to submit a CV, a short essay detailing their interests in science policy, and an indication of whether they would require financial aid to attend.

All nominations and material from nominators and nominees must be received by December 14, 2012.

Selection Process

The LiSPI selection committee will evaluate each nomination based on record of accomplishment, proven ability to communicate, and promise. Selections will be announced by the year end. We plan to open the workshop to 60 participants.

Please discuss this opportunity with your colleagues, identify those you believe would be interested in participating, and submit nominations!


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