This article is published in the October 2014 issue.

UMass-Amherst Prof and CRA Board Member Kurose Selected to Run NSF CISE

National Science Foundation Director France Córdova recently 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.