Dr. Michael Conlon: Leadership Marked Tenure as VIVO Project Director

Photo credit: Randy Belice

Dr. Michael Conlon, the VIVO Project Director since 2015 who has guided VIVO from a grant-funded project to an open-source, member-supported community, has stepped down from that position on December 20, 2019. As the Emeritus Project Director, Mike will continue to be active in the VIVO Project, leading the Ontology Interest Group and serving as a voting member of the Leadership Group until June 30, 2020.

 The VIVO Leadership Group and the global VIVO community extends their profound gratitude to Mike for his many years of leadership and vision as Project Director. Members of the community have shared these thoughts about Mike:

“Mike’s contributions to VIVO cannot be overstated. VIVO has been the lucky beneficiary of his broad IT leadership experience and his deep knowledge of collaborative research processes. He’s done everything from develop software to strategize product direction to advocate for VIVO and for open initiatives world-wide. Mike’s dedication to VIVO over the last decade has perfectly positioned us for further growth and progress in the future.” 

“Mike’s passion, energy and expertise can be seen in every aspect of the VIVO Project. His dedication to providing open-source tools for representing scholarship is meaningful to those of us who are committed to sustaining open, community-supported initiatives.”

“Mike has been an indefatigable champion of all things VIVO, traipsing the globe to advocate for open data and the semantic web. He is generous with time and expertise. I always appreciate getting his take on a technology or approach, because of how thoroughly he has thought through an issue on topics ranging beyond software development to accounting, academia, politics, and sociology. Mike has a knack for recounting hilarious stories. Some of my favorites include growing up on Long Island, behind the scenes at University of Florida, and his first job programming. VIVO would not be where it is without Mike. I hope the community will continue to benefit from his contributions and his voice.”

In 2009, the NIH awarded VIVO $12.2 million to seven universities and research institutions with the goal of creating an open-source software platform, ontology, and community. Conlon served as principal investigator of this award, leading a team of 180 investigators at seven schools. In 2014, the VIVO Project joined DuraSpace as a community-supported project and in 2019, DuraSpace merged with LYRASIS to become the DuraSpace Community-Supported Programs division. During that time, VIVO has grown to 26 members supporting 163 registered implementations in 20 countries. 

Mike adds, “It has been an honor to work with all the talented and devoted people around the world in their efforts on the VIVO Project.  I look forward to continuing to serve the community in its work in my new role as Emeritus Project Director.”

In his new role, Mike will focus on leading the VIVO Ontology Interest Group in their work on version 2.0 of the ontology, and will function in a senior advisory role on the VIVO Leadership Group. We look forward to continued collaborations with Mike to move the VIVO Project forward together!