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International Programme Office

The International Programme Office (IPO) of the World Data System (WDS) acts under the leadership of the WDS Executive Director with guidance from the Scientific Committee. It is currently supported by a Communications Officer, an Administrative Officer, and a Senior Advisor.

The IPO has the task of coordinating the operations of WDS, and is responsible for implementing the decisions of the Scientific Committee, as well as performing day-to-day tasks. It is also responsible for organizing the twice-yearly face-to-face meetings of the Scientific Committee, the biennial WDS Conference (SciDataCon), WDS Members' Forum, and outreach and promotional activities. The IPO is based in Tokyo, Japan, hosted and financially supported by the Japanese National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), following an agreement with the International Science Council (formerly ICSU) until 31 March 2021.

Our Staff

Rorie Edmunds

Acting Executive Director

Rorie Edmunds joined the World Data System – International Programme Office in August 2012 as the Programme Officer. He became Acting Executive Director in June 2018. Rorie was a co-chair of the working group that developed the Trustworthy Data Repositories Requirements which form the basis of the CoreTrustSeal certification standard. He is now an ex officio member of the CoreTrustSeal Board, and one of the leaders of the Secretariat.

Rorie previously worked as a Technical Editor in Tokyo, aiding Japanese scientists and academics from many scientific disciplines to publish their work in English. Before this, he held various research positions in universities in both his home country of the UK (including Imperial College London) and in Japan (principally, the Toyota Technological Institute). Having been involved in a number of academic projects, his scientific background has covered fields including nonlinear mathematics, structural mechanics, geology, design engineering, and optimization. In particular, he modelled several types of structural failure in multilayer materials by incorporating nonlinear friction at the layer interfaces. His first degree is in mathematics and he holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, both of which were gained from the University of Bath (UK).

Wim Hugo

Director of Strategy Designate

Wim Hugo is the Director of Strategy Designate for the ISC World Data System, to be based at the International Programme Office in Tokyo.

Recent achievements include the publication of a BioEnergy Atlas for South Africa, contributing chapters to The GEO Data Management Principles Implementation Guide, the GEO BON Handbook, and establishment of a research data infrastructure for the South African Environmental Observation Network, for which he served as the Chief Information Officer until end 2019.

Major interests include the development of integrated guidance and best practice for e-Infrastructures, extension of metadata and research activity data through graph databases and linked open data, formulation of ‘Benefit Frameworks’ to assist with translation of evidence into policy support, and the establishment of an open brokering framework for registration of interoperable services and components. Within WDS and CoreTrustSeal, of which he is a Board member, he hopes to advance the principle of trust to extend to other elements of scientific activity—code, algorithms, protocols, samples, and the like. Wim has a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering, and has over 30 years of experience in engineering and management consulting, decision modelling, and digital systems engineering. He specializes in Research Data Infrastructure Architecture and in development of policy and decision support systems based on distributed Research Data Infrastructures.

Takashi Watanabe

Senior Advisor

Takashi Watanabe is emeritus professor of the Ibaraki University and a guest professor of Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University, is the chairman of the WDS Committee of the Science Council of Japan and a member of the Committee of International Collaboration in Earth and Planetary Sciences. He is the director of the WDC for Cosmic Rays. He has performed data-oriented researches in the area of solar-terrestrial physics, particularly on the relationship between solar phenomena and their interplanetary consequences. He determined structures of solar-wind streams and interplanetary disturbances in the high-latitude regions of interplanetary space, basing on interplanetary scintillation technique, well before the era of deep-space missions. He organized many data-analysis workshops of selected solar-terrestrial events, based on databases from the former WDC system.

Yuko Nikaido

Administrative Officer

Yuko Nikaido officially joined the WDS-IPO in September 2012, but has been assisting the IPO Executive Director since March 2012. Born into a family of journalists, her love of world literature resulted in obtaining a Literature B.A. from Waseda University (Tokyo). She subsequently moved to Paris with the aim of becoming an interior decorator, and when this ambition failed to be realized, began travelling extensively around the world. Prior to joining NICT, she gained nearly 10 years of administrative experience working for IT-related companies. Yuko states that she is, 'glad to have this valuable opportunity to work for a meaningful global organization.'

Kumi Honda

Communications Officer

Kumi Honda joined the WDS-IPO in July 2019 as Communications Officer. She spent 7 years in Hawaii and graduated from Hawaii Pacific University majoring in Travel Industry Management. After working a few years in Hawaii, she came back to Japan and worked for the biggest marketing research company in the world for almost 10 years in a few different work positions. She loves singing and having a quality time with her two toy poodles, 'Patcho' and 'Cocoapuff'.

Contact Us

Please visit our 'Contact Us' page for information on the IPO's mailing address, telephone number, and email address.