Special announcements from Executive Director René Bastón and Principal Investigator Jeannette Wing, regarding our Executive Director leadership transition:

Dear Northeast Hub Community,

I hope that you are all doing well, despite our world being turned upside down by COVID-19, and that you and yours are healthy.

I’m writing to let you know that I am stepping down as Executive Director of the Northeast Big Data Hub on April 16th.

Over the last four years, I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to take the Northeast Hub from its founding to our phase II renewal. During this time, we faced both challenges and triumphs. Any missteps along the way, I claim. The successes belong to our outstanding team – including our amazing colleagues at the Columbia Data Science Institute – and always resulted from collaboration with you, our extraordinary community.

The Northeast Hub’s emphasis on translational data science and the potential of building collaborations between academia, industry, and government were what attracted me from the beginning. Now I’m joining a venture capital firm to build the bridges between them and academia. I’ll be working in a different way to transfer data science and machine learning technologies to achieve broader impacts.

While I’m excited about opportunities that await me in my new position, I say farewell with sadness because I believe that the best is yet to come for the Northeast Hub. Knowing that it will be left in great hands, however, brightens my mood.

Jeannette Wing will still be leading the Hub as PI. Katie Naum, who has been working hard to ensure a smooth transition, will remain as Operations Manager. And you’ll hear from Jeannette, below, that Florence Hudson – who has been one of our most active steering committee members and advisors – has joined as interim Executive Director.

I am truly grateful that Kathy McKeown, our founding PI, and Jeannette placed their confidence in me and gave me the chance to work with such an exceptional community to help build something that makes saying goodbye so difficult. I’m hopeful that my path will continue to cross with many of yours in my new role.

Until then,


As René Bastón moves on to his next opportunity, to ensure a smooth transition in the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub, we are pleased to announce that Florence Hudson (www.linkedin.com/in/florencehudson/) has joined the Project Team as interim Executive Director. She has been engaged with the Northeast Hub since its founding, as a Steering Committee member, the Special Advisor for Next Generation Internet, and on the Strategic Working Group. Florence is also quite familiar with the leadership and communities across the four Big Data Hubs nationally. We welcome her to the team.