Peace Ossom Named Director of Research Data Services

Peace OssomPeace Ossom has been named Director of Research Data Services, the MIT Libraries announced today. Reporting to the Associate Director of Research, Learning, and Strategic Partnerships, the Director of Research Data Services will lead the Department of Data and Specialized Services (DSS). The Libraries are a key partner within the Institute’s research enterprise, supporting researchers in managing, storing, curating, and sharing data for various research and educational uses. Ossom will begin her new role on August 12. Park Square Executive Search served as the MIT Libraries’ search firm partner for this role.

“Research data is an essential component of MIT’s ability to fulfill its mission and vision,” says Alexia Hudson-Ward, Associate Director of Research, Learning, and Strategic Partnerships. “With the wealth of experience Peace brings, I’m confident we will further develop robust, sustainable, and collaborative data services to support the needs of the MIT research community.”

In addition to overseeing strategy and operations of DSS’ multi-tiered research data activities such as creating data management plans, the DOI minting service, and GIS support, the director will manage an array of relationships outside of the Libraries, including serving as a key collaborator with the Institute’s newly created Office of Research Computing and Data (ORCD).

“Libraries are deepening services in engagement with the research process in all stages of the data lifecycle, while critically assessing how to align these processes with our values,” said Ossom. “MIT Libraries have been forward-thinking in this regard. I am delighted to join this effort and eager to undertake endeavors that contribute to a lasting impact on data use and access within MIT and across the wider research community.”

Ossom is currently the Associate Director of the Network of the National Library of Medicine National Center for Data Services (NCDS) and Associate Curator at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. At NCDS, she has led the development and facilitation of the NCDS Data Librarianship Internship program for library and information science students of color, which has become a highly sought-after and productive program for both internship sites and participants. In this outreach position, she facilitated partnerships with the National Library of Medicine and groups including Data Curation Network, Local Health Department (LHD) Academy of Science, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, and RDAP (Research Data Access & Preservation) Association. Ossom also coordinated two short courses on Data Inclusion and Accessibility and Generative AI. During her tenure at NCDS, she co-led the creation of structured pathways for information professionals to develop data expertise and the training programs on data management and data literacy to complete these pathways.

Previously, she was Director of Research Data Services at The University of Texas at Arlington. In recognition of her research, Ossom received the 2021 Texas Woman’s University Hallmark Alumni Award as well as the Medical Library Association’s 2020 Ida and George Eliot Prize, which recognizes the most effective article in furthering medical librarianship. She has served as chair of the Health Libraries Information Network (HealthLINE), the Medical Library Association (MLA) Chapter Representative for the South Central Chapter (SCC), and an executive board member of the Texas Library Association and SCC/MLA. She is also an active educator, teaching at San Jose State University’s graduate iSchool program and the UTA undergraduate public health program. Her research areas are in scholarly research behaviors, open data and open science, and DEIA. She holds a Master of Library Science and a Master in Health Studies from Texas Women’s University.