Web Science Trust Board

Board Members

Professor James Hendler – Chair of the Board of Trustees


James Hendler is the Tetherless World Professor of Computer and Cognitive Science, and the Assistant Dean for Information Technology and Web Science, at Rensselaer. He is also a faculty affiliate of the Experimental Multimedia Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), serves as a Director of the UK’s charitable Web Science Trust and is a visiting Professor at the Institute of Creative Technology at DeMontfort University in Leicester, UK. Hendler has authored about 200 technical papers in the areas of Semantic Web, artificial intelligence, agent-based computing and high performance processing. One of the inventors of the Semantic Web, Hendler was the recipient of a 1995 Fulbright Foundation Fellowship, is a member of the US Air Force Science Advisory Board, and is a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the British Computer Society and the IEEE. He is also the former Chief Scientist of the Information Systems Office at the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and was awarded a US Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Medal in 2002. He is the Editor-in-Chief emeritus of IEEE Intelligent Systems and is the first computer scientist to serve on the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science. In 2010, Hendler was named to the“honor roll” of the 20 most innovative professors in America by Playboy magazine. Hendler also serves as an “Internet Web Expert” for the US government, providing guidance to the Data.govproject.

He was previously chair of the WSTnet networks of labs from 2009 – 2014 and was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees in 2015.

Professor George Metakides

George Metakeides


George Metakides received as a Fulbright scholar a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1968 and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mathematical Logic from Cornell University in 1971. He pursued an academic career in the U.S.A. at MIT, Cornell University and Rochester University until 1978, when he returned to Greece after being elected as a Full Professor to the Chair of Logic at the University of Patras.

He has published numerous articles and books in the areas of Mathematical Logic, Computer Science and Science Policy and is a frequent invited speaker at major international conferences. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the University of Bucharest and the University of Thessaloniki and is an honorary professor of the University of Moscow. He is a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and an honorary member of the Romanian Academy of Science. He has received the Medal of Honor of the Bulgarian Academy of Science, the Polish Information Society Recognition Award, for his efforts to build co-operation between IT researchers in the EU, the Nokia Award and the Telecom Europe Prize for his contribution to the development and effective dissemination of new information and communication technologies in Europe.

Since 1984 he has held senior positions with responsibility for R&D policy, funding and international co-operation in European institutions, including president of the Research Group of the European Council and member of the ESPRIT (European Strategic Program of Research in Information Technology) Management Committee and of the NATO Science Committee at different times between 1984 and 1987. He established and headed the department for Basic Research and International Scientific Relations in Information Technologies at the European Commission from 1988 to 1993. He was the director of the ESPRIT Program in the European Commission’s Industry Directorate General from 1993 until its completion in 1998.

Until November 2002 he was Director of Essential Technologies and Infrastructures in Europe’s Information Society Technologies (IST) Program (1998-2002), in the Information Society Directorate General which – besides funding and coordinating R&D in information and communication technologies in the European Union – also covers information society and telecommunications policy and regulation.

He is an active contributor to the promotion of co-operation between the European Union and other regions. He has instigated and /or contributed to the establishment of major research agreements between the EU and the USA (including the launch of the World Wide Web Consortium, W3C in1993).

He is President of the Digital enlightenment Forum (www.digitalenlightenment.org/) .In addition to DEF’s Trust in the Digital world issues, his current interests and activities include Web Science (he helped establish the U.of Thessaloniki Web Science M.Sc. program in 2010) , European R&D policy and programs and international cooperation.

He is currently Professor at the University of Patras , President of the Scientific Board of the Computer Technologies Institute , Senior Advisor to the Foundation of the Hellenic World and Advisor to several international organizations.

Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt

Nigel Shadbolt

Nigel Shadbolt is currently Professor of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deputy Head (Research) of the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. He was a Founding Director of the Web Science Research Initiative, a joint endeavour between the University of Southampton and MIT, and is a Director and Trustee of the Web Science Trust.  He is also a Director of the World Wide Web Foundation.

He is to join as principle of Jesus College Oxford in 2015 where he will also hold a Professorship in Computer Science.

He has been given a special role to help transform public access to Government information.  He will be working closely with Sir Tim Berners-Lee to open up public access to non-personal public data, including overseeing the creation of a single online point of access for public UK datasets. He is the  chairman of the Open Data Insititute.

In its 50th Anniversary year 2006-07, Nigel was President of the British Computer Society.  He is a Fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and the British Computer Society.

Between 2000-07, he was the Director of the £7.5m EPSRC Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration in Advanced Knowledge Technologies (AKT).   AKT was particularly influential in establishing the viability and value of web-based semantic technologies.  In 2009 he was awarded a further £2m by the EPSRC to build on this work.

He has been involved in a wide range of entrepreneurial activities. In 2006 he was one of three founding Directors of Garlik Ltd, a company specialising in consumer products and services to put people and their families in control of their own digital information.   He is currently Garlik’s Chief Scientific Officer. In 2008 Garlik was awarded Technology Pioneer status by the Davos World Economic Forum and won the prestigious UK national BT Flagship IT Award.

He is the co-author of “The Spy in the Coffee Machine” and has an interest in issues to do with privacy and trust in the Digital age.  He is a series consultant to the BBC’s landmark documentary series The Digital Revolution.

Professor Dame Wendy Hall – Executive Director


Wendy Hall, DBE, FREng, FRS is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, UK. She was Head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) from 2002 to 2007.

One of the first computer scientists to undertake serious research in multimedia and hypermedia, she has been at its forefront ever since. The influence of her work has been significant in many areas including digital libraries, the development of the Semantic Web, and the emerging research discipline of Web Science.

Her current research includes applications of the Semantic Web and exploring the interface between the life sciences and the physical sciences. She is a Founding Director, along with Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Professor Nigel Shadbolt and Daniel J. Weitzner, of the Web Science Research Initiative.

In addition to playing a prominent role in the development of her subject, she also helps shape science and engineering policy and education. Through her leadership roles on national and international bodies, she has shattered many glass ceilings, readily deploying her position on numerous national and international bodies to promote the role of women in SET, and acting as an important role model for others.

She became a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the 2009 UK New Year’s Honours list and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in the same year.  She was also the recipient of the 2009 Duncan Davies Medal which was awarded by the Research and Development Society.

She was elected President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in July 2008, and is the first person from outside North America to hold this position.

Until July 2008, she was Senior Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, is currently a member of the UK Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, and is a founder member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council. She was President of the British Computer Society (2003-4) and an EPSRC Senior Research Fellow from 1996 to 2002.

She was recently named by Computer Weekly as the most influential woman in IT in the UK (2014)

Professor Noshir Contractor


Professor Contractor is Director of the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Research Group at Northwestern University. He is investigating factors that lead to the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of dynamically linked social and knowledge networks in a wide variety of contexts, including communities of practice in business, science, and engineering, public health networks, and virtual worlds.

Joanna Lewis

Joanna Lewis is a strategy consultant with over 25 years’ experience in advising public and private sector clients at Bain & Co, KPMG and as Special Projects Advisor to Sir Mike Rake, Chairman of BT Plc.  Joanna co-founded Littlefox Communications in 2012, where she is, Chief Executive. In 2014 she also co-founded eHealth Digital Media to focus specifically on using film-based communications to engage patients in becoming more expert in managing their health
conditions. Joanna is a Governor of Motability, a leading disability charity, a fellow of the RSA and a director of the Web Science Trust.  Joanna has an MA  in History from St Johns College, Cambridge and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

Anni Rowland-Campbell

anni rowland-cambell

Anni Rowland-Campbell is Director of Intersticia, an organisation promoting interdisciplinary approaches to understanding technology, culture and society. She has had various roles in the Arts (working with the Sydney Opera House, Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Australian Opera), Government (as a Ministerial Advisor and Member of numerous Government Boards), and the corporate sector (leading research into emerging Web technologies for Fuji Xerox Australia).

Anni has taught senior public sector managers through ANZSOG (the Australian and New Zealand School of Government) to integrate Web Science concepts into public administration and management. In 2013 Anni led an ANZSOG Research Project investigating the concept of “Government as a Social Machine” which linked with the SOCIAM research project, and she is currently leading a second ANSOG Research Project bringing the Web Science Institute together with the University of South Australia to create a Web Observatory for Government. In 2011 Anni helped to form “Web Science Australia”, a non-profit organisation which combines research and practice in order to more effectively understand, manage, govern and develop the evolving Web.

John Taysom

John Taysom

John Taysom started the Reuters Venture Capital Fund in Palo Alto in 1995 making 82 investments in internet and Web infrastructure and services. He acquired the Fund in an MBO in 2002 leading many of the investments to achieve an IPO.

He is now London-based with a seed portfolio of 30 US and UK start-ups; several of which have been acquired by such groups as Experian, Linkedin, Tesco, and BMC. Between 2011-2012 John took a Fellowship at Harvard to work on privacy issues and holds EU and US patents on a method of improving privacy online.

He chairs Performance Horizon, a fast growing UK startup; is a Governor at Hurstpierpoint College, and runs a small farm in Devon. John joins WST as a trustee and full board member. He will advise on issues of privacy and is helping devise a curriculum in Digital Civics.

JP Rangaswami

JP RangaswamiPreviously Chief Scientist at salesforce.com from 2010-2014, JP Rangaswami focused on helping salesforce.com’s European customers think about innovative ways to use the real-time, mobile and social capabilities provided by Salesforce apps and the Force.com platform.

He joined Deutche Bank as their first Chief Data Officer in Jan 2015. Prior to this JP Rangaswami spent four years at BT in London, most recently as Chief Scientist of the BT Group. He brings over 30 years’ of technology experience to salesforce.com with large multinational companies. This includes holding the role of global chief information officer at investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, which he joined in 1997. While there, he established his reputation for innovation within the enterprise, culminating in a series of Harvard Business Review case studies. Rangaswami has also held a variety of leadership and technology positions at Burroughs Corp., Data General and Hoskyns Group.

JP Rangaswami is chairman of School of Everything, an educational start-up that teaches a broad range of socially focused topics via the web. He is also a venture partner at Anthemis Group.

JP Rangaswami is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and is a Chartered IT Professional of the British Computer Society.

He has contributed a guest chapter to The Cluetrain Manifesto, a best-selling business book.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Statistics from St. Xavier’s College, University of Calcutta.

JP writes a popular blog called Confused of Calcutta. A feed of his latest articles is included below.

Daniel J. Weitzner
Daniel Weitzner

Daniel J. Weitzner is the Director and Co-Founder of the MIT CSAIL Decentralized Information Group. His group studies the relationship between network architecture and public policy and develops new Web architectures to meet policy challenges such as privacy and intellectual property rights. He teaches Internet public policy in MIT’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department.

From 2011-2012, Weitzner was the United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy in the White House, where he led initiatives on online privacy, cybersecurity, Internet copyright, and trade policies to promote the free flow of information. Weitzner ‘s work led to the development of the Obama Administration’s
Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, adoption of an international agreement on Internet Policymaking Principles by 34 OECD Countries, and the Administration position the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). He also was Associate Administrator for Policy at the
United States Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Weitzner was a member of the Obama-Biden Presidential
Transition Team.

Weitzner has been a leader in the development of Internet public policy from its inception, making fundamental contributions to the successful fight for strong online free expression protection in the United States Supreme Court, crafting laws that control government surveillance of email and web browsing data. His work on US legislation limiting the liability of Internet Service Providers created the legal foundation for social media services and global free flow of information online.

For more information please see Danny Weitzner’s MIT home page

Fellows and Advisors

Sir John Taylor – Senior Fellow


In December 2003, John Taylor completed his five year term as Director General of Research Councils, responsible for the UK Science Budget and the seven Research Councils funding research across the whole spectrum of science and technology in the UK science and engineering base.

He was formerly Director of Hewlett Packard Laboratories Bristol, where he developed major programs of research in areas including internet security, wireless communications, telecommunications, personal digital imaging, software engineering and mathematics. Earlier, he lead various research groups at RSRE and ARE in secure computing and communications, command and control.

He was chairman of Roke Manor Research Ltd from 2004-2010, and in May 2009 became Chairman of the Web Science Trust. He was a non-executive Director on the main board of Rolls Royce from 2004-2007 and a member of the Council of the Royal Academy of Engineering from 2004-2007. He is an honorary fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge and was a visiting professor at Oxford University from 2004-2009. He was knighted in 2004 for services to scientific research and is a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

He was President of the the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now the IET) in 1998-9 and is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and the Institute of Physics. He was chair of the UK South West Regional Development Agency’s Shadow Science and Industry Council in 2004-5. He chaired the UK Technology Foresight Panel in IT Electronics and Communications (ITEC) until December 1998 and led the UK Foresight project on Cognitive Systems in 2002-3. He launched the UK e-Science program in 2001

John was chair of the board of trustees from 2009 – 2014

Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee – Senior Fellow


Tim Berners-Lee graduated from the Queen’s College at Oxford University, England, 1976. Whilst there he built his first computer with a soldering iron, TTL gates, an M6800 processor and an old television.

He spent two years with Plessey Telecommunications Ltd (Poole, Dorset, UK) a major UK Telecom equipment manufacturer, working on distributed transaction systems, message relays, and bar code technology.

In 1978 Tim left Plessey to join D.G Nash Ltd (Ferndown, Dorset, UK), where he wrote among other things typesetting software for intelligent printers, and a multitasking operating system.

A year and a half spent as an independent consultant included a six month stint (Jun-Dec 1980) as consultant software engineer at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. Whilst there, he wrote for his own private use his first program for storing information including using random associations. Named “Enquire”, and never published, this program formed the conceptual basis for the future development of the World Wide Web.

From 1981 until 1984, Tim worked at John Poole’s Image Computer Systems Ltd, with technical design responsibility. Work here included real time control firmware, graphics and communications software, and a generic macro language. In 1984, he took up a fellowship at CERN, to work on distributed real-time systems for scientific data acquisition and system control. Among other things, he worked on FASTBUS system software and designed a heterogeneous remote procedure call system.

In 1989, he proposed a global hypertext project, to be known as the World Wide Web. Based on the earlier “Enquire” work, it was designed to allow people to work together by combining their knowledge in a web of hypertext documents. He wrote the first World Wide Web server, “httpd“, and the first client, “WorldWideWeb” a what-you-see-is-what-you-get hypertext browser/editor which ran in the NeXTStep environment. This work was started in October 1990, and the program “WorldWideWeb” first made available within CERN in December, and on the Internet at large in the summer of 1991.

Through 1991 and 1993, Tim continued working on the design of the Web, coordinating feedback from users across the Internet. His initial specifications of URIs, HTTP and HTML were refined and discussed in larger circles as the Web technology spread.

In 1994, Tim founded the World Wide Web Consortium at the then Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) which merged with the Artificial Intelligence Lab in 2003 to become the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Since that time he has served as the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium a Web standards organization which develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and

tools) to lead the Web to its full potential. The Consortium has host sites located at MIT, at ERCIM in Europe, and at Keio University in Japan as well as Offices around the world.

In 1999, he became the first holder of the 3Com Founders chair. He is currently the 3COM Founders Professor of Engineering in the School of Engineering, with a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at CSAIL where he also heads the Decentralized Information Group (DIG). In December 2004 he was named a Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Southampton, UK. He was a Founding Director of the Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI), a joint endeavour between the University of Southampton and MIT, and is a Director and Trustee of the Web Science Trust (WST). He is a Director of the

World Wide Web Foundation, started in 2008 to fund and coordinate efforts to further the potential of the Web to benefit humanity.

In 2001 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society. He has been the recipient of several international awards including the Japan Prize, the Prince of Asturias Foundation Prize, the Millennium Technology Prize and Germany’s Die Quadriga award. In 2004 he was knighted by H.M. Queen Elizabeth and in 2007 he was awarded the Order of Merit. In 2009 he was elected a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences.

In June 2009 Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that Tim Berners-Lee will work with the UK Government to help make data more open and accessible on the Web, building on the work of the Power of Information Task Force.

He is the author of “Weaving the Web“, on the the past, present and future of the Web.

Baroness Fritchie – Patron
Baroness Fritchie
Baroness Fritchie

Baroness Rennie Fritchie, DBE was appointed Chair of Nominet, the UK’s domain name registry, in 2010. She is an Independent Crossbench Peer, a consultant on strategy and leadership working out of Mainstream Development, Chair of Lloyds Bank Foundation England and Wales and Chancellor for the University of Gloucestershire.

She holds seven Honorary Degrees from universities across Britain and is a Fellow of City & Guilds London and The Chartered Institute for Public Finance. She was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1996 and a life peer in 2005.

WST supporters

We also wish to acknowledge the contribution of colleagues who acted as supporters and  research fellows for the forerunner to the Web Science Trust, the Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI). They are listed  here.