Sandy Payette joins SEAD as project manager

The Sustainable Environment Actionable Data (SEAD) project, led by UMSI professor of information Margaret Hedstrom, has hired Sandy Payette as its new project manager starting July 1.

“Sandy has exactly the mix of software engineering, institution building, management and communication skills that we need as SEAD moves to its next phase,” said Hedstrom, in making the announcement.

Payette is an established leader in the digital archiving and preservation fields, with an extensive background in digital libraries, information architecture and open source software. From 1997-2007, she was a researcher at Cornell Computing and Information Science. She was also chief architect and developer of the original Fedora research software and director of the Fedora Repository Project from 2000-2007.

Payette expanded the Fedora mission by creating the Fedora Commons, an independent not-for-profit organization. She was also the founding CEO of DuraSpace, a not-for-profit organization that provides leadership and innovation for open technologies that promote durable, persistent access to digital data.

Payette holds a bachelor’s degree in information systems and a master’s of business administration from Binghamton University, State University of New York. She is currently completing her PhD at Cornell University.

The SEAD project began in 2011 with support from an $8 million National Science Foundation grant. Partners on the project are the University of Michigan School of Information (lead), the University of Illinois, and Indiana University. Researchers on the project have worked closely with sustainability scientists to develop a cyberinfrastructure that will allow them to manage and share their data and connect to other researchers. The researchers are developing tools that will enable sophisticated management of heterogeneous data while lowering the cost and effort required to curate and preserve data for community use.

To learn more about Payette, visit her website,

For more information about SEAD, visit the project’s website,

Posted on May 29, 2014