Heather Joseph, Executive Director
As SPARC’s Executive Director since 2005, Heather has focused the organization’s efforts on sharing knowledge. Under her stewardship, SPARC has become the leading advocacy organization promoting innovative open and equitable global systems of research and education. She leads SPARC’s strategic work, which has resulted in a fundamental shift in public policy towards open knowledge sharing, including the establishment of the landmark White House Memorandum requiring open access to all U.S. federally funded research outputs in 2023.
She has provided guidance and advice to both public and private funders through her service on national boards and committees ranging from the U.S. Department of Commerce Data Advisory Council to the National Institute of Standards Research Data Framework Committee and has worked to incentivize knowledge sharing by spearheading the establishment of the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Roundtable an Aligning Incentives to Support Open Science.
She is a widely respected expert on national and international open research policies, practices, and implementation strategies; Heather has worked on initiatives and consultations promoting the open sharing of research outputs from the United Nations to the World Bank. Through SPARC’s global network of affiliates in Europe, Asia and Africa, she is an active collaborator on projects that support community-developed and controlled solutions for knowledge sharing.
Prior to joining SPARC, Heather spent 15 years as a publisher in both commercial and not-for-profit journal publishing organizations. She is deeply engaged in the global knowledge-sharing community and serves on the Board of Directors of organizations ranging from the Public Resource to Our Research. She is a frequent speaker and writer on scholarly communications and higher education issues and open access to research in particular.