Heather Joseph, Executive Director
Heather Joseph serves as SPARC’s Executive Director, leading the strategic and operational activities of the organization. She has focused SPARC’s efforts on supporting new models for the open sharing of digital articles, data and educational resources. Under her stewardship, SPARC has become widely recognized as the leading international force for effective open access policies and practices.
A firm believer in collective action, she has bolstered SPARC’s mission through the development and leadership of effective coalitions. She convenes the Alliance for Taxpayer Access and the Open Access Working Group, broad coalitions of university, library, advocacy, and consumer groups that serve as leading voices on U.S. open access policies, including the landmark National Institutes of Health (NIH) public access policy and a White House Directive.
She is particularly proud to have supported the creation and launch of SPARC’s student Right to Research Coalition, an international advocacy organization that now provides nearly seven million students worldwide with opportunities to actively engage advocacy for the open sharing of research outputs and educational materials – often in partnership with the library community.
Prior to joining SPARC, Heather spent 15 years as a publishing executive in both commercial and not-for-profit organizations. She was the publisher of the first journal to commit its full content to the NIH’s pioneering open access repository, PubMed Central, and subsequently served on the National Advisory Committee for this initiative. She is also the founder BioOne, a collaborative publishing organization designed to keep non-profit publishers operating independently.
Heather is an active participant on committees and projects at several U.S. federal agencies. In 2015, she was appointed to the newly-formed Commerce Data Advisory Council and tasked with providing input to the Secretary of Commerce on issues surrounding open data. She serves on the Board of Directors of key non-profit organizations supporting the open sharing knowledge, including the the Public Library of Science (PLOS), DuraSpace, EIFL, the Center for Open Science, and ImpactStory.
Heather is a frequent speaker and writer on topics relating to opening up access to knowledge, and particularly enjoys spending time in SPARC’s member libraries.