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Dr Dave Williams

Executive Director- Digital, National Facilities And Collections


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Executive Director of CSIRO – Digital, National Facilities and Collections

Dr Williams leads the data-focused research, development and digital capability of CSIRO, and is a member of the Executive Team. He has stewardship of a range of business lines and national facilities including Astronomy and Space Science, the Australia Telescope National Facility, Marine National Facility, Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Australian Collections, Information, Management and Technology and Data 61.

Dr Williams also leads National Biological Collections and major national infrastructure. CSIRO hosts the National Research Infrastructure on behalf of the scientific community to assist with the delivery of research, some of these include:

  • Marine Research Vessel
  • Pawsey Supercomputer
  • Australian National Insect Collection (Canberra)
  • Australian National Herbarium (Canberra and Cairns)
  • Australian National Wildlife Collection (Canberra)
  • Australian Tree Seed Centre (Canberra)
  • Australian National Fish Collection (Hobart)
  • Australian National Algal Culture Collection (Hobart)
  • ATLAS of Living Australia

Prior to joining CSIRO in 2014, Dr Williams was Chairman of the European Space Agency (ESA), leading the 20-nation council executive body that oversaw the ESA. During this same period Dr Williams was also Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Space Agency responsible for developing the strategic vision for UK space, securing bilateral arrangements with various countries, and establishing national facilities in Harwell, England.

During 2005 – 2010 he served as Director General of the UKSA’s forerunner body, the British National Space Centre (BNSC), where he transitioned the National Space Centre into an agency structure, and was Head of the UK Delegation to ESA.

His earlier experience includes 10 years as Head of Strategy and International Relations with the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites and work withthe UK Natural Environment Research Council, industry and academia.

Dr Williams holds BSc degree and a PhD from the University of Reading, served as a Member of the Global Climate Observing Committee, was elected Member of the International Academy for Astronautics in 2012, and is now a non-executive director of AARNET.