The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Senior Program Officer for Scholarly Communications, Donald J. Waters, will retire on August 31, 2019 after 20 years of exceptional service at the Foundation.
“Over the past two decades, Don has developed a magnificent vision for scholarly communications across the humanities landscape, and exerted the intellectual leadership to implement it, always working with trusted partners in the field,” remarked Mariët Westermann, executive vice president for programs and research. “He has been ahead of many in his understanding of the enormous opportunities, challenges, and risks attendant on the digital transformation of the cultural record, its preservation, and its dissemination. The humanities field is forever in his debt.”
With the rise and promise of the digital age, the Mellon Foundation established a standing program in support of the burgeoning field of scholarly communications in 1999. With Waters at the helm, the Scholarly Communications program supported research libraries, cultural and academic archives, museums, universities, presses, and arts organizations as they embraced the potential of digital technologies in furthering the collective understanding of societies and cultures around the world. Scholarly Communications grants have given rise to scores of nonprofit enterprises, including Ithaka, Artstor, Portico, LOCKSS, Hypothes.is, and the Digital Public Library of America; dozens of new types of professions, such as scholarly communications librarians, digital repository managers, digitization specialists, data curators; and a large variety of standards and digital tools for knowledge-making.