Chief Digital Officer and Chief Information Officer
Bill Thirsk joined Brown University in 2019. As Chief Digital Officer and Chief Information Officer, he leads an integrated and cohesive approach to digital strategy and technology platforms, overseeing a full range of information technology and data functions across the University. He directs Brown’s Digital Transformation Project, a roadmap created in 2016 that prioritizes a more user-centric approach to the University’s digital relationship with students and alumni. He also oversees all areas of information technology and other enterprise support units. His experience in higher education technology management is broad-based, covering such areas as technology planning, network management, telecommunications, web services, instructional technology, and managed services. With over 30 years of experience in higher education technology management, he has an established voice on technology management for universities and has contributed insights and expertise to publications such as the Wall Street Journal, IBM Systems Magazine, National Public Radio, CIO Magazine and Computerworld Magazine. He has also presented to global audiences at conferences such as IBM Pulse, Ellucian Live and the Network World Open Network Exchange.
Thirsk was named an IDG Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader for 2013 and currently serves as Board Chair of NYSERNet.Org, a not-for-profit New York State Internet, education, research, and technology service organization. Thirsk also serves on the NEREN Board of Directors, the North East Research and Education Network that connects MIT, Harvard, Yale, and most of the R1 and state universities in New England. He was also founding Chair of the Board of Directors of the Ellucian Community Source Initiative (CSI).
Thirsk received a BBA in Business Administration from George Washington University and an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology. He is also a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
To arrange an appointment, please contact Wendy Octeau, Wendy_Octeau@brown.edu.
Deputy Chief Information Officer
As the Deputy CIO, John is responsible for managing the IT Service Center and insuring that Brown's IT systems work together seamlessly to provide the university community with a comprehensive and modern set of reliable IT services that meet the needs of research, scholarship and the administration. He also oversees Project Management. A Dartmouth College graduate, John has been at Brown since 1984. Prior to his current role he served as a User Services Specialist, ran the Student Help Desk and was a mainframe systems programmer. More recently John directed the infrastructure systems and services team that supported email, directories, web services and the underlying infrastructure that makes them all work. John has taken on the Interim CIO role twice, as well as temporary leadership roles in Advancement IT, and the Center for Computation and Visualization (CCV). To arrange an appointment, please contact Wendy Octeau, Wendy_Octeau@brown.edu.
Director, IT Security
Mark Dieterich is Director of IT Security at Brown University. He started his career at Brown in 1997 with the Department of Computer Science, holding a variety of positions until he was finally promoted to Director of IT for the department. In his current role, Mark is responsible for information security architecture and best practices across the University, directing security compliance and risk assessment efforts, leading awareness programs, directing an incident response team, and overseeing the Information Security team. He has a vast technological background, with experience managing and securing many of the software technologies employed at Brown today. Mark’s background includes everything from high level architecture design to low level code debugging, covering a variety of security aspects. To arrange an appointment, please contact Lisa Vaillancourt, Lisa_Vaillancourt@brown.edu.
Director, Departmental Systems
Geoffrey Greene is Director of Departmental Systems at Brown University. Geoff has worked in IT at Brown since 1988, holding a variety of positions. In his current role, Geoff directs the Production Services team in CIS and oversees the IT needs for many departments at Brown, including the Division of Biology and Medicine, the Dean of Campus Life, the Department of Public Safety, and Business and Financial Services. Geoff and his teams oversee the change management and problem management processes to ensure quality across all aspects of IT. To arrange an appointment, please contact Amy Fernandes, Amy_Fernandes@brown.edu.
Director of Data Science
As Director of Data Science and Lead Data Scientist, Paul oversees support for data-intensive computing, machine learning, informatics, reporting, and analytics through the Data Science Practice team. Prior to Brown, Paul worked as a Mathematical Statistician at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He completed a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Notre Dame; his undergraduate work was at The Ohio State University. Paul is broadly interested in ensemble methods for machine learning, as well as high-performance computing. To arrange an appointment, please contact Amy Fernandes, Amy_Fernandes@brown.edu.
Director, Enterprise Application Services
As Director of Enterprise Application Services, John Styer oversees Business Intelligence & Data Warehousing, technical support teams for Human Capital Management, Payroll, Financials, Research Administration, Student Administration, Identity Management, Integration services, Web Services and custom web application development. John has over 30 years of experience in information technology as an applications developer, project manager, and in various leadership roles. Before joining Brown University in 2000, he held information technology positions in government, insurance, and consulting services. To arrange an appointment, please contact Lisa Vaillancourt, Lisa_Vaillancourt@brown.edu.
Director, Telecommunications and Network Technology
Tim Wells came to Brown in June of 2006 as CIS's new Director of Network Technology managing all aspects of the network and bringing with him over 20 years of IT experience. Since then Tim has taken on responsibility for Telecommunications, and Facilities IT Project Coordination. Before Brown, Tim was the Vice President of Enterprise Strategy and Architecture for Citizens Financial Group. During his eight years at Citizens, Tim held engineering and senior operational management positions, with responsibilities that included voice and data network support, planning and design, distributed systems support, data center cable architecture, storage architecture, disaster recovery and business continuity. Previously Tim worked for Honeywell Consumer Products as a network manager building a global voice and data network to support product manufacturing and distribution. Early in his career Tim also worked on the technical staff of Roger Williams University as a network engineer. To arrange an appointment, please contact Lisa Vaillancourt, Lisa_Vaillancourt@brown.edu.
Director, Infrastructure Services / Director, CCV
After graduating from the University of Rhode Island with a bachelor of science in Management Information Systems and Management Science, Linnea Wolfe worked for four years as a database administrator for government contracting companies supporting the naval Trident submarine program. She came to Brown in 1989 as a database administrator, supporting the Josiah library system. She has held various management positions in Computing and Information Services in the database, administrative technical services, and infrastructure areas. Her current responsibilities as Director of Infrastructure Services include; database services, systems services, datacenter operations, and storage, backup and IT DR services. As operating director of the Center for Computing and Visualization, Linnea has responsibility for working closely with the faculty director of CCV to lead the growth of research technologies and support to help faculty researchers compete and succeed in their own fields. To arrange an appointment, please contact Amy Fernandes, Amy_Fernandes@brown.edu.
Director, Academic Technology Services
Catherine Hays Zabriskie is the Director of Academic Technology at Brown University. She oversees the Instructional Technology Group, Media Services, Media Production Group and Multimedia Labs. Her staff works in partnership with the University community to enhance teaching and learning and address strategic needs in support of faculty, staff and students through the effective use of technology. Catherine received her B.S in Art History from the University for Colorado, and her M.S. in Educational Technology Leadership from the George Washington University. Prior to coming to Brown University, Catherine supported faculty innovations in teaching and technology for the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland for 12 years. To arrange an appointment, please contact Stacy Sousa, Stacy_Sousa@brown.edu.