Medal Award 2021

The Vietsch Foundation awards the 2021 Medal of Honour to Laurel Haak.

Laurel L. Haak, Founding Executive Director of ORCID, is the recipient of the 2021 medal of honour of the Vietsch Foundation.

The medal is awarded annually to people who have made a contribution of lasting value to the research and development of advanced Internet technology aimed to support science, research and higher education. The 2021 award ceremony was held online on the 22nd of June, during a plenary session of TNC2021, the leading European networking conference organised by GÉANT.

In the spirit of the award, which recognises individuals who have proved their organizational skills and whose efforts have led to the creation of institutions or services of long-term value, the choice fell on Laure as the best in a range of very qualified nominees. “Laure led the development of ORCID from a concept to a global, community-led, non-profit service used by more than ten million researchers. ORCID IDs are now the essential foundation for research processes in and between institutions, funders, and publishers: enabling the creation, testing, sharing and finding of new knowledge,” said Andrew Cormack, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Vietsch Foundation, explaining the rationale for the award.

Laure currently is the Founder and CEO of Mighty Red Barn where her work centers on trust-building to foster communities, through practice areas of digital infrastructure and identity, governance and decision frameworks, product strategy and practice. She also serves as a volunteer mentor for the SCORE small business start-up program. 

Prior to her work at ORCID, Laure was the Chief Science Officer at Discovery Logic, Inc. (acquired by Thomson Reuters and now part of Clarivate), providing workforce analysis, metrics, benchmarking, and data visualizations for funding agencies and academic institutions, including the development of the electronic Scientific Portfolio Assistant, which combined back-end database ingest, machine learning, and expert analytics to transform agency approaches to program evaluation.

As a program officer for the US National Academies, Laure managed expert panels and the development and publication of research policy reports for the US government, academic, and association stakeholders, including reports on interdisciplinary research, international students, and women in academia. This work built on her experience as editor of Science’s Next Wave Postdoc Network at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where she helped to build a community of practice around postdoctoral workforce policy and supported the launch of the National Postdoctoral Association. 

Laure received a B.S. and an M.S. in Biology from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Stanford University Medical School, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the US National Institutes of Health.

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The mission of the Vietsch Foundation is to promote research and development of advanced Internet technology for scientific research and higher education. The Vietsch Foundation fulfils its goals in two ways: First, it contributes funding to specific research and development projects that demonstrate potential value to progress European and global research and education networking. And second, each year it awards a medal of honour to people who have contributed to the development of services or technologies of lasting value that are used by the networking community and its users in research, development and education. The Foundation was created through the last will and testament of Willem Karel Vietsch (1952–2014), a Dutch expert, a leader of the international Internet community, and also the Secretary-General of TERENA, a former association of European national research and education networks. For details visit: