WASHINGTON – March 1, 2021 – US Ignite is pleased to welcome to its Board of Directors two renowned leaders in their fields: Dr. Celia Merzbacher, Deputy Director of the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C), and Dr. Renata Rawlings-Goss, biophysicist and Executive Director of The South Big Data Innovation Hub. Both women bring a critical depth of knowledge and experience to the US Ignite Board that will strengthen the organization’s ability to unite leaders in government, academia, and the private sector in innovative efforts to build smarter, more connected communities.

Additionally, US Ignite is announcing the formation of a new Advisory Board. The Advisory Board will initially consist of former founding members of the Board of Directors, Bob Metcalf and Sue Spradley.

“We are very thankful to all of the contributors on our Board of Directors and new Advisory Board and thrilled to round out the expertise in this group with the addition of Celia and Renata,” said William Wallace, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors for US Ignite. “As our mission continues to expand in areas of advanced computing and data science, we recognize the importance of seeking out guidance that will make us more effective in serving our community partners and finding practical ways to apply new technologies to persistent community problems. We look forward to working more closely with this group to bring new solutions to communities working to improve quality of life and drive sustainable growth.”

Celia Merzbacher

Dr. Celia Merzbacher is Deputy Director of the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C), where she is building a new consortium to enable and grow a robust quantum industry and supply chain in the United States. Dr. Merzbacher has extensive experience in industry consortia direction and management having previously held the position of Vice President for Innovative Partnerships at the Semiconductor Research Corporation, a consortium of the semiconductor industry. In these roles, she has navigated the creation of programs that bring together industry, government and academia to meet the goals of all parts of the innovation ecosystem.

Renata Rawlings-Goss

Dr. Renata Rawlings-Goss is a biophysicist and a nationally recognized leader in Data Science. She is the Executive Director of The South Big Data Innovation Hub, an NSF-funded 16 state center connecting industry, academia, and government around data science innovation. She is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Georgia Institute of Technology – Institute for Data Engineering and Science (IDEaS), and also the founder of Good with Data LLC, which runs The Data Career Academy for professionals and faculty looking to accelerate their careers with data.


About US Ignite

US Ignite is a high‐tech nonprofit with a mission to accelerate the smart community movement. Our public-private partnership programs leverage advanced networking and data science to drive key outcomes for communities. Our work also enables new opportunities for wireless and IoT research designed to help narrow the gap between cutting‐edge experimentation and scalable, real‐world technology deployments. For more information, visit www.us-ignite.org.