NNIP Selects Bob Gradeck at the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center as the Network Steward of the Year

University Center for Social and Urban Research   (Pittsburgh)

June 2019

NNIP has selected Bob Gradeck, Manager of the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center (WPRDC) at the University of Pittsburgh, as the 2019 winner of the Network Steward of the Year Award. The award was created in 2016 to recognize a NNIP Partner staff member who goes above and beyond expectations to strengthen the connectivity among Partners, increase knowledge sharing, and raise the profile of the network.

As the manager of WPRDC, Bob broke new ground with their open source platform, supported city and county agencies working to publish their data, and developed innovative ways to engage community users. His pioneering practice inspires new network thinking about user-centered design, open-source technology, and data literacy. He devotes countless hours to sharing what he’s learned with NNIP partners and others in the field - whether through one-on-one calls, our listserve, published protocols, blogs, and his renowned LEGO dioramas. He also helped to launch the cross-site Civic Switchboard project to promote partnerships between libraries and local data intermediaries to better serve data users, further democratize data, and support equitable access to information.

As a member of the NNIP Executive Committee from 2015 to 2017, he gave new focus to increasing NNIP partner staff participation and network stewardship, including creating this award. Bob has also been a tireless advocate for NNIP externally, connecting Urban staff to funders and showcasing NNIP in conferences, most recently at conferences of the Administrative Data Research Facilities Network and Facilitating Community-Based Technology Innovation.

Urban and NNIP Partners owe a great debt to Bob for all that he has contributed to the network. We also thank the 2019 Executive Committee for nominating him and overseeing the 2019 award process.