News Archive

San Diego Supercomputer Center Names Ashley Atkins as New Chief of Staff

Published May 8, 2024

Headshot of Ashley Atkins, SDSC Chief of Staff.

Ashley Atkins, SDSC Chief of Staff

By Kimberly Mann Bruch, SDSC Communications

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego recently hired Ashley Atkins to serve as the organization’s inaugural chief of staff. As a member of the Director’s Office at SDSC, Atkins provides support for and offers guidance on developing the strategic direction of the center and manages day-to-day operations needed to achieve the center’s mission. This includes aligning SDSC’s directives with the university’s strategic goals and national research trends.

“Ashley’s leadership experiences in similar settings have already been a critical asset as we update SDSC’s strategic vision,” SDSC Director Frank Würthwein said. “As our chief of staff, she is working closely with external stakeholders, as well as with our own staff throughout the center to ensure that plans for the future of SDSC leverage our existing strengths.”

Prior to her position as SDSC’s chief of staff, Atkins was the executive director for the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded West Big Data Innovation Hub at UC Berkeley. The collaborative effort, co-led with SDSC and the University of Washington, supports projects and partnerships across academia, industry, nonprofits and government agencies. As one of four regional big data hubs funded by the NSF, the West Hub offers a platform for an array of collaborations to take place in response to western U.S. needs related to big data innovations and ecosystems. As part of this work, Atkins led the West Hub’s sustainability planning to position core initiatives for success and long-term impact beyond the current funding period.

“We are elated about Ashley joining our team at SDSC as she has been a great leader for the West Hub and has already hit the ground running here at the center,” said West Hub Principal Investigator Christine Kirkpatrick, Research Data Services director at SDSC. “Her leadership and management qualities, her polish and diplomacy, and her community building and inclusion skills are great assets in this new position at SDSC.”

Earlier in her career, Atkins was awarded a Fulbright grant to conduct research on the water resources shared between Bulgaria and Greece. She also previously worked as a research scientist at the New Mexico State University (NMSU) New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute, where her work focused on understanding the interconnections between human and hydrologic systems.

“I am thrilled to join SDSC’s leadership team and look forward to leveraging my expertise to contribute to the center’s ongoing success and its profound scientific and societal impact,” Atkins said. “It is especially exciting in terms of SDSC’s and UC San Diego’s leadership in advancing and enabling AI research.”