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Mustapha Mokrane

Mustapha Mokrane Succeeds Robert Gurney as Co-Lead of Belmont Forum Open Data Initiative

Drs. Mokrane and Gurney

The Belmont Forum is pleased to announce that Dr. Mustapha Mokrane, Executive Director of ICSU World Data System, has been selected as Co-Lead of the e-Infrastructures and Data Management Project (e-I&DM). Dr. Mokrane will succeed Dr. Robert Gurney, co-creator of the initiative, who completed his term as Co-Lead at the end of September. Dr. Mokrane will continue his tenure as WDS Executive Director.

Dr. Mokrane has been involved in e-I&DM Project since its inception and contributed significantly to the report “A Place to Stand: Community Strategy and Implementation Plan,” which culminated in the Belmont Forum’s adoption in 2015 of Data Principles and Policy, a significant pivot towards open data and open science in transnational, transdisciplinary global change research. Dr. Mokrane brings over 13 years of professional experience in research data stewardship and Information and Communication Technologies. His scientific background covers genetics and bioinformatics and he holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from the Aix-Marseille University. 

As we welcome Dr. Mokrane, the e-I&DM Project also bids farewell with great admiration and thanks to Dr. Gurney, whose vision was instrumental in e-I&DM’s inception, and whose has spent the past 5 years dedicated to enabling and promoting open access to research data. Dr. Gurney’s leadership was invaluable in the project’s progress from idea to a major initiative in the arena of global data science. Most recently, he has led e-I&DM’s emerging collaboration with data publishers on open access and helped secure staffing for several key positions within the Project. Robert’s legacy at e-I&DM includes his great skill at coalition-building, his affability and wit, and his mentorship of the entire team in international collaboration.


Formed in 2009, the Belmont Forum is a partnership of more than 25 of the world’s main funders of environmental change research and international science councils.  The Belmont Forum supports transdisciplinary, transnational collaborative research programs that provide solutions-oriented research to alleviate global challenges affecting sustainable development. The goals of the Belmont Forum are aligned with wider international organizations that leverage the national and local scientific resources which maximize the value of public funding and develop local solutions that can be expanded for impact on a global scale.

In 2015, the Belmont Forum adopted an Open Data Policy and Principles in recognition of the fact that effective sharing of information is a cornerstone of scientific collaboration.  This Policy strives for research data generated and used by Belmont projects to be open and accessible to stakeholders and policymakers, findable and reusable by international researchers, and interoperable to the greatest extent possible.