Syracuse, NY (April 21, 2022) — NYSERNet (New York State Education and Research Network) is pleased to announce that Jeanne Casares has been named the organization’s new president and CEO, effective June 2, 2022. Casares will succeed Stephen Kankus after 28 years with the organization, including four years as president. Casares’s hire comes after an extensive national search that drew outstanding candidates from across the nation.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jeanne as the next president of NYSERNet,” said John Kolb, chair of the NYERNet.net board of directors and vice president of information services and technology and chief information officer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “Her demonstrated leadership expertise and entrepreneurial experience in critical areas such as technology strategies and organizational development made her a standout hire to embrace the organization’s core value of operational excellence, as we continue to expand the innovative contributions that NYSERNet has provided to the research and education community.”
“This was an extensive, five-month national search that required us to evaluate a strong, diverse pool of candidates. It was no easy task, as there is a lot of talent out there,” added board member Sharon Pitt, vice president of information technology and chief information officer at the University of Delaware, who was a part of the recruitment committee. “Jeanne’s deep understanding of research and education networks combined with her proven leadership ability made her an exceptional choice who will undoubtedly advance NYSERNet’s mission.”
Casares will take on the role of NYSERNet president after serving as the chief information officer and associate vice president of information technology services at Rochester Institute of Technology since 2008. Prior to working at R.I.T., she held a variety of operations and IT senior leadership positions in information technologies at Paychex Corporation, where she led the creation of a web technologies division, customer support and service level management for 15 years. Casares holds a Bachelor of Arts in history with a minor in business and a Master’s in Education in student personnel and college administration from the College of New Jersey, as well as a Certificate in New Leadership Designs for Higher Education from Arizona State/Georgetown University and a Certificate of Leadership for Extraordinary Performance from the Darden School of Business. She is currently a trustee of Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women; a member of the board of directors of Coordinated Care Services, Inc. (CCSI); recipient of the Rochester IT Woman of the Year; and previously served as event chair of the Rochester CIO Roundtable; chair of the Association of Women in Computing and a member of Digital Rochester.
“Jeanne is an individual who will provide leadership based on vision, innovation and collaboration with NYSERNet’s talented staff, board members and its member institutions, as we forge ahead into the countless challenges and breakthroughs in informational technology that are certain to be on the horizon,” said Juan Montes, board chair of NYSERNet.org and chief information officer of the American Museum of National History. “She is a proven and respected thought leader in IT and research who is certain to be an asset to NYSERNet’s mission to provide visionary leadership in regional and related national networking and information technology initiatives and research.”
In her role as president, Casares will assume responsibility for all of NYSERNet’s operations, including establishing strategic direction, executing programs and initiatives, assuring needed resources and overseeing internal and external communications, while also exploring and advancing technology investments and initiatives to enhance the organization’s services both regionally and nationally. In addition, she will further NYSERNet’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, while continuing to influence the national conversation about the future of research infrastructure through partnerships with other organizations both in and outside of the NYSERNet network.
“It’s such an honor to join the talented and capable team at NYSERNet,” said Casares. “I am eager to contribute to its successful history of providing a high-speed research network and other necessary solutions to the research and education community. And, I look forward to working with our board members and member institutions to strategize and innovate together towards a vibrant future.”