Congrats to Floris Van der Leest: New International Section President

By SRAI News posted 06-15-2020 10:46 AM



Congrats to Floris Van der Leest: New International Section President

My warmest congratulations to Floris Van der Leest who was elected as International Section President, and will formally take over in October, hopefully at the Annual Meeting in Boston, which we are still planning for.

You don't need me to tell you that the world is a different place since we last met in San Francisco last year and we don't know how it will look come October 2020, but SRAI HQ, my Annual Meeting Co-Chairs, along with very much hard work from the Track Co-chairs have put together a fantastic program for the annual conference. Rest assured, it will take place, even if the format has to be modified to meet guidelines and restrictions. I very much hope to see many of you there.

The International Section Committee is continuing to meet regularly and participate actively in various SRAI committees and subcommittees. Please feel free to contact me, or the other officers with suggestions, or if you would like to join us on our Zoom calls, that would be great. We are always looking for fresh eyes and energy!

Please meet Floris Van der Leest Senior System Analyst at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.


For 20 years, Floris van der Leest has been responsible for the development of Research Information Management Systems. He maintains database systems that support both internal research management as well as public accountability. Next to ongoing development of reporting systems, he manages their peripheral and web interfaces.

He is responsible for strategic analysis of information needs as well as the accuracy of data underpinning performance benchmarking. He monitors improvements of off-the-shelf research information systems and maintains a network of colleagues the world over.

Floris worked at James Cook University in Townsville and at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. He now works as Senior Systems Analyst at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology near Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Floris has been an active member of the Australasian Research Management Society (ARMS): he was part of its Queensland chapter committee from 2008, functioned as the chapter’s convener from 2012 to 2014, and joined its Victorian chapter from 2014 to 2016. For each chapter, he was the instigator and team leader that organized annually day-long Professional Development workshops.

Highlights of these years in Australia were being part of the Organizing Committee for the ARMS 2012 Conference Ride the Wave of Collaboration: Industry, Institutions, Individuals at the Gold Coast, Queensland and being the Facilitator for the full-day Professional Development Workshop: Purpose Mastery and Arbejdsglaede (Work Happiness) in cooperation with the Centre for Workplace Leadership in Melbourne in 2016.

Floris has presented regularly at international conferences (ARMS, INORMS, SRAI) on research performance and data management issues and offered stimulating sessions in-house and at other institutions on a range of researcher development topics.

His ability to enthuse people is evident from productive networks, within and outside university walls. He is a valuable team player while organizing events. Floris’ approach to developing professional relationships is based on trust, focusing on common ground, while inviting contributions from everyone involved.

Lorna Colquhoun
Authored by Lorna Colquhoun, PhD, Director Research and Innovation Services
University of Southampton, UK