Tim Robertson appointed new GBIF deputy director

Current head of informatics to build on nearly 20-year tenure at the GBIF Secretariat, becoming just its third deputy director since 2001


GBIF's Executive Committee is pleased to announce the appointment of Tim Robertson as the new deputy director of the GBIF Secretariat. While continuing to serve as head of informatics, Robertson will assume the role previously held by Tim Hirsch, who is transitioning out after a distinguished 13-year term at the Secretariat, the last ten as deputy director.

"I am very honoured to accept this role and continue the exceptional work that Tim Hirsch has done," Robertson said. "Under his leadership, GBIF has grown into a global leader in biodiversity data. I look forward to building on this strong foundation and exploring new opportunities to expand our global network and to leverage data for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development."

Robertson brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his new position. He has been an integral part of GBIF since joining in 2005, and under his leadership, the informatics team has significantly advanced GBIF’s mission to provide free and open access to biodiversity data. His efforts have been pivotal in modernizing the data infrastructure, enhancing data quality, and expanding the accessibility of biodiversity data for researchers, policymakers, practitioners and other stakeholders.

"Tim Robertson’s deep understanding of the technical and strategic aspects of our work makes him an ideal successor in this important role,” remarked Liam Lysaght, chair of the GBIF Governing Board, expressing his confidence in Robertson’s capabilities to steer GBIF forward. “I have no doubt that the Secretariat and wider network will continue to thrive under his guidance."

Tim Hirsch’s departure marks the end of an era of significant milestones for GBIF, including the expansion of its global network and the strengthening of partnerships worldwide. His work has been pivotal in emphasizing the crucial role of biodiversity data in supporting important international frameworks, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

"On behalf of the GBIF nodes, I want to express our gratitude for all of Tim Hirsch's involvement with us," said Anne-Sophie Archambeau, node manager for GBIF France at UMS PatriNat and current chair of Participant Node Managers Committee. "Always responsive and actively participating in the strengthening of nodes, whether to create links and engage new participants or to support those already in place, he was also very engaged in the implementation of major capacity enhancement programs. It has been a pleasure to share these years of working together.

"Tim Hirsch has been a cornerstone of GBIF for more than 13 years," said Joe Miller, GBIF executive secretary. "His contributions have laid a robust framework for the future growth and success of the network, and he will be missed across the communities we serve."