Natalia Ermolaev Appointed CDH Executive Director

We are pleased to announce that Natalia Ermolaev, formerly associate director of the Center for Digital Humanities (CDH), has been appointed CDH executive director, effective August 1.

Natalia’s promotion to executive director recognizes her outstanding contributions to both the vision and the management of the CDH. As executive director, Natalia will continue to develop the CDH’s strategic agenda, imagining new ways for the CDH to exercise leadership and create community at the intersections of data, computation, and the humanities; and she will oversee the CDH’s large portfolio of grants and programs for Princeton students, faculty, and staff, including plans to establish a Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities and undergraduate pathways in humanities minors to focus on data and culture.

“Natasha has led the CDH successfully through several transitions and has been doing the work of an executive director for years,” said CDH Faculty Director Meredith Martin. “It is a true pleasure to recognize her leadership on campus and beyond with this title change, and it is my true pleasure to work alongside her to craft the vision of the Center for Digital Humanities as we move toward our ten year anniversary.”

headshot of Natasha Ermolaev

In her new role, Natalia will continue to serve as what Jay Dominick, Princeton’s vice president for information technology and chief information officer, called “an insightful and forward-thinking technology leader” on campus.

As Tithi Chattopadhyay, executive director of Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) noted, Natalia “has built strategic partnerships and collaborations across the University to co-create goals and opportunities around data intensive research.”

Natalia has worked to foreground the humanities in campus-wide discussions of interdisciplinary data science. She helped establish Princeton’s Alliance for Data and Computational Initiatives, and has fostered new strategic partnerships with various units ranging from the Library, to the Humanities Council, to the Research Software Engineering Program.

One of Natalia’s goals in recent years has been to raise the CDH’s international profile. In 2021, she helped make the CDH the first US-based cooperating partner of the European Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH-EU). She is co-PI on the New Languages for NLP: Building Diversity in the Digital Humanities project, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, which empowers humanists to develop linguistic resources and tools for natural language processing (NLP) for under-resourced languages, such as Quechua and Classical Arabic.

Natalia earned a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Columbia University and an MLIS from Rutgers University. She joined the CDH during its establishment in 2014, serving as project manager and then assistant director. In 2019, she was appointed associate director.

“The skills I learned as project manager continue to be central to my day-to-day work,” Natalia said. Her essay “Graduate Students and Project Management: A Humanities Perspective,” co-authored with Martin and Rebecca Munson, is forthcoming in The Digital Futures of Graduate Study in the Humanities, part of the Debates in the Digital Humanities Series.

“When I started working at Princeton ten years ago,” Natalia said, “the digital humanities landscape here was just taking shape. I was fortunate to be involved with the evolution of the CDH from the beginning, and to benefit from the passion, wisdom, and mentorship of fantastic colleagues at Princeton. I continue to feel lucky every day that I get to work with such a dynamic, intelligent, and thoughtful group of staff and scholars.”

We are so happy that Natalia will continue to be a leader, mentor, and friend to all of us at the CDH and look forward to the opportunities this new role will present for Natalia and for our team.

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