Ontolog Forum

IAOA Executive Council Election, 2014

This page comprises core information about the IAOA Executive Council Election 2014 and was progressively updated to reflect developments as the election process proceeded. Three (3) positions are open for election.

Quick Reference: [ Events and Time-table ] [ Candidates and their Position Statements ] [ Election Results ]

N.B. The following Executive Council officers are continuing in office as their terms of office are not yet completed:

  • Frank Loebe, University of Leipzig, Germany (Secretary)
  • Marion Haemmerli, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Janna Hastings, European Bioinformatics Institute, UK
  • Oliver Kutz, University of Magdeburg, Germany
  • Fabian Neuhaus, University of Magdeburg, Germany
  • Leo Obrst, MITRE, USA

Events and Time-table

  • Announcement (by the IAOA President) of Assembly and Election Process: August 1, 2014.
  • Candidature Phase -- Nomination and Discussion opens: August 1, 2014
  • Nomination closes: August 13, 2014
  • Campaigning by candidates: starts from August 15, 2014 upon completion of the nomination-verification-acceptance of a candidate
  • Campaigning and Discussion closes: August 25, 2014
  • IAOA Assembly -- i.e., the 2014 IAOA ordinary assembly eBallot -- called to order (by the IAOA President): August 27, 2014
  • Candidates list and other ballot items published: August 27, 2014
  • Ballot opens: 00:01, August 27, 2014 (Wednesday, CEST)
  • Ballot closes: midnight, September 3, 2014 (Wednesday, CEST)
  • Announcement of election results: September 12, 2014
  • The Assembly will culminate in a face-to-face meeting during FOIS in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • New Executive Council takes office: January 1, 2015

Terms of Reference

Please refer to the IAOA Statute (especially Clause 19 regarding the Executive Council), and the IAOA ByLaws (especially Article VII in regard to the Election of Councillors.)

Process Details

Nomination: August 1 - August 13, 2014

  • Starting from August 1, 2014 you can nominate and second any individual (excluding yourself) as a candidate for membership in the next IAOA Executive Council (EC).
  • While any person who is a current member of IAOA may nominate or second a nomination (excluding self), only an individual who is verified as an IAOA member in good standing since 2013, may be a proper candidate to go on the ballot. Note that this is in accordance with the rules encoded in the Bylaws at
  • To make a nomination, send an email to the [iaoa-member] mailing list <> (if you are already an IAOA member) AND cc the Election Committee mailing list <> providing:
    • (A) your name/affiliation/email-address,
    • (B) the nominee's name/affiliation/email-address, and
    • (C) a citation stating why your nominee would make a good candidate for the IAOA EC.
  • To second the nomination, send an email to the [iaoa-member] mailing list <> AND cc the Election Committee mailing list <> providing the name of the nominee you are seconding.
  • The individual making a nomination (and those who second the nomination) should be responsible for communicating with the nominee, see to it that the nominee meets the membership requirement, and get the nominee to send his/her acceptance (on the nomination, seconding, and candidacy) to the Election Committee in writing (via email to <>).
  • The nomination period closes at midnight, August 13, 2014 (CEST).

Campaigning and discussion: August 15 - August 25, 2014

  • Once a nominee has been verified to be a member in good standing for at least one year, and has accepted the nomination, and the nomination has been seconded, he/she should send to the [iaoa-member] mailing list <> AND cc the Election Committee mailing list <>:
    • a brief "position statement" (between 200~250 words) describing his/her view on the Association, goals as Executive Committee (EC) members, activities they want to pursue if elected, ... etc.
    • this statement will accompany the candidate's listing when the list of all candidates on the ballot are published prior to voting
  • after that, the candidate can start his/her campaign activities on the [iaoa-member] mailing list <>.
  • Candidates are encouraged to make position statements and plans they have if elected to the EC.
  • Other IAOA Members are invited to ask questions, seek clarifications on the candidates' plans etc.
  • Other items to be voted on by the Assembly will also be introduced and discussed during this period.
  • The mailing list is not moderated and IAOA members are encouraged to interact freely.
  • Campaigning and discussion will close on midnight August 25 (CEST).

Official start of the 2014 IAOA Assembly: August 27, 2014

  • The President shall call the Assembly to order (virtually, in an email message), and publish the list of candidates that may be elected to the next IAOA Executive Council membership, along with any other items that will be on the (electronic) ballot.
  • All members are expected to respond to this message by going to the voting page to confirm their presence at this virtual assembly (as we will need to satisfy the quorum requirement, as stipulated in the IAOA Statute: see Q&A: Quorum below.)
  • Any error or discrepancy found on the published list should be reflected to the IAOA President and the Election Committee on the same day for rectification.

Ballot: August 27 - September 3, 2014

  • IAOA members can vote online from 00:01, August 27 till midnight, September 3, 2014 (CEST).
  • The web address and access details will be distributed before the opening of the ballot.
  • Each member can cast one vote on each topic.
  • A vote for the IAOA EC means the selection of up to 3 members from the list of candidates.
  • A vote for an item means the selection of one among the provided options for that item.
  • All votes are anonymous.
  • A member may cast his/her electronic vote by going to IAOA member's area: and then to the member's utilities area at
    • You will need your membership password to get into the voting site
    • If you have lost your password, you can reset it by clicking at
    • If there is additional trouble with your authentication or membership, write < info [at] > for help.
    • Should you have any doubt or problem relating to this election, don't hesitate contact John Bateman of the IAOA Election Committee at < bateman [at] >

Voting outcome

  • Immediately after voting is closed at midnight September 3 (CEST), raw results of the votes will be available by going to IAOA member's area: and then to the member's utilities area.
    • Note that these are only "raw" votes ... official election and ballot outcome will need to be confirmed based on quorum and other requirements, and will need to be announced later.
  • The 3 members that receive more votes among the candidates for the EC are elected and will join the new IAOA EC.
  • In case of a tie, the length of continuous membership by candidates in the Association will be taken into account, with longer membership ranking higher. If there is still a tie, then age will be used to break the tie, with younger candidates taking priority.
  • The members that are elected will join the new IAOA Executive Committee and will take office on January 1, 2015.
  • Unless we run into complications (such as quorum requirement issues, etc.) where a second call for votes may be necessary (and in which case the schedule may be slightly delayed), the outcome of the voting will be officially announced to the [iaoa-member] mailing list by Septemer 12, 2014.
  • Any and all reports of concern (including especially, complaint and/or objection) to the officially announced voting results should be brought to the attention of the Election Committee in writing (via email to <>) within 48 hours of the official announcement. Each item of concern received will be individually and openly handled. Past this window, no further report of this nature on the matter will be considered.

Q & A and Clarifications

  • ... (to be added as they arise!)
  • Question: Since only IAOA members may vote, when (before what date) must I join IAOA to be able to vote in this Election?
    • Answer: ... correct, only IAOA members may vote in this Election. Only IAOA members in good standing by August 10, 2014 will have access to the electronic ballot.
  • Question: What is quorum for the Assembly where this EC Election is held? Please also clarify when and how should members 'confirm their presence' in the Assembly so as to be properly recognized in the quorum count.
    • Answer: According to the IAOA Statute (clause 18) the Assembly is validly constituted by the presence of half plus one of the Membership. Your presence will be counted if you are a member of IAOA and you cast your electronic vote (including abstensions!) directly between August 27 and September 3, 2014.
  • Question: What is the term of office for the newly elected IAOA Executive Council (EC)?
    • Answer: it will be 2 years, as recorded in Article 19 of the Statute.
  • Question: What should I do if I have questions (not covered here) or run into problems with the Election or voting process?
    • Answer: just send a message to the Election Committee (via email to <>), stating clearly who you are, and what is the issue (please also provide some context where applicable) ... we will try to respond to you promptly.

Election Committee

List of Nominations (chronological by nomination)

  • Michael Gruninger (nominated by John Bateman, with seconders: Stefano Borgo, Oliver Kutz, Frank Loebe, Fabian Neuhaus, Leo Obrst, Marion Haemmerli, Barry Smith)
  • Roberta Ferrario (nominated by Stefano Borgo, with seconders: Nicola Guarino, John Bateman, Leo Obrst, Giancarlo Guizzardi)
  • Zena Wood (nominated by John Bateman, with seconders: Stefano Borgo, Antony Galton)
  • Paweł Garbacz (nominated by Robert Trypuz, with seconders: Ludger Jansen)
  • Joao Paulo Almeida (nominated by Giancarlo Guizzardi, with seconders: Frank Loebe, Richard Dapoigny)

List of Candidates

Paweł Garbacz regretfully declines this time round due to other professional commitments.

As a reminder, the newly elected EC members will be joining the rest of the EC team, whose terms of office are not yet completed since they were elected last year.

  • Frank Loebe, University of Leipzig, Germany (Secretary)
  • Marion Haemmerli, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Janna Hastings, European Bioinformatics Institute, UK
  • Oliver Kutz, University of Magdeburg, Germany
  • Fabian Neuhaus, University of Magdeburg, Germany
  • Leo Obrst, MITRE, USA

Candidates and their Position Statements

  • Joao Paulo Almeida

    I am professor at the Federal University of Espírito Santo in Brazil and a senior researcher at the the Ontology and Conceptual Modelling Research Group (NEMO). (

    My introduction to ontologies dates back to 2001, when I began sharing an office with Giancarlo Guizzardi at the University of Twente where we have concluded our Ph.D. degrees. My main research interest for the past years has been the application of ontological analysis and ontology-based techniques to create better conceptual modelling language and techniques, in particular structural conceptual models and enterprise architecture descriptions. I have been contributing to improving several enterprise architecture languages, including contributions to the ArchiMate standard; I have participated in the W3C Government Linked Data Working Group contributing to ontology-based open standards (in particular the W3C Organizational Ontology). I am currently a member of the W3C Data on the Web Best Practice Working Group, in an effort to improve the quality of the vocabularies produced by that Working Group. This year, I serve as an IAOA volunteer co-chairing the 2nd IAOA Interdisciplinary Summer School on Ontological Analysis in Vitória, Brazil, which will take place in three weeks from now before FOIS.

    Similarly to other colleagues, when contributing to these efforts, I have come to appreciate and value the interdisciplinary nature of applied ontology. I strongly believe that the IAOA should strive to continue attracting members from different disciplines, communities and countries. In the last years I have made efforts to bridge the gap between the community of applied ontology and that of enterprise computing. The recognition of the importance of applied ontology to this other community came in 2011, when a paper we have authored on ontological analysis received the best paper award at the IEEE EDOC Enterprise Computing Conference (and then again in 2013). I have also contributed to bridging these communities by organizing the VORTE workshop at that conference (2012).

    Despite the advances that we have collectively made to foster the interaction of applied ontology with other fields of knowledge and domains of application, I believe an important gap that IAOA has yet to fill is that of supporting the establishment of a Body of Knowledge for Applied Ontology that can be used in education and in the dissemination of applied ontology. If elected, my main goal will be to organize and lead a Body of Knowledge task force; to structure such Body of Knowledge; volunteer IAOA Members to get involved. In concrete terms, we should follow the successful practices of other disciplines such as Software Engineering, Enterprise Architecture and Project Management, see, e.g.:

If we are successful in this I am certain that IAOA will be even more relevant to its members, visible across communities and supportive to aspiring ontologists.

  • Michael Gruninger

    The International Association of Ontology and its Applications is situated amongst a unique confluence of disciplines. Herein lies our strength as well as many challenges. Although we are enriched by contributions from areas as diverse as philosophy, computer science, logic, and linguistics, we must also ensure that our field matures into a full-fledged discipline of its own.

    My research over the past twenty years has focused on the logical foundations of ontology design and analysis and its application to enterprise modelling, manufacturing, web services, and process ontologies. Over this period of time, I have seen the field of applied ontology grow in both technical depth and diversity of applications. Nevertheless, many of our efforts have been hampered by a lack of coordinated efforts of a coherent research community.

    I believe that the IAOA can assist in establishing the study of applied ontology as a rigorous scientific and engineering discipline by fostering the development of a body of knowledge for the design, evaluation, and implementation of ontologies.

    I have served as President of IAOA over the past year, and I have been encouraged by the growth of our Association through the many events that it supports and facilitates. These events have gone a long way to address the challenges of engaging the academic and industrial communities, as well as striking a balance between theoretical foundations and real-world applications. Through the activities of the Technical Committees, Special Interest Groups, and Ontology Summits, we have also engaged related research communities in areas such as the Semantic Web, Geographical Information Systems, and Design. My personal goal for the coming two years will be to invigorate the Technical Committees and Special Interest Groups so that they may reach their full potential as forums in which new ideas and techniques are fostered and shared. I believe that these groups are the concrete ways in which Applied Ontology will grow into a mature discipline and have an impact on current practice.

    As a member of the Executive Council, I will endeavor to harness the enormous energies and diverse talents of our members to fulfill our collective vision for the Association.

  • Roberta Ferrario

    I started getting involved with applied ontology more than ten years ago, soon after the completion of my PhD. Throughout this period I’ve been working on foundational ontology and in particular on ontology of mind, social ontology and ontology of services. In the last two years, after having been awarded a grant by the Province of Trento, I’ve been coordinating a research team investigating on an interdisciplinary project involving ontological analysis and modeling of vision, cognition and social interaction processes (see for further details).

    From an institutional point of view, I’ve been assistant editor of the international journal Applied Ontology, edited by IOS Press, since its first issue, in 2006. I’ve been chair of FOMI (Formal Ontologies Meet Industries) in 2005, 2006 and 2009 and I’ve been in the Editorial Board of FOIS, VORTE, OntoBraz for many editions. Next September I will chair CONTACT, First International Workshop on Computer vision + ONTology Applied Cross-disciplinary Technologies, that will be held in conjunction with the European Conference on Computer Vision, a workshop supported by IAOA.

    Should I be elected in the EC, my main concern would be to foster interdisciplinarity and, in particular, the cross fertilization of applied ontology with computer vision and with empirically-based disciplines, specifically social sciences.

    Please refer to my personal page, if you are interested in more detailed information:

  • Zena Wood

    I am a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Exeter. My research focuses on analysing collectives and their behaviour of which a large part is based within the field of Applied Ontology. I have been a member of the IAOA since 2010 and have published within the Journal of Applied Ontology and at FOIS.

    Two areas that I am passionate about are education and fostering links with industry and between different disciplines. If I were to be elected on to the Executive Council, I would like to focus these areas in addition to ensuring the accessibility of the association to potential new members.

    By encouraging and supporting new members and collaborations the community can be strengthened and allow the field to mature. An important way to build a stronger community is through education. Summer schools and workshops are valuable resources to those that are new to the field and should continue to be developed and promoted. I am currently the co-chair of the Education Committee of the IAOA. This committee is focused on facilitating the production of educational resources that could benefit the community. If elected to the Executive Council I would provide a direct communication link between the two groups ensuring that the Executive Council is updated with the progress of the projects that the Education Committee are working on.

    The field of Applied Ontology is exciting and interdisciplinary. The IAOA already does a great job of bringing together different research fields and supporting student members through summer schools and events. As a member of the Executive Council I would like to try and build upon this success by focusing on how the association could be promoted to new members and how new interdisciplinary collaborations might be supported or identified.

    I am currently seconded to IBM as part of a Royal Academy of Engineering Secondment Award. I believe that links with industry are important and something that should be explored further within the IAOA. Therefore, as a member of the IAOA EC I would try to establish some of these connections and explore the possible benefits to the community.

This list of candidates for 2014 is now complete.

Election Results

Election and other Voting results were circulated on the IAOA mailing lists - IAOA members can refer to the announcement posted to the [iaoa-member] mailing list.

The newly elected Executive Council members, who will join the continuing members from 1st January 2015, are:

The Association's new Offices (to be elected by the Executive Council) will be established prior to the beginning of the new Executive Council's term on 01-January-2015.

Thanks to all who voted! The quorum was met with 113 voters declaring 246 preferences.

This page is maintained by the Election Committee <> - John Bateman, Valter Cavecchia, Nicola Guarino, Janna Hastings and Peter Yim. Please do not edit or modify this page yourself; send any editing request to the Election Committee list or to any of the individuals named above.