GÉANT Community Award 2019: Transforming the Community


One winner and one category triumphed at the 2019 GÉANT Community Award. This year’s award panel had no hesitation in selecting the successful nominee in the category ‘impactful contributors to the GÉANT project or wider community activities over a sustained period of time’.


Anna Wilson (HEAnet) was honoured for her contribution to research and education networking. In particular, she is held as ‘the perfect example of how continuous dedication to work can transform society’. The award was presented on Monday 17 June, during TNC19’s opening plenary, in Tallinn, Estonia.

About Anna Wilson

Anna Wilson graduated in Computer Science from University College Dublin in 1996, and straight away went next door to work for the NREN. Anna has been with HEAnet in some capacity ever since. Her focus throughout has been on the IP network, and she is known for her work in various GÉANT activities and her participation in RIPE, including a recent stint as co-chair of the IPv6 working group. Aside from performing with her improv group, she is currently building a robot army for the Services Architecture Team in HEAnet.


Anna commented: “I am thrilled and really quite stunned to receive this award. The work we do in the GÉANT community and as NRENs is important. We have shaped the internet for our users and for the industry as a whole, and we continue to do that. Sometimes it can be tough to remember that as we focus on our work, day in, day out; moments like this are a wonderful reminder. I'm very grateful, and proud, to be a part of this community.”

The following words, which summarise the reasons behind the nominations submitted are a strong recognition of the role Anna plays within the NREN community.

Anna is a member of the TNC Programme and the GÉANT Community Committees. This is an undeniable demonstration of commitment to grass-roots support, giving an enormous insight and making a difference to the way we work. Her activism on IPv6 and engagement in RIPE and other bodies beyond our direct community has helped to keep NRENs ‘finger on the pulse’ of major developments in internet governance.

One of the biggest lasting achievement of Anna is bringing to the attention of our community the impact that technology has on LGBT communities and people's lives in general, as we very often focus on the highly technical aspect of our work and overlook the influence it has on those who use our technology or services daily, let alone the marginalised communities. In addition, her personal observations of our long-held beliefs have shown where we need to adapt and evolve. 


More about the GÉANT Community Award

With the Community Award, GÉANT honours people who have contributed significant ideas, time and expertise to the development of the research and education networking community’s collaborative achievements. This year’s panel of judges comprised Valter Nordh, chair of the GÉANT Community Committee, Christian Grimm, chair of the GÉANT Board of Directors, Kristina Lillemets, host of TNC19 and Josva Kleist chair of the TNC19 Programme Committee.