Executive Secretary, Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), Denmark

Donald Hobern’s career spans over twenty years in software development and biodiversity informatics. He is currently the Executive Secretary of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF,, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.  In this role he is responsible for coordinating the activities of a global network for sharing biodiversity data including 57 countries and many international organisations. He serves on the Executive Committee for the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL,, the Steering Committee for the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON, and the Steering Committee for the Global Invasive Alien Species Information Partnership (GIASIP, Mr Hobern also worked as a technical lead for GBIF between 2002 and 2007 with responsibility for adopting and promoting data standards and an international culture of data sharing. Between 2007 and 2010 he served as Chair of Taxonomic Database Working Group (TDWG,, the international organisation responsible for development of standards for exchange of biodiversity data.


From 2007 to 2011, Mr Hobern worked for CSIRO as the inaugural Director of the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA,, overseeing the development of the Atlas’ architecture and core tools within the context of the many ALA collaborators.


Mr Hobern has had a lifelong passion for natural history, participating in ornithological survey work and photographing insects, including a large selection of Australian moths.