Born and lived: Born in Glasgow, Scotland, lived there until I left home to go to university on the day of my 18th birthday. I studied in Birmingham (UK) and Trier (Germany) for a total of eight years, and after that lived and worked in the UK and Germany.
Early life: I am the daughter of two University lecturers in geology, so spent my happy childhood often in quarries and cuttings around Europe. My parents instilled in me my love of the great outdoors, animals, travelling, reading, and walking, all of which stay with me until today.
Professional career and activities: After an academic life in my twenties, I was introduced to the world of publishing through dictionaries and lexicography, when I joined HarperCollins to license their reference content to third parties. That in turn led me to Oxford University Press, where I gained great experience in licensing and business development, travelled the world, and made great friends. I have been with EBSCO for over six years now, continue to learn a lot, and work with a great team.
Family: Married to a wonderful Dutchman, living in Oxford with a small garden full of fruit, flowers, and vegetables and three friendly moggies.
In my spare time: I go to the theatre and live music events several times a month, am an active member of two book groups, do some local volunteering, and love being outside for walking, horse-riding, kayaking, and exploring.
Favorite books: Too many to name!
Pet peeves: Unkindness in all its forms — cruelty, impatience, intolerance, rudeness — and the scarcity of power sockets in airport departure lounges. 🙂
Philosophy: I think it was Lucille Ball who said “it is better to regret the things in life which you have done, rather than those you have not.” Fear of failure can restrict our dreams and opportunities, but I try to live life to the fullest.
Goal I hope to achieve five years from now: Remain happy and healthy, enjoying my life and my work as much as I currently do.
How/where do I see the industry in five years: That’s a big question! This is a great industry full of interesting, intelligent, and imaginative people. I don’t see that changing in a hurry, although the nuts and bolts of how content is created and made available may change dramatically. This industry supports and helps to drive research, progress, and creativity, and it is wonderful to be involved as those changes occur. Sadly, I don’t have a crystal ball, but I can see that discovery will remain key, as will social networking tools and a continuing blurring of lines between content formats. Open Access is currently looking like a game-changer, at least in the UK context with current mandates.
Leah was appointed Executive Director of the Charleston Conference in 2017, and has served in various roles with the Charleston Information Group, LLC, since 2004. Prior to working for the conference, she was Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions for the College of Charleston for four years. She lives in a small town near Columbia, SC, with her husband and two kids where they raise a menagerie of farm animals.