Kathryn V. Johnston is a Professor in Columbia University’s Department of Astronomy. She graduated with a PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics from UC Santa Cruz in 1996, was a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study for three years and an assistant professor at Wesleyan University before joining the Columbia Faculty in 2006. She is interested in the dynamics of galactic collisions and uses numerical simulations to explore that interest and connect her theoretical ideas more closely to observations. Since moving to Columbia, Prof Johnston has taken a leadership role in making connections between Columbia University’s Information Technology services, administration and faculty to establish and grow effective ways to share research computing infrastructure (hardware, power, space and staff). The current facility involves researchers from over a dozen departments across the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering. She served as chair in 2013–2016 of the “Shared Research Computing Policy Advisory Committee” (SRCPAC) which co-ordinates and manages this endeavor.