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When you choose to publish with PLOS, your research makes an impact. Make your work accessible to all, without restrictions, and accelerate scientific discovery with options like preprints and published peer review that make your work more Open.

Our People

Every PLOS article is a collaboration. Each of our journals is supported by a dedicated Board of volunteer editors with specific knowledge in their field, as well as thousands of reviewers who dedicate their time and expertise to ensure the quality of everything we publish. Working in partnership with our passionate internal staff, we are transforming research communication so that anyone, anywhere can read, share, and reuse the latest scientific discoveries.

EXECUTIVE TEAM

Alison Mudditt
Chief Executive Officer

Bekah Darksmith
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Veronique Kiermer
Chief Scientific Officer

Kristina Martin
Chief People and Equity Officer

Kate Motonaga
Chief Financial Officer

Niamh O’Connor
Chief Publishing Officer

Vikas Thakker

Vikas Thakker
Chief Digital and Operations Officer

Executive Team

Alison Mudditt
Chief Executive Officer

Alison Mudditt joined PLOS as Chief Executive Officer in June, 2017, where her primary role is to ensure PLOS’s continuous innovation, bold leadership, and mission-driven differentiation in scientific communication. Prior to PLOS, Alison served as Director of the University of California Press for six years where she ushered in new strategies to lead the Press into the digital age and as Executive Vice President at SAGE Publications, leading publishing programs across books, journals and digital platforms. Her 30 years in the publishing industry also include leadership positions at Blackwell Publishers in Oxford, UK, and Taylor & Francis Inc., in Philadelphia. Alison is a frequent speaker at industry meetings and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Open Science and the Society for Scholarly Publishing, and on the Advisory Board for the Authors’ Alliance. In the past, Alison has also served on the Board of ALPSP, as Vice Chair of the Scientific Publications Committee and a member of the Open Science Committee for the American Heart Association; on the Executive Council of the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the American Association of Publishers; and as Co-Chair of the Dean’s Leadership Council at California State University, Channel Islands.

Bekah Darksmith
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Bekah joined PLOS as its Chief Marketing & Communications Officer in February 2018 to lead strategic development and management of outreach, marketing, and communications. Over the past 20 years, she has worked across academic, not‐for‐profit, and commercial publishing markets, with the bulk of her career spent at the University of California Press in progressively senior roles. Bekah most recently served UC Press in a dual capacity. As its Deputy Director, she developed strategy and oversaw operations for all revenue-generating functions within the organization — marketing, sales, rights and licensing as well as fundraising. As the Executive Director of the UC Press Foundation, she was responsible for driving philanthropic support for UC Press through engagement with its Board of Trustees and administration of the organization’s endowment.

Veronique Kiermer
Chief Scientific Officer

Veronique Kiermer joined PLOS in 2015 as Executive Editor, responsible for editorial and content direction and vision for the PLOS suite of journals. Prior to PLOS, Veronique was Director of Author and Reviewer Services for Nature Publishing Group (NPG) where she oversaw the Nature journals research integrity and editorial policies. She also focused on the author and reviewer experience across the publishing portfolio of NPG. Veronique was the founding Chief Editor of Nature Methods and subsequently took on publishing responsibility for the title and other online products. In 2010 she became Executive Editor, NPG, overseeing editorial policies and editorial quality assurance for Nature and the Nature journals. Veronique obtained her PhD in molecular biology from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium and completed postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco. 

Kristina Martin
Chief People Officer

Kristina joined PLOS in early 2020 as Chief People & Equity Officer, responsible for guiding global people and DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) strategy at PLOS. Kristina has had a non-linear career with 20 years in executive roles with not-for-profit, professional services, technology and equity organizations. Her major areas of focus have been developing systems to channel the power of learning and DEI for high performance, and supporting organizations through major transition to expand impact sustainably. Kristina is deeply concerned with equitable access as a precursor to solving society’s pressing challenges, and is excited to be a part of the Open Science community. She most recently served as Chief Staff & Strategy Officer at educational equity nonprofit Partners in School Innovation.

Kate Motonaga
Chief Financial Officer

Kate joined PLOS in 2021 as Chief Financial Officer overseeing the finance, accounting and legal functions at the organization. Kate has previously served as CFO in private, government, and nonprofit organizations, most recently as CFO and COO for the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. She’s held the same roles at MOCA, Los Angeles, served as Senior Associate Dean of Finance and CFO at the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and has nearly ten years’ experience in consulting. During her career, Kate’s led finance, accounting, audit, tax, legal, risk management, investment portfolio, purchasing, and banking relationships. She’s also played an integral role in the startup of several international companies, created and analyzed business valuations, and led multiple budget improvement transformations. Kate holds an MBA from UCLA, and a BS in Economics (with concentrations in both Accounting and Finance) from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has been a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) for over 15 years.

Niamh O’Connor
Chief Publishing Officer

Niamh is Chief Publishing Officer at PLOS, having joined as Journals Publishing Director in 2018. As Chief Publishing Officer she provides business leadership for our entire portfolio ensuring that it has a strong value proposition and advances PLOS’ vision and mission. Prior to PLOS, she was the Director of Publishing at the Biochemical Society/Portland Press, leading strategy development and developing collaborative relationships with Boards, Committees and the wider scientific and publishing communities to broaden engagement and support the molecular bioscience community in transitioning to an Open Science culture. Prior to joining the Biochemical Society she spent nine years at the Royal Society of Chemistry in a variety of publishing roles including Publisher and Editor, where she co-created and implemented journal strategies with Editorial Boards to meet the needs of the evolving global scientific community. She holds a PhD in chemistry from the National University of Ireland (UCC).

Vikas Thakker
Chief Digital and Operations Officer

Vikas Thakker joined PLOS in 2021 as Chief Digital & Operations Officer and leads its publishing operations, platform engineering, data sciences and program management organizations. Prior to PLOS, Vikas spent seven years at News Corporation, most recently as Chief Information Officer for its marketing services unit, News America Marketing. Vikas also held technology and transformation leadership roles at Mastercard, WWE and GE. He holds a bachelors in Computer Engineering from Villanova University and an MBA in Technology Management from the University of Connecticut. Throughout his career he has been responsible for the launch of several strategic technology initiatives and enjoys evangelizing how technology can be used to solve consumer and business problems.

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