iSchool Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Plato Smith

Dr. Plato Smith, a School of Information alumnus, received his doctorate in Information Science from Florida State University in 2014. In addition, he earned his master’s degree from the Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences at North Carolina Central University and completed the 2014-2016 CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at the University of Mexico. 

Plato Smith HeadshotSmith has worked as Data Curation Librarian and Associate University Librarian at the University of Florida since 2016 and was recently appointed Program Director for Learning and Workforce Development and Public Access in the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation. In this new, interdisciplinary role within Learning and Workforce Development and Public Access, Smith will help prepare and grow the national scientific workforce for creating, utilizing, and supporting advanced cyberinfrastructure. This cyberinfrastructure has the potential to transform science and engineering research as well as contribute to the nation’s economic competitiveness and security.

Smith expressed his excitement, saying, “The opportunity to develop a program that advances socio-technical interdisciplinary collaborations across multiple communities of practice really excites me about this role. The role will enable me to connect researchers across organizations across varying levels of institution designations in pursuit of developing open research support services infrastructure and resources.”

When asked about his time at Florida State, Smith shared, “The time spent at Florida State University developing professional collaborative relationships with an anthropologist, biological scientists, and oceanographer while building trust for them to share their research data with me is among my fondest memories…I learned to become a trustworthy professional, librarian, and collaborator with researchers across multiple disciplinary domains. Additionally, the teaching assistantships with various FSU CCI professors across different graduate courses and the FSU program in Interdisciplinary Computing (PIC) are times remembered most at FSU.”

He shared his advice for current students, saying, “Be courageous, professional, respectful, and yourself always, even when others are not. Develop a solid personal code of conduct that you modify, refine, and update throughout your career.”

To learn more about Dr. Plato Smith, visit