John Towns holds two appointments at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the Executive Director for Science & Technology at NCSA (the National Center for Supercomputing Applications), and Deputy CIO for Research IT in the Office of the CIO. He is also PI and Project Director for the NSF-funded XSEDE project (the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment). Towns provides leadership and direction in the development, deployment and operation of advanced computing resources and services in support of a broad range of research activities. In addition, he is the founding Chair of the Steering Committee of PEARC (Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing).