Jim Neal is currently the Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia University, providing leadership for university academic computing and a system of twenty-five libraries. His responsibilities include the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL), the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship, the Copyright Advisory Office, and the Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research. He participates on key academic, technology, budget and policy groups at the University. Previously, he served as the Dean of University Libraries at Indiana University and Johns Hopkins University, and held administrative positions in the libraries at Penn State, Notre Dame, and the City University of New York.
Neal has served on the Council and Executive Board of the American Library Association and is currently Chair of the Budget Advisory and Review Committee (BARC); on the Board and as President of the Association of Research Libraries; on the Board and as Chair of the Research Libraries Group (RLG), and Chair of the RLG Program Committee of the OCLC Board. He is on the Board and past Chair of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), and on the Board of the Freedom to Read Foundation. He has also served on numerous international, national, and state professional committees, and is an active member of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).
Neal is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences, consultant and published author, with a focus in the areas of scholarly communication, intellectual property, digital library programs, organizational change and human resource development. He has served on the Scholarly Communication committees of ARL and ACRL and as Chair of the Steering Committee of SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, and currently on the Board of the Columbia University Press. He has represented the American library community in testimony on copyright matters before Congressional committees, was an advisor to the U.S. delegation at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) diplomatic conference on copyright, has worked on copyright policy and advisory groups for universities and for professional and higher education associations, and during 2005-08 was a member of the U.S. Copyright Office Section 108 Study Group. He was selected the 1997 Academic Librarian of the Year by the Association of College and Research Libraries and is the 2007 recipient of ALA's Hugh Atkinson Memorial Award and the 2009 ALA Melvil Dewey Medal Award.