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InCommon Service Spotlight: Q&A with Chris Misra, Vice Chancellor and CIO, University of Massachusetts Amherst



By Apryl Motley, CAE – InCommon Communications Lead

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

This year’s Call for InCommon Advisory Committee Nominations is under way, and we are highlighting some of our current and past volunteers from the community.

You can volunteer too! Submit your nomination by October 1.

Chris Misra, who serves as vice chancellor and CIO at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is the current vice chair of the InCommon Steering Committee. Previously, he was a member of the InCommon Technical Advisory Committee. Learn more about Chris and his experience volunteering with InCommon.

Q: How did you first enter the IAM profession? 

A: As an undergraduate at UMass, I was asked to assume operations of our Kerberos authentication servers because the guy running them left the university. 

Q: What motivated you to volunteer with the InCommon community? 

A: I personally benefited from having great mentors and role models like RL “Bob” Morgan and Ken Klingenstein when I first joined this community. I was motivated to volunteer in the spirit of passing along what I learned from the masters.

Q: In what ways did volunteering benefit you? What did you enjoy most? 

A: I developed skills working in a consensus-driven environment with smart people on hard problems. I most enjoy the challenge of developing solutions when there are no easy answers.

Chris Misra photo

Fun Facts about Chris

Number of Years in Current Role: 5 years

Total Years at Institution:
26 years as staff (29 total)

Best IAM Advice He Ever Received (& from whom):
Never store credentials in plaintext, ever. (Jeff Schiller, MIT)

Q: Would you recommend volunteering to your peers? Why? 

A: I would absolutely recommend volunteering as it is the right thing to do. We each make the communities that we want to be a part of through our own actions. If I can add a little to the mix, my time was well spent.

Q: What advice would you offer to peers who are considering committee participation? 

A: I enjoy hearing how others are engaging at the same problems I face at my home institution. Participating in these committees has given me a broader perspective that has improved what I bring to my role at the university and to how I have grown personally. Low overhead and high return for the time committed.

Get Involved

These committees are seeking new members:

  • InCommon Steering Committee
  • InCommon Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)
  • Community Trust and Assurance Board (CTAB)
  • Community Architecture Committee for Trust and Identity (CACTI)
  • eduroam Advisory Committee (eAC)
InCommon Community

For more information about these groups, refer to these descriptions or visit

Please note that the time commitment for serving on InCommon Advisory Committees varies, but in general, you can plan on 24 hours per year.

We hope that you will consider joining one of our  advisory groups to help us continue to make a positive impact on the community. Submit a nomination.

If you have any questions about the nomination process, please contact the committee contacts listed or Ann West, InCommon Executive Director, at


InCommon Advisory Committee Nominations Open Now Through Oct. 1