April 30 – May 2, 2024 | Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA

About the Cloud Forum and Cloud Community


In 2015 Sarah Christen, director of IT Infrastructure at Cornell University, recognized the need to bring together those who were tasked with investigating hyper-scale computing for their respective higher ed institutions. As many schools were starting down this road, too many were traveling alone. Sarah pulled together colleagues from the Cloud Computing Community Group, the Common Solutions Group and elsewhere to develop and implement the idea.

The first Cloud Forum took place in November 2015 in the auditorium of the Statler Hotel on the Cornell campus with representatives of 45 institutions gathered in a single room for a day and half. In that intimate setting the conversations were candid, the lessons shared valuable and the community built lasting. This was higher ed IT at its most collaborative.

The organizers knew there would be interest from vendors to attend. They agreed to invite representatives of the top platforms in use but with strict rules of engagement. They were invited to come listen and learn. No presentations. No participation in discussions. It is a unique opportunity for deeper understanding. The vendors each sponsor academic researchers working on their platforms to speak, not about the underlying technology, but about their work. These sessions serve as a valued reminder to attendees of the importance of the technology platforms they manage for their institutions.

Each year the attendees express a desire to expand the event’s reach to more topics and more institutions while maintaining its character. The Statler Auditorium seats 90 people and that hard cap necessitated limiting the number of people each institution could send. Schools were limited to three people, the vendors to two.

In 2020 the COVID-19 Pandemic forced the Cloud Forum online, stretching it from one week to an entire school year, via monthly online sessions. The event maintained its mix of presentations, panels, lightning talks and research presentations. It even had an Unconference, a discussion format added in 2019, and greatly valued.

1n 2021 the Cloud Forum returned to Cornell and the Statler for (possibly) the last time. In-person attendance was close to pre-pandemic levels and through the very capable efforts of the Cornell AV team, much of the event was made available to remote participants and presenters.

At the end of the 2021 Cloud Forum, organizers announced that Internet2 would take the Cloud Forum into its care and facilitate its movement to other institutions. Washington University in St. Louis bravely raised its hand to volunteer to be the first institution to carry on the impressive legacy created by Sarah Christen back in 2015. The event was a great success.

Responding to community concerns about an overloaded fall conference schedule, the Cloud Forum shifted to a spring event. An abbreviated, but highly successful was held at Emory University in 2023. 2024 will see a return to a full 2.5-day Cloud Forum hosted by Stanford University. We hope you will join us as we continue this new chapter of the Cloud Forum.

Hosting the Cloud Forum

We have just embarked on the Cloud Forum’s road trip. We have our 2023 host set, but are already looking to 2024. If your institution would like to know more about hosting a future Cloud Forum, read Hosting the Cloud Forum to learn what is involved in hosting and reach out to Bob Flynn (bflynn@internet2.edu) to discuss.

The 2024 Cloud Forum Organizing Committee

The Cloud Forum relies on significant volunteer effort. Here is your hard-working 2024 Organizing Committee:

John BaileyWashington University in St. Louis
Tim ChampUniversity of Maryland – Baltimore County
Sarah ChristenCornell University (founder & spirit guide)
William DeigaardTexas A&M University
Damian DoyleUniversity of Maryland – Baltimore County
Simon FaireyPrinceton University
Phil FenstermacherWilliam & Mary University
Bob FlynnInternet2 (chair)
Todd HaddawayUniversity of Maryland – Baltimore County
Eric JohnsonCornell University
Marissa JulesGeorgia Tech University
Lucrecia Kim-BoswellStanford University (host)
David LaceyJ Paul Getty Trust
Rob LarmonLoyola Marymount University
Jenna MallbergInternet2 (staff support)
Jomes MonekLehigh University
Jacob MorrisUniversity of Washington
Kevin MullerFordham University
Emily NicholsInternet2 (staff support)
Sean O’BrienInternet2 (sponsor)
Wayne OrtmanEmory University
Brian PasquiniUniversity of Pittsburgh
Todd PrinsUniversity of Nevada Las Vegas
Rick RhoadesThe Pennsylvania State University
Brandon RichUniversity of Notre Dame
Matthew RichNorthwestern University
Nick Weber National Institutes of Health
2024 Higher Education Cloud Forum Organizing Committee

Getting Involved with the Cloud Forum

If you would like to join the committee planning a future Cloud Forum, please contact Bob Flynn (bflynn@internet2.edu)

Other Community Efforts

Join this and other community efforts, including regular monthly calls and conversations on the Cloud Computing Community Group (CCCG) email list and Slack workspace.

Email list

  1. To join, you can follow the instructions on the Educause CCCG page
  2. You will receive a confirmation email within a few minutes. Click on the confirmation link within the email
  3. You will receive another email to confirm that you are now subscribed to the list


  1. Join the CCCG Slack Workspace
  2. Add the #he-cloud-forum Channel from the ‘Add channels’ menu
  3. Start chatting!

Additional Resources

Additional resources can be found on the Higher Education Cloud Community site hosted by Internet2.