InCommon BaseCAMP 2023 Speaker Spotlight: Q&A with Warren Anderson

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Heather Berry, Writer, InCommon

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Meet Warren Anderson, IAM Ligo lead at the California Institute of Technology. During his 25 years at Caltech, Warren has learned a thing or two about federated identity.

He’ll be one of three speakers for the session “Federation – What it Is and Why it Matters” at InCommon BaseCAMP 2023. We asked Warren to weigh in on the importance of his session and what attendees will gain from it and the event overall.

Q: Why is the topic of your session an important one to address? 

WA: From a research perspective, there are benefits and costs to using federated identity. By clearly understanding the trade-offs, research organizations can make their own decisions about whether federated identity is the right fit for their project. Unfortunately, right now, I think it is a good fit only for very large research organizations, but the things that make it difficult for smaller organizations may be things we can overcome with concerted thought and effort.

Q: What do you hope attendees will learn from your presentation/session?

WA: I hope researchers will learn what federated identity has to offer, but also what its limitations are. I hope other organizations that support research (e.g., universities) will learn how to support research on their campus using federated identity. I hope IAM professionals will learn how research needs differ from the needs of other organizations so that their infrastructure and middleware can better support research.

Q: What do you enjoy most about speaking and/or teaching about IAM topics?

WA: Identity and access management are becoming increasingly central to everything we do. By discussing what it is, how it works, and more importantly, its shortcomings, we have a chance to make this central feature of modern life enabling and seamless, instead of limiting and frustrating.

Warren Anderson
Incommon basecamp

Fun Facts About Warren

What You Like Most About Your Job?

Uncloaking the mysteries of the universe

Favorite Book?

Necromancer by William Gibson

Best Advice About IAM You Ever Received (& from whom)?

Stop using people’s names as identifiers (too long ago to remember the attribution).

Q: What’s the #1 reason IAM professionals should come to BaseCAMP 2023?

WA: The number one reason to come to BaseCAMP, in my opinion, is to network with people who share a common interest and common goals.

Meet Warren and 30+ other speakers at InCommon BaseCAMP 2023!

Check out the rest of the peer-developed program.