For the last nine years, Nick Howe has been the vice president of HDS Academy, the global learning organization of Hitachi Data Systems. He is responsible for employee development, the education and certification offerings for customers and partners, and internal and external online communities. Hitachi Data Systems, headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., is the global IT solutions company within Hitachi, Ltd. In his previous role at Hitachi, he was director of the global solution services division for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Before joining Hitachi in 1999, he was leading outsourcing teams at EDS Corp. He began his career at Bechtel Corp., working on engineering projects throughout the world. He received his degree in chemical engineering from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the UK.