Robert Leland completed his Ph.D. in Mathematics at Oxford University in 1989. He then joined the Parallel Computing Sciences Department at Sandia National Laboratories and pursued work principally in parallel algorithm development, sparse iterative methods and applied graph theory, co-authoring Chaco, a software package widely used for graph partitioning. In 1995 he worked for the White House on modernization of the nation's tax collection system as one of fourteen White House Fellows appointed that year by the President. He returned to Sandia in 1996 to lead the Parallel Computing Sciences Department, a group researching and developing algorithmic technology and software tools including the CUBIT mesh generation toolkit. In 2001 he assumed leadership of Computer and Software Systems, a group of four departments researching and developing supercomputing hardware, operating systems, meshing and visualization.