Robert S. Chen

Robert S. Chen

Director, Center for International Earth Science Information, Columbia University

Brief Bio

Dr. Chen is director of CIESIN, the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, a unit of the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York.

He manages the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), part of NASA’s network of Earth science data centers, and is a co-chair of the Thematic Network on Sustainable Development Data of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Data Sharing Working Group of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).

Chen also co-manages the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Data Distribution Center and serves on the Governing Council of the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan, the Council of the American Geographical Society, and the Science Advisory Board of the Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

He recently helped to develop the innovative immersive exhibit, Connected Worlds, at the New York Hall of Science in Queens NY.

His research areas include data stewardship, disaster risk assessment, sustainability indicators, and climate change vulnerability.

He received his Ph.D. in geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.