Robert Chen is director of CIESIN and an ex officio member of the Earth Institute Faculty at Columbia University. He manages the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) and is currently a member of the Governing Council of the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) and the Council of the American Geographical Society. He is a co-chair of the Thematic Group on Sustainable Development Data of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Data Sharing Working Group of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). His research areas include data access and stewardship, disaster risk assessment, climate vulnerability and adaptation, and sustainable development data and monitoring. He received his Ph.D. in geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.