Graciela Chichilnisky holds the UNESCO Chair of Mathematics and Economics and is a Professor of Statistics at Columbia University. She is Director of Columbia’s Center for Risk Management (CCRM) and created Columbia’s Program on Information and Resources (PIR), which is focused on transforming the University’s teaching and research agenda to reflect the growing trend towards globalization and sustainable development. Since 1995, the PIR program attracted major support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) from six leading reinsurance companies and the Sloan Foundation
Professor Chichilnisky, recipient of the 1995 Lief Johansen Award from the University of Oslo for the introduction of Markets with Endogenous Uncertainty, has been the 1994-95 Salinbemi Professor at the University of Siena. She introduced the concept of Basic Needs, which was adopted by 150 countries in the United Nations Earth Summit and appears in UN Agenda 21 as the central element of their strategies for sustainable development. She also introduced new financial instruments to deal with environmental risks, Catastrophe Bundles. At an invited address in the 1995 annual meeting of the World Bank, she proposed the global trading of carbon emissions with preferential treatment for poor countries, which she wrote and became part of the Kyoto Protocol adopted by 166 nations in December 1997. She also advocated the creation of an International Bank for Environmental Settlements to regulate this.
A tenured professor at Columbia since 1979, she has been Director of its Program on Information and Resources since its founding in 1994. She taught previously at Harvard, Essex and Stanford Universities and was from 1985-90 chairman and chief executive officer of FITEL, a financial telecommunications corporation active in New York, London and Tokyo. She has served as advisor to many international organizations, including the United Nations Economics Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), in the areas of international economics and environmental policy. Chichilnisky is a former member of the Presidential Cabinet of the Central Bank of Argentina, an active consultant to the United Nations oninternational trade issues and the global financial industry on derivatives and reinsurance, and a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Program on Climate Change (IPCC).
The author of thirteen books and some 200 scientific articles published in the preeminent academic journals covering economics, finance and mathematics, Professor Chichilnisky holds two Ph.D. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. Her doctorates in Mathematics and Economics were awarded respectively in 1971 and 1976.
Professor Chichilnisky is a member or former member of the board of directors of CrossBorder Exchange, board of trustees of the National Resources Defense Council, the Mediterranean College and the editorial boards of leading professional journals, including Advances in Applied Mathematics, Review of Economic Studies, Economic Letters, Journal of International Trade and Economic Development and Journal of Development Economics. She is listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Who’s Who in Education and is listed in the Dictionary of International Biography among the world’s 1,000 most outstanding scientists of the 21st century. A native of Argentina, Professor Chichilnisky is a U.S. citizen, the mother of two children, and a resident of New York City.