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Columbia University
Title: Director
Program on Information & Resources


Chichilnisky was the author of the now widely used concept of Basic Needs in economic development, voted by 153 nations at the 1993 Earth Summit to be the cornerstone of Sustainable Development work. She designed financial instruments called Catastrophe Bundles and created an entire new mathematical foundation for decisions involving catastrophic risks and for social choices and policy decisions involving the long-term future. At her keynote address to the World Bank Annual Meeting of 1996 she proposed the creation of an International Bank for Environmental Settlements to regulate the world's carbon market, and in Bali in December 2007 she was invited by the Chair of the Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism to propose a policy successor to the Kyoto Protocol - involving carbon negative power plants and new derivative markets - to provide simple and practical solutions to resolving the impasse between China and the United States in today's Climate Change crisis. Professor Chichilnisky is the 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. A tenured professor at Columbia in Economics since 1979 and of Mathematical Statistics since 1996, Chichilnisky held the UNESCO Chair of Mathematics and Economics since 1995 and founded and directed in 1994 Columbia's Program on Information and Resources that was focused on transforming the University's teaching and research agenda to reflect the growing trend to globalization and sustainable development. PIR attracted substantial funding from the United Nations, NSF and the private sector, was the site of creation of the carbon market of the Kyoto Protocol and the basis for and predecessor of Columbia Earth Institute that was founded by Dr. Peter Eisenberger in 1996. Chichilnisky also created Columbia's Consortium for Risk Management that was funded by the six largest reinsurance companies in the world and was the site of creation of new financial instruments such as "catastrophe bundles." Dr. Chichilnisky was from 1985-1990 the Chairman and CEO of FITEL, and from 2000-2004 the CEO and Chairman of Cross Border Exchange. She is a member or former member of the board of trustees of the National Resources Defense Council, the Mediterranean College and of 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. A Member of the American Mathematical, Statistical and Economic Associations, Chichilnisky is listed in Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America, Who is Who of American Women, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Who's Who in Education and in the Dictionary of International Biography among the worlds 1,000 most outstanding scientists of the 21st century. In 2007 she was identified by Hispanic Business among the top 10 most influential Latinos in the US. A native of Argentina, Professor Chichilnisky is a U.S. citizen, the mother of two children, and a resident of New York City.