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Saskia Sassen

Professor, Columbia University and co-chairs its Committee on Global Thought

BACKGROUND / Academic and professional background

Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Co-Chair, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University. She is a student of cities, immigration, and states in the world economy, with inequality, gendering and digitization three key variables running though her work. She is the author of eight books and the editor or co-editor of three books. Together, her authored books are translated in over twenty languages.

Her recent professional activities include the following completed projects: Member of the Board of Directors, IBA (an initiative supported by the German Government with 300 million Euros for the upgrading of a vast poverty area in the North of Germany); Member of the Panel on Urban Population Dynamics, Committee on Population of the National Academy of Sciences; Chair, Information Technology and International Cooperation Committee of the Social Science Research Council; Director, Transnationalism Project of the University of Chicago; and co-Chair of the economy section of the Global Chicago Project.

She has served on several scientific juries for, among others, the French Government’s Ministry of Urban Affairs and the Belgian Government’s Agency on Science and Technology in the Office of the Prime Minister.  She has often served as an advisor, including to Queens Borough President Claire Shulman’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Government; the New York State Industrial Corporation Council; Global Chicago; the LSE Mayors Project of the Cities Programme; World Economic Forum, Club of Mayors.  She serves on the board of several professional journals and organizations. Among others, she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Sociological Research Association, the European Academy of Sciences, and the Atheneum (UK).

IMPACT/ What is the positive economic, social, political, environmental…of the activity, project, initiative, start-up, company?

She has received diverse awards, from multiple doctor honoris causa to being chosen as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy-2011, Top 100 Thought Leaders by GDI-MIT 2012 and 2013, Top 50 Global Thinkers Prospect Magazine 2014, and receiving the 2013 Principe de Asturias Prize for the Social Sciences.