Parag Khanna elected to Council of the American Geographical Society

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AmericanGeo.org | July 29, 2015

Press Release By The American Geographical Society

The American Geographical Society (AGS) announced today the appointment of Dr. Robert S. Chen and Dr. Parag Khanna as the newest members of the AGS Council.

Dr. Chen is director of the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), a part of the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York. He also manages the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), a unique source of interdisciplinary, open access geospatial data and information focused on human-environment interactions. He recently served on the United Nations Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, and helped to develop the innovative immersive exhibit, Connected Worlds, at the New York Hall of Science. He is a highly recognized authority on the consequences of global urbanization, mortgage lending, urban planning and design and sustainable transportation issues. He received his PhD in Geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds Masters degrees in Technology and Policy and in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His undergraduate degree was in Earth and Planetary Sciences at MIT.

Dr. Khanna is a leading global strategist and best-selling author. He is a CNN Global Contributor and Senior Research Fellow in the Centre on Asia and Globalization at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. He is co-author of Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization (2012) and author of How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance (2011) and The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order (2008). He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics, and Bachelors and Masters degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The AGS Council is the governing board of the Society and has been leading the organization since 1851.  Some of the nation’s most prominent historical leaders have served on the Council including Henry Grinnell, Seth Low, Isiah Bowman, Archer M. Huntington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John Noble Wilford, and many of the leading geographers, business leaders, and political figures throughout the decades. “Drs. Chen and Khanna bring a wealth of diverse experience and expertise to the Council. Geography impacts virtually every aspect of our lives and their work reflects the contemporary application of geo-spatial analysis on which the world relies” said Dr. John Konarski III, Executive Director of AGS.  “These new Councilors join a group of very committed individuals who are ensuring that AGS continue on its mission of recognizing the geo-spatial and temporal contexts that shape the real world and influence how it works,” added Dr. Konarski.

“I am deeply honored to be elected to the Council of AGS, which represents the forefront of positioning American strategic thinking for a complex world,” stated Dr. Khanna on his appointment. Dr. Chen added, “I am honored to have been elected to the AGS Council given the organization’s strong leadership in expanding the role of geography and the geospatial community in policy, science, business, and education”.

Established in 1851, the American Geographical Society is the oldest professional geographical organization in the United States. It is recognized world-wide as a pioneer in geographical research and education in geography for over 163 years. The mission of AGS is to advance geographic knowledge and the recognition of its importance in the contemporary world. AGS promotes the use of geography in business, government, science, and education with a goal to enhance the nation’s geographic literacy so as to engender sound public policy, national security, and human well-being worldwide. AGS is the only organization focused on bringing together academics, business people, those who influence public policy (including leaders in local, state and federal government, not-for-profit organizations and the media), and the general public for the express purpose of furthering the understanding of the role of geography in our lives. AGS provides leadership to frame the national discussion of the growing importance of geography and geo-spatial tools. The Society maintains its headquarters in Brooklyn Heights, New York.

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