President's Office

Chase F. Robinson

Chase F. Robinson

The Graduate Center,
City University of New York

Chase F. Robinson was appointed president of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, the principal doctorate-granting institution of the nation’s leading public, urban university, in June 2014. Dr. Robinson, a historian of the premodern Middle East, is also Distinguished Professor of History. He previously served as Interim President.

From 2008 through June 2013, in his capacity as Provost and Senior Vice President of the Graduate Center, Dr. Robinson led a comprehensive planning process culminating in the GC’s Strategic Plan for 2012-2016, outlining the institution’s major goals. He also worked with the Office of Institutional Advancement to secure major funding to enhance faculty support, helped establish the Graduate Center at the forefront of the digital evolution within higher education, expanded the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program, and launched major initiatives, such as the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences, the CUNY Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context, and the Advanced Research Collaborative. Most recently, at the request of the Chancellor, he led an initiative to analyze current challenges and promote future growth of doctoral programs in the ‘bench sciences’ (Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry and Physics).

Dr. Robinson received an A.B. (Honors) from Brown University, having also studied at the American University in Cairo, the University of Cairo, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1992, he earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, where he was awarded a Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. In 1993 he joined the Faculty of Oriental Studies and Wolfson College, Oxford, where he taught until 2008. From 1999 to 2000 he was a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and in 2005 he received a two-year British Academy Research Readership.

As Chairman of the Faculty Board of Oriental Studies at Oxford, Dr. Robinson put in place the department’s first academic plan, broadened its scope in terms of development and external relations, and forged new relationships with international donors as well as academic institutions in the Middle East.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Robinson is the author or editor of seven books and more than 40 articles. He also serves on a number of editorial and review boards, and his commentaries have appeared in the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the London Times.