Robert Kirkpatrick is Director of the Global Pulse initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General, which aims to harness big data for a real-time understanding of human well-being.
Robert’s activities in government, academia, UN agencies, NGOs and the private sector have focused on developing innovative solutions at the intersection of technology, policy and social change. Robert has more than 15 years of experience in the design and use of advanced technology tools in business, public health, disaster relief, security coordination, citizen journalism, telemedicine, crisis monitoring, conflict mediation, and peace building activities. His work has focused on strengthening public policy, enhancing crisis resilience and catalyzing organizational change. Robert advocates open data, open standards, open source software, and participatory development.
He co-founded and led software development for two pioneering private-sector humanitarian technology teams, including Microsoft Humanitarian Systems. In 2005 he supported response and recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina as well as vital relief organizations work following the Kashmir earthquake. In 2006 he contributed to situational awareness and information flows for telemedicine and social program monitoring in Afghanistan. During 2007-2009 he served as Chief Technical Officer of the nonprofit Innovative Support to Emergencies Diseases and Disasters (InSTEDD) where he helped established the first public health innovation lab in Cambodia. He now serves as Chairman of its Board of Directors.
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