Gerardo del Cerro Santamaria

Founding Director of Institutional Assessment and Innovation and Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Sciences

Professor Gerardo del Cerro Santamaría is internationally recognized for his contributions to research and scholarship in several fields of study. He has taught at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Skidmore College, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

As a Visiting Professor at MIT, Professor del Cerro Santamaría taught a Ph.D. seminar on “Cities, Regional Restructuring and Globalization” to students from MIT and Harvard. He was invited to teach this MIT seminar at Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal). From 2008-11, he was affiliated with the International Development Group in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT and also participated in the design of an Urban Practice curriculum for the newly created Indian Institute for Human Settlements, a planning school in India. Dr. del Cerro Santamaría continues to be involved with MIT, currently as a member of the Global MIT Program (Global MIT. Cities and Globalization. Dr. del Cerro Santamaría).

Among other publications, del Cerro Santamaría is the author of Engineering Meaning. Evaluation Research at a World-Class Institution and Of Athena and Hermes. Essays in Social Science, as well as three entries (Global City, Bilbao, Growth Machine) in the SAGE Encyclopedia of Urban Studies. He is also co-author and translator of Hymns from the Rig Veda and co-author and editor of Urban Megaprojects. A Worldwide View, a volume that includes contributions from researchers in top universities in the USA, Europe and Asia and praised as “essential reading for students of urban politics, planning, sociology, and geography” by Susan Fainstein (Harvard Graduate School of Design). His book Bilbao. Basque Pathways to Globalization is regarded as a seminal contribution to the field of globalized urbanization and “one of the more sophisticated studies of globalization available today” (Diane Davis, Harvard University). Upcoming publications include an edited volume on Technological Futures in the journal Technology in Society and his first book in Spanish, titled Urbanismo, arquitectura y globalización.

Dr. del Cerro Santamaría serves as Founding Director of Institutional Assessment at The Cooper Union and is a member of Cooper’s institution-wide Planning and Assessment Council since its inception. He is a recognized specialist in the area of assessment and evaluation in higher education, with several publications in this field and several years of international consulting experience.  He is a graduate of Harvard Business School's Executive Program on Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Non-Profit Organizations and Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Program on Performance Assessment in Higher Education. From 1997-2003, he was Program Area Leader and Director of Evaluation for the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Gateway Engineering Program and advised organizations in Russia, Japan, and South Korea on social science methods for program and organizational planning and evaluation. Since 2007, he has served as Evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

In 2014 del Cerro Santamaría was selected by the National Science Foundation to participate in the first Engineering Ideas Lab on “Social Inequality in Engineering” that took place at the NSF headquarters in Virginia. Thirty people were selected to participate from a pool of hundreds of applicants, including engineers and social scientists.

He has been designated Visiting Scholar at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, for 2014-15. His research at Columbia includes systematically exploring the relationships between Urban Megaproject governance and sustainable development in key global cities. This work is already under contract for a volume on Megaprojects Management, edited by Oxford professor Bent Flybvjerg and to be published by Oxford University Press.

Professor del Cerro Santamaría has been invited to speak about his work by institutions in the USA, Europe and Asia, and is the recipient of several professional honors and awards. He is recognized as a “Leading Researcher” by EURAXESS, the European Union’s official research organization that includes 29 countries.  A citizen of Spain, he obtained Permanent Residence in the USA under the USCIS “Outstanding Researchers and Professors” program, which requires demonstrated evidence of international recognition of the candidate’s professional career. On October 11th, 2011, he became a citizen of the United States of America.

Gerardo holds Doctorates in Urbanism & Political Economy (New School for Social Research, New York) and Economic Sociology (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), summa cum laude, and a MFA in Classical Piano (Royal Conservatory of Music, Madrid, Spain). 

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.