Gerardo del Cerro Santamaria

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

Professor Gerardo del Cerro Santamaría (Catedrático Adjunto de Ciencia Social) is recognized for his contributions to research and scholarship in several disciplines. A philosopher of science, social scientist, political economist, urbanist, 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. In an effort to address some of the key research questions of our time, Gerardo has contributed several books, book chapters, encyclopedia entries and journal articles to the fields of globalized urbanization, megaprojects and globalization, architecture and social science, science and technology studies, innovation research, telerobotics, human-machine interaction, urban environmental engineering and program and organizational evaluation.

Gerardo has devoted many years to the study of globalization, global urbanism and global political economy, sustainable development and higher education evaluation and policy. An accomplished and internationally recognized scholar, his research is considered to be world leading in terms of originality, significance and rigor. He is interested in transdisciplinary approaches to relevant research questions, which he sees as a useful strategy to help recover the spirit of Renaissance education and practice. In his role as a public intellectual, Gerardo writes a monthly op-ed column in the Spanish daily Deia, thus making some of his insights and observations as philosopher, social scientist and urbanist available and intelligible to the educated public. His Deia articles have been very successful and widely disseminated on the Internet.

Among other publications, he 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) to the SAGE Encyclopedia of Urban Studies. Del Cerro Santamaría 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). Professor del Cerro Santamaría’s 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). This book, where the author introduced his concept of “relational globalization”, generated worldwide interest and interviews for the author in architecture, planning and social science periodicals. Near future 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.

As a Visiting Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Gerardo 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, Gerardo 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. He was also a member of the dissertation committee for Dr. Yu Min Joo, who is now a Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University in Singapore. Gerardo continues to be involved with MIT, currently as a member of the Global MIT Program (Global MIT. Cities and Globalization. Dr. del Cerro Santamaría).

Dr. del Cerro Santamaría serves as Founding Director of Institutional Assessment and Innovation at The Cooper Union. In this position, he leads and coordinates all accreditation activities as well as all institutional and program evaluation and innovation initiatives taking place at the University, in the areas of institutional effectiveness, program evaluation, evaluation of research projects and assessment of student learning. Dr del Cerro Santamaría 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. A graduate of Harvard Business School's Executive Program on Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Non-Profit Organizations, Gerardo was Program Area Leader and Director of Evaluation for the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Gateway Engineering Program (1997-2002) and advised organizations in Russia, Japan, and South Korea on social science methods for program and organizational planning and evaluation. Since 2007, Gerardo has served as Evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Del Cerro has been closely involved in the national effort to reform engineering education in the United States and the debate about the impact of science and technology on national competitiveness. He has collaborated with engineers in research proposals to the NSF and other organizations, and in 2014 he 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 an international pool of hundreds of applicants), including engineers and social scientists.

Dr. del Cerro Santamaría is a member of several important professional associations and organizations. He is a member of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, the American Evaluation Association and the World Future Society. He is also a member of the Research Committee on Urban and Regional Development of the International Sociological Association. He has been honored with membership in the influential Centre International des Recherches et Etudes Transdisciplinaires in Paris and has been named Village Fellow of the Academy of Transdisciplinary Learning and Advanced Studies. In addition, he is a member of several international research groups such as the InnoLab/BerriLab (Change, Complexity and Innovation) at the University of the Basque Country (Spain), a high level group that includes sociologists, economists, physicists, engineers, philosophers and biologists from several countries.

Professor del Cerro Santamaría has been invited to speak about his work by institutions in several countries and is the recipient of numerous professional honors and awards, such as the Doctoral Medal of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, the Alumni Association Award of the Colegio Mayor Ximénez de Cisneros, the Nomination for Membership in the Manhattan Committee on Foreign Relations and the ATLAS Village Fellowship Award, to name just a few. A citizen of Spain, Gerardo 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.

Educated in the Sciences, the Arts, Philosophy and the Social Sciences in Spain, Germany and the United States, Gerardo holds a High School Diploma in Science (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology), summa cum laude (Matrícula de Honor), Bachelor’s Degrees with honors in Logic and Philosophy of Science and Music Theory, Master’s Degrees in Sociology and Classical Piano and Doctorates in Urbanism & Political Economy (New School for Social Research) and Economic Sociology (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), summa cum laude.

  • 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.