Chase F. Robinson came to the Graduate Center in 2008 as provost and senior vice president, was appointed distinguished professor of history in 2009, and became the Graduate Center’s president in 2014. He is considered the leading expert of his generation on early Islamic history.
As president, Dr. Robinson is committed to deepening the Graduate Center's commitment to advanced learning and education for the public good. Under his leadership, the Graduate Center is emerging as a national model in doctoral education, pedagogy, and interdisciplinarity, and has attracted record levels of philanthropic support.
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. From 2003 to 2005, he chaired Oxford University’s faculty of oriental studies, having first served as a professor of Islamic history at Oxford, beginning in 1993.
A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Robinson is the author or editor of 10 books and more than 40 articles. He also serves on a number of editorial and review boards, and his reviews and commentaries have appeared in The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Education. Dr. Robinson’s book, Islamic Civilization in Thirty Lives: the First 1,000 Years (University of California/Thames & Hudson, 2016), which has been translated into Arabic, Indonesian, and Portuguese, was awarded Outstanding Academic Title for 2017 by CHOICE. His newest book, which he co-edited, is The Works of Ibn Wadih Al-ya’qubi: An English Translation (Brill, 2017), a fully annotated translation of writings that are among the earliest surviving Arabic-language works of the Islamic period.