Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen will join Arizona State University (ASU) as Director of the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. She will assume the new role starting July 1.
Prior to joining ASU, Bagchi-Sen served as professor in the Department of Geography at State University of New York at Buffalo. Her time there also included a stint as chair of the department from 2010 to 2016 and service as co-director of the Institute for Research and Education on Women and Gender.
“Dr. Bagchi-Sen brings with her a wealth of administrative and leadership experience. A top-notch scholar and visible researcher, she is the perfect person to lead the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning into the future,” said Pardis Mahdavi, dean of the social sciences for The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
A human-geographer, Bagchi-Sen’s research specifically touches upon the topics of urban and economic geography. Her current research focuses on analyzing the relationship between demographic shifts and socio-economic outcomes, which is work that she will continue to investigate at ASU.
Her past research has focused on foreign direct investment in the United States followed by the study of the drivers and barriers of innovation in various high technology industries, including the biopharmaceutical and bioenergy sectors. Bagchi-Sen focuses on industry studies with a deep interest in understanding how industrial change affect regions. In recent years, she has undertaken research on shrinking cities in the deindustrialized parts of the United States to investigate the relationship between population and economic decline. In doing this research, she has also examined the debates surrounding local-regional policy and planning options.
Bagchi-Sen’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, and she has held long-established collaboration with scholars in the United Kingdom and Sweden. In 2020, she served as program director for the Human-Environment and Geographical Sciences with the National Science Foundation, a position that involved managing proposals submitted to several programs and participating in broader discussions within these programs about future directions, a position that will be coming to an end with Bagchi-Sen’s transition to becoming school director.