INFORMS President's Award

2020 - Winner(s)

2020 Winner(s)

Professor Cynthia Barnhart has a distinguished career with significant impact in research, service, education, practice, and leadership. She received her Ph.D. at MIT and joined the faculty at Georgia Tech. After 4 years, she returned to MIT and she is currently a Ford Foundation Professor of Engineering, and a professor with appointments in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Sloan School of Management. She has served as the Chancellor of MIT since 2014. Prior to her current role, she served as associate and acting dean of the School of Engineering and co-directed both the Operations Research Center and the Center for Transportation and Logistics at MIT.

Dr. Barnhart’s teaching and research interests are in the areas of large-scale optimization, airlines operations, the global airline industry, and transportation operations, planning, and control. She has supervised a large group of graduate and undergraduate students across a range of disciplines. She has a stellar publication record, and also had tremendous impact in practice ranging from integrated airline scheduling to improving urban mobility.

Dr. Barnhart has won numerous prestigious awards. She is an INFORMS Fellow, an Edelman Laureate, and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. She has received honorary doctorates from the École Polytechnique and the University of Toronto.

Dr. Barnhart joined ORSA in 1986 and has been a very active and influential INFORMS member for over 20 years. She has served as the President of INFORMS in 2008 and spearheaded the establishment of the Doing Good with Good OR student paper competition, which helped increase awareness and participation in research and activities focused on societal impact among the INFORMS community. She has been involved in leadership roles in numerous communities including as the President of the INFORMS Transportation Science and Logistics Society and the President of the INFORMS Women in Operations Research/Management Science Forum. She has served on the editorial boards of numerous INFORMS journals and also served on various committees.

Dr. Barnhart’s numerous accomplishments and service engagements have also been accompanied by her commitment to and impact of mentoring and inspiring others in our community. Despite her incredibly busy schedule, she has been generous with her time in supporting others and setting an excellent example of leadership, integrity, respect, and caring for others. She received the INFORMS award for the Advancement of Women in Operations Research and Management Science, which also recognizes her commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

INFORMS is proud to recognize Professor Barnhart with its 2020 President’s Award, for her multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary high impact activities in research, practice, education, leadership, and service.

Purpose of the Award

The purpose of this award is to recognize, and thereby encourage, important contributions to the welfare of society by members of our profession at the local, national, or global level. Achievements suitable for this recognition may be in technical or scientific education or in paid or voluntary consulting or management (commercial, academic, governmental, or nonprofit). The accomplishments honored need not have been documented by personal execution of formal or informal OR/MS studies but could have been reflected in support or promotion of OR/MS efforts. The award is given each year at the National meeting if there is a suitable recipient. The award is a framed certificate with a brief citation.

Award Information

The purpose of this award is to recognize, and thereby encourage, important contributions to the welfare of society by members of our profession at the local, national, or global level.

Click here to learn more about the application process.


2021 Committee Chair:

Steve Graves
2021 INFORMS President


Click here for committee information

Past Awardees

2020 Winner(s)
Cynthia Barnhart, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2019 Winner(s)
Dimitris J. Bertsimas , Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management and Operations Research Center
2018 Awardee(s)
James J. Cochran, The University of Alabama
2017 Awardee(s)
David Hunt, Oliver Wyman
2016 Awardee(s)
Gerald G. Brown
2015 Awardee(s)
Jack Levis, UPS
2014 Awardee(s)
András Prékopa, Rutgers University
2013 Awardee(s)
Arthur M. Geoffrion, UCLA, Anderson School of Management
2012 Awardee(s)
Andrés P. Weintraub, CSAV
2011 Awardee(s)
Kenneth R. Chelst, Wayne State University
2010 Awardee(s)
Jonathan P. Caulkins, Carnegie Mellon University
2009 Awardee(s)
Ralph L. Keeney, USC
2008 Awardee(s)
Margaret L. Brandeau, Stanford University, Management Science and Engineering
2007 Awardee(s)
Lawrence M. Wein, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business
2006 Awardee(s)
Vijay Chandru, Chairman & CEO, Strand Life Sciences
2005 Awardee(s)
William P. Pierskalla
2004 Awardee(s)
William "Al" Wallace , Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Decision Sciences & Engineering Systems
2003 Awardee(s)
Richard C. Larson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2002 Awardee(s)
Edward H. Kaplan, Yale University
2001 Awardee(s)
Seth Bonder, The Bonder Group
2000 Awardee(s)
William W. Hogan
1999 Awardee(s)
Leonard Kleinrock, University of California, Computer Science Dept.
1998 Awardee(s)
Jan M. Chaiken
1997 Awardee(s)
Warren E. Walker, Delft University of Technology
1996 Awardee(s)
Arnold I. Barnett, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management
1995 Awardee(s)
Not Awarded
1994 Awardee(s)
Gerald J. Lieberman, G. Lieberman Consulting LLC Lucius Riccio, Columbia University
1993 Awardee(s)
Alfred Blumstein, Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz College