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United Nations Fellowship awarded to Statistics PhD Kevin Duisters

United Nations Global Pulse, an initiative of the UN Secretary-General on big data and AI, recently launched the Data Fellows program. Kevin Duisters, PhD in Statistics at the Mathematical Institute, was selected to take part in its first cohort of eight international students.

Robert Kirkpatrick, Director of UN Global Pulse: "An important part of Global Pulse’s work is to foster an enabling ecosystem for data-driven innovation. Many of the agencies we work with have expressed an interest in finding ways to unlock unique data science skills that are lacking internally. Academics, likewise, are keen to work with development and humanitarian practitioners to put their skills to use for the common good. In response, UN Global Pulse came up with the concept of a Data Fellows program, a match-making exercise where we identify PhD students with specific expertise in AI, data science, computational social science etc. who are interested in working, pro-bono, with the UN."

Kevin Duisters (fourth from left) with all Data Fellows in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations headquarters (Jan 29, New York).

Henriette Keijzers, Deputy Executive Coordinator of UN’s Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office, the UN center of expertise on pooled financing mechanism that will be working with Kevin Duisters: "The UN is working towards having the required data set to underpin a clear UN value proposition that outlines the UN's distinct value added for achieving the 2030 Agenda and the UN's financial resources spent on the SDGs and the different UN functions. We are happy to work with UN Global Pulse on topics such as data quality, integration, forecasting and open data."

Kevin Duisters, PhD in Statistics (MI): "I am excited to be volunteering with the UN, because I believe in the catalyst role of data analysis in alleviating some of the biggest issues facing our international community today. It is interesting to be confronted with practical challenges that implementing end-to-end analytical solutions in a large organization like the UN can bring. Furthermore, UN Global Pulse has introduced me to a network of talented data scientists, privacy experts, policy makers, and other Data Fellows, which will be valuable to my work as academic."

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