Professor Rivera-Batiz was appointed in November 2016 as a member of the Puerto Rico Growth Commission, a task force entrusted with the mission of charting a road for sustainable development and future growth in this U.S. territory plagued by a more than a decade-long crisis. The Commission is organized by the Center for a New Economy (, a research think tank in Puerto Rico. Prof. Rivera-Batiz’s colleagues at Columbia, Jose Antonio Ocampo and Joseph E. Stiglitz, are also members of the Commission.

The School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) recognized Prof. Rivera-Batiz’s teaching efforts by granting him the 2016 Award for Outstanding Teaching. On the basis of student evaluations, his course Development Economics was ranked among the top large courses in the School, and students then voted to select him for the award. Dean Merit Janow conferred the prize during the 2016 SIPA graduation in May. It is the second time Prof. Rivera-Batiz has received this award, with the first one granted in 2010.

Professor Rivera-Batiz was selected as the Chief Editor of the Encyclopedia of International Economics and World Trade, to be published by World Scientific Publishers in 2017. The Encyclopedia, the first of its type in the field of international economics, consists of three volumes on (1) international money and finance, (2) international trade and protection, and (3) foreign direct investment.

The American Society of Hispanic Economists (  awarded Prof. Rivera-Batiz its 2010 Academic Achievement Award. This biennial award was designed to reward members of the Society who have made a vast array of academic accomplishments and contributions throughout their careers to the economics discipline and related areas. Previous recipients of this award have been Dr. Ronald Oaxaca and Dr. Refugio Rolchin. Prof. Rivera-Batiz received the award on January 3, 2010 at the annual meetings of the American Economic Association in Atlanta.

Professor John H. Coatsworth, Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs awarded Prof. Rivera-Batiz with a “Top Five” award for excellence in teaching on September 2009. On the basis of student evaluations, his course, Development Economics, was ranked among the top five courses in the School, out of the 190 courses taught during the Fall 2008 semester.

Teachers College, Columbia’s Graduate School of Education, signed a memorandum of understanding with Istanbul’s Bahcesehir University on February 5, 2009 to foster a wide-ranging collaboration that includes assisting the Turkish institution in establishing a school of education and launching a center for education and economic development. This collaboration is spearheaded by Prof. Rivera-Batiz, who worked with Enver Yucel, Chair of the Bahcesehir University Board of Trustees, and other university officials at that university on shaping the contours of the partnership. More details are available at