Martha Chen is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, an Affiliated Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and cofounder, International Coordinator Emeritus and Senior Advisor of the global research-policyaction network Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO). An experienced development practitioner and scholar, her areas of specialization are employment, gender, and poverty with a focus on the working poor in the informal economy. Before joining Harvard in 1987, she had two decades of resident experience in Bangladesh working with BRAC (now the world's largest non-governmental organisation) and in India, where she served as field representative of Oxfam America for India and Bangladesh. Marty received a PhD in South Asia Regional Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author and editor of numerous books including The Informal Economy Revisited: Examining the Past, Envisioning the Future (co-edited with Francoise Carre), Bridging Perspectives: Labour, Informal Employment, and Poverty (co-edited with Namrata Bali and Ravi Kanbur), The Progress of the World's Women 2005: Women, Work and Poverty (co-authored with Joann Vanek, Francie Lund, James Heintz, Renana Jhabvala and Chris Bonner), Mainstreaming Informal Employment and Gender in Poverty Reduction (co-authored with Marilyn Carr and Joann Vanek), Women and Men in the Informal Economy: A Statistical Picture (co-authored with Joann Vanek and others). Dr. Chen was awarded a high civilian award, the Padma Shri, by the Government of India in April 2011; and a Friends of Bangladesh Liberation War award by the Government of Bangladesh in December 2012.

Featured programmes and seminars

  • High Capacity Campus

    Start date: 07/07/2024

    The main objective of this initiative is to develop the potential of young people between the ages of 10 and 18 who have been accredited as "high ability".

  • Frontiers of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

    Start date: 10/06/2024

    The aim of this programme is to analyse the latest developments in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship from a multi-sectoral perspective. Led by MIT professors.

  • Workshop in International Economics

    Start date: 10/06/2024

    Programme aimed at Commercial Technicians and State Economists, university professors and Spanish researchers to share knowledge in international economics.

  • Workshop From Science to Society

    Start date: 22/09/2024

    The Rafael del Pino Foundation together with the Club de Científicos (Rafael del Pino Excellence Fellows) organise the FS2S: Translating today's research into tomorrow's solutions.