Randall S. Robinson

Randall S. Robinson

Past Awards

INFORMS Elected Fellows: Awardee(s)

George E. Kimball Medal: Awardee(s)

Randall S. Robinson has a passion for operations research and the management sciences. His entire professional career since earning his doctorate from the Sloan School at MIT in 1964 has been devoted to this field. In his early years, he worked in OR/MS practice for several organizations, often specializing in financial applications. In 1976, he settled into a nineteen-year career with Babcock & Wilcox and then its successor through merger, McDermott Incorporated, where he rose through a succession of assignments to become Director of Decision Technologies and Operations Research. After retiring from corporate life in 1995, he became the founding Executive Director of INFORMS, from which he retired last year. To this day, he remains active as an OR/MS consultant.

Randy joined both TIMS and ORSA forty-two years ago, while a graduate student at MIT. He participated in the Boston TIMS chapter, becoming President in 1974. An enthusiastic practitioner, he became active in CPMS, serving in various capacities, including Chair of the Edelman Prize Committee in 1988, Chair of the Edelman videotaping project from 1989 to 1994, and CPMS Council member since 1985.

In 1986, he was elected TIMS Vice-President for Finance. Toward the end of a second term in that position, in 1993, he became Chair of the OR/MS Board (combined Councils of ORSA and TIMS) and its Executive Committee for two years, during which time the merger of ORSA and TIMS into INFORMS was approved by the OR/MS Board and then the memberships. Randy was elected President of TIMS in 1994, but because of the merger served only as President-Elect. Also in 1994, he was founding President of the original INFORMS Corporation, when the organizing legal work was carried out. In 1995, he became Director at Large on the INFORMS Board, and then founding Executive Director of INFORMS.

As the first Executive Director of INFORMS, Randy dealt with the many issues arising from merging two different business offices and melding two different organizational and governance cultures. In addition, he exercised special leadership to improve the visibility and outreach of OR/MS through public relations, build stronger connections between INFORMS and key sister organizations, and bring INFORMS up to modern standards of computerization. After retiring as Executive Director, he continued to serve on committees for Public Relations, History and Traditions, and Continuing Professional Education, remained active with the CPMS Council, and began a stint as an associate editor of Operations Research.

Randy Robinson’s dedication has served us well. For his distinguished service to the profession and the Society, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences expresses its profound appreciation by awarding him the George E. Kimball Medal.

Awards presented by Peter V. Norden, Committee Chair, and Thomas L. Magnanti, President, November 8, 1999.