Robert Kirkpatrick is an expert in the design and use of technology to facilitate cross-organizational collaboration in austere field environments, developing countries, and sudden-onset emergencies. He has spent more than 10 years in collaboration technology, supporting the use of ICT for health data collection, disaster relief, NGO field security, telemedicine, conflict mediation, and civil-military cooperation. Robert’s work with technology industry partners, government agencies, and international humanitarian organizations has explored ways that system design may impact trust- building and information sharing behavior across cultural, organizational, and linguistic boundaries. Robert co-founded and led solutions development for two pioneering humanitarian technology teams, first at Groove Networks, and later at Microsoft where he served as Lead Architect for Microsoft Humanitarian Systems (MHS).
While at Microsoft, he and the MHS team designed a set of tools for mesh-based collaboration and low-bandwidth data transport among humanitarian workers in Afghanistan. Following the Pakistan earthquake in 2006, Robert worked on humanitarian relief solutions for earthquake victims in Kashmir, and he later prototyped a telemedicine application in Afghanistan.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Robert spent more than a month working with NGOs, military, and first responders in New Orleans and Mississippi, where he designed a suite of applications for registration, medical treatment, and family reunification. In 2005, as Lead Architect for Groove Humanitarian Systems, he developed the GIS-enabled DPKO SatComms tracking system used by UN Peacekeeping to manage global UN satellite communications. At the onset of the Iraq War, Robert developed the Virtual Iraqi Health Logistics Center, a system used during and after the invasion by both humanitarian and military personnel. He later worked in Baghdad under US Ambassador Paul Bremer as an advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority Executive Secretariat. Robert is a member of the Executive Committee for the Strong Angel series of humanitarian disaster-response demonstrations. In 2006, he directed application integration for Strong Angel III in San Diego, CA, and in 2004 for Strong Angel II in Kona, Hawai’i. Robert holds a B.A. in Greek and Latin from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has done graduate work in social anthropology at Harvard University.