Staff Directory

Fahmida N Chowdhury

Fahmida N Chowdhury portrait
(703) 292-4672
(703) 292-9067
W 17158
Program Director

Program Responsibilities:
International Research Experiences for Students (IRES)
Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE)


Dr. Fahmida Chowdhury is a Program Director in the NSF Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE). She has served at the National Science Foundation since February 2008. Prior to joining OISE, she was a Program Director in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) and ran programs in the SBE Office of Multidisciplinary Activities (SMA). Besides her core program responsibilities, she has served on Foundation-wide Working Groups for Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation (CDI), the SEES Fellows program, as well as the multi-directorate (and jointly with the National Institutes of Health) Working Group on Smart and Connected Health (SCH).

Before joining NSF in 2008, she was a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA, where she held the W. Hansen Hall and Mary O. Hall Endowed Chair in Computer Engineering. She has also held academic positions at Michigan Technological University, Southern University (Baton Rouge), Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Dhaka, Bangladesh).

Fahmida was born in Bangladesh. After receiving her Higher Secondary Certificate (equivalent to High School Graduation in the U.S.) from Holy Cross College, Dhaka, she won a scholarship to study in the Soviet Union in 1974. She received a combined BSc/MSc degree (with High Honors, MSc thesis written in Russian) in electromechanical engineering from Moscow Power Engineering Institute, Moscow, Russia, in 1980. She obtained her PhD in electrical engineering (major: system theory; minor: mathematics), from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1988.

Her research interests include complex systems modeling and analysis, non-traditional applications of dynamic systems theory, and detection of abnormal conditions (faults) in dynamic systems. She is interested in robust system design via active detection and adaptation, as opposed to simple redundancy or other passive techniques, because passive robustness frequently results in reduced optimality.

Dr. Chowdhury is an Associate Editor for the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Transactions on Artificial Intelligence, and for the IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society. In the past, she has served as Associate Editor of two other IEEE Transactions: on Control Systems Technology and on Neural Networks, as well as the International Journal of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. She has served as elected member of the IEEE Control System Society's Board of Governors, and the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society's AdCOM. She is also an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Social Implications of Technology (SSIT).

In addition to her technical interests and contributions, she has worked throughout her career for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) workforce development and broadening participation of under-represented groups in STEM fields. She was a Fulbright Fellow (2001) and an Embassy Science Fellow (2013). She has deep interest in science and technology policy for both research and education at national and international levels.