Francisco Rivera-Batiz joined the faculty of Columbia University for the first time in 1991 as an associate professor of economics and education at Teachers College, and as the director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education until 1995. From 1997 to 1999, he served as the director of the Latino Studies Program at the university, and from 1996 to 2002 he was the director of the MPA in Economic Policy Management (MPA-EPM) at SIPA as well as an associate professor in the economics department. He is currently a professor of economics and education at Teachers College and an affiliate professor at SIPA, teaching at the MPA-EPM and Executive MPA program. He is also affiliated with the Columbia Population Research Center and the Institute of Latin American Studies.
He is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Economic Policy Reform, the Open Demography Journal, and the International Trade Journal. He has been a member of a range of advisory boards and professional committees. Among them are the International Advisory Board; International Development Program; Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain (2004-present); International Advisory Council; Indian Institute of Finance, Delhi, India (2000-present); Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession; American Economic Association (2000-03); editorial advisory board of The Latino Review of Books (1995-2000); editorial advisory board of Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy (1996-99); co-executive director of the Commission on Planning for Enrollment Growth, New York City Board of Education (1994-95); and board of directors of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education, New York (1992-95).
Rivera-Batiz received a BA from Cornell University in 1975 and a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979. He has previously held teaching or research positions at Indiana University in Bloomington, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Rutgers University in New Brunswick. He has received postdoctoral fellowships from the Ford Foundation in 1982-83 and Educational Testing Service in 1988-89. He was a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in 2003-04.
Over the years, Rivera-Batiz has provided technical or educational services to the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Soros Foundation, and the Harvard Institute for International Development as well as to a number of governmental and non-governmental institutions in the United States and abroad, including Argentina, China, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Egypt, Mongolia, Paraguay, Puerto Rico and Turkey. In 2006 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Friendship from the country of Mongolia in honor of his contributions to Mongolian education and society.
- "Development and the World Economy," in K. Reinert and R. Rajan, eds., The Princeton Encyclopedia of the World Economy (Princeton University Press, 2009)
- Education as an Engine of Economic Development: Global Experiences and Prospects for El Salvador, Fundación Salvadoreña para el Desarrollo Económico y Social (FUSADES, 2008)
- "How Do Migrants from Latin America and the Caribbean Fare in U.S. Labor Markets?," The World Economy (2007)
- "Education and Economic Development in Puerto Rico," with H. Ladd in The Puerto Rican Economy: Prospects for Growth, edited by B. Bosworth and S. Collins (Brookings Institution 2005)
- "NewYorktitlan: The Socioeconomic Status of Mexican New Yorkers," in Regional Labor Review (Winter-Spring 2004)
- "The Impact of School-to-Work Programs on Youth Employment and Student Outcomes," in The School to Work Movement: Origins and Destinations, edited by W. Stull and N. Sanders (Praeger 2003)
- "Democracy, Governance and Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence," in Review of Development Economics (June 2002)
- Tigers in Distress: The Political Economy of the East Asian Crisis and its Aftermath, co-edited with A. Lukauskas (Edward Elgar Publishers 2001)
- "International Financial Liberalization, Corruption and Economic Growth" in Review of International Economics (November 2001)
- "Undocumented Workers in the Labor Market: An Analysis of the Earnings of Legal and Illegal Mexican Immigrants in the U.S.," in Journal of Population Economics (February 1999)
- Island Paradox: Puerto Rico in the 1990s, with C. Santiago (Russell Sage Foundation 1996)
- International Finance and Open Economy Macroeconomics, Second Edition, with L. Rivera-Batiz (Prentice Hall 1994)
- and many others.