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V.R. Benjamins
Director of External Positioning & Big Data for Social Good at LUCA: Data-Driven Decisions at Telefonica


Dr. V.R. (Richard) Benjamins is Director of External Positioning & Big Data for Social Good at Telefonica in Telefonica’s Chief Data Office. In his previous position of Group Director BI & Big Data he was responsible for internal exploitation of Big Data across Telefonica. He was also Director of Business Intelligence at Telefonica Digital, and before that he was Director of User Modelling where he led Global BI programs. During his R&D period, he was responsible for research, development and technology transfer in areas such as data mining, big data, targeted advertising, personalisation, and privacy. Richard started his period in Telefonica in 2007 as Director of Technological Strategy in Telefonica R&D. He is a frequent speaker on big data, BI and analytics events.Before joining Telefonica, he was director and board member at iSOCO, which he co-founded in 1999. Based on his work, iSOCO were granted the National Award for Computer Science in 2005. Dr. Benjamins has held positions at the Technical University of Madrid, the University of Amsterdam, the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, the University of Paris-South, France, and the Spanish Artificial Intelligence Research Institute in Barcelona. Dr. Benjamins is one of the founding members of a European Incubator for Open Data start-ups ( He has published over 100 scientific articles ( about artificial intelligence, knowledge-based systems, semantic web. He co-chaired numerous international workshops and conferences. He is on advisory boards of several start-ups and international research projects. He was general chair of the K-CAP 2013 Conference and co-chair of the Industrial track at ISWC 2014.He is a member of the editorial board of IEEE Intelligent Systems. Dr. Benjamins received his Ph.D. (1993) in Cognitive Science/Artificial Intelligence from the University of Amsterdam.