Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University
“The Broadband Commission can play a historic role in making sure that the Millennium Development Goals have all of the energy behind possible and all of the state of the art technologies information communications technology to propel the MDGs to success by 2015.”
Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is also Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
From 2002 to 2006, he was Director of the UN Millennium Project and Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the MDGs, the internationally agreed goals to reduce extreme poverty, disease, and hunger by the year 2015.
Sachs is also President and Co-Founder of Millennium Promise Alliance, a nonprofit organization aimed at ending extreme global poverty. He is widely considered to be the leading international economic advisor of his generation.
For more than 20 years, Professor Sachs has been in the forefront of the challenges of economic development, poverty alleviation, and enlightened globalization, promoting policies to help all parts of the world to benefit from expanding economic opportunities and wellbeing. He is also one of the leading voices for combining economic development with environmental sustainability, and as Director of the Earth Institute leads large-scale efforts to promote the mitigation of human-induced climate change.
In 2004 and 2005 he was named among the 100 most influential leaders in the world by Time Magazine, and was awarded the Padma Bhushan, a high civilian honor bestowed by the Indian Government, in 2007.
Sachs lectures constantly around the world and was the 2007 BBC Reith Lecturer. He is the First holder of the Royal Professor Ungku Aziz Chair in Poverty Studies, at the Centre for Poverty and Development Studies, University of Malaya. He is author of hundreds of scholarly articles and many books, including the New York Times bestsellers Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (Penguin 2008) and The End of Poverty (Penguin, 2005).
Sachs is a member of the Institute of Medicine and is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He has received many honorary degrees, most recently from Cracow University of Economics, Ursinus College, Whitman College, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Ohio Wesleyan University, Trinity College Dublin, the College of the Atlantic, and Southern Methodist University.
Prior to joining Columbia, Sachs spent over twenty years at Harvard University, most recently as Director of the Center for International Development. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Sachs received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard.