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John W.
McArthur

Economist

John W. writes about: Economics, Optimism

John W. McArthur is a senior fellow and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at the Brookings Institution. He is also a senior adviser to the United Nations Foundation and a board governor of the International Development Research Centre, the Canadian Crown corporation. His work focuses on advancing sustainable improvements in living standards around the world.

He was previously the chief executive officer of Millennium Promise, the international nongovernmental organization. Prior to that he served as manager and then deputy director of the UN Millennium Project, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s independent advisory body mandated to recommend an action plan for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In that role he helped to launch global MDG policy efforts, coordinating an international network of nearly 300 experts.

He has also been a senior fellow with the Hong Kong–based Fung Global Institute, a faculty member at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, and policy director at the University’s Earth Institute. Earlier in his career he was a research fellow at the Center for International Development at Harvard University, where he supported the World Health Organization’s Commission on Macroeconomics and Health and coauthored the “Global Competitiveness Report.”

His academic work has been published in a variety of journals, including Journal of Development Economics and World Bank Economic Review, and his writing for more general audiences has appeared in venues such as Foreign Affairs and Project Syndicate. His work and perspectives are frequently cited across media outlets including The Economist, Financial Times, BBC, CNN, Le Monde, Al-Jazeera, and the Washington Post.

The question is not whether ending extreme poverty is possible. The question is how are we going to do it.

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