Center for Global Development

Center for Global Development
Ctr global development logo.png
Abbreviation CGD
Motto Independent research and practical ideas for global prosperity.
Formation 2001
Type Think Tank
Headquarters 1800 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Location Washington, D.C.
President Nancy Birdsall

The Center for Global Development (CGD) is a non-profit think tank based in Washington, D.C. that focuses on international development. It was founded in November 2001 by former senior U.S. official Edward W. Scott, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, C. Fred Bergsten, and Nancy Birdsall. Birdsall, the former Vice President of the Inter-American Development Bank and former Director of the Policy Research Department at the World Bank, became the Center's first President.

CGD's stated mission is "to reduce global poverty and inequality by encouraging policy change in the U.S. and other rich countries through rigorous research and active engagement with the policy community.[1] Recently, Foreign Policy Magazine's Think-Tank Index listed CGD as one of the top 15 think-tanks in the US.[2] The Center considers itself to be a 'think and do' tank, with an emphasis on producing research that is channeled into practical policy proposals.

The Center is well known for leading debt relief programs, specifically in Nigeria and Liberia. CGD Vice President Todd Moss first proposed the Nigerian debt buy-back, which resulted in the Paris Club of rich nations forgiving 60% of $31 billion of debt.[3] Former CGD senior fellow Steve Radelet advised Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her senior advisors on debt relief and aid coordination.

CGD is also known for creating the program called advance market commitments to encourage vaccine development for specific diseases. The G7 endorsed the approach and the Gates Foundation and five countries gave $1.5 billion to create a vaccine against strains of pneumonia.[4]

With Foreign Policy Magazine, CGD produces the Commitment to Development Index. Generated annually since 2003, the index ranks countries based on how their foreign aid, trade, migration, investment, environment, security and technology policies encourage global development.[5]



CGD conducts research within a range of topics that impact global poverty and people of the developing world. Topics include aid effectiveness, education, globalization and global health, as well as the impact of trade and migration on development.

The Center is well known for its research on aid effectiveness. CGD President Nancy Birdsall recently developed Cash on Delivery (COD) Aid, an initiative aimed to improve aid effectiveness by focusing foreign aid on outcomes, not inputs.[6]

In 2008, CGD produced a compilation of essays, edited by Nancy Birdsall, called "The White House and the World: A Global Development Agenda for the Next U.S. President." These essays give policy recommendations to solve international problems, such as global health, foreign aid policy, migration, global warming and direct foreign investment.[7]

CGD recently published a report on the dangers of drug resistance in “The Race against Drug Resistance: When Medicines Fail,” which the Global Health team launched on June 14, 2010.[8]

In addition to printed publications,[9] CGD maintains several blogs, including Views From the Center and the Global Health Policy blog.

Other research topics listed on their website include capital flows/financial crises, debt relief, environmental issues, economic growth, governance/democracy, international financial institutions, finance, food and agriculture, inequality, population, poverty, private investment, security and development, and data sets and resources.[10]


The Center considers itself a “think and do” tank, and thus has multiple initiatives to implement their policy suggestions. These, initiatives attempt to give specific policy recommendations to organizations while creating a dialogue.[11]

In 2003, David Roodman created the Commitment to Development Index with Foreign Policy magazine and Mapping Worlds. The Commitment to Development Index (CDI) [5] ranks and analyzes nations’ financial and political commitments to development every year. The index uses interactive graphs and analyzes how countries contribute to development in seven policy areas: aid (both quantity as a share of income and quality), trade, investment, migration, environment, security, and technology.[12]

Other initiatives include the HIV/AIDS Monitor [13] and Cash on Delivery (COD) Aid,[14] MCA Monitor,[15] Demographics and Development in the 21st Century,[16] Carbon Monitoring for Action,[17] Closing the Evaluation Gap,[18] Combatting Drug Resistance,[19] Fighting the Resource Curse through Cash Transfers,[20] Forest Monitoring for Action (Forma),[21] Improving Migration Data,[22] and U.S. Development Strategy in Pakistan.[23]


Secretary Clinton speaks at CGD about Development in the 21st Century on January 6, 2010.
Secretary Clinton speaks at CGD about development in the 21st century.

CGD hosts about 90 public and private events a year that draw more than 7,000 participants.[24] Events have featured speakers such as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan, Paul Romer, U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell and many others.[25]

During Secretary Hillary Clinton’s visit to CGD on January 6, 2010, she emphasized the importance of development and said it was “time to elevate development as a central pillar of our foreign policy and to rebuild USAID into the world's premier development agency.”[26]

CGD Hosts an annual lecture series called the Sabot Lecture series, in honor of the late development economist Richard "Dick" Sabot. Each year, the Sabot Lecture hosts a scholar-practitioner who has made significant contributions to international development, combining academic work with leadership in the policy community.

Past Sabot speakers include Lawrence Summers, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Lord Nicholas Stern, Kemal Dervis and Kenneth Rogoff.[27]


Resident Fellows

  • Nancy Birdsall
  • Michael Clemens
  • William Cline
  • Kimberly Ann Elliott
  • Alan Gelb
  • Benjamin Leo
  • Todd Moss
  • Mead Over
  • Vijaya Ramachandran
  • Liliana Rojas-Suarez
  • David Roodman
  • William Savedoff
  • Arvind Subramanian
  • David Wheeler

Visiting Fellows

  • Owen Barder
  • Thomas Bollyky
  • Satish Chand
  • Rena Eichler
  • April Harding
  • Ethan Kapstein
  • Julius Kiiza
  • Darius Nassiry
  • Andrew Natsios
  • Nuhu Ribadu
  • John Simon
  • John Williamson

Non-Resident Fellows

See also

External links


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