Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned economist, bestselling author, innovative educator, and global leader in sustainable development. He is widely recognized for bold and effective strategies to address complex challenges including the escape from extreme poverty, the global battle against human-induced climate change, international debt and financial crises, national economic reforms, and the control of pandemic and epidemic diseases.
Sachs serves as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, where he holds the rank of University Professor, the university’s highest academic rank. Sachs held the position of Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University from 2002 to 2016. He is President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Chair of the Lancet COVID-19 Commission, Co-Chair of the UN Council of Engineers for the Energy Transition, Commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development, Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah Honorary Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Development at Sunway University, academician of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences at the Vatican, and an SDG Advocate for UN Secretary General António Guterres. From 2001-18, Sachs served as Special Advisor to UN Secretaries-General Kofi Annan (2001-7), Ban Ki-moon (2008-16), and António Guterres (2017-18).
Sachs has authored and edited numerous books, including three New York Times bestsellers: The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011). Other books include To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for
Peace (2013), The Age of Sustainable Development (2015), Building the New American Economy: Smart, Fair & Sustainable (2017), A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism (2018), and most recently, The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions (2020).
Sachs was the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership. He was twice named among Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. Sachs has received 38 honorary doctorates. In 2021, Sachs received the TÜBA Academy Prize from the Turkish Academy of Sciences, the Legion of Honor by decree of the President of the Republic of France, and the Order of the Cross from Estonia, and honorary doctorates from Amrita University, Kerala, India, Macau University of Science and Technology, and the University of Siena, Italy.
Prior to joining Columbia, Sachs spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, most recently as the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Sachs received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard.