Jeffrey Sachs is an American who was born in 1954. He directs The Earth Institute based at Columbia University. He became very famous when he was contracted as an adviser to the governments of various developing and Eastern European countries. He was helping those countries to undertake the transition to capitalism from communism.
He has research interests in debt cancellation, economic development, poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability.
Sachs is a professor of health policy and management at the School of Public Health in Columbia University. He is a special adviser to the UN secretary general on matters dealing with Millennium Development Goals. He first held that position under Kofi Annan and now under Ban Ki-moon. He is a chief-strategist at the Millennium Promise Alliance. This is a non-profit organization that is committed towards bringing to an end hunger and extreme poverty.
Source: Wikimedia Commons. Jeffrey Sack at the World Economic Forum in 211
Sachs is the director of UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Starting from 2010, he started working on the Broadband Commission for Digital Development. This organization is after leveraging broadband technologies as a key factor in economic and social development.
Starting 1995, Sachs has been a member of International Advisory Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE).
Sachs is a great author having written widely read books. Three of his popular books are The End of Poverty (2005), then he wrote Common Wealth (2008) and then he crowned that with The Price of Civilization (2011). Time Magazine has named Sachs as one of the most influential people. This happened twice. First in 2004 and then in 2005.
Source: Wikimedia Commons. Sachs in Brazil
A Great Academician
Sachs the son of a lawyer attended Harvard University where he earned his BA summa cum laude beck in 1976. He proceeded with his studies and earned his Masters and doctorate. He received the honor of joining Harvard Society while he was still an undergraduate.
Sachs joined Harvard as an assistant professor in 1980 and was promoted to an associate professor in 1982. In the coming year he was made a full professor at Harvard College. He subsequently spent 19 years there as a faculty member. As a result of his hard work, he became the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade and the he was made the director of Harvard Institute of International Development, this is based at the Kennedy School of Government.
Earth Institute of Columbia
Starting from 2002, Sachs became the director of the above named Institute. His classes and courses are being taught at the Mailman School of Public Health and Harvard International and Public Affairs. As the director of Earth Institute, he leaders a team of 850 professionals who are working in supporting sustainable development.
He has carried out research in several areas in economics. This includes: climate change, the resource curse, global competitiveness, public health, financial markets, economic geography, extractive industries, macroeconomic policy, economic reforms and end of poverty among others. Towards these efforts, he has authored and in other cases co-authored several books among them a textbook on macroeconomics that is used in many classrooms around the world.
Adviser to many developing economies
Sachs has offered his advisory services to the Russian government, countries in Latin America and Eastern Europe among others. He received these roles because he is a highly trained macroeconomist.
Sachs was an economic adviser to the Bolivian government when the country was faced with hyperinflation. It was unable to pay the debts that it owed the IMF. He devised a plan which was later called the shock therapy which helped the country cut of inflation. This greatly helped the Bolivian economy to become liberalized and hence do away with the import quotas and government subsidies. He then helped link the Bolivian economy to the US dollar. This plan worked miracles because it reduced inflation from 11,750 per cent to 15 per cent as the annual rate. This worked between 1985 and 1987.
After that great success Sachs was invited to offer his midas touch to the anticommunist Solidarity movement in Poland. He is credited to writing a master plan which was followed in making the transition to market economy. That way the country abandoned its central planning practices as was common with many communist countries. Sachs then worked with David Lipton who was working with the IMF at the time to advise the government on privatization of public assets. This lead to the closure of all factories which had proved to be uncompetitive. As a result of his good work, Sachs was awarded with the highest honors in the country – the commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit. That took place in 1999. In addition to that he also received an honorary doctorate degree from Cracow University in Poland.
In 1991 Sachs advised the government of Slovenia and then moved to Estonia in 1992. He helped the two countries to introduce stable currencies to their economies. The president of Russia at that time, Mikhail Gorbachev was closely watching the works of Sachs. Based on his great success in Poland, he invited him over to Russia to carry out the same miracles on Russian economy. Later on he was again invited by Boris Yeltsin to help the country in making a transition to a market economy. For all his efforts, the Russian government awarded him with the Leontief Medal.
Jeffrey Sachs will always be remembered as a great economist whose contributions helped save the several economies around the world.
In his work to promote the alleviation of poverty Sachs has worked in more than 20 African countries. He has worked in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Mali, Malawi, Senegal, Tanzania and Rwanda among other countries. Sachs predicts that if African counties adopt the right polies, extreme poverty can be eradicated in just two decades. That means Africa will not have anyone living under one dollar a day.
Sachs is a great promoter of the use of insecticide treated bed nets as a solution to end the effects of malaria on Kenyan economy. It is estimated that Malaria costs Africa some $12 billion per year.
Being a leading practitioner and academic scholar of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), he was nominated to chair the World Health Organization Commission on Macroeconomics and Health between 2000 and 2001. While working there, he helped design The Global Fund to Fight TB, Aids and Malaria.
Sachs has frequently worked with heads of state and foreign dignitaries. Along the way he befriended several international celebrities whom he has traveled with to the African continent to see how the Millennium Villages are doing.
In the past Sachs has been an economic Adviser to:
·United Nations Development Program
·Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
·American Academy of Arts and Sciences
·Fellow of the World Econometric Society
·Institute of Medicine
·Harvard Society of Fellows
·National Bureau of Economic Research
·Brookings Panel of Economists
·Board of Advisers of the Chinese Economists Society
Recipient of Honorary degrees from the following institutions: