Jeffrey Sachs

Director, The Earth Institute, Columbia University
Author, To Move the World and The End of Poverty

World-class and world-renowned economist.
Expert on global development.

Add to Shortlist More Information Huffington Post Blog @JeffDSachs


Recipient of the Blue Planet Award

Jeffrey Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He has twice been named among TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. The New York Times called him “probably the most important economist in the world”; TIME called him “the world’s best known economist.” A recent survey by The Economist ranked Professor Sachs as among the world’s three most influential living economists of the past decade.

In addition, Jeff is one of the Leigh Bureau’s finest speakers. His knowledge, experience and passion for what he does are both informative and inspiring.

Jeff is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on economic development and the fight against poverty. His work on ending poverty, promoting economic growth, fighting hunger and disease, and promoting sustainable environmental practices, has taken him to more than 125 countries with more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more than a quarter century he has advised dozens of heads of state and governments on economic strategy, in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Professor Sachs has advised governments in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia and Africa, as well as a host of international development agencies.

Sachs offers a practical strategy to move America, seemingly more divided than ever, toward a new consensus: sustainable development in his newest book, Building the New American Economy: Smart, Fair, and Sustainable.

He has authored three New York Times bestsellers in the past seven years: The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011). The End of Poverty offers a thrilling and inspiring big-picture vision of the keys to economic success in the world today. Common Wealth warns that global economic collapse lies ahead unless we embrace a new economic paradigm that is inclusive, cooperative, and environmentally aware — all achievable goals.

Jeff turned his attention to the U.S. in his book The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity, a look at the inadequacy of American capitalism and his bold plan to change it. He is also the author of To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace (2013), an inspiring look at the historic foreign policy triumph of John F. Kennedy’s presidency — the crusade for world peace that consumed his final year in office.

Professor Sachs serves as the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He is co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, and is director of the Millennium Villages Project. Jeff is also one of the Secretary-General’s MDG Advocates, and a Commissioner of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Development.

Jeff is the recipient of many awards and honors, including membership in the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Society of Fellows, and the Fellows of the World Econometric Society. He has received more than 20 honorary degrees, and many awards and honors around the world. Professor Sachs is also a frequent contributor to major publications such as the Financial Times of London, the International Herald Tribune, Scientific American, and TIME magazine.

Prior to joining Columbia, Jeff spent over twenty years at Harvard University, most recently as Director of the Center for International Development and the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade. A native of Detroit, Michigan, he received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard.

International Advisor

  • The United Nations: Jeffrey Sachs has been a Special Advisor to the two most recent Secretaries-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon.
  • Latin America: As an advisor to the President of Bolivia, Professor Sachs helped to design and implement a stabilization program that reduced inflation from 40,000% a year to 10% and successfully cut Bolivia’s commercial bank debt by half. He’s also advised the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela.
  • Poland: Sachs advised Poland’s Solidarity movement on economic reforms and, after the end of Soviet rule, advised the first post-communist government on its radical economic reforms, for which he received the Commanders Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland from Poland’s president.
  • Russia: Jeffrey advised Russian President Boris Yeltsin on a wide range of issues and founded the non-governmental research unit, the Institute for Economic Analysis in Moscow.
  • Eastern Europe: He advised the Slovene and Estonian governments on the introduction of their new national currencies, helping them successfully reestablish monetary stability. He also advised the Mongolian government on macroeconomic reforms and privatization.
  • The Vatican: Professor Sachs met with Pope John Paul II as a member of a group of economists invited to confer with the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace in advance of Papal Encyclical Centessimus Annus. He also served as an Economic Advisor to the Jubilee 2000 movement.


  • Director, The Earth Institute
  • Visiting Fellow, The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University
  • Recipient, Blue Planet Award 2015
  • Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
  • Author, The Price of Civilization, Common Wealth, and The End of Poverty
  • Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals
  • President and co-founder, Millennium Promise Alliance
  • Advisor to governments and international agencies worldwide
  • Foreign Policy’s 2009 Top 100 Global Thinkers
  • Member: Institute of Medicine, Brookings Panel of Economists, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Society of Fellows, Fellows of the World Econometric Society, Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economics Research
  • Several distinguished lecture series and honorary degrees
  • Recipient, Commanders Cross of the Order of Merit, Republic of Poland
  • Economic Advisor to the Jubilee 2000 movement
  • Former Director, Harvard Institute for International Development & the Center for International Development; Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade — Harvard University
  • Former Director, Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, World Health Organization


Building the New American Economy

Smart, Fair, and Sustainable

Jeffrey Sachs

In this passionate and powerful book ― part manifesto, part plan of action ― the renowned economist Jeffrey D. Sachs offers a practical strategy to move America, seemingly more divided than ever, toward a new consensus: sustainable development. Sustainable development is a holistic approach that emphasizes economic, social, and environmental objectives in shaping policy. In focusing too much on economic growth, the United States has neglected rising economic inequality and dire environmental threats. Now, even growth is imperiled.

Sachs explores issues that have captivated the nation and political debate, including infrastructure, trade deals, energy policy, the proper size and role of government, the national debt, and income inequality. Not only does he provide illuminating and accessible explanations of the forces at work in each case, but he also presents specific policy solutions. His argument rises above the pessimism born of political paralysis, economic stagnation, and partisanship to devise a brighter way forward, achievable both individually and collectively. In Building the New American Economy, Sachs shows how the United States can find a path to renewed economic progress that is fair and environmentally sustainable.

Columbia University Press (February 7, 2017)

The Age of Sustainable Development

Jeffrey Sachs

Jeffrey D. Sachs is one of the world's most perceptive and original analysts of global development. In this major new work he presents a compelling and practical framework for how global citizens can use a holistic way forward to address the seemingly intractable worldwide problems of persistent extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and political-economic injustice: sustainable development.

Sachs offers readers, students, activists, environmentalists, and policy makers the tools, metrics, and practical pathways they need to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Far more than a rhetorical exercise, this book is designed to inform, inspire, and spur action. Based on Sachs's twelve years as director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, his thirteen years advising the United Nations secretary-general on the Millennium Development Goals, and his recent presentation of these ideas in a popular online course, The Age of Sustainable Development is a landmark publication and clarion call for all who care about our planet and global justice.

Columbia University Press (March 3, 2015)


The Prescriptions of Dr. Sachsstrategy+business

Jeff Sachs' admirable book explains what sustainable development means, why it matters, and our history in relation to our environment. It shows how the pattern of growth we have followed has placed intense strains on our planet and generated severe risks to our lives and livelihoods. Above all it explains clearly where we can go and how to get there. It describes a potential future of great attraction in terms of well-being, community and prosperity, properly understood. It should, and I hope it will, strengthen both the understanding of the great choices we face and the resolve to act. It is a splendid achievement.
— Lord Nicholas Stern, Grantham Research Institute

There are very few authors that can so effectively rally the masses around an important cause - one that in this case concerns our collective future. There are still too few leaders with knowledge about global sustainable development challenges to affect the scalable changes that are needed. Professor Sachs' book is a comprehensive summary of complex issues, but it breaks them down and makes them digestible and understandable while making the imperative clear. It will clearly contribute significantly in closing the gap between science and policy, and hopefully serve as a catalyst for action.
— Hans Vestberg, CEO, Ericsson

A comprehensive and incisive overview of some of the biggest challenges facing the world today and further confirmation, if it were needed, that Sachs remains one of the most astute and authoritative observers of the age of sustainable development.
— Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever

As the concept of sustainable development comes of age, Jeffrey Sachs takes us on a journey from the intellectual and normative origins to the science of complexity which define today's development choices. In a compelling and often personal and engaged narrative, "The Age of Sustainable Development" reads like a 'looking glass' through which to glimpse the future - a future still characterized by more questions than answers as to how 9 billion will — together — govern the sustainable development of our planet.
— Achim Steiner, United Nations Under-Secretary-General & Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme

In this era marked by geo-political and ecological crises, unspeakable structural violence and unprecedented inequality on the one hand and breath-taking advances in science and technology and untold opportunities on the other, a new narrative for social, economic and environmental justice is urgently needed. Prof Sachs, distinguished thinker, commentator and activist, charts a clear and compelling path, both moral and scientific, which cuts neatly through the increasing complexity and interdependence to the realization of a holistic vision of sustainable development. A very timely handbook to inform and empower all those who have a stake in the post-2015 debate on the future of our planet.
— Michel Sidibé, Executive Director, UNAIDS

The Age of Sustainable Development is my candidate for most important book in current circulation. Inspirational, encyclopedic in coverage, moving smoothly from discipline to discipline as though composed by multiple experts, Sachs explains why humanity must attain sustainability as its highest priority — and he outlines the best ways to do it.
— Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

An important, comprehensive and remarkably accessible book — a standout in a sea ofjargon-laden titles that fail to explain and vivify this enormously complex topic.
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Sweeping, enlightening, affecting, and invaluable, The Age of Sustainable Development should be available to everyone and consulted repeatedly.
— Booklist (starred review)

...clear straightforward prose and a wealth of statistics...Sachs balances alarming forecasts with signs of progress...
— Publishers Weekly

To Move the World

JFK's Quest for Peace

Jeffrey Sachs

An inspiring look at the historic foreign policy triumph of John F. Kennedy’s presidency — the crusade for world peace that consumed his final year in office — by the New York Times bestselling author of The Price of Civilization, Common Wealth, and The End of Poverty

The last great campaign of John F. Kennedy’s life was not the battle for reelection he did not live to wage, but the struggle for a sustainable peace with the Soviet Union. To Move the World recalls the extraordinary days from October 1962 to September 1963, when JFK marshaled the power of oratory and his remarkable political skills to establish more peaceful relations with the Soviet Union and a dramatic slowdown in the proliferation of nuclear arms.

Kennedy and his Soviet counterpart, Nikita Khrushchev, led their nations during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the two superpowers came eyeball to eyeball at the nuclear abyss. This near-death experience shook both leaders deeply. Jeffrey D. Sachs shows how Kennedy emerged from the Missile crisis with the determination and prodigious skills to forge a new and less threatening direction for the world. Together, he and Khrushchev would pull the world away from the nuclear precipice, charting a path for future peacemakers to follow.

During his final year in office, Kennedy gave a series of speeches in which he pushed back against the momentum of the Cold War to persuade the world that peace with the Soviets was possible. The oratorical high point came on June 10, 1963, when Kennedy delivered the most important foreign policy speech of the modern presidency. He argued against the prevailing pessimism that viewed humanity as doomed by forces beyond its control. Mankind, argued Kennedy, could bring a new peace into reality through a bold vision combined with concrete and practical measures.

Achieving the first of those measures in the summer of 1963, the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, required more than just speechmaking, however. Kennedy had to use his great gifts of persuasion on multiple fronts — with fractious allies, hawkish Republican congressmen, dubious members of his own administration, and the American and world public — to persuade a skeptical world that cooperation between the superpowers was realistic and necessary. Sachs shows how Kennedy campaigned for his vision and opened the eyes of the American people and the world to the possibilities of peace.

Featuring the full text of JFK’s speeches from this period, as well as striking photographs, To Move the World gives us a startlingly fresh perspective on Kennedy’s presidency and a model for strong leadership and problem solving in our time.

Random House (June 4, 2013)


'To Move The World'The Spectator


Part 1The Huffington Post
Part 2The Huffington Post
Part 3The Huffington Post

The Price of Civilization

Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity

Jeffrey Sachs

One of the world’s most brilliant economists and the bestselling author of The End of Poverty and Common Wealth, Jeffrey Sachs has written a new book that is essential reading for every American. The Price of Civilization is the blueprint for America’s economic recovery. It is also the story of how America can and must restore the virtues of fairness, honesty, and foresight as the foundations of national prosperity.

As he has done in dozens of countries around the world in the midst of economic crisis, Sachs turns his unique diagnostic skills to what ails the American economy. He finds that both political parties have missed the big picture: how globalization has reshaped economic life in America and around the world, thereby posing profound and largely unmet challenges for jobs, incomes, poverty, and the environment. America’s biggest single economic failure, Sachs argues, is its failure to come to grips with the new global economic realities.

Yet Sachs goes deeper than an economic diagnosis, by asking why it is that Washington has consistently failed to address America’s economic needs. He describes a political system that has lost its ethical moorings, in which ever-rising campaign contributions and lobbying outlays overpower the voice of the citizenry. Washington, Sachs argues persuasively, has stopped representing the people and instead has turned the levers of power over to the corporate sector. Both parties are implicated, so that Washington lurches from one disappointing administration to the next, irrespective of party.

Sachs offers a plan to turn the crisis around, to rebuild America’s economy and politics. He argues persuasively that the problem is not with America’s abiding values, which remain generous, pragmatic, and optimistic, but with the ease with which PR and political spin run circles around those values. He bids the reader to accept the price of civilization — the responsibility to put into practice the virtues of good citizenship and mindfulness toward the economy and one another — so that together we may restore America to its great promise.  

The Price of Civilization is a masterly road map to prosperity, founded on America’s deepest values and on a rigorous understanding of the twenty-first-century world economy.

Random House (October 4, 2011)


Dr. Sachs talks about The Price of Civilization


'The Price of Civilization'CityPaper
Homeward boundThe Economist
The Price of CivilizationFinancial Times
ReviewThe Guardian
America's Enduring IdealThe Wall Street Journal

Common Wealth

Economics for a Crowded Planet

Jeffrey Sachs

In Common Wealth, Jeffrey D. Sachs-one of the world's most respected economists and the author of the New York Times bestseller The End of Poverty — offers an urgent assessment of the environmental degradation, rapid population growth, and extreme poverty that threaten global peace and prosperity. Through crystalline examination of hard facts, Sachs predicts the cascade of crises that awaits this crowded planet-and presents a program of sustainable development and international cooperation that will correct this dangerous course. Few luminaries anywhere on the planet are as schooled in this daunting subject as Sachs, and this is the vital product of his experience and wisdom.

Penguin Books; Reprint edition (February 24, 2009)
Penguin Press HC (Mar 18, 2008)


"Lucid, quietly urgent, and relentlessly logical... this is Bigthink with a capital B."
The New York Times Book Review

"Jeffrey Sachs never disappoints. . . . This book is an excellent resource for all those who want to understand what changes the twenty-first century may bring."
— Kofi Annan, winner of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize and former secretary-general of the United Nations

"Common Wealth explains the most basic economic reckoning that the world faces."
— Al Gore, winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize and former vice president of the United States


Cost of LivingThe New York Times
Be prepared: how to deal with the food crisisVancouver Sun
The Earth: a user's manuelThe Telegraph
How to save a planetThe Independent
How to save the worldThe Guardian
Saving the planet: The answer is ...The Globe and Mail

The End of Poverty

Economic Possibilities for Our Time

Jeffrey Sachs

From "probably the most important economist in the world" (New York Times Magazine), legendary for his work around the globe on economies in crisis, here is a landmark exploration of the roots of economic prosperity and the path out of extreme poverty for the world's poorest citizens.

Jeffrey Sachs has advised an extraordinary range of world leaders and international institutions on the full range of issues related to creating economic success and reducing the world's poverty and misery. Now, at last, he draws on his entire twenty-five-year body of experience to offer a thrilling and inspiring big-picture vision of the keys to economic success in the world today and the steps that are necessary to achieve prosperity for all.

Marrying vivid eyewitness storytelling to his brilliant analysis, Jeffrey Sachs sets the stage by drawing a clear conceptual map of the world economy and the different categories into which countries fall. Then, in a tour de force of elegance and compression, he explains why, over the past two hundred years, wealth has diverged across the planet in the manner that it has and why the poorest nations have been so markedly unable to escape the cruel vortex of poverty. The groundwork laid, he explains his methods for arriving at a holistic diagnosis of a country's situation and the options it faces.

Rather than deliver a worldview to readers from on high, Sachs leads you along the learning path he himself followed, telling the remarkable stories of his own work in Bolivia, Poland, Russia, India, China, and Africa. He concludes by drawing on everything he has learned to offer an integrated set of solutions to the interwoven economic, political, environmental, and social problems that most frequently hold societies back. In the end, he leaves readers with an understanding of how solvable the world’s problems are — and why making the effort is a matter both of moral obligation and strategic self-interest.

A work of profound moral and intellectual vision that grows out of unprecedented real-world experience, The End of Poverty is a road map to a safer, more prosperous future for the world.

Penguin Press (December 30, 2005)


Jeffrey tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

The Price of Civilization

Global development

Global markets


Conversations with Tyler | Mercatus Center

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Kennedy Legacy of Peace | PRESS Pass


A trade association:
The only feedback I can give you is WOW. He was wonderful. The audience loved him. Sachs incorporated a great deal of our industry issues into his presentation so his comments really hit home.


— Project Syndicate
— The Boston Globe
— The Boston Globe
— Bloomberg View
— The Boston Globe
— BigThink
— Project Syndicate
— The Boston Globe
— The Boston Globe
— The Boston Globe
— The Boston Globe
— Project Syndicate
— Project Syndicate
— Project Syndicate
— Project Syndicate
— The Boston Globe
— Project Syndicate
— The Boston Globe
— Project Syndicate
— The Huffington Post
— Project Syndicate
— The Wall Street Journal
— The Huffington Post
— Project Syndicate
— The Huffington Post
— The Boston Globe
— Project Syndicate
— MIT Technology Review
— The Huffington Post
— Project Syndicate
— The Huffington Post
— The Huffington Post
— Project Syndicate
— Project Syndicate
— Project Syndicate
— Project Syndicate
— Financial Times
— The Huffington Post
— InvestmentWeek
— Project Syndicate
— World Economic Forum Blog
— Co-operative News
— Project Syndicate
— Project Syndicate
— Project Syndicate
— e360 Yale Digest
— Project Syndicate
— The Washington Post
— The Huffington Post
— The Huffington Post
— Project Syndicate
— Project Syndicate
— Prospect
— The New York Times
— The Huffington Post
— The Huffington Post