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Nancy Birdsall
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Blog Entries by Nancy Birdsall

Why I Want My Daughters -- and Son -- to Read Lean In

(4) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 6:09 PM

I'm a grandmother and I want my daughters, my son, their spouses and their spouses-to-be to read Lean In. I read it because Sheryl Sandberg is a member of the Center for Global Development board and I am its founding president. That is why I read...

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Next World Bank President: Two Non-U.S. Candidates for the Short List

(5) Comments | Posted March 1, 2012 | 5:04 PM

This post was co-authored by Arvind Subramanian.

The next World Bank president will need the legitimacy and wide support that only an open and merit-based selection process can ensure. This is now commonly agreed. The best way to ensure legitimacy is to have more than one serious candidate. The Obama...

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Aid Alert: China Offically Joins the Donor Club

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2011 | 8:12 AM

Several thousands gathered in the port city of Busan in Korea (the fifth largest port in the world) this past week at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (#HLF4 on twitter). More than 100 ministers (mostly of development cooperation) attended. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President Lee of Korea, President...

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This Time Really Is Different (Is the Money There for Europe and the Rest of the World?)

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2011 | 12:52 PM

This is a joint post with Amar Bhattacharya of the G-24.

It is more obvious every day that Europe cannot save itself. A meltdown in Europe would not only hurt Europe and the United States. It would also deal a blow to people's livelihoods everywhere, with high costs...

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Just in Time for Busan: New Measures of Aid Effectiveness

(1) Comments | Posted November 17, 2011 | 3:23 PM

This is a joint post with Rita Perakis.

Late this month representatives of donor and developing country governments, civil society organizations, think tanks, and the private sector will meet in Busan, South Korea, to review progress since the signing of the Paris Declaration of Aid Effectiveness in 2005. Rita and...

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Will the HIV/AIDS Pie Grow Again?

(1) Comments | Posted November 16, 2011 | 3:42 PM

I moderated a debate last week, one in a series on HIV/AIDS issues sponsored by the World Bank and USAID. This was the topic: "Countries should spend a majority of what is likely to be a flat or even declining HIV prevention budget on 'treatment as prevention.'" The...

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Lipton and Zhu at the IMF: Intellectual and Policy Duopoly?

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2011 | 5:36 PM

There was a lot of justified hand-wringing and tough talk in the media and in think tank and NGO-land about the unseemly use by Europe of its unwarranted voting weight at the IMF to push the election of Christine Lagarde. The appointment this week of Zhu...

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IMF Leader Selection: It's the Process, Stupid

(1) Comments | Posted May 24, 2011 | 6:29 PM

A Bretton Woods project statement issued on April 6 was prescient indeed:

The MD must be, and must be seen to be wholly independent of any national or regional interest. This is particularly important when the home state is a powerful member of the IMF. In practical terms...

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Friend or Foe: Should the United States Cut Aid to Pakistan?

(3) Comments | Posted May 4, 2011 | 4:38 PM


This is a joint post with Wren Elhai and Molly Kinder.

The news of Osama bin Laden's death in a hideout in Pakistan raises fresh questions about the future of the U.S. development program in that country. That bin Laden was found in the...

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Cash on Delivery Aid: A Good Idea for America too

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2011 | 5:22 PM

"Experimentation on foreign aid is valuable - and rare." This is the single most important line in Tina Rosenberg's excellent description of Cash on Delivery Aid in her recent New York Times opinion piece.

Tina fleshes out an important point we have made but not emphasized enough: COD Aid...

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New U.S. Afghanistan-Pakistan Rep Is Head Firefighter And Head Gardener

(2) Comments | Posted February 23, 2011 | 2:43 PM

This is a joint post with Wren Elhai and Molly Kinder.

Marc Grossman, a retired Ambassador and former Undersecretary of State, has courageously agreed to take up what the Brookings Institution's Bruce Riedel has called "the worst job in the world"--Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Grossman will...

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Dear Clinton, Jones and Summers: Five Step Improvement Plan for U.S. Development

(1) Comments | Posted July 15, 2010 | 10:10 AM

This post also appeared on the Center for Global Development's Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Blog

Six months after the Haiti quake, many people are frustrated that the U.S.-led relief and reconstruction effort has not made more rapid progress. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and USAID Administrator Raj...

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From Gossip to Good Global Development

(0) Comments | Posted May 10, 2010 | 11:36 AM

This is a joint posting with Sarah Jane Staats and also appeared on Global Post and CGD's Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Blog.

In insider Washington there is a battle going on over who will control U.S. global development strategy. The gossip is that it is...

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US Can Give Better Aid to Haiti

(5) Comments | Posted April 6, 2010 | 9:04 AM

Recovery in Haiti can be spurred by smarter US aid that promotes trade and immigration.

Last week at a United Nations conference, donors pledged more than $10 billion to finance reconstruction and development investments in Haiti. The United States promised a hefty $1.15 billion.

But pledging money is the easy...

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SDRs to Jump-Start a Green Fund: Still a Good Idea

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2010 | 12:20 PM

Climate change politics are strange. Innovation, even when it's about easy new money, is hard. That's the lesson I extract from what happened on March 4th in the IMF boardroom.

At that meeting, members of the IMF's board discussed informally an excellent staff paper, released to the public last...

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A New CGD Initiative on U.S. Development Strategy in Pakistan: What Is It and Will It Work?

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2010 | 10:28 AM

This is a joint post with Molly Kinder.

At CGD, we normally conduct research and analysis on development issues (trade, aid effectiveness, climate change, global health), not developing countries. Pakistan is an exception. Motivated by national security interests, the Obama administration is poised to triple its development assistance to...

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A Green Fund: from the IMF, George Soros and the Government of Mexico

(1) Comments | Posted February 26, 2010 | 8:25 AM

On January 30 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the Managing Director of the IMF, announced a possible new initiative - a multi-billion dollar Green Fund (that name is popular - see below) that would help developing countries finance the measures needed to tackle climate change...

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It's 2010! Ten Actionable Ideas (Realized and Yet-to-be-realized) for a 21st-Century Global Development Agenda

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2010 | 8:24 AM

I attended a conference convened and hosted by Jean-Michel Severino, the head of the French bilateral agency, outside Paris last week. The question participants addressed was: What should be the goals of the international development community in the post-MDG period after 2015? Should the MDGs be retrofitted and complemented...

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Through the Looking Glass: Haiti and U.S. Development Leadership

(8) Comments | Posted January 21, 2010 | 1:35 PM

This is a joint post with Sarah Jane Staats.

The president and the secretary of state have promised to elevate and strengthen U.S. global development policy in our national interests. In Haiti there is an opportunity to make that promise real-building on the generosity of the American people and...

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