Mr. President: Nominate Jeffrey Sachs

Professor Sachs’ work has been pivotal in many of the key junctures of globalization during the past thirty years. In the 1980s he helped several Latin American countries including Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru to end hyperinflations and renegotiate their external debts. In 1989, Professor Sachs advised Poland’s anti-communist Solidarity movement and the first post-communist government of Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, and wrote the first-ever comprehensive plan for the transition from central planning to a market democracy. Sachs’s ideas and methods of transition from central planning were successfully adopted throughout the transition economies. From the mid-1990s till today, Professor Sachs has been involved with economic reforms in many parts of Asia, including India and China, and he works with governments in the Middle East including Jordan and Qatar on poverty reduction, education, and ICT initiatives.

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Professor Sachs has amassed an impressive track record of accomplishment over the years, including helping launch the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the President’s Malaria Initiative, the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) and the Millennium Villages Project, which operates in more than one dozen African countries covering 500,000 people, and has pioneered a strategy of integrated rural development for poverty alleviation. He also played a critical role in bringing Members of Congress together on a bipartisan basis to pass the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003, which established the highly successful President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

In recent years, the World Bank has often been headed by career politician or a Wall Street banker, who has often lacked significant experience or expertise in international development policy. As a result, it has often fallen short in its efforts to build sustainable economies and healthy communities for the people of the developing world. In contrast, Professor Sachs is a development professional and a problem solver – someone who has seen the destabilizing effects of poverty, famine, and resource scarcity first hand, and who has mobilized people and resources to do something about it. Under his leadership, the World Bank would be an entity that brings together the public sector, private enterprise, and civil society to forge creative solutions to these complex challenges.  

As Professor Sachs recently noted, “The world is at a crossroads. Either the global community will join together to fight poverty, resource depletion, and climate change, or it will face a generation of resource wars, political instability, and environmental ruin.” If the world community is serious about addressing these challenges, it is clear that the World Bank’s next president should be an accomplished professional who is ready to tackle these great challenges from day one.  We can think of no better person to play this critically important role than Professor Sachs and we hope that you will nominate him as the next President of this important international economic development organization.  

The following members of Congress also signed this letter: Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.), Rep. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Rep. James P. McGovern (D-Mass.), Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.), Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas), Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.), Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.), Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.).


Rep. Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) is Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee.

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