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John McArthur  

International development economist, is a senior fellow with the United Nations Foundation

John W. McArthur, an international development economist, is a senior fellow with the United Nations Foundation and the Fung Global Institute and a nonresident senior fellow with the Brookings Institution.

He was previously the chief executive officer of Millennium Promise, the leading international non-governmental organization solely committed to supporting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to cut extreme poverty by half by 2015. He was also a faculty member at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and a Research Scholar at the University’s Earth Institute, where he also served as policy director.

From 2002 to 2006 he served as manager and deputy director of the United Nations Millennium Project, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s independent advisory body mandated to recommend an action plan for achieving the MDGs. In that role he coordinated a global network of nearly 300 experts who served on ten thematic Task Forces, oversaw a policy team that provided integrated technical advice to governments in low-income countries around the world, and served as lead editor of the Project's final report, Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Prior to that he was a research fellow at the Center for International Development at Harvard University, where he supported the World Health Organization’s Commission on Macroeconomics and Health and co-authored the Global Competitiveness Report with Michael Porter and Jeffrey Sachs.

In 2006 he proposed a new form of graduate degree to provide rigorous cross-disciplinary training for the next generation of sustainable development practitioners. In 2007 and 2008 he then co-chaired the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice, an initiative sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation (no relation). He now co-chairs the board of the new global network of Masters in Development Practice programs that has recently been launched across five continents.

He also chairs the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Benchmarking Progress and is a member of its Advisory Board on Sustainability and Competitiveness. He has published in a variety of journals including the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, The Lancet, Advances in Agronomy, and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

John completed a doctorate and masters in economics at Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar; a Masters in Public Policy at Harvard University's John F Kennedy School of Government; and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at the University of British Columbia. The World Economic Forum has recognized him as a Young Global Leader.

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