He is the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership. He has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. He was called by the New York Times, “probably the most important economist in the world,” and by Time Magazine “the world’s best known economist.” A recent survey by The Economist Magazine ranked Professor Sachs as among the world’s three most influential living economists of the past decade.
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 Sustainable Development Goals, and previously advised both UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. Sachs is Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network under the auspices of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
He has authored five books, including three New York Times bestsellers (*), in the past decade years: The End of Poverty (2005*), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008*), The Price of Civilization (2011*), To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace (2013) and The Age of Sustainable Development (2015).
Professor Sachs is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on economic development, global macroeconomics, and the fight against poverty. His work on ending poverty, overcoming macroeconomic instability, 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 thirty years he has advised dozens of heads of state and governments on economic strategy in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. He was among the outside advisors to Pope John Paul II on the encyclical Centesimus Annus and in recent years has worked closely with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences on the issues of sustainable development.
Sachs is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the Blue Planet Prize, member of the United States Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Harvard Society of Fellows, and the Fellows of the World Econometric Society. His conversation with Tyler Cowen won the Quartz Podcast Award for best business/economics podcast of 2015. 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, Sachs spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, most recently as the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Sachs received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard.