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John W. McArthur is a senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution. He is also a senior adviser to the UN Foundation and a board governor for the International Development Research Centre.

He was previously the chief executive officer of Millennium Promise, the international nongovernmental organization. Prior to that he served as manager and then deputy director of the UN Millennium Project, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s independent advisory body mandated to recommend an action plan for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. In that role he helped to launch global MDG policy efforts, coordinating an international network of nearly 300 experts who served on ten thematic task forces. He also 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.”

He has also been a senior fellow with the Hong Kong-based Fung Global Institute, a faculty member at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, and policy director at the University’s Earth Institute. Earlier in his career 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.”

In 2006 he proposed a new form of graduate degree to provide rigorous cross-disciplinary training for a new generation of sustainable development practitioners. This led to him co-chairing, in 2007-08, the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice, an initiative sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation (no relation). He then co-founded the global network of Masters in Development Practice programs that has since been launched across five continents.

In 2013-14 he chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council (GAC) on Poverty and Sustainable Development and in 2011-12 chaired the GAC on Benchmarking Progress. He has been a member of the Forum’s Advisory Board on Sustainability and Competitiveness and a member of the Global Futures Council on International Governance and Public-Private Partnerships. He was recognized as a Young Global Leader in 2009.

In 2014-15 he co-chaired a working group convened by the University of Ottawa’s Centre for International Policy Studies, leading to the final report, “Towards 2030: Building Canada’s Engagement with Global Sustainable Development.” In 2016 he was an adviser to the Business and Sustainable Development Commission. In 2017 he became a member of Grand Challenges Canada’s Scientific Advisory Board; in 2018 a member of the Global Nutrition Report's Independent Expert Group; and in 2019 a member of the UNICEF Advisory Group and of Policy Horizons Canada’s Deputy Minister Steering Committee.

He recently co-edited the book “From Summits to Solutions: Innovations in Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals” (Brookings Press, 2018). His academic work has been published in a variety of journals, including Journal of Development Economics, World Bank Economic Review, World Development, The Lancet, The BMJ, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, The Review of International Organizations, and Ecological Economics. His writing for more general audiences has appeared in venues such as Foreign Affairs, Project Syndicate, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Globe and Mail, the South China Morning Post, The Bangkok Post, The National Post, The Ottawa Citizen, The Vancouver Sun, GOOD Magazine, Global Brief, Policy Options, and Stanford Social Innovation Review. His work and perspectives have been cited across media outlets including The Economist, Financial Times, BBC, CNN, CBC, CCTV, NPR, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Maclean’s, Bloomberg, Reuters, Scientific American, Le Monde, Al-Jazeera, and the Washington Post.

John grew up in Vancouver and is a Canadian citizen. He completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) at the University of British Columbia; a master’s in Public Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government; and then an M.Phil. and D.Phil. (Ph.D.) in economics at Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

John W. McArthur is a senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution. He is also a senior adviser to the UN Foundation and a board governor for the International Development Research Centre.

He was previously the chief executive officer of Millennium Promise, the international nongovernmental organization. Prior to that he served as manager and then deputy director of the UN Millennium Project, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s independent advisory body mandated to recommend an action plan for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. In that role he helped to launch global MDG policy efforts, coordinating an international network of nearly 300 experts who served on ten thematic task forces. He also 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.”

He has also been a senior fellow with the Hong Kong-based Fung Global Institute, a faculty member at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, and policy director at the University’s Earth Institute. Earlier in his career 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.”

In 2006 he proposed a new form of graduate degree to provide rigorous cross-disciplinary training for a new generation of sustainable development practitioners. This led to him co-chairing, in 2007-08, the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice, an initiative sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation (no relation). He then co-founded the global network of Masters in Development Practice programs that has since been launched across five continents.

In 2013-14 he chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council (GAC) on Poverty and Sustainable Development and in 2011-12 chaired the GAC on Benchmarking Progress. He has been a member of the Forum’s Advisory Board on Sustainability and Competitiveness and a member of the Global Futures Council on International Governance and Public-Private Partnerships. He was recognized as a Young Global Leader in 2009.

In 2014-15 he co-chaired a working group convened by the University of Ottawa’s Centre for International Policy Studies, leading to the final report, “Towards 2030: Building Canada’s Engagement with Global Sustainable Development.” In 2016 he was an adviser to the Business and Sustainable Development Commission. In 2017 he became a member of Grand Challenges Canada’s Scientific Advisory Board; in 2018 a member of the Global Nutrition Report’s Independent Expert Group; and in 2019 a member of the UNICEF Advisory Group and of Policy Horizons Canada’s Deputy Minister Steering Committee.

He recently co-edited the book “From Summits to Solutions: Innovations in Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals” (Brookings Press, 2018). His academic work has been published in a variety of journals, including Journal of Development Economics, World Bank Economic Review, World Development, The Lancet, The BMJ, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, The Review of International Organizations, and Ecological Economics. His writing for more general audiences has appeared in venues such as Foreign Affairs, Project Syndicate, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Globe and Mail, the South China Morning Post, The Bangkok Post, The National Post, The Ottawa Citizen, The Vancouver Sun, GOOD Magazine, Global Brief, Policy Options, and Stanford Social Innovation Review. His work and perspectives have been cited across media outlets including The Economist, Financial Times, BBC, CNN, CBC, CCTV, NPR, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Maclean’s, Bloomberg, Reuters, Scientific American, Le Monde, Al-Jazeera, and the Washington Post.

John grew up in Vancouver and is a Canadian citizen. He completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) at the University of British Columbia; a master’s in Public Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government; and then an M.Phil. and D.Phil. (Ph.D.) in economics at Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

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