News Release

Brookings Receives $2.4 Million for Global Poverty Research

September 20, 2004

The Brookings Institution has received $2.4 million to support its new Poverty and Global Economy Initiative. Founding donor Richard C. Blum, chairman of Blum Capital Partners, L.P., who gave Brookings $1 million in 2003, has increased his support by $1 million, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has generously donated $1.4 million.

“All of us at Brookings are grateful to our trustee Richard Blum and to the Hewlett Foundation for enabling us to address a global challenge of immense importance to the United States,” said Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution.

Twenty scholars from three Brookings research programs—Economic Studies, Foreign Policy Studies, and Governance Studies—will be part of the Poverty and Global Economy Initiative. Researchers in the Initiative will collaborate with experts from the academic, government, nongovernmental, and private sectors in over ten countries.

“Harnessing the power of the global economy to combat global poverty, ensure the opportunities are widely shared, and cooperatively manage the risks ranks among the greatest challenges of our time. The new Poverty and Global Economy Initiative will enable Brookings to make a major commitment to that effort,” said Lael Brainard, the New Century Chair in International Trade and Economics at Brookings and the director of the Initiative.

The Initiative is currently focusing on several priority research areas, including building the political will to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals; strengthening the Peace Corps by teaming up with foreign volunteer programs; assessing the impact of “offshoring” services on the global economy; examining the link between global poverty and U.S. national security; breaking the stalemate on trade and agriculture; and overhauling U.S. foreign assistance strategy to meet today’s challenges.

The Initiative held a roundtable on globalization in Aspen, Colorado on July 30. The meeting, co-sponsored by Brookings, Richard Blum, the Aspen Institute, and the Ethical Globalization Initiative, brought together officials at the highest levels of government and the private sector to discuss America’s role and responsibilities in the fight against global poverty.

“Three billion people live on $2 or less a day, but the United States allocates just 0.55 percent of its budget to foreign assistance,” said Blum. “We know that poverty is one of the root causes of terrorism, and further study and policymaking in the area is essential to a peaceful, productive future.”

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s grant to Brookings is part of the Foundation’s Global Affairs Initiative, which is exploring ways to stimulate independent research and policy analysis on development and foreign policy concerns, to better inform Americans about global issues and foreign perspectives, and to build indigenous philanthropic institutions in the developing world.

For more information on the Poverty and Global Economy Initiative and to download Policy Briefs, articles, research papers, transcripts of events, and scholar profiles, visit

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.