SIPA Faculty-Jeffrey Sachs

Jeffrey Sachs

University Professor and Director, Center for Sustainable Development

SIPA Faculty-Jeffrey Sachs

475 Riverside Drive, Interchurch Building


Personal Details

Focus areas: Relationship of international trade and economic growth, the resource curse and extractive industries, public health, the history of economic development, economic geography, strategies of economic reform, international financial markets, macroeconomic policy, global competitiveness, climate change, the role of universities in economic development, the end of poverty

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He is the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership, and has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders.

Professor Sachs served as the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University from 2002 to 2016. During that time, he led a university-wide organization of more than 850 research scientists and policy experts in support of sustainable development, championed the Masters of Development Practice (MDP) program, which is now offered at 30 universities around the world, and helped to introduce the PhD in Sustainable Development at Columbia University. He was appointed University Professor at Columbia University in 2016 and also serves as Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Sustainable Development Goals, and previously advised both Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and 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.

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. Over the past 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 currently works closely with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences on issues of sustainable development.

Prior to his arrival at Columbia University in July 2002, Professor Sachs spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, where he served as the Director of the Center for International Development and the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade. Sachs was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1954. He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Harvard College in 1976, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1978 and 1980 respectively.


  • PhD, Harvard University
  • MA, Harvard University
  • BA, Harvard University

Research And Publications

The New Global War on Malaria

Oct 2009

Swiss Human Rights Book Vol. 3 Realizing The Right To Health Swiss Human Rights

Jeffrey Sachs

Raymond G. Chambers

In The Media

Jeffrey Sachs explains Africa's capacity to achieve yearly growth of 7- to 10-percent.

Feb 18 2023
African Development Bank Group

Jeffrey Sachs joins the Green Pulse Podcast to discuss sustainable development and corporate action to tackle climate change. 

Oct 16 2022
The Strait Times

During a panel at The Athens Democracy Forum, Jeff Sachs and other experts spoke about democracy in the context of Poland, Russia, and China, as well as the power of the democratic idea in relation to Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

Oct 05 2022
New York Times

Jeffrey Sachs gives insight into the failures of the COVID-19 pandemic, "The staggering human toll of the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic is a profound tragedy and a massive societal failure at multiple levels.”

Sep 13 2022
USA Today

Jeffrey Sachs speaks about the risks of climate change, the importance of sustainable development, and why Europe should focus on education in Africa, not the war in Ukraine.

Jun 21 2022
El País