3 Memos to the Next US President – Podcast with Nancy Birdsall

November 01, 2016

CGD founding president Nancy Birdsall has seen a few US presidents come and go in her long career as a leading development economist, but her message to all occupants of the White House has remained fairly steady: Enact smart policies that help developing countries build stable, prosperous economies of their own—and that will help people at home too.

CGD has been thinking long and hard about the election and the new administration: our White House and the World briefing book offers practical policy ideas that will help raise global prosperity at low or no cost to the US. We’ve also recently published three memos for the presidential transition teams, detailing specific ideas in some of the areas we work on: development policy, gender, and global health.

This week Nancy Birdsall joins the CGD Podcast to talk about some of those ideas, and why development should be a priority for the next US president. “In this kind of world," she says, "where so many of the challenges we face at home are also faced by people abroad—whether it’s climate, whether it’s the refugee crisis at the moment, whether it’s instability and conflict that spills over into terrorism of one kind or another—it’s much more about getting the global system to work.”

Watch the clips below to hear three of CGD’s experts explain some simple, specific ideas for the next US president, and listen to the podcast at the top of this page. 

Scott Morris on sustainable infrastructure:


Mayra Buvinic on gender:


Amanda Glassman on global health:



CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.