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Lawrence MacDonald was vice president for communications and policy outreach at the Center for Global Development. A development policy communications specialist and former foreign correspondent, he worked to increase the influence and impact of CGD's research and analysis by leading an integrated communications program that includes events, publications, media relations, online engagement, and government and NGO outreach. He also hosted a weekly podcast, CGD’s Global Prosperity Wonkcast, and serves frequently as chair for public events at CGD and elsewhere.
Before joining the Center in October 2004, MacDonald was a senior communications officer at the World Bank where he provided strategic communications advice to chief economists, coordinated the preparation of research publications, created the World Bank Research web site, and was founding editor of the Bank's Policy Research Report series. Before that he worked for 15 years in East and Southeast Asia as a reporter and editor for The Asian Wall Street Journal, Agence France Presse and Asiaweek Magazine, during which time he lived in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, and Manila. His Mandarin is less fluent than it used to be but still serviceable.
In this Wonkcast from April 2013, Michael Clemens offers the sort of compelling evidence that can help to shape the US immigration debate, drawing on a still highly relevant CGD brief he co-authored with Lant Pritchett.
My guest this week is Frances Seymour, our newest senior fellow at the Center and one of the world’s top authorities on the complex issues at the intersection of tropical forests, development and climate change.
To get a sense of what this trip means for Obama’s African legacy and the expectations of his hosts, I invited CGD vice president Todd Moss and visiting fellow Scott Morris to be my guests on this week’s Wonkcast. Todd and Scott served as deputy assistant secretaries in the George Walker Bush and Obama administrations, respectively, Todd in the State Department (where he was oversaw US relations with west Africa) and Scott at Treasury (where he was responsible for the US role in multilateral institutions, including the African Development Bank). I’m eager to hear whether or not their views differ on how Obama can best build a stronger relationship with Africa.
In response to a global movement for increased aid transparency, and a domestic US push for greater government transparency in general, the US government has promised to disclose much more information about US foreign assistance. The main result is a new US Foreign Assistance Dashboard, managed by the State Department, that is designated as a public data repository for 22 US agencies that fund or deliver foreign assistance.
Is it possible to alter national governments and global institutions so that decision makers can focus on the vitally important longer term challenges, while still dealing with the urgent considerations which crowd their daily agenda? That’s the important and difficult question set before the The Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations. My guest on this week’s Wonkcast is Ian Goldin, director of the Oxford Martin School and the driving force behind the commission.
My guest on this Wonkcast is Amina Mohamed, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and one of the nine candidates to become the next director general (DG) of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
POV, the PBS web portal for discussion of documentaries, invited me to write a comment on Good Fortune, a film about problems with top-down development efforts in Kenya, which is to be broadcast on PBS affiliates tomorrow evening (Tuesday). Below is my comment, which is also available on POV along with a variety of other interesting responses. At noon (Eastern) Wednesday a live online chat about the film will be available at POV and syndicated here.
When my children were young we sometimes played a game at the Thanksgiving table: each diner wrote on a slip of paper something for which she or he was grateful, folded it and placed it in a basket. We then passed the basket and took turns picking one, reading it out loud and guessing who wrote it. I often wrote: "I am grateful to have meaningful work" and when it came time to explain I would say that I felt very lucky to work at CGD and to have what was for me the very best job in the world.