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January 14, 2015

World Bank President to Lecture on Ebola, Global Development

Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group, will deliver Georgetown’s inaugural Global Futures lecture on January 27, 2015, at 4:00 p.m. in historic Gaston Hall. The lecture, "Lessons from Ebola: Toward a Post-2015 Strategy for Pandemic Response," will kick off a semester-long conversation about the “Global Future of Development” at Georgetown as part of the university’s new Global Futures Initiative.

Kim’s lecture is the first presentation in a series by World Bank Group leaders that will take place this semester.

He will give a second lecture in March on climate change, and the bank’s senior vice president and chief economist, Kaushik Basu, will deliver lectures in February and April on global economic development and development economics.

An Engaged Global University

The Global Futures Initiative is designed to address critical issues facing our world by inviting members of our community over the next two years to engage with global leaders in the public sector, business, and civil society, and to take up innovative teaching and research agendas.

“Our goal is to draw on Georgetown’s distinctive character—its strengths across academic disciplines, its Catholic and Jesuit identity, and its presence in Washington, D.C.—to develop the model of an engaged global university in service to the wider world,” says Georgetown President John J. DeGioia.

Topics for subsequent semesters will include governance, security, and the environment.

“Through innovative teaching and research and structured conversations with world leaders, the Global Futures Initiative will explore critical issues facing humanity in both their practical and ethical dimensions,” says Thomas Banchoff, the university’s vice president for global engagement. 

Leading Ebola Response

The World Bank Group has been at the forefront of the international response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and Kim has helped mobilize unprecedented financing for the countries hardest hit by the Ebola crisis.

His talk on January 27 will connect ongoing efforts to stop the spread of infection in West Africa with longer-term efforts to improve public health systems that support economic and social development in countries vulnerable to future pandemics.

A physician and anthropologist by training, Kim co-founded Partners in Health with Paul Farmer in 1987 and successfully treated drug-resistant tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in developing countries.

He subsequently directed the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS department and spearheaded the treatment of millions of patients in developing countries with antiretroviral drugs. Before joining the World Bank, Kim served as president of Dartmouth College from 2009 to 2012.

“It is hard to imagine anyone with a better background to deal with global health dimensions of economic and social development,” says Steven Radelet, a former chief economist for USAID who heads the Global Human Development program at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.