New York, NY, May 12, 2008 – The 12th Annual Webby Awards today named The Earth Institute as the Best Education Site of 2008. Hailed as the “the Internet’s highest honor” by the New York Times, The Webby is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including websites, interactive advertising, online film and video and mobile websites.

“The Webby Awards honors the very best of the Internet,” said David-Michel Davies, executive director of The Webby Awards. “The Earth Institute’s win is a testament to the skill, ingenuity and vision of its creators.” The Earth Institute site is produced by web team members Arif Noori and Katya Tepelyan, as well as the design team, Mark Inglis and Sunghee Kim.

The 12th Annual Webby Awards received a record 9,500 entries from over 60 countries and all 50 states. Founded in 1996, The Webby Awards are known worldwide for its famous five-word speech limit. Past headline-grabbing speechmakers include Al Gore (“Please don’t recount this vote”), Beastie Boys (“Can anyone fix my computer?”) and Prince (“Everything you think is true.”)

Winners will be honored at two ceremonies in New York City: The Webby Film & Video Awards on June 9th and The 12th Annual Webby Awards Gala on June 10th. The Webby Awards are presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. The 550-person judging academy includes Internet co-inventor Vinton Cerf, R/GA’s Chief Bob Greenberg, “Simpson’s” creator Matt Groening, Arianna Huffington and Harvey Weinstein. Sponsors and partner: Adobe; The Creative Group; Nokia; .ORG; The Barbarian Group; Level3; Digital Kitche; Adweek; Fortune; Variety; Wired; IDG: Brightcove; PricewaterhouseCoopers; 2advanced.Net; KobeMail and Museum of the Moving Image. A full list of both Webby Awards and People’s Voice Awards winners can be found at:

Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University

Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs
Letter from Uganda

Sachs speaking at a school in the village of Ruhiira, Uganda, January 2007. Ruhiira is participating in Sachs’s Millennium Villages Project. Photograph by Guillaume Bonn.

Jeffrey Sachs—visionary economist, savior of Bolivia, Poland, and other struggling nations, adviser to the U.N. and movie stars—won’t settle for less than the global eradication of extreme poverty. And he hasn’t got a second to waste.
by Nina Munk July 2007

In the respected opinion of Jeffrey David Sachs—distinguished Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia University, director of the Earth Institute, and special adviser to the secretary-general of the United Nations—the problem of extreme poverty can be solved. In fact, the problem can be solved “easily.” “We have enough on the planet to make sure, easily, that people aren’t dying of their poverty. That’s the basic truth,” he tells me firmly, without a doubt.

Jeffrey Sachs, author of the new book, “Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet” and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. (DAVID BOILY/AFP/Getty Images)

Biographical Information

Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is also Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. From 2002 to 2006, he was Director of the UN Millennium Project and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals, the internationally agreed goals to reduce extreme poverty, disease, and hunger by the year 2015. Sachs is also President and Co-Founder of Millennium Promise Alliance, a nonprofit organization aimed at ending extreme global poverty.

Professor Sachs is widely considered to be the leading international economic advisor of his generation. For more than 20 years Professor Sachs has been in the forefront of the challenges of economic development, poverty alleviation, and enlightened globalization, promoting policies to help all parts of the world to benefit from expanding economic opportunities and wellbeing. He is also one of the leading voices for combining economic development with environmental sustainability, and as Director of the Earth Institute leads large-scale efforts to promote the mitigation of human-induced climate change.

He is internationally renowned for his work as economic advisor to governments in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia and Africa, and his work with international agencies on problems of poverty reduction, debt cancellation for the poorest countries, and disease control. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Sachs has been an advisor to the IMF, the World Bank, the OECD, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations Development Program, among other international agencies. During 2000-2001, he was Chairman of the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health of the World Health Organization, and from September 1999 through March 2000 he served as a member of the International Financial Institutions Advisory Commission established by the U.S. Congress.

Professor Sachs was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2004 and 2005, and the World Affairs Council of America identified him as one of the 500 most influential people in the United States in the field of foreign policy. In February 2002 Nature Magazine stated that Sachs “has revitalized public health thinking since he brought his financial mind to it.” In 1993 he was cited in The New York Times Magazine as “probably the most important economist in the world” and called in Time Magazine’s 1994 issue on 50 promising young leaders “the world’s best-known economist.” In 1997, the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur cited Professor Sachs as one of the world’s 50 most important leaders on globalization. His syndicated newspaper column appears in more than 50 countries around the world, and he is a frequent contributor to major publications such as the Financial Times of London, Scientific American and Time magazine.

Sachs’s research interests include the links of health and development, economic geography, globalization, transition to market economies in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, international financial markets, international macroeconomic policy coordination, emerging markets, economic development and growth, global competitiveness, and macroeconomic policies in developing and developed countries. He is author of hundreds of scholarly articles and many books, including the New York Times bestsellers Common Wealth (Penguin, 2008) and The End of Poverty (Penguin, 2005).

Sachs is the recipient of many awards and honors, including membership in the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Society of Fellows, and the Fellows of the World Econometric Society. In 2007, he received the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution International Advocate for Peace Award and was also awarded the Padma Bhushan, a high civilian honor bestowed by the Indian Government. He is also the 2005 recipient of the Sargent Shriver Award for Equal Justice. He is a member of the Brookings Panel of Economists, the Board of Advisors of the Chinese Economists Society, among other organizations.

He has received honorary degrees from many universities including Cracow University of Economics, Ursinus College, Whitman College, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Ohio Wesleyan University, the College of the Atlantic, Southern Methodist University, Simon Fraser Univ

Sachs at a book signing at the London School of Economics with a masters student.

hs graduated from Oak Park High School in Oak Park, Michigan in 1972 and received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Harvard University in 1976, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard in 1978 and 1980 respectively. He holds honorary degrees from several institutions, including Simon Fraser University and Ohio Wesleyan University.

Before going to Columbia University in July 2002, Sachs spent over 20 years at Harvard University. Sachs passed the general examinations for his Ph.D. and was invited to join the Harvard Society of Fellows while still a Harvard undergraduate.[1] He joined the Harvard faculty as an Assistant Professor in 1980, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1982 and Full Professor (with tenure) in 1983, at the age of 29, eventually becoming Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade.

Bolivia was the first country in which Jeffrey Sachs began to develop his theories. In 1985 the economic situation in Bolivia was undermined by hyperinflation and the country was unable to pay its debt to the IMF. Jeffrey Sachs, at that time active as economic adviser to the Bolivian government, drew up a plan that was adopted as decree 21060. Whereas inflation had reached 20,000% per year in 1985,[2] when Jeffrey Sachs left the country two years later it had fallen to 11%. But his plan resulted in “collateral damage” of the already meager productive sector. The only sector which thrived was the production of coca. Whereas only 17% of labor market was employed in the coca sector in 1980, that had risen to 37% by 1990.[citation needed]

On January 1, 1990, following the advice of Sachs and ex-International Monetary Fund economist (former Sachs student and future assistant Treasury secretary for international affairs) David Lipton, the Polish government introduced what came to be known as “shock therapy” — the rapid conversion of all property and assets from public to private ownership. After initial shortages and inflation, prices eventually stabilized [3], and Poland was converging towards the EU as regards the income level in 1993-2004.[4]

The Russian government invited Sachs’ advice on reproducing the Polish success in late 1991. Sachs introduced fellow Harvard economist Andrei Shleifer around the Russian government and it was decided that Shleifer would advise on privatization while Sachs advised macroeconomic issues.[5]

In 1995 Sachs replaced Dwight H. Perkins as director of one of several international consulting entities of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID; established in 1974),[6] resigning in 1999 to head a 1998 spinoff, the Center for International Development (CID). The CID, started with the transfer of roughly half of HIID’s endowment, survived the dissolution of HIID in 2000 after two years of financial deficits and filing of an eventually successful lawsuit against Harvard by the U.S. Agency for International Development(USAID) over Andrei Shleifer’s 1992–1997 HIID consulting project in Russia.[7][8][9][10]

Outside of Sachs’ own projects CID failed to attract sustainable funding or broad scholarly involvement and, in March, 2002 Sachs resigned from Harvard to become director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, effective July 2002.[11] He has also been a guest lecturer at the London School of Economics several times.

Since that date Sachs has been, in addition to his directorship, a professor in Columbia’s Department of Economics, School of International and Public Affairs, and Department of Health Policy and Management; in 2003 he became Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development. He is also Director of the United Nations Millennium Project, President and Co-Founder of Millennium Promise, and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Previously, Sachs has been an advisor to the IMF, the World Bank, the OECD, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations Development Programme.

In his 2005 work, The End of Poverty, Sachs wrote that “Africa’s governance is poor because Africa is poor.” According to Sachs, with the right policies, mass destitution — like the 1.1 billion extremely poor living on less than $1 a day — can be eliminated within 20 years. China and India serve as examples; China has lifted 300m people out of poverty in the last two decades. For Sachs a key element is raising aid from the $65 billion level of 2002 to $195 billion a year by 2015. Sachs emphasizes the role of geography, with much of Africa suffering from being landlocked and disease-prone, but stresses that these problems once recognized can be overcome: disease (such as malaria) can be controlled, and infrastructure created. Without specifically addressing these issues, political elites will continue to focus on getting resource-based wealth out of the country as fast as possible, and investment and development remain mirages.

In 2007, Sachs was conferred with the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honor.

In early 2007, the Sachs for President Draft Committee, a non-profit organization, formed to draft Jeffrey D. Sachs to run for the presidency of the United States of America in the 2008 election. [12]

Sachs claims he has developed a new branch of economics, called “clinical economics.” His research interests include the links of health and development, economic geography, globalization, transitions to market economies, international financial markets, international macroeconomic policy coordination, emerging markets, economic development and growth, global competitiveness, and macroeconomic policies in developing and developed countries.

Sachs is married to Sonia Ehrlich Sachs, who is a pediatrician. They have three children, Lisa, Adam, and Hannah. Lisa and Adam both followed in their parents footsteps and attended Harvard as well.

Designing An End to Poverty

The philosophy of Jeffrey Sachs revolves around a simple tenet: the world’s problems are man-made, therefore they can be solved by man. Of course, immediately following that simple idea is an avalanche of complexity: how to decide which issues get priority, how to navigate through governments, how to raise funds for foreign aid, how to distribute those funds. For most, the list can seem endless and the greater picture nearly unimaginable. But not to economist Jeffrey Sachs. Sachs has the uncanny ability to see not only the greater picture, but also the ability to map it. And that conceptual mapping is key: if you can’t measure distance, you can’t truly plan for the journey.