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Ben Leo

Senior Fellow, Director of Rethinking US Development Policy
Expertise: 

Africa, debt relief, international financial institutions, private investment, aid selectivity

Education: 

Syracuse University – Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs,
University of Oregon

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Ben Leo is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and the director of the Rethinking US Development Policy initiative. His work focuses on the rapidly changing development finance environment, with particular emphasis on private capital flows, infrastructure, debt dynamics, the role of multilateral development banks and traditional donors, and domestic resource mobilization. He developed the MDG Progress Index and has authored numerous CGD publications. His work has been cited in leading international and regional media outlets, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Financial Times, Mail and Guardian, CNBC Africa, This Day, and Daily Nation.

Leo rejoined CGD after serving as Global Policy Director at the ONE Campaign. In 2011, he worked for the African Union as a facilitator and technical expert in the secession negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan. Leo has worked at the White House as the director for African affairs, advising the president and national security advisor on central, eastern, and southern African nations and regional economic issues. Additionally, he helped design and implement several development initiatives at the US Treasury, including the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative and US-Africa Financial Sector Initiative. From 2008 to 2010, Leo led business development efforts in Africa and the Middle East for Cisco Systems.

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