Press Release

Center for Global Development Appoints Rachel Glennerster as New President

May 13, 2024

Washington—The Center for Global Development (CGD) is delighted to announce Dr. Rachel Glennerster as its new President, effective September 3rd, 2024. She succeeds Sir Masood Ahmed, who has been at the helm of the Washington DC and London based think tank for the last seven years.

Dr. Glennerster brings a distinguished career in international development, academia, and public service to her new role at CGD, having previously served as Chief Economist at the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and its predecessor the Department for International Development. She is currently serving as an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, and chairing Teaching at the Right Level Africa (TaRL Africa), an initiative dedicated to advancing evidence-backed educational strategies in Africa. Dr. Glennerster is an influential figure in the application of randomized trials to development policy, whose work has significantly impacted areas including health, education, and women's empowerment in regions like West Africa and South Asia. She played a pivotal role in establishing initiatives including "Deworm the World”, and pioneered ways to shape markets to promote innovation to address global challenges including pandemics and climate change.

Upon accepting her new position, Dr. Glennerster commented: “I am thrilled to be taking on the role of President of CGD, an organization I have long admired for its rigor and practical impact. Good evidence on how best to address global challenges is needed more than ever and CGD has a unique role to play in both conducting high quality research and helping make sure that evidence gets incorporated into policy.” 

Lawrence H. Summers, Chair of the Board at CGD and former US Treasury secretary commented: “Rachel has a mix of skills which place her in a unique position to lead CGD: a combination of academic rigor and credibility, the policy experience to ensure CGD’s work is impactful, and the leadership and fundraising experience to advance the organization’s mission.”

Nancy Birdsall, CGD’s Founding President echoed his thoughts: “Rachel’s appointment is brilliant; she has the energy and rigor required to lead CGD’s mission: to drive policy-driven research for rich world programs that help or hinder poor-world development progress.”

Sir Masood Ahmed, outgoing President commented: “Rachel brings an extraordinary track record of leadership and innovation in both research and policy advice. I’m convinced that with her leadership CGD will go from strength to strength.”

Summers added: " CGD has had two remarkable leaders in Nancy Birdsall and Masood Ahmed. I am confident Rachel will continue the tradition. We are profoundly grateful to Masood for his visionary leadership over the last seven years, which has expanded CGD’s influence and impact. We are equally excited to welcome Rachel, whose dynamic leadership will ensure our continued success in advancing global development."


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About CGD: The Center for Global Development is a non-profit think tank that focuses on international development. CGD works to reduce global poverty and improve lives through innovative economic research that drives better policy and practice by the world's top decision makers.

For additional information or to request an interview, please contact mediarelations@cgdev.org.