What World Leaders Should Know about Refugees and Migration – Podcast with Michael Clemens and Cindy Huang

September 19, 2016

The plight, peril, and potential of refugees and displaced people has been near the top of the political agenda around the world for many months, culminating in two large summits of world leaders during the UN General Assembly in New York. Discussions there will inform policy work and debate designed to lead up to agreements in 2018.

The main questions: can the world agree on a coordinated plan to deal with the more than 21 million people who have fled their homes, many due to the Syrian conflict? And what ideas, elements, and policy innovations must be included in that plan in order to do better for those who have left their homes without overwhelming the countries they flock to?

CGD researchers are at the leading edge of this debate, working on different but connected aspects of this problem. For this podcast I am joined by Michael Clemens and Cindy Huang. Click below to hear what they hope comes out of the New York summits.

Senior fellow Clemens, CGD's expert on the economics of migration and labor mobility, recently published a major report called Shared Border, Shared Future (produced with an eminent Working Group led by former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo and former US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez) that lays out a win-win set of policy ideas for legal, temporary, regulated migration between Mexico and the US that protects workers in both countries.

Huang, who joined CGD as a policy fellow this year after six years in the Obama administration, leads a new study group with the International Rescue Committee on how to address the growing divide between humanitarian response and long-term development for people who are forcibly displaced, taking as its starting point the new reality that, when it comes to humanitarian emergencies today, more people are in need and for longer.


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.