2013 Annual Report

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Thank you for helping to make 2013 a great year. Without your interest and support, our work to shape a world of shared prosperity would have only a fraction of the reach it does now. If you are new to CGD, we hope to count you among our friends and supporters in the near future.

CGD Moving Up

Ed Scott addresses guests at CGD's housewarming in January 2014

Thanks to friends and supporters like you, 2013 was the year we bought a place of our own. We began looking in early 2013, and by November we had purchased, built, and moved into a new headquarters on the fifth floor of 2055 L Street NW in Washington, just blocks from the White House, World Bank, and IMF.

Our new headquarters includes a 170-seat state-of-the-art conference facility, the Birdsall House Conference Center, named in honor of our founding president Nancy Birdsall; the 60-seat Edward W. Scott Jr. Board Room, named in honor of our founding board chair; and a multimedia studio for producing CGD videos and our weekly Wonkcast.

Power Africa event in the Birdsall House conference center of our new Washington headquarters

Why a conference center? Since CGD's founding in 2001, our many events, large and small, have become an important part of our role as a global hub for the creation and sharing of rigorous research and practical policy ideas to make the world a fairer and safer place.

"Our new headquarters means we can be even better at what we do," Nancy explains. "And buying it sends a signal: independent policy research on development should be a permanent part of the Washington landscape. Now it is."

While our new headquarters is larger than our previous premises because of the larger common spaces, it has about the same number of offices. That's deliberate: Nancy has long believed that 50 to 60 full-time staff is a good size for an organization that is devoted to the rapid creation, exchange, and dissemination of knowledge and ideas.

Buying a modest but modern home was thrifty, too. CGD qualified for tax-free bonds, bringing already low interest rates even lower. Total project cost was $18.3 million. By drawing on reserves and gifts from our board and other friends and supporters like you, we covered upfront costs, including a 20 percent down payment. Though annual costs will initially be somewhat higher, they will be lower within eight years, and all the while CGD will be building equity.

We are confident and excited that our Washington headquarters will help us do a better job of putting innovative development policy ideas on the US and global agenda. We hope that you will be a frequent visitor!

Our Year in Pictures (click to enlarge)

Nancy Birdsall welcomes guests at CGD's housewarming
CGD board members Jacob Scherr, Tim Adams, Ed Scott, Smita Singh, and Kassahun Kebede
Panelists Raj Kumar (Devex), Amie Batson (PATH), Jim Cunningham (Merck), Mark Grabowsky (UNSEO), and Anastasia Thatcher (Accenture)
Amanda Glassman and members of Data for African Development Working Group
Shilpa Patel (WRI), Ken Lay (Rock Creek Group), John Morton (OPIC), and Vikram Widge (IFC) at October's How to Spend It (If We Had It): Priorities for Allocating International Climate Change Finance
Development Impact Bonds and Nutrition workshop
Raj Shah and Nancy Birdsall speak during July's US Partnership with Africa: Economic Growth and Global Development
Lant Pritchett presents his new book at the launch of The Rebirth of Education: Schooling Ain't Learning
CGD board members, staff, and guests attend a CGD policy breakfast
Elizabeth Littlefield of OPIC and Andrew Steer of WRI attend a CGD policy breakfast
Nancy Lee of the Inter-American Development Bank
Nandan Nilekani of the Unique Identification Authority of India delivers the Eighth Annual Richard H. Sabot Lecture
Nancy Birdsall and Ben Pauker of Foreign Policy present Paul Polman with the 2013 Commitment to Development Award
Players check their cards during State of the Union Bingo
Kaushik Basu, senior vice president for development economics and chief economist at the World Bank, discusses financial crises and emerging economies during March's Emerging Markets in a Changing World
Rebeca Grynspan and Alex Cobham at September's Filling the Gap: Inequality Indicators for Post-2015
Francis Fukuyama speaks during an Understanding India seminar
Nancy Birdsall, Alan Gelb, and Smita Singh chat during a CGD board dinner
Todd Moss testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations International Development Subcommittee about the goals and shortcomings of US foreign assistance and outlined three steps to update it for the post-aid world of the 21st century
Ravi Kanbur (Cornell), Arvind Subramanian, and Devesh Kapur (University of Pennsylvania) at an Understanding India seminar
Tony Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings and founder the Tony Elumelu Foundation, at a CGD policy breakfast
Ed Scott addresses guests at CGD's housewarming in January 2014
Power Africa event in the Birdsall House conference center of our new Washington headquarters

Research in Action

Nancy Birdsall and Zhu Min enjoy a moment at the launch of Arvind Subramanian and Aaditya Mattoo's Greenprint: A New Approach to Cooperation on Climate Change

Drawing on world-class CGD research, we conceive of and advocate for practical ways to improve the policies and practices of global actors. Some initiatives produce real impact within two or three years. Some need more time, and yet others may seem to fail—though we remain alert for fresh policy openings. Here is a short list of 2013 impacts:

Better Data on Hunger: The UN Food and Agricultural Organization is strengthening its global monitoring of hunger and early-warning systems for plant diseases and pests, in line with recommendations from a CGD working group.

Tax, Trade, and Transparency: Key elements of a CGD draft declaration on illicit financial flows were reflected in the G-8's 2013 communiqué on trade, tax, and transparency, opening the way for international cooperation in stemming tax losses that cost developing countries billions of dollars.

Social media–ready graphics help spread the main messages of Todd Moss's work on energy poverty

Energy Poverty in Africa: President Obama's initiative to double energy access in Africa and the bipartisan Electrify Africa Act are promising signs that US policymakers are getting serious about taking on an agenda which CGD's research has helped to shape.

Priority Setting in Global Health: The UK and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are backing a new initiative, first proposed by a CGD working group, that will help developing countries and donors identify cost-effective priorities for global health.

Innovative Finance: Development Impact Bonds — a new CGD approach to development finance that taps the entrepreneurial energies of private investors — is attracting interest from impact investors, philanthropists, and the Inter-American Development Bank, which is launching five pilots.

Pivot to Learning: CGD's newest book, The Rebirth of Education by Lant Pritchett, and a series of CGD research papers are helping to shape an emerging international agenda on education that is focused on learning rather than just raising enrollment numbers.

Thanks to Our Supporters

Our work is made possible with generous support from charitable foundations, governments, and a growing number of individuals and corporations, including those listed below. In 2013, 85 individuals including all board members participated in an Honor Campaign to name the Edward W. Scott Jr. Board Room and Birdsall House Conference Center for our founding board chair and president. We are grateful to everyone who provided us with financial support in 2013. Visit this page for more on how we were funded in 2013. Find our detailed financial statement here (PDF).

2013 Finances at a Glance

Revenue Expenditures