About Us

The Boston University Global Development Policy (GDP) Center is a policy-oriented research center working to advance financial stability, human well-being and environmental sustainability across the globe. A University-wide research center in partnership with the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies and the Office of Research at Boston University, the GDP Center is built upon five pillars: fostering a global development policy community at Boston University, advancing scholarly knowledge of global development policy, engaging in global policy dialogue, supporting student research and experiential learning and building a global support base for such efforts.

In 2017, the GDP Center was inaugurated by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who led the establishment of the Sustainable Development Goals and presided over the Paris Climate Agreement. Ban Ki-moon charged the GDP Center to not only be a university-based think tank, but also an action tank. Taking that directive seriously, the GDP Center advances policy-oriented interdisciplinary academic research, engages in policy dialogue and conducts strategic communications to advance its mission.

To date, the GDP Center’s four core scholarly initiatives include:

    The Global China Initiative (GCI) examines the extent to which Chinese overseas economic activity and engagement with international institutions fosters a more stable, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable world economy.

    The Global Economic Governance Initiative (GEGI) seeks to advance policy-oriented research to align global economic governance with development and climate ambitions and deliver green and inclusive prosperity..

    The Human Capital Initiative (HCI) works to advance interdisciplinary research on the role of human capital in human development to inform policy solutions to global challenges including poverty, women’s empowerment and sustainable economic growth through investments in education and health.

    The Land Use and Livelihoods Initiative (LULI) advances policy-relevant, interdisciplinary research on the impacts of international institutions, domestic policies and local practices on ecosystem and human well-being in regions with commodity-based resource extraction economies.

    In its five-year history, the GDP Center has supported 162 students through pre- and post-doctoral fellowships, research assistantships, communications fellowships and ‘Summer in the Field’ fellowships. The GDP Center has also hosted 192 events with over 19,000 attendees from around the world. Under the direct auspices of the GDP Center research, 137 journal articles have been published in high impact journals in both the social and natural sciences. GDP Center research and work has earned over 1,200 media mentions and center experts have authored over 70 op-eds in prominent media in the last two years alone.

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