John McArthur

Assembly Series Spring 2017 John McArthur

On his website, John McArthur states that he is an optimist and an economist focused on improving living standards around the world. At first glance, this might not sound odd, but considering the enormous and complex obstacles facing such a goal, and considering that McArthur is among a select group of experts who actually understand the enormity of the challenges, optimism isn’t the obvious state of being.

But it’s precisely because McArthur has a good grasp of the forces at work that he remains hopeful for solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. The senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and international authority on global sustainable development will deliver a presentation on The Sustainable Development Goals: Toward Better Living Standards for Everyone” at 4 p.m. Thursday, February 23, in Hillman Hall’s Clark-Fox Forum.

McArthur’s presentation is part of the annual student-sponsored Global Health Week, an initiative of the Global Health Student Advisory Committee. Additional partners include The Global Health Visiting Speaker Series and the Brown School Global Poverty Theme.

For the past several years, McArthur has been at the forefront of world-wide initiatives to meet the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals – the establishment of goals in 2000 that aimed to address major gaps in human development on a global scale. These ambitious objectives were adopted by many world leaders who committed their nations’ attention and resources to reduce extreme poverty by attacking the problems of income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of shelter, and group exclusion.

He remains optimistic by focusing on the successes. For example, McArthur points to the great advances in global health that have resulted in a 75 percent reduction in children’s mortality rate from malaria, as well as the elimination of smallpox from the planet – both challenges once considered unsolvable.

Widely published in both professional journals as well as general media, McArthur’s work has appeared in publications as varied as The Lancet and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition to The Economist, The Globe and Mail and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

After graduating with a bachelor of arts degree from the University of British Columbia, McArthur earned a master’s degree in public policy at Harvard’s John F Kennedy School of Government; as a Rhodes Scholar he attended the University of Oxford and earned MPhil and DPhil (PhD) degrees in economics.

In addition to his position at Brookings, McArthur also serves as a senior adviser to the UN Foundation, and is a member of the Board of Governors for the International Development Research Centre.

Click here for more information on WashU’s Global Health Week.

Click here for more information on the UN Millennium Project.