Keynote Lecturers

The Geoscience and Society Summit has announced that world-renowned professor of economics and leader in sustainable development, Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, and political scientist, Jane O'Meara Sanders, founder and Fellow of the Sanders Institute, as co-keynotes for this game-changing event. Dr. Sachs, will be presenting remotely to highlight the importance of how the global science community can play a leading role in developing solutions to some of our greatest challenges; Dr. Sanders will discuss how the Sanders Institute leverages the global science community to inform solutions to major global challenges.

About the GSS Keynote Lecturers

Jeffrey Sachs
is the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He is co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, and is director of the Millennium Villages Project. Sachs is also one of the Secretary-General’s MDG Advocates, and a Commissioner of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Development. He has authored three New York Times bestsellers in the past seven years: The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet(2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011). His most recent book is To Move the World: JFK's Quest for Peace (2013).

Professor Sachs is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on economic development and the fight against poverty. His work on ending poverty, promoting economic growth, fighting hunger and disease, and promoting sustainable environmental practices, has taken him to more than 125 countries with more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more than a quarter century he has advised dozens of heads of state and governments on economic strategy, in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Sachs is the recipient of many awards and honors, including membership in the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Society of Fellows, and the Fellows of the World Econometric Society. He has received more than 20 honorary degrees, and many awards and honors around the world. Professor Sachs is also a frequent contributor to major publications such as the Financial Times of London, the International Herald Tribune, Scientific American, and Time magazine.

Prior to joining Columbia, Sachs spent over twenty years at Harvard University, most recently as Director of the Center for International Development and the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Sachs received his BA, MA, and PhD degrees at Harvard.

Jane O’Meara Sanders is the Founder of the Sanders Institute and now serves as a Fellow pursuing bold, progressive solutions to economic, environmental, racial and social justice issues.

Jane currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Vermont Economic Development Authority. She served as Interim President/Provost of her alma-mater, Goddard College, and as President of Burlington College. A political scientist, Jane has provided educational and political consulting and worked on federal, state and local political campaigns. She also worked in her husband's Congressional office as Chief of Staff and Policy and Press Advisor as a volunteer and has held both appointed and elected office.

Family has always been, and continues to be, a very important aspect of Jane’s life. She is married to Senator Bernie Sanders and they have four children and seven grandchildren.

Jane earned her Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies from Union Institute & University. She also participated in the Institute for Educational Management and Presidents Seminar, two Harvard University educational leadership programs.