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Renowned Development Economist Sabina Alkire of Oxford to Join GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs

November 20, 2014

Jason Shevrin: 202-994-5631;
Betsy Cantwell: 202-994-5379;


WASHINGTON—Sabina Alkire, an expert in development economics who directs Oxford University’s Poverty and Human Development Initiative, will join GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs as the Oliver T. Carr, Jr. Professor in International Affairs. Dr. Alkire will have a joint appointment at GW and Oxford University starting in January 2015 and will begin her singular appointment at the Elliott School in Fall 2016.

“Dr. Alkire is both a renowned scholar and a leader in the field of international development studies,” said Elliott School Dean Michael E. Brown. “She is deeply involved in the work of the World Bank and the United Nations in this area, including the development of post-2015 Millennium Development Goals. She will substantially enhance GW’s intellectual firepower and elevate GW’s institutional standing in the field of economic development, which is both a global and a GW priority. This appointment is a very big step forward for GW and the Elliott School.”

Dr. Alkire will be the inaugural holder of GW’s Oliver T. Carr, Jr. Professorship, which was established by the former chairman of GW’s Board of Trustees to recruit a leading scholar in international affairs. Dr. Alkire’s research focuses on multidimensional poverty measurement and analysis, development economics, the measurement of freedoms, and human development. In 2010, Dr. Alkire was recognized by Foreign Policy magazine as one of its “Top 100 Global Thinkers” for her work with Maria Emma Santos and GW’s James Foster on the development of a multidimensional measurement for evaluating poverty.

"I have worked closely with Dr. Alkire over the last few years — tackling crucial issues in development economics and developing the multidimensional poverty index, which has now been adopted by the United Nations and many individual governments around the world," said James Foster, professor of economics and international affairs. "She is not only a leader in the field, but also an excellent colleague. I look forward to what can be accomplished as Dr. Alkire moves from Oxford to GW."

Dr. Alkire has been the director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative at Oxford since 2006 and has concurrently served as a research associate at Harvard’s Global Equity Initiative from 2003 to 2014. She has authored more than 60 papers on human security and poverty measurement. Her 2002 book, Valuing Freedoms, is widely regarded as an important contribution to the development studies literature, and her forthcoming book, Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis: A Counting Approach, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2015. Dr. Alkire earned a D.Phil. in economics from Oxford University.

Dr. Alkire is the Elliott School’s fourth senior faculty hire in 2014-15. Christopher Kojm, former chairman of the National Intelligence Council, returned to GW in Fall 2014; he previously taught at the Elliott School from 2007 to 2009. In October 2014, the Elliott School announced that Allison Macfarlane, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, would lead its Center for International Science and Technology Policy starting in January 2015. Also in October, the school announced the recruitment of Hugh Gusterson, an internationally-recognized anthropologist currently in residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ.

GW’S Elliott School of International Affairs

The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs is one of the world’s leading schools of international affairs and the largest school of international affairs in the United States.  Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., its mission is to educate the next generation of international leaders, conduct research that advances understanding of important global issues, and engage the policy community in the United States and around the world. 


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