April 19, 2017

International Peace and Global Economy Expert to Address Graduates

Nancy Birdsall, a senior fellow and president emeritus of the Center for Global Development is serving as Notre Dame of Maryland University’s commencement speaker on May 20.

“Nancy Birdsall’s global work in economics, inequality, education and peace efforts make her a perfect candidate to address our graduating students at Notre Dame and we are thrilled,” says President Marylou Yam. “Her work is dedicated to creating positive change on the local and global level and that is something that speaks directly to our mission here at NDMU.”

Birdsall served as founding president for the Center’s first 15 years from 2001-2016. Her current research areas include the roles and financing of the multilateral development banks; climate finance; inequality and the middle class in developing countries; and the long-run effect of modern contraception on women's economic empowerment.

From 1993 to 1998, Birdsall served as executive vice president of the Inter-American Development Bank, the largest of the regional development banks, where she oversaw a $30 billion public and private loan portfolio. Before that she worked for 14 years in research, policy, and management positions at the World Bank, including as director of the Policy Research Department. Prior to launching the Center, she served for three years as senior associate and director of the Economic Reform Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where her work focused on globalization, inequality and the reform of the international financial institutions.

She is the author, co-author, or editor of more than a dozen books and many scholarly papers. Her most recent publications include Cash on Delivery: A New Approach to Foreign Aid and New Ideas on Development after the Financial Crisis, co-edited with Francis Fukuyama. Shorter pieces of her writing have appeared in dozens of U.S. and Latin American newspapers and periodicals. Birdsall received her Ph.D. in economics from Yale University, and an M.A. from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

In addition to Birdsall, Naomi Cross BSN ’15 MSN ’17, will serve as the Commencement Student Speaker.

Notre Dame’s undergraduate and graduate commencement will be held on Saturday, May 20 at 6:30 p.m. in Baltimore’s Royal Farms Arena.