Jeffrey David Sachs (/sæks/; born November 5, 1954) is an American economist, academic, public policy analyst and former director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, where he holds the title of University Professor. He is known as one of the world’s leading experts on sustainable development, economic development, and the fight against poverty.

Sachs is Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University and Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He is an SDG Advocate for United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of 17 global goals adopted at a UN summit meeting in September 2015. From 2001-18, Sachs served as Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General, and held the same position under the previous UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and prior to 2016 a similar advisory position related to the earlier Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight internationally sanctioned objectives to reduce extreme poverty, hunger and disease by the year 2015. In connection with the MDGs, he had first been appointed special adviser to the UN Secretary-General in 2002 during the term of Kofi Annan.

Books in order of publication:

  • Development Economics Blackwell Publishers 1997
  • The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time Penguin Press HC 2005
  • Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet Penguin Press HC 2008
  • The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity Random House 2011
  • To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace. Random House, 2013
  • The Age of Sustainable Development. Columbia University Press 2015
  • Building the New American Economy: Smart, Fair, & Sustainable. Columbia University Press 2017
  • A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism. Columbia University Press 2018
  • The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions. Columbia University Press 2020