Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, June 21, 2010

Davidson Institute hosts international development luncheon in Washington, D.C.

A key Obama administration official told a U-M audience in Washington last week that the American higher education community has an important role to play in helping provide development assistance to needy countries.

Click here for more about the William Davidson Institute.

Alonzo Fulgham, chief operating officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), spoke at a luncheon hosted by the William Davidson Institute (WDI).

In his remarks, Fulgham said growing the partnership between USAID and universities such as U-M will help solve many development problems faced by Third World countries.

“We need the ability to invest in systemic change instead of heroic efforts after the fact,” said Fulgham.

Fulgham listed a number of WDI initiatives in Mozambique, Jordan and Algeria.  ”We need more institutes like WDI to work with us,” Fulgham added.

Fulgham also said American science and technology can help “open doors” to development abroad.  He added that economic growth is fundamental to all the other growth that the world seeks in developing nations.  He cited the statistic that in some nations, 60 percent of the population is younger than 21, and that the only solution to helping those nations is to help them grow their own economies.

The Davidson Institute is a non-profit research and education institute begun at U-M in 1992. WDI is the only institution of higher learning in the United States that is fully dedicated to understanding and promoting actionable business and public policy approaches to addressing the challenges and opportunities in emerging market economies.