June 27, 2018

Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Moderated by Cinnamon Dornsife, Associate Practitioner-in-Residence and Senior Advisor of International Development and Jeremy Shiffman, Foreign Policy Institute Senior Fellow and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Health Policy

Philanthropist and tech giant Bill Gates visited the Johns Hopkins SAIS community to discuss global health and development and how public and private funders have different roles to play in international development projects.

Gates presented key achievements of global health efforts, noting that despite political strife depicted daily in the media, the world is far better and less violent today than it has ever been. For example, Gates said 12 million children under five years of age died in 1990. Today, due to aid from the US, many NGOs and foundations, the number of child deaths has been reduced to 5 million a year and is on track to be halved again soon.

Professor Jeremy Shiffman asked Gates what he hoped to accomplish at his testimony later that day with US senators and congressional representatives on Capitol Hill. Gates said he will emphasize the need for the US to remain a strong leader in global health and development spending. "It's hard to overstate how much people count on the US, and until recently they always had the expectation that the US would be there. There is no Plan B, and if the US cuts this investment, [we don't know] what would happen."

Questions from the audience explored issues of climate change, online education, China's emergence as a global development funder, and the political power of youth to improve governance in Nigeria.

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