Sara Sievers, a principal thought leader in the field of international development practice and education, will deliver two talks at Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies in September.

  • “Making a Difference in the World: Connecting the Personal and Professional in International Development” will draw from her two decades of personal and professional experience in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. Directed at the entire University community, particularly undergraduates, and open to the public, the talk will be held Wednesday, September 10 at
7:00 pm in the Hesburgh Center Auditorium. A reception will follow.

  • “What Contributions Can Universities Make to the Practice of International Development?” will explore ways universities can advance development through research, engagement, and training. Delivered in the context of current planning for Notre Dame’s new School of Global Affairs, the lecture
will take place on Thursday, September 11 at 4:00 pm in Hesburgh Center C103.

Senior director at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, Sievers is currently advising the government of Nigeria on the implementation of its Millennium Development Goals, a massive and challenging project to improve health and education networks in Africa’s most populous nation.

“Sara is doing some of the most creative and innovative development work in the world,” says Kellogg Executive Director Steve Reifenberg, who directs the Institute’s popular International Development Studies minor. “She is also one of the foremost thinkers about development policy and implementation as well as the training of development professionals.”

“It is a remarkable opportunity to have her here at Notre Dame as the University is thinking about expanding its global engagements to promote human development and dignity.”

With a career that began in the US Foreign Service, Sievers has played key roles at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where she led global health and advocacy efforts, and Harvard University’s Center for Global Development, where she served as founding executive director. She was the founding executive director of the Center for Globalization and Development at the Earth Institute.

This will be a return trip to Notre Dame for Sievers, who delivered a compelling keynote to students from all over the country at Notre Dame’s 2013 Human Development Conference.

“It was an enormously energizing talk about how commitments to the developing world can lead people down fascinating, unexpected paths,” says Reifenberg. “I know students will be equally energized by her thoughts about making a difference in the world on this visit.”

More on International Development Coming Up at Kellogg

One of the Institute’s key research themes, human development is the focus of a variety of Kellogg events and initiatives. Highlights this academic year include:

  • In October, the Kellogg Institute will host a Conference on Human Dignity and Human Development at Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway. Bringing together both academics and practitioners from around the world, the conference will explore different understandings of human dignity in the context of development—and the implications of a comprehensive respect for human dignity for the practice of development.

  • Presenters include prominent figures such as Sabina Alkire of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, Paul Farmer of Partners in Health, Amina Mohammed, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, and Ray Offenheiser of Oxfam America. 

  • Two undergraduates who are part of Kellogg student programs will have the opportunity to participate in the Rome conference. The Institute is holding an Undergraduate Essay Competition to select the student participants (follow the link for more information about eligibility and how to enter).

  • In February, well-known development economist Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, will deliver the keynote address for the 2015 Human Development Conference (HDC).

Contact: Steve Reifenberg, Kellogg Institute Executive Director (574) 631-0517 or