CSIS and IYF form Alliance to Develop Global Youth Well-being Index: Former USAID Senior Adviser to Lead New Initiative

Nicole Goldin, former senior adviser for policy at the U.S. Agency for International Development, joins CSIS with the support of the International Youth Foundation, to lead development of the index, including serving as the first director of the Youth Prosperity and Security Initiative at CSIS.

WASHINGTON, January 8, 2013—The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is pleased to announce a new partnership with the International Youth Foundation (IYF) to create the Global Youth Well-being Index. The goal is to gather available data related to youth to assess and compare the state of young people’s development around the world and measure progress. The Index will be part of a broader research and policy agenda called the Youth Prosperity and Security Initiative, to be led by Dr. Nicole Goldin, a former senior adviser for policy at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in conjunction with CSIS William A. Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis Daniel Runde.

IYF and Hilton Worldwide recently announced their commitment to develop the Index, and CSIS and IYF are now partnering to turn this concept into reality. The metrics of such an Index will concentrate on key youth domains such as employment, education, health, and civic engagement, among other areas. Ultimately, the Index will make the central issues facing youth more quantifiable and, in so doing, spur governments, businesses, and donors to invest in youth in ways that best leverage their resources and drive lasting impact.

“One of the principal driving forces of global security today is changing demographics,” said CSIS president and CEO John Hamre. “A youth bulge is simultaneously a security challenge and a tremendous development opportunity, as well as a major strategic issue for the United States going forward. I am very pleased to have Nicole lead this initiative at CSIS.”

William Reese, IYF president and CEO, added: “There are a number of barriers that stand between young people and their opportunities for a decent livelihood. Governments, civil society, and the private sector must take concrete actions to significantly lower these impediments, and CSIS and IYF will bring together the data, people, and ideas needed to build societies in which every young person has the chance to learn, work, and lead.”

CSIS’s Daniel Runde greeted Dr. Goldin’s appointment as an indication of strong institutional commitment to advancing youth development. Referring to the multi-stakeholder-driven approach of the CSIS-IYF partnership, he said: “By combining the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, we have the best chance of confronting the complex challenge of youth employment, in a strategic, diplomatic, and developmental way.”

Dr. Goldin was until December the senior adviser in the Policy, Planning, and Learning Bureau at the U.S. Agency for International Development, where she managed policy creation and engagement processes, as well as critical interagency development initiatives, particularly focused on youth. She is a frequent speaker and facilitator on diverse youth and development issues. She joined USAID in September 2009 from the U.S. Department of State, where she was senior adviser to the undersecretary for civilian security, democracy, and human rights. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), an M.Sc. in development from the London School of Economics (LSE), an M.A. in international political economy from American University, as well as a B.A. in East Asian studies from Union College. Dr Goldin is also a member of the adjunct faculty of George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs.


The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization that seeks to advance global security and prosperity by providing strategic insights and practical policy solutions to decisionmakers. The Schreyer Chair, established in 1996, examines the relationship of international trade and investment to economic growth, innovation, sustainable development, and political autonomy in the United States and throughout the world.


The International Youth Foundation (IYF) is a youth development organization that invests in the extraordinary potential of young people. Founded in 1990, IYF builds and maintains a worldwide community of businesses, governments, and civil society organizations committed to empowering youth to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens. IYF programs are catalysts of change that help young people obtain a quality education, gain employability skills, make healthy choices, and improve their communities.