Project on U.S. Leadership in Development

Exploring new thinking on development with a focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, and market-driven economic growth

The Project on U.S. Leadership in Development is focused on leveraging all American assets—the private sector in particular—to promote economic development, improve livelihoods, and reduce poverty worldwide. The world faces incredible challenges at a time when donor country political environments are marked by protectionism and populism. Strong global engagement, promotion of the transformative potential of the private sector, and a leadership role in the liberal international order all provide significant opportunities for U.S. businesses, foreign policy priorities, and ultimately the American people. The urge to retrench and retreat in the face of crisis is strong; but this is precisely when the U.S. should double down as a global leader in development.

The project seeks to renew the discourse in Washington and to provide policymakers with fresh, actionable recommendations to maintain America’s leadership role in development.

Areas of Focus

This project aims to set a bipartisan policy agenda that will lead to a set of actionable recommendations.

CSIS has strong ongoing initiatives in global health, human rights, trade, food security, and economic development. The project is focused on generating new ideas and innovative approaches in a range of areas, including: