This Leading Global Development Expert is a Big Optimist. Here’s Why.

Charles Kenny is an optimist. He’s the author of several book about global development, including Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding–And How We Can Improve the World Even More, which was widely hailed across the spectrum —  and personally endorsed by Bill Gates.

Kenny is a fellow with Center for Global Development where his work focuses on a wide array of topics, including the intersection of gender and development. We kick off with a discussion of some new research on strategies to reduce the prevalence of female genital mutilation–otherwise known as FGM. (If you are not aware, FGM is the deliberate cutting of female genitalia, often as part of a traditional ceremony in a girl’s adolescence. Kenny has researched policies in countries that helped to sharply reduce the number of girls subjected to this practice.)

Charles was born in the United Kingdom to a British father and American mother. He had a long career at the World Bank before settling into his perch at the Center for Global Development, from which he has written a couple of books–both of which we discuss.

This is a great conversation with some fun digressions along the way, including a discussion about the problem of measuring country’s well being exclusively by looking at its economic growth.

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