Biography

Charles Kenny is an optimist about global progress and its positive impact on America. The product and beneficiary of transoceanic romances, he thinks globalization is an immense force for good, and offers Americans new opportunities to learn, work, invest and improve their happiness and wellbeing.

Kenny is the author of Getting Better: Why Global Development is Succeeding and How We Can Improve the World Even More (Basic Books: 2011) and The Upside of Down: Why the Rise of the Rest is Great for the West (Basic Books: 2014). He spent fifteen years as an economist in the World Bank, travelling the planet from Baghdad and Kabul to Brasilia and Beijing. He now works at a Washington DC think tank, the Center for Global Development, where he researches and advocates for policies governing investment, trade, technology and migration that would be good for both developing and industrialized countries alike. In addition, he is a widely cited researcher on the economics of happiness.

Kenny was a contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine and is a columnist for Bloomberg Business¸ where he writes on global development and its impact on the US. He has also written for outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Politico, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, Time, the Guardian, Salon and CNN. He has presented at investor conferences including for Eurofinance and for Buttonwood Investments as well as at World Economic Forum, Aspen Institute and Legatum Institute events. He has given talks at colleges and universities including Duke, Northwestern, Columbia, and Oxford. He’s spoken at public events including at Town Hall Seattle, Zocalo and Veerstichting. He has appeared on PBS' Ideas in Action, Gesprek Op 3 (Dutch TV) Al Jazeera, CCTV, Vox, Reuters TV and Bloomberg TV. On radio he has been a guest on NPR, KERA, Kojo Nnamdi, KERA's Think, the John Batchelor Show.

Charles Kenny has a history degree from Cambridge University and Masters degrees from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

He can be contacted at charlesjkenny at gmail.

(The banner picture is a global map of sub-regional average incomes that Sarah Dykstra and I put together for CGD --we believe it is the first ever such map created)