Sherraden to lead panel discussion at Clinton Global Initiative University

Pioneer on asset building for the poor tabbed to join distinguished list of speakers


His 1991 book, Assets and the Poor: A New American Welfare Policy, proposed establishing for the poor individual savings accounts — also known as Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). His program calls for the government and private sector to match individual contributions to IDAs as a means of encouraging savings and breaking the cycle of poverty. IDAs have been adopted at the federal level and in more than 40 states.

President Clinton mentioned IDAs in his 1999 State of the Union address and a much larger program for universal retirement savings in his 2000 State of the Union address. In 2010, Time magazine named Sherraden to its “Time 100,” the publication’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Sherraden has been at the Brown School since 1979, where he has mentored graduate students and younger faculty.

“The Brown School is a special place committed to moving things forward in the world,” Sherraden said. “I am particularly excited about our young faculty, who are designing and testing social innovations in areas that matter, such as positive child and youth development, ownership of assets for educational attainment and improved health, civic service opportunities, adaptation to environmental changes, decarceration of America’s prisons, financial capability for all Americans, and productive engagement of older adults.

“These initiatives are all supported in one way or another by the Center for Social Development,” he says. “The younger faculty are enormously capable. They will continue to expand the impact of the Brown School.”

At CGI U, Sherraden will lead a working session and panel discussion on “Poverty and Promise in America’s Rust Belt.”

He joins such notable speakers as Chelsea Clinton, board member, William J. Clinton Foundation; Stephen Colbert, host and executive producer of “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central; Hawa Abdi Diblawe, founder, the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation; Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO, Square Inc. and co-founder and executive chairman, Twitter Inc.; Jada Pinkett Smith, actress and advocate, Don’t Sell Bodies; and Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, chairman, the Yunus Centre and founder, Grameen Bank.

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