April 14, 2016
In an increasingly interconnected world, governments face more complex and multidimensional security threats. Violent extremism, cyber attacks, geopolitical tension, climate change, pandemics, financial instability, transnational organized crime and unbridled nuclear proliferation all affect international cohesion and prosperity. Many of today’s key risks cannot be solved by one state alone, making global cooperation ever more crucial.
NYU Washington, DC hosted The Right Honourable Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and NYU's first Distinguished Global Leader-in-Residence, who assessed this current wave of threats and explore how to address global security challenges. Diane C. Yu, Executive Director of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program, facilitated the dialogue following the keynote presentation.
Gordon Brown is Chair of the Global Strategic Infrastructure Initiative of the World Economic Forum and also serves as Distinguished Global Leader in Residence of New York University. He has recently completed a research project on globalisation and education at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2007 to 2010 and is widely credited with preventing a second Great Depression through his stewardship of the 2009 London G20 summit. He was one of the first leaders during the global crisis to initiate calls for global financial action, while introducing a range of rescue measures in the UK. In April 2009, he hosted the G20 Summit in London where world leaders committed to make an additional $1.1 trillion available to help the world economy through the crisis and restore credit, growth and jobs. They also pledged to strengthen financial supervision and regulation.
Previously, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997 to 2007, making him the longest-serving Chancellor in modern history. During ten years at the Treasury, Gordon masterminded many of Labour’s proudest achievements including the Minimum Wage, Sure Start, the Winter Fuel Allowance, the Child Trust Fund, the Child Tax Credit and paid paternity leave. His record on global justice includes his negotiation of debt cancellation for the world’s poorest nations and the tripling of the budget for life-saving aid. His time as Chancellor was also marked by major reform of Britain’s monetary and fiscal policy as well as the sustained investment in health, education and overseas aid.
His role in government continued to shape his views on the importance of education as a fundamental right of every child in the world and the key to unlocking better health, greater social stability, more rights and opportunities for women and a higher standard of living. He is a passionate advocate for global action to ensure education for all and co-chairs a High Level Panel on Global Education with Graça Machel. In his role as UN Special Envoy for Global Education, he works closely with key partners to help galvanise support for the UN’s Global Initiative on Education, Education First, which aims to achieve quality, relevance, and inclusive education for every child.
Gordon is the author of several books including Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation; My Scotland, Our Britain: A Future Worth Sharing and a forthcoming work 2025: Shaping a New Future.
Gordon has a PhD in History from the University of Edinburgh and spent his early career working as a lecturer. He is married to Sarah Brown, the Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education, and the couple live in Fife, Scotland with their two sons, John and Fraser.
Diane C. Yu is the Executive Director of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program and the NYUAD Summer Academy for high school students. She has taught a popular freshman honors seminar in the NYU College of Arts and Science for seven years. Previously she was the Managing Counsel at Monsanto Company, the General Counsel for the State Bar of California, a White House Fellow appointed by the President, a California judicial officer, and in private law practice. Her B.A. is from Oberlin College and her law degree is from the University of California at Berkeley. She is a frequent speaker and author and has an honorary doctorate from the City University of New York.