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While the decline of the scandal-plagued Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID) has been much in the public eye, another University center focusing on developing countries has been quietly building its courses, its programs--and its capital.
The Center for International Development (CID), created a year and a half ago, has been busily raising money for its multi-year $20 million fundraising drive, begun at the center's inception and still in its early stages.
From its beginnings, CID has garnered unprecedented support from the international community, as well as the backing of both HIID and the Kennedy School of Government (KSG).
Now administrators at both KSG and CID--as well as at the University Development Office--have pledged their help in the fundraising campaign.
"It's a collaborative effort," says Sara E. Sievers '90, executive director of CID. "Neither of us can do it without the other."
HIID transferred $10 million of its endowment to CID when the center was created. Academic superstar--and then-HIID head--Jeffrey D. Sachs '76, Stone professor of international trade, was selected to head the new research-oriented center.
Prominent officials with international development interests comprise an international advisory board for the center. And, at least one member of the board--Teresa Heinz of the H. John and Teresa Heinz Foundation--has lent her support to the drive with a hefty $1 million donation, half of which came in last spring. CID will receive the remainder this spring.
Holly T. Sargent, senior associate dean for external affairs at KSG, says the members of the board have substantial expertise in international matters relevant to CID. Although none of them are specifically involved in the fundraising efforts, they have all been helpful, she adds.
Many of the members are officials of foreign governments, but Sargent says no foreign governments--or other members of the board--have given their financial support to the center.
The task for the fundraisers is to find international donors who have a vested interest in CID's projects.
"We are working with people who have an interest in supporting the policy change that CID has the expertise to provide," Sievers says.
Some of the biggest donations may come from alumni and private investors in Latin America, Europe, Africa and parts of Asia, according to Sievers.
Even though the search for donors started immediately after CID's founding, the fundraising effort is still just beginning.
"These things tend to be long processes," Sievers says.
Sargent, senior associate dean for external affairs at KSG, says that in a campaign of this magnitude, it will take about five years to get commitments. At the moment, she adds, the push has $12-14 million in outstanding requests from donors--most of which is endowment money, dependent on outstanding proposals. Sargent says she expects answers on those proposals within six months.
Last spring, officials hosted a weekend devoted to the project.
But the center is not waiting until its endowment is fat enough to sustain it on its own. Rather, the money that is being brought in from the first donors is getting spent on current projects. CID is also using money from its allotted portion of HIID's endowment. Now that the University is distributing different HIID programs among the graduate schools, it is likely that some will be absorbed and restructured by the School of Public Health and KSG. Sievers says she does not know whether any more of HIID's endowment will then be apportioned to CID.
And according to both Sachs and Sievers, more money will need to come from somewhere. The $30 million sum coming from HIID's original allotment and this current fundraising drive may not cover expenses.
"We have the capacity to expand beyond any endowment it seems these days," Sievers says.
Right now, Sachs says he plans to use the endowment to fund several senior professorships. The search for three new professors is already underway.
In addition, they hope the return from the endowment will someday be able to cover the operating budget.
But for now CID is relying on generous donors.
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