Ibrahim Elbadawi
Ibrahim Elbadawi

CHICAGO –The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy will be hosting the sixth annual Reverend Dr. Richard L. Pearson Lecture on May 23, 2023. Free and open to the public, this years’ speaker will be Ibrahim Elbadawi, the Managing Director of the Economic Research Forum and a prominent Sudanese innovator and former high-level government appointee.

“We are delighted that Dr. Elbadawi is joining us to deliver the Annual Lecture,” said James A. Robinson, Institute Director of The Pearson Institute. “All of us – academics and policymakers alike – have a great deal to learn from his perspective and experiences.”

James Robinson
James Robinson, Pearson Institute Director

After popular protests in Sudan in 2018 and 2019, the long-standing dictator, Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in a coup, followed by the establishment of a transitional government. A military coup in 2021 threw the country into economic turmoil, and widespread protests have continued against the government. On December 5, 2022, the military announced a framework agreement to hand over power to a civilian government. The framework agreement has been highly contentious, and on April 15, 2023, fighting broke out between the Sudanese army and a paramilitary group, the Rapid Support Forces, in the capital, Khartoum, and surrounding areas, sending the country into further instability, and leading to the deaths of 400 civilians.

Dr. Elbadawi offered his insights on the conflict ahead of the Annual Lecture: "The situation is dire and unless regional and international communities engage to urgently broker a ceasefire and return to the normal political process that was in place before the outbreak in hostilities, Sudan will spiral into a destructive, high intensity civil war essentially involving two armies, each with external alliances." As the situation in Sudan continues to unfold, Dr. Elbadawi will speak to the causes of the conflict and possible resolutions when he visits the University of Chicago this month.

Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, interim dean and Sydney Stein professor, will provide welcoming remarks.

Ibrahim Elbadawi has been at the Economic Research Forum since August 2020 and previously served in the role from January 2017 to August 2019. He was the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in the Republic of Sudan between September 2019 and July 2020. Elbadawi was appointed by the UN Secretary-General to the High-Level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations in December 2020.

Before joining the Economic Research Forum, Elbadawi was Director at the Economic Policy and Research Center, the Dubai Economic Council from 2009 to 2016; Lead Economist at the Development Research Group of the World Bank, which he joined in 1989; Research Director of the African Economic Research Consortium in Nairobi from 1993 to 1998), on external leave from the Bank; and Professor of economics at the University of Gezira in Sudan from 1984 to 1989. He holds a PhD in economics and statistics from North Carolina State University and Northwestern University.

Hisham Yousef
Hisham Yousif, MPP Class of 2023 and Pearson Fellow, will also provide remarks.

He has published widely on macroeconomics, growth, democratic transitions and the economics of civil wars and post-conflict transitions.

The Reverend Dr. Richard L. Pearson lecture series provides an opportunity to hear directly from leaders in international policy who have engaged on issues of peace and conflict. Past Pearson Lectures have been delivered by Ernesto Zedillo, former president of Mexico; Sergio Jaramillo, former Colombian High Commissioner for Peace; Jonathan Powell, Director and Founder, Inter Mediate and negotiator on the Good Friday Agreement; Husam Zomlot, former Palestinian Ambassador to the United States; and Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, chief negotiator for the Government of the Philippines in the process resulting in the Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

Pearson Lecture Graphic