William Easterly, a former World Bank economist whose work has been discussed in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, will give a talk Tuesday, March 24, at West Virginia University.

Easterlys presentation,Free the Poor! The Evolution of Ideas Toward Ending Poverty from the Bottom Up,begins at 7:30 p.m. in Room 202 of Brooks Hall. A reception will follow.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of WVU s David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas lecture series.

A native West Virginian, Easterly was born in Morgantown, and his parents are WVU alumni.

His expertise is in the determinants of long-run economic growth, political economy of development and the effectiveness of foreign aid.

Easterlys presentation is especially relevant during these trying economic times,interim WVU President C. Peter Magrath said.We are honored to have someone with such knowledge and expertise on the economy at West Virginia University.

Easterly is the author ofThe White Mans Burden: How the Wests Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little GoodandThe Elusive Quest for Growth: EconomistsAdventures and Misadventures in the Tropics.He has also co-authored three books and written 60 journal articles.

Currently serving as a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research, Easterly is also co-director of New York Universitys Development Research Institute and an NYU professor of economics with a joint appointment at the universitys Africa House, an interdisciplinary institute devoted to the study of contemporary Africa.

He earned his doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and spent 16 years as a research economist at the World Bank.

Easterly has worked in most areas of the developing world, including Africa, Latin America and Russia. He is an associate editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Economic Growth and Journal of Development Economics.

He is a nonresident fellow of the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C., and was a visiting fellow at Brookings Institute during the 2007-08 academic year.

In 2008, Easterly was named one of the worlds Top 100 Public Intellectuals by Foreign Policy magazine. His work has been discussed on National Public Radio, the BBC andThe NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

The David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas is named after WVU s former president who created the lecture series. Each year, the festival brings key figures from the fields of sports, politics, business, entertainment, research, scholarship and culture to Morgantown.

The series is supported in part by the David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas Endowment.

Other 2009 speakers include journalist Gwen Ifill and paleoanthropologist Meave Leakey.

Related press release: http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/news/page/7352/

More on the Net: http://festivalofideas.wvu.edu/