Dan Runde’s mission: Grow private sector contribution to international development

Dan Runde, Schreyer char in global analysis and director of Project on Prosperity and Development of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Photo by: personal collection

Dan Runde discovered that once he had found his calling, nothing would stop him from helping others find theirs. It all began with a starter investment banking job – work that he later discovered was not a good fit for him.

“I was committed to the job for two years and spent many, many long months trudging through this professional commitment. After leaving, I promised myself to try and find jobs that gave me joy and were more closely aligned with my strengths,” he told Devex.

Runde’s greatest strength is his penchant for uniting the public and private sectors in peace-building and prosperity initiatives.

“I love working in international development. I see it as both creating a better world and ‘applied’ foreign policy,” he said.

Over the years, since leaving that investment banking job, he has, among other projects, convinced Colombian philanthropists and business leaders to create pilot projects to reintegrate ex-combatants into civil society; helped Chevron create the Angola Partnership Initiative in 2002, a massive corporate social responsibility project to put the African nation back on its feet following a 27-year civil war; served as a delegate to President Barack Obama’s Middle East Entrepreneurship Summit; sat on the board of programs such as the United Nations Development Program’s Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative and the Washington chapter of the Society for International Development’s World Congress. (Next July, he will be that event’s chair.)

In the meantime, Runde’s got plenty to do. He just left his three-year job managing philanthropy relations at the International Finance Corp. to start the Project on Prosperity and Development. The new venture, sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, will focus on the role of the private sector in international development.

Runde sums up his mission in this statement: “I think that American private enterprise, U.S. foreign assistance, and U.S. private generosity are pillars of Smart Power. I want to work to ensure the U.S. remains the world superpower and continues to shape the world we live in. Part of leadership requires meeting global responsibilities.”

About the author

  • Julienne Gage

    As a freelance journalist and broadcast news producer based in Miami and Washington, Julienne contributes regularly to Devex. Her graduate studies in anthropology and journalism included research on youth development in Latin America and immigration in Spain.