CIES 2019 San Francisco (April 14-18, 2019)

Keynote Lecture


On the evening of Monday, April 15, 2019, from 6:30pm – 9:00pm, a special ticketed Keynote Lecture will inaugurate the week of conference activities at CIES 2019 San Francisco.

The CIES 2019 San Francisco Keynote Lecture will feature Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia University and special adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and will be preceded by a panel discussion on the work of UNESCO in the era of SDGs.


The Work of UNESCO in the Era of Sustainable Development Goals (6:30pm)
This panel will discuss how UNESCO is upholding human rights and contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030. Additionally, it will discuss how UNESCO is performing in a world in which multilateralism is questioned and new global challenges continue to emerge.

Aaron Benavot, Professor of Global Education Policy in the School of Education at The University of Albany–SUNY
Suzanne Grant Lewis, Director of the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-UNESCO)
Jordan Naidoo, Director of Division for Education 2030 Support and Coordination​ at UNESCO
Claudia Uribe, Director of the Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago)

Education for Sustainability (7:30pm)
The keynote address in response to the CIES 2019 San Francisco conference theme, Education for Sustainability, will be delivered by Jeffrey Sachs. Sachs will be formally introduced to the audience by Radhika Iyengar (Director, Education Sector, Center for Sustainable Development, Teachers College, Columbia University). Iyengar holds a Ph.D. in Economics of Education, has served as Chair of the CIES South Asia SIG, and has published her research in the Comparative Education Review.

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He is the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership, and many other international awards and honors. He has twice been named among Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. He was called by the New York Times, “probably the most important economist in the world,” and by Time magazine, “the world’s best-known economist.” A survey by The Economist in 2011 ranked Professor Sachs as amongst the world’s three most influential living economists of the first decade of the 21st century. Professor Sachs serves as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University.  Sachs is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on the Sustainable Development Goals, and previously advised UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on both the Sustainable Development Goals and Millennium Development Goals and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals.


Held off-site at the historic Herbst Theatre (401 Van Ness Ave), the Keynote Lecture invites conference participants into the distinguished site of the United Nations Charter signing in 1945. Housed in the Veterans Building of the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center, the Herbst Theatre auditorium echoes Beaux-Arts design and is adorned by a series of stunning Frank Brangwyn murals originally painted for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

Read more about the UN Charter and its connection San Francisco, or watch a documentary  filmed in 1945 about the founding of the United Nations Organization and the “San Francisco Conference.” More information is also available from the Veterans Community Media Center of San Francisco.

Purchased tickets to attend the event off-site include (1) reserved seating at the Herbst Theatre, (2) roundtrip bus transportation from the conference venue, and (3) access to a reception preceding the event. The Keynote Lecture will also be livestreamed at the conference hotel free of charge.

Tickets are available via the CIES 2019 San Francisco conference registration system for $20 USD. Half-price student tickets are available at $10 USD. Once theatre seating reaches capacity, you may register for our event waitlist (in the event of cancellations).



CIES would like to extend special thanks to Open Society Foundations and Lemann Center at Stanford University, which have contributed generous financial support as official sponsors of the 2019 George F. Kneller Keynote Lecture.