The Center for Global Development, the increasingly political-economy-conscious development economics arm of the Institute for International Economics, is currently seeking nominations for the 2006 Commitment to Development Award for the "individual or organization from the rich world who has made a significant contribution to changing attitudes and policies towards the developing world."
Let's nominate Mark Weisbrot.
Weisbrot, more than anyone else I've shared donuts with in my short 28 years, has committed in his work and life to empowering people from developing countries to stand up, throw off the yoke of neo-colonialism and fight for justice in the global economy, while himself (and with his colleagues at CEPR) working in the developed world to change attitudes and policies toward developing countries. His contributions are too many to document, so I will merely highlight some here and provide the reader a gateway to more resources:
*uncovering the reality of global progress (perhaps more aptly, global regress or stagnation) in the era of global economic liberalization. And taking World Bank economist David Dollar to task on the issue (video).
*defending Venezuela's right to self-determination (pdf) in the face of Bush administration orchestrated political coups, and the success of Hugo Chavez's pro-poor redistribution programs. Not to mention, other countries in Latin America, including Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Haiti, and Bolivia.
*setting the record straight on the effects of Nafta by uncovering the World Bank's egregious errors and misrepresentation of the facts.
*demonstrating how the Doha "development" round of global trade liberalization actually stands to hurt many, many developing countries.
*advocating against a global intellectual property rights regime that keeps developing country residents from accessing life-saving pharmaceuticals, costs them billions of $ that could be spent on national development priorities, and prevents the socially productive dissemination of life-bettering technologies.
*arming developing country central bank technocrats with the intellectual fire power to oppose austere monetary policies that, though profitable to international bond speculators, are disastorous for employment, growth, and living standards in developing countries.
*showing that debt default for highly indebted developing countries would be really good for improving their economic futures and not shut themselves out of international capital markets.
And so on. Not to mention the man is a huge fan of oatmeal.
Let Center for Global Development know, they need look no further than Mark Weisbrot for the 2006 award.