The SDG Impact of COVID-19: The view of Amanda Ellis, Executive Director of Global Partnerships for the ASU Global Futures Laboratory

RELX, 8th April 2020

In this segment, RELX’s Global Head of Corporate Responsibility, Dr Márcia Balisciano, talks to Amanda Ellis, Executive Director of Global Partnerships for the ASU Global Futures Laboratory.

A global leader in sustainability efforts, Arizona State University (ASU) launched the Global Futures Laboratory to provide key engagement spaces for scientists, educators and leaders across ASU and around the world to address critical issues related to the future of our planet. To support education during the pandemic, the University have launched ASU for You, a suite of on-line learning resources for learners of all ages and at all stages of their educational, career or lifelong learning journey. The flexible and growing set of digital educational assets are free to access for users across the world.

Amanda is also the co-founder of The WE Empower UN SDG Challenge, a global business competition for women entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs who are advancing the UN SDGs and inspiring entire communities to create the world we want by 2030.


Prior to her current roles, Amanda was the New Zealand Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva (2013-16) during the negotiations for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and Prime Minister’s Special Envoy. Prior to that, as Deputy Secretary (International Development) in the NZ Foreign Ministry, she was first woman to lead the Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) Programme, managing an annual budget of over $0.6 billion.


Other previous roles include Lead Specialist Poverty Reduction and Economic Management for the World Bank Group, (where she managed the President’s Global Private Sector CEO Leaders Forum and led the project that created “Women, business and the law”), Head of the Global Gender Group at the International Finance Corporation, and National Manager Women in Business at Westpac Banking Corporation. The author of two best-selling Random House business books and five research titles on gender and growth in the World Bank Directions in Development series, Amanda is a founding member of the Financial Alliance for Women and the recipient of the TIAW Lifetime Achievement Award for services to women’s economic empowerment.