Amanda Ellis

Executive Director, ASU Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability

Amanda Ellis is currently based in Hawaii as Executive Director Hawaii/Asia Pacific for philanthropist Julie Ann Wrigley’s ASU Global Institute Of Sustainability and Innovation. Amanda also serves as Senior Director for the Global Futures Laboratory, co-chairing the New Carbon Economy Consortium and the WE (women entrepreneurs) Empower UN SDG Challenge, launched by the UN Secretary General in 2018. Her dual passions are women’s economic empowerment and sustainability/climate action, through both innovation and indigenous wisdoms.

Board roles

Bishop Museum, Blue Planet Alliance, East-West Center Association, Global Governance Forum,

Institute for Climate and Peace

UN Target Gender Equality and UNICEF Aotearoa.

Prior roles

Amanda served as New Zealand’s inaugural Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, and as Ambassador/Head of Mission to the UN in Geneva and Prime Minister’s Special Envoy (2012-16), playing a key role in New Zealand’s successful UN Security Council bid. As Deputy Secretary International Development in the NZ Foreign Ministry she was first woman to lead the Aid Programme, managing an annual budget of over $0.6 billion. With a long history working to promote gender equality,

Amanda held a number of senior roles at the World Bank Group, where she founded the International Finance Corporation global gender group, managed the President’s Global Private Sector CEO Leaders Forum to promote women’s economic empowerment and led the Doing Business gender research project which created “Women, Business and the Law.” As inaugural National Manager for Women in Business for Westpac Banking Corporation Amanda’s team grew a new business line to A$0.5 billion in just three years.

A founding member of the Global Banking Alliance for Women, Amanda is the recipient of the TIAW Lifetime Achievement Award for services to women’s economic empowerment.


Amanda is the author of two best-selling Random House titles, ‘Women’s Business, Women’s Wealth: Create the Life You Want at Work and in Business” (2002), and “Woman 2 Woman: New Zealand women share their experiences of career and business” (2004), lead author of five World Bank titles in the Directions in Development Series on gender and growth in Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, co-author of the HRD 2018 book of the year “From marginal to mainstream” and the 2020/22 Gender Equality and Governance Index.