Jessica Espey

Senior Advisor, United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Jessica is a Senior Advisor to the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Before moving to Cambridge she was Associate Director and Head of SDSN’s New York Office. In her current role Jessica directs SDSN’s work on data, monitoring and accountability for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She also manages much of SDSN’s work on sustainable cities.

Current projects include lead-authoring SDSN’s forthcoming flagship report on new data systems for sustainable development, in partnership with SDSN’s expert thematic network on data; overseeing four data-oriented Solution Initiatives which are attempting to trial new technologies and approaches for data collection, management, storage and dissemination; managing a body of work on subnational implementation of the SDGs (including SDSN’s Sustainable Cities Initiative); and acting as official liaison for the Scientific Steering Committee of the IPCC Conference on Cities and Climate Change. Jessica is also a member of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data’s Technical Advisory Group and represents SDSN within the Cities Alliance.

Prior to joining SDSN, Jessica served as a special adviser on the post-2015 agenda within the Office of the President of Liberia, supporting the work of The High Level Panel of Eminent Persons (of which President Sirleaf was co-chair) and the development of the Common African Position on the Post-2015 Agenda. She has also worked as a senior researcher at Save the Children UK, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), and the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA). She has particular expertise in the study of inequality, age and gender discrimination, as well as data systems for sustainable development.

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in Modern History from the University of Oxford and a Master of Sciences degree in the Political Economy of Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Over the past 12 years she has lived and worked in Liberia, Kenya, Rwanda, the UK and the US.

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