Ms. Amanda Ellis
Special Advisor, East-West Center
1601 East-West Road
Honolulu, Hawaii 96848-1601
Amanda Ellis served as New Zealand’s Head of Mission and Ambassador to the United Nations
in Geneva and the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Francophone Africa until March 2016.
From 2010 she was Deputy Secretary International Development and the first woman to head
the New Zealand Aid Programme, managing an annual budget of over $0.6 billion. Prior to this,
Ms. Ellis held senior roles at the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation and
Westpac Banking Corporation. Her previous roles in the Foreign Ministry included Consul to
the French Pacific Territories, Manager of international development programs in Vietnam,
Laos and Cambodia, and APEC Senior Official.
Ms. Ellis is the author of two best-selling Random House business books,and lead author of
five research titles in the World Bank Directions in Development series on Africa, the
Middle East, East Asia and the Pacific. A founding member of the Global Banking Alliance
for Women, Ms. Ellis is the recipient of the TIAW Lifetime Achievement Award for services
to women’s economic empowerment and the East-West Center Distinguished Alumni Award.
Amanda serves on the advisory boards of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, WEConnect International,
and FINCA International Foundation. She is a member of NZ Global Women and an honorary member of
BPW International and Rotary Honolulu Club. She serves on the Friends of the East West Center Board,
the World Economic Forum Future Agenda Councils and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Advisory
Committee on economic inclusion.
Ms Ellis holds a BA First Class Honors degree in French and Economics from the University of Otago,
New Zealand, an MA degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa which she earned on an East-West Center
scholarship, an LTCL from Trinity College London. She has benefited from generous employer sponsorship
to executive education programs at Harvard University, Stanford University and INSEAD.