Ambassador Elizabeth M. Cousens to Join United Nations Foundation as Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Cousens To Help Foundation Deepen Collaboration With UN And Partners On Priority Issues

Washington, D.C.

December 3, 2014


Megan Rabbitt

The United Nations Foundation announced today that Ambassador Elizabeth M. Cousens will join its team as Deputy Chief Executive Officer. Cousens, who currently serves as the U.S. Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and Alternate Representative to the UN General Assembly, is an experienced diplomat and negotiator and a well-known champion of multilateral cooperation, peace, security, and sustainable development. She brings to the Foundation an outstanding record of global policy experience, program expertise, and international service.

“Ambassador Cousens will help bring our work at the Foundation to a new level of global reach and focus as we support the efforts of the UN on the defining issues of our time,” said Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the UN Foundation. “The work of the UN is more important today than ever before, and with Ambassador Cousens as part of the Foundation leadership team, we can build that support in ways that rise to that challenge.”

Cousens’ experience in global development, peacebuilding, and security will enhance the Foundation’s capabilities on priority issue areas including global health, energy and climate, innovation, empowering girls and women, and building a strong U.S.-UN relationship. In her role as Deputy CEO, she will help guide future programmatic investments, partnerships, and priorities. She will also help lead the Foundation’s implementation of institutional strategy and vision and ensure that the Foundation is best positioned to continue supporting the UN’s work to address global problems.

Cousens will join the Foundation in this new position in the first quarter of 2015 and will be based in the Foundation’s Washington, D.C. headquarters.

Cousens’ tenure in global affairs has included influential positions at the UN and at a range of global institutions, as well as field experience in Nepal, the Middle East, Central Asia, Bosnia, and Haiti. In her current post, Cousens leads diplomacy and negotiations on development, climate, human rights, peacebuilding, and humanitarian issues at the UN. She has spearheaded U.S. policy efforts on the post-2015 development agenda and served as a delegate to the Sustainable Development Goals Open Working Group.

Cousens serves on the UN Peacebuilding Commission and on executive boards of UN Funds and Programmes that include women’s empowerment, population, and women and children’s health. Her tenure at the U.S. Permanent Mission to the UN has also included the management of a diverse team of professionals and responsibility as a principal policy advisor for strategic planning and cross-mission task forces on issues ranging from atrocity prevention to key UN reforms.

Cousens is a Rhodes Scholar who studied European History as a Presidential Scholar at Princeton and graduated from the University of Puget Sound with honors before earning her masters and doctorate degrees at Oxford.


About The United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit .