Local action for global solutions


Since the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, U.S. communities have made this global framework a local agenda. From students to CEOs and city halls to state capitals, local leaders across sectors are embracing the SDGs and leading innovative efforts to build sustainable societies. The SDGs offer a foundation for better responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and building an inclusive, resilient future where no one is left behind.

In support of this work, the UN Foundation and Center for Sustainable Development at the Brookings Institution are working with partners to expand and connect U.S. leadership on the SDGs in communities across the country. Drawing on the experience and expertise of SDG pioneers across the United States – including Hawaii, Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando, and Pittsburgh — this project aims to help all Americans make sustainable development a reality in their own communities.

On this page, you will find stories of how the SDGs are being implemented throughout the United States, an SDG resource library, and ways to stay updated on this effort. In our monthly newsletter, we highlight innovative solutions, inspiring success stories, and practical resources from people across the U.S. who are driving progress on the SDGs in their own backyard. Subscribe here >>

Bringing the SDGs home

Stories from across the country.


Phoenix is taking on the challenges of climate change, rapid population growth, and water scarcity. How? By rallying local officials and its most global management school around the Sustainable Development Goals to take action.

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How 5 Community Foundations in Kansas are Bringing the SDGs Home

Five community foundations in the Sunflower State are examining local problems — and solutions — through a global lens by using the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Speaking Truth To Power: How Young People Are Sparking SDG Progress

As U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations, Cynthia Yue has spent the past year talking with young people across America about what matters most to them — including the SDGs. She shares some of the most memorable encounters and experiences from her term.

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Research spotlight


Research from the UN Foundation and the Brookings Center for Sustainable Development on U.S. progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Poll: American awareness and priorities on the SDGs

Public opinion research with Morning Consult on U.S. SDG knowledge, priorities, and support.

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Brief: Leveraging the Biden-Harris climate agenda and the SDGs

Exploring the opportunity for U.S. federal leadership in embracing the SDGs and climate action.

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Library of U.S. SDG resources and tools

Communities, organizations, and individuals around the world have translated the SDGs into an agenda for action. Yet in the United States, the process for getting started and what it means in practical terms to implement the SDGs in local communities is often less clear. This library is a living collection of key resources, tools and examples of U.S. implementation. The resources are adaptable across sectors and include a special focus on measuring progress and leaving no one behind. We encourage you to check back as the resource library continues to grow and to share your resources so others can benefit as well. 

Sector Leadership on the SDGs

The SDGs allow cities, NGOs, philanthropies, companies, and individuals to place challenges, such as climate change and inclusion, in the same framework and facilitate the sharing of ideas and best practices. What does this look like?

Local governments are at the heart of American leadership on the SDGs through their innovation, policies, and action.

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Higher education institutions and research organizations are leading the charge on the SDGs through research, courses, and community outreach. 

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Businesses are putting inclusion, equity, and sustainability at the heart of their strategic plans.

Foundations and philanthropies are building partnerships dedicated to achieving the SDGs.

Individuals are advocating for change through the SDGs and holding their communities accountable.

Civil Society Organizations including UNA-USA are working together across issues to deliver the SDGs locally.

Annual Events

The UN Foundation and the Center for Sustainable Development at the Brookings Institution co-host an annual flagship event on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly showcasing U.S. leadership and action on the SDGs.


Taking place just hours before global leaders convened in New York for the UN General Assembly, leaders of all ages shared knowledge and accelerated action to advance the SDGs in the United States.

Watch the highlights >>

View the recording >>

Speakers at the American Leadership on the SDGs event

Salah Goss, Senior Vice President for Social Impact at Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth speaks at the American Leadership in Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals event.


As the world approaches the halfway point on the SDGs, this year’s event brought together U.S. leaders from across sectors to reflect on progress made and to understand what more is needed heading into 2030.

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In its third year, this virtual high-level event showcased how American leaders and institutions are using the SDGs to build resilient and inclusive communities across the United States.

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U.S. leadership on the SDGs event photo.

U.S. leadership on the SDGs event photo.


Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, leadership from across the United States came together virtually to showcase the power of the SDGs to achieve equity and inclusivity.

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The first-annual event highlighted the U.S. cities, states, foundations, businesses, and universities that are at the forefront of driving progress on the SDGs.

Read the recap >>

View the recording >>

U.S. leadership on the SDGs event photo.