In 2015, after a 4-year negotiation process, 193 United Nations member countries agreed upon a new global framework for development that included 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The “SDGs” span nearly every developmental issue facing the world, from climate change to poverty to sustainable production and consumption. They are as relevant in the United States as they are in places like Somalia. The ambition of this universal agenda is to shepherd the whole world towards a more sustainable, equitable and prosperous future, where no one is left behind. Join guest speaker Jessica Espey, who was a lead negotiator in the SDG process, as she reflects on the negotiation process and shares insights into SDG implementation in diverse locations around the world.
Jessica Espey is a Senior Advisor to the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), responsible for directing SDSN’s work on data, monitoring and accountability for the SDGs. She also manages much of SDSN’s work on sustainable cities. Current projects focus on data collection and management for SDG measurement. Espey also serves as official liaison for the Scientific Steering Committee of the IPCC Conference on Cities and Climate Change. 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. She has particular expertise in the study of inequality, age and gender discrimination, as well as data systems for sustainable development.