Amanda Ellis is the head of the New Zealand Aid Programme, leading 260 staff in New Zealand and offshore that manage over half a billion dollars of official development assistance annually. As Deputy Secretary International Development for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Amanda is the most senior woman in the New Zealand foreign service.
Ms. Ellis was previously Lead Specialist (Gender), in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management group at the World Bank in Washington DC, where she designed the Women's Economic Opportunity Index (113 economies) and the first global data base of laws impacting women's ability to be economically active (181 economies). Ms. Ellis also managed the World Bank President's Global Private Sector Leaders Forum to promote women's economic empowerment which includes 23 CEOs of leading companies like Nike, Cisco, Exxon Mobil, PwC and Standard Chartered Bank. In 2004 Ms. Ellis founded the Gender Entrepreneurship Markets (GEM) programme at the International Finance Corporation, providing advice to governments and companies in developing countries on private sector development. She developed the "Gender and Growth" assessment tool, used in Africa, Latin America and Asia, the first ever SME credit lines for women in Africa (now a global product) and practical initiatives to support women entrepreneurs with training in business, finance and management skills, and access to markets.
Prior to joining the World Bank Group, Ms Ellis was Head of Women's Markets and National Manager Women in Business for Westpac Banking Corporation in Australia. Her team grew annual revenues from a standing start to over half a billion dollars in just three years, proving the value of the women's market.
An economist specializing in international trade and development, Ms. Ellis worked for the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 1998-1997, including roles at the OECD in Paris, Consul in the French Pacific Territories and manager of NZ aid programmes in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
Ms. Ellis is the author of two best selling Random House titles, "Women's Business, Women's Wealth: create the life you want at work and in business" (2002) and "Woman 2 Woman: NZ women share their experiences of career and business" (2004), and lead author of five World Bank titles in the Directions in Development series on gender and growth in Africa, East Asia and the Pacific. She is a founding member of the Global Banking Alliance for Women and a board member of New Zealand Global Women. Ms. Ellis lives in Wellington with her husband Keric and son Mitchel.