Ambassador Elizabeth M. Cousens
- President & CEO, United Nations Foundation
Elizabeth Cousens was recently named incoming President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation, a post she will assume in January 2020. She currently serves as Deputy Chief Executive Officer where she oversees all aspects of the Foundation’s programmatic, advocacy, and communications work. Before joining the Foundation, Cousens was U.S. Ambassador to the UN Economic and Social Council and Alternate Representative to the UN General Assembly. During her tenure, she led U.S. negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals, served on the boards of UN agencies and the UN Peacebuilding Commission, and worked as Principal Policy Advisor and Counselor to the Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations. Cousens has broad expertise in global cooperation and has lived around the world, serving with UN political missions in Nepal and the Middle East and working as an analyst in conflict zones, including Bosnia and Haiti. Her prior experience includes Director of Strategy for the HD Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue which promotes and conducts mediation of armed conflict; Vice President of the International Peace Institute, where she led initiatives on global crisis management and UN reform; and Director of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum, a research group that provides expertise to the UN on conflict and crisis situations. Dr. Cousens has a D.Phil. in International Relations from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and a B.A. in history and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Puget Sound. She and her husband, Bruce Jones, have one child.