Speaker Bio & Abstract

Jessica Espey Senior Advisor

BiographyJessica is a Senior Advisor to the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), based in London, UK and is the Director of SDSN TReNDS, the SDSN's expert group on data. Before moving home to London she was Associate Director and Head of SDSNís New York Office.

With SDSN TReNDS, Jessica's research explores how new forms of data and technology can be harnessed to support sustainable development outcomes. TReNDS is particularly interested in building capacity in national statistical systems so they are able to capitalize on the data revolution. Current projects include Data for Now which aims to increase the frequency of key sustainable development data used by governments for daily management decisions, Contracts 4 Data Collaboration, which explores best practices in legal arrangements for data sharing, POPGRID, which reconciles new methods for population monitoring, Local Data Action, which focuses on subnational monitoring of the SDGs (for more information visit the TReNDS website) . Jessica is a member of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Dataís Technical Advisory Group, and the Group on Earth Observationís Expert Advisory Board. Having previously worked on sustainable urban development she has also just served as official liaison for the Scientific Steering Committee of the IPCC Conference on Cities and Climate Change.

Prior to joining SDSN, Jessica served as a special adviser on the post-2015 agenda within the Office of the President of Liberia, supporting the work of The High Level Panel of Eminent Persons (of which President Sirleaf was co-chair) and the development of the Common African Position on the Post-2015 Agenda. She has also worked as a senior researcher at Save the Children UK, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), and the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA). Jessica is a current Doctoral Candidate at the Univeristy of Bristol. She also 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. She has lived and worked in Liberia, Kenya, Rwanda, the UK and the US.