Elizabeth Ryan

International Secretariat Staff

Elizabeth Ryan is the Deputy Director of the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme.

Elizabeth has over 14 years’ experience in partnership development, project management, sustainable economic development, capacity development and community engagement.

Her role at the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme, which she has had for the last 7 years, has taken this work from the local level to the international level where she has worked with city and regional governments, United Nations agencies, private sector and civil society organisations to support city participants of the United Nations Global Compact – from 35+ countries across the world – to advance sustainable urban development.

Elizabeth’s unique skill set is the development of partnerships – bringing together diverse groups from across sectors for collaborative action – underpinned by the strategic use of communication campaigns and platforms.

Elizabeth’s tertiary qualifications are in business management, specifically in tourism for regional development.

Elizabeth is a passionate advocate for equity which she has worked to achieve through sustainable economic development and equitable labour force participation. This has included, for three years, building and facilitating a task force of private sector, local government and educators in Melbourne’s north (six Local Government Areas) to bridge industry skill shortages and provide employment pathways for vulnerable youth. Programs developed by this group continue today.

Also with this aim, Elizabeth worked for two years with the Equity Research Centre, an advisory body to the Victorian State government. She conducted ongoing labour market research, tracking and providing advice on the employment and education participation of women, migrants, youth and people with a disability. She also developed and delivered customised capacity development programs for women in regional SMEs and migrant women from the Horn of Africa.

Elizabeth has also worked as an educator in tourism and hospitality in regional NSW, training secondary school students, people returning to work, apprentices and industry professionals.

More recently, Elizabeth had an industry engagement management role with RMIT University, creating partnerships between the private sector and academia for shared benefit research and collaborative projects.

Elizabeth has intermediate Spanish language skills and a keen interest and growing knowledge of sustainable development in the Latin American urban context.