Jessica Espey: Sustainable Development Goals: Liam's Legacy

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.

Her talk will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Bruce Stiftel, chair of the School of City and Regional Planning, and featuring GT faculty and partners from our newly forming Greater Atlanta U.N. University Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE): Danny Boston (GT International Affairs), Shatakshee Dhongde (GT Economics), Serena Newhall (CIFAL Atlanta at Kennesaw State), and Fatemeh Shafiei (Spelman Political Science).  See Jessica Espey’s full bio here.

Co-sponsored by Global Development Minor and School of City and Regional Planning

Lecture: 4:00pm - 5:30pm; Reception: 5:30pm - 6:30pm.

When: Thursday, October 26; 4:00 - 6:30 PM
Where: Atlanta, GA 

**More Opportunities to Talk with Jessica Espey on Friday, October 27:

  •  Student Conversation with Jessica Espey about Smart Cities & the SDGs
    • 10:10-11:00 AM, Instructional Center 115
    • Part of the course, ICT & Policy (INTA 4050/6753) – open to all GT students (undergrads & grad students)
  • Graduate Student Conversation with Jessica Espey about Measuring the SDGs
    • 2:00 - 3:15 PM 214 Architecture Building (West Wing)
    • Open to all graduate students
    • Sponsored by the School of City and Regional Planning


Part of the SLS U.N. SDG Series: Putting the Sustainable Development Goals Into Action (SDG #17- Partnerships for the Goals)

Event Details


  • Thursday, October 26, 2017
    4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Location: Clary Theater, Student Success Center