Chief Executive Officer
Elizabeth (Lizz) Ellis (she, her, hers) has spent over 20 years leading private sector and agricultural development efforts in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. She joined International Development Enterprises (iDE) in 2013, first as Chief Operating Officer before becoming CEO in early 2019. iDE uses the power of businesses – wholly-owned social enterprises; large multinational corporations like Kohler and Coca-Cola; and hundreds of small, often family-owned indigenous businesses – to reach millions of people with tangible impact in agriculture, nutrition, WASH, climate change, and women's economic empowerment. She is leading iDE to even greater impact by scaling up iDE's approaches in WASH and agriculture to reach another 20 million more people with products and services that increase their incomes and improve their livelihoods. Prior to joining iDE, she worked in DC on USAID-funded economic growth and agriculture projects before moving to Morocco, where she helped export the country’s first blueberries into Europe; and then to Nigeria, where she helped raise farm yields and incomes through partnerships with Olam, Heineken, and the Government of Nigeria. Ellis serves as the Chair of the Posner Center for International Development, and as a board member of two social enterprises - Hilltribe Organics (Thailand), and Hydrologic, an award-winning social enterprise in Cambodia owned by iDE. Lizz also serves on the boards of iDE UK and iDE Ghana. She received her MPA/PP from Rutgers University and her BA from Grinnell College in History and Global Development Studies.