Meet Our Team
The SDG Lab favours a multistakeholder approach in all its work. Within its team, the SDG Lab has also privileged diversity as it comprises United Nations, Member States, and Civil Society members. This team brings a wide array of experiences, thematic expertise, and passion for achieving the 2030 Agenda.
Nadia Isler, Director
Nadia is the Director of the SDG Lab serving as the leader of the team. She has a long career in international development with several years of field experience in bilateral cooperation and extensive experience in multilateral affairs within and outside of the UN system.
Nadia started her career with Médecins Sans Frontières and the Swiss Red Cross before joining the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation where she served for several years in Eastern Africa working primarily in the field of public health. Ms. Isler then joined the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs where she served as a Swiss diplomat for over 10 years, first as Deputy Head of Development Affairs at the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in New York, before leading on development affairs and the SDGs at the Swiss Mission to the UN in Geneva.
Nationality: Swiss, British
Education: BA Arts & Masters in Contemporary History, University of Geneva | Post Graduate Certificates, Harvard School of Public Health & Harvard Kennedy School
kate hardie, assistant
Kate is the SDG Lab Assistant, providing administrative support to the team and ensuring the SDG Lab works seamlessly with other units at the UN Office at Geneva. She has a long career within the UN family.
Kate joined the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in 2001. For five years she worked for the Secretariat of the Commission on Human Rights/Human Rights Council and as an assistant within the office of the Chief, Support Services Branch. She then joined the Executive Office and worked for the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights as one of her assistants. In 2009 she joined UN Geneva. She worked as the personal assistant to the Chef de Cabinet in the Office of the Director General from 2014 until she joined the SDG Lab in 2017.
Education: BA honours in Arts, Winchester School of Art/University of Southampton
Yunbei Li, Junior Professional Officer
Yunbei is a Junior Professional Officer from China providing the SDG Lab with support in research, best practice amplification and partnerships.
Yunbei joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in 2003 where she served in the Department of Translation and Interpretation for almost four years, participating as working staff in official visits, bilateral talks, policy dialogues, consultations and international conferences. Then she served in Chinese Embassy in France for two years where she handled political affairs. Before joining the SDG Lab, serving as Chinese/French interpreter, translator and corrector, she was also the Deputy Director at the Training Division of the Department of Translation and Interpretation, in charge of the new official’s training.
Education: Bachelor in French literature (major) and in Economic (minor), Beijing Foreign Studies University
PIERRE-ANTOINE POLLOT, INTERN
Pierre-Antoine is an Intern at the SDG Lab. He provides to the team interesting multisectoral expertise in the fields of administration and working with the private sector, particularly through experiences in West Africa (Mali, Burkina Faso).
In the past, Pierre-Antoine was an entrepreneur and also worked as a public officer for development within the French Ministry of economy in Burkina Faso. His professional background has given him very valuable exposure and experience with business activities and public policy for sustainable development.
Nationality: French, Malian
Education: Bachelor degree in law and a Master of International Law from the University of Toulouse | Master degree in International Relations Governance from Sciences Po Toulouse
CHICHI UMESI, ADVISOR
(FROM THE PERMANENT MISSION OF NIGERIA IN GENEVA)
Chichi is an Advisor to the SDG Lab and she is providing expertise on partnership building, stakeholder investment and implementation of the SDGs at the country level.
Chichi is a career diplomat with valuable public and private sector experience. Since joining the Nigerian Foreign Service in 2008, she has worked in a wide field spanning public policy and strategy, research, communications, political and economic affairs (including intellectual property matters), cooperation for development and global institutions. Prior to joining the diplomatic service, Chichi had private sector experience in services, business solutions and management at Accenture (Nigeria Office), served as a not-for-profit community development worker in her local community in Nigeria, and undertook freelance basic language translation services (French/English). She has an established track record of successful international and intergovernmental negotiation, policy formulation, strategy and partnership building. She is keenly interested in public policy and international development, including knowledge and access governance.
Education: BA honors in Foreign Languages & Literature, University of Port-Harcourt | LLM in International Law, University of Westminster
Kali Taylor, advisor
(from the International Institute for Sustainable Development)
Kali is an Advisor to the SDG Lab representing the NGO viewpoint and providing expertise on systems change and innovation. Her career has been diverse spanning the private sector, NGO leadership, and intergovernmental experience.
Kali began her career in the energy industry working primarily on climate and energy transition issues. She left the private sector to run a global youth-focused NGO (Student Energy) that she cofounded while in university. After 3 years as Executive Director, Kali transitioned into the UN system working with the Green Growth Knowledge Platform on the intersection of economics and environment. Kali joined IISD in 2016 to work on policy innovation for the SDGs.
Education: Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation, University of Waterloo | Bachelor of Commerce, University of Calgary
Eleonora Bonaccorsi - Junior Project Officer
(from the International Institute for Sustainable Development)
Eleonora is a young professional enthusiastic about public policy, the SDGs and international relations.
At the Lab, she focuses on the Geneva 2030 Ecosystem, helping to manage the network of actors from the UN, NGOs, private sector, academia and governments in Geneva committed to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. She is also supporting the Lab with research, event organization, database management, and project support. She provides new perspectives while enhancing her practical experience of international relations through the engagements of the Lab.
Past roles include research at the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at National Defense University and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.
Education: BA in International Relations (Political Science and Law), University of Geneva | MA in International Security, University of Bath
Mallory Xinyu Zhan – Advisor
Mallory is an advisor to the SDG Lab network representing academia. She is working on issues related to transformative partnerships and SDG implementation at the country level.
Mallory is a researcher at the Geneva-Tsinghua Initiative and PhD candidate at the University of Geneva. Her research focuses on citizen participation and good governance in the domain of international development. She has several years of experience working with UN organizations including UNDP and UNICEF, primarily on partnership building and resource mobilization. Mallory has also worked for the Environment Programme at the Oak Foundation where she managed a portfolio to support NGOs fighting climate change in the global south.
Education: BA in Economics & Women’s Studies, Agnes Scott College/ Master of Development Studies, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)
Photos by Luca Solari www.lucasolari.ch