Elizabeth Anne Reid

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Elizabeth Anne Reid

Born (1942-07-03) 3 July 1942 (age 77)
Alma materAustralian National University (B.A. Hons)
University of Oxford (B.Phil.)
OrganizationUnited Nations
Australian National University
AwardsOrder of Australia

Elizabeth Anne Reid (born 3 July 1942) AO, FASSA, is an Australian development practitioner, feminist and academic with a distinguished career in and significant contribution to national and international public service. She founded, established and worked with a number of pioneering and specialised United Nations institutions, government agencies and non-governmental organisations. Reid was appointed the world's first advisor on women's affairs to a head of government by the Australian Labor Government of Gough Whitlam in 1973.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Reid was born in Taree, New South Wales. In 19 she began a Statistics Cadet and became a Program Officer for the Australian Bureau of Statistics and from 1964 to 1966 she was a computer programmer and training officer.[3] She went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours at the Australian National University in 1965. Subsequently she was awarded a Commonwealth Travelling Scholarship and completed a Bachelor of Philosophy at Somerville College of the University of Oxford in 1970.[4] She returned to Australia and worked as a Senior Tutor in the Department of Philosophy at the Australian National University from 1970 to 1973. During 1976 Reid was a Fellow at the Institute of Politics and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[5]

Professional career[edit]

Reid was the Australian Representative to the United Nations Forum on the Role of Women in Population and Development, held in New York in February 1974. She has performed many roles in the areas of international development and women's rights for the United Nations and other bodies including Director and Policy Adviser of the United Nations Development Program from 1989 to 1998.[6] She was the Leader of the Australian Delegation to the World Conference of the International Women's Year in Mexico City in 1975.

She has 30 years of professional development experience in Asia, Africa, the Pacific, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Central America, Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Elizabeth has had a long career with the United Nations, including milestones such as Founding Director of the United Nations Development Programme HIV and Development Program in New York from 1992 to 1997), Director of the United Nations Development Programme Division for Women in Development from 1989 to 1991 and Founding Director of the United Nations Asian and Pacific Centre for Women and Development in Tehran, Iran from 1977 to 1979.[7]

She is a Visiting Fellow at the Gender Relations Centre and the School of International, Political and Strategic Studies of the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University.[8]

Elizabeth continues with her development practice and is also Senior Adviser to the Collaboration for Health in Papua New Guinea, a Public-Private Partnership for Health.

As part of her work with Collaboration for Health in Papua New Guinea and the ANU Gender Relations Centre in 2002 Elizabeth convened and chaired an International Roundtable on Increasing Access to HIV Care and Treatment in Resource Poor Settings.

The organisations Elizabeth consults with includes the UN System, where she is involved in capacity building for a unified United Nations System response to the HIV epidemic as well as national HIV policy development and implementation.


In 2001 Elizabeth Reid was made an Officer of the Order of Australia "for service to international relations, particularly through the United Nations Development Program, to the welfare of women, and to HIV/AIDS policy development, both in Australia and internationally".[9] She was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in 1996 and received a citation in the Centenary of Federation Honour Role of Women in 2014.


  1. ^ Melbourne, National Foundation for Australian Women and The University of. "Reid, Elizabeth Anne - Woman - The Australian Women's Register". www.womenaustralia.info. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  2. ^ Arrow, Michelle (2017-03-05). "Working inside the system: Elizabeth Reid, the Whitlam government, and the women's movement". Australian Women's History Network. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  3. ^ [1] Biographical Chronology, National Library of Australia Papers
  4. ^ http://www.nla.gov.au/ms/findaids/9262.html#bioghist1
  5. ^ http://www.nla.gov.au/ms/findaids/9262.html#bioghist3
  6. ^ http://www.nla.gov.au/ms/findaids/9262.html#bioghist3
  7. ^ [2] Australian National University profile
  8. ^ http://rspas.anu.edu.au/staff.php#R
  9. ^ http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/honour_roll/search.cfm?aus_award_id=882172&search_type=simple&showInd=true

External links[edit]