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Anne Simmons-Benton

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Exec Director
University Staff, OTHERUS Campus, Mailcode 7205

Anne Simmons-Benton

Executive Director

Arizona State University -  International Development


Anne Simmons-Benton leads ASU’s International Development Office in Washington, D.C.  She liaises with development partners and the USG to leverage ASU’s capabilities to contribute to global impact.

Anne is a strategic thinker and a leader and manager of transformation and change.  Anne’s career includes international experience in commercial law, trade, business development, competitiveness, investment, entrepreneurship, regional development and gender. She is a thought leader and early innovator – bringing innovation from Silicon Valley and Denmark to Jordan; linking commerce, law, innovation, and technology to catalyze economic growth; integrating and measuring women’s impact in economic programs to create the business case for inclusion; spurring transformative change by conducting simulations in international fora for the CAFTA negotiations and the World Trade Organization; pioneering business in the early post-Soviet days in Russia, and linking economics to peace for the Balkans through the Stability Pact.  

Anne Simmons-Benton recently served as the Project Director of the $46 million USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program focusing on bringing innovation to Jordan for clean energy, technology, and medical services.  Previously she served as the Global Practice Leader at DAI, where she led two practice areas in the Solutions Group – one focused on trade and regulatory reform and one on gender.   Prior to joining DAI in March 2011, Anne managed and led the Trade Portfolio for Booz Allen Hamilton’s Foreign Affairs Business. There, she conducted assessments of countries’ business environments and created a diagnostic tool to assess the business enabling environment for women.  Anne worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as Senior Trade Advisor and the U.S. Department of Commerce as Senior Counsel where she specialized in assisting Less Developed Countries (LDCs) join the World Trade Organization and benefit from trade.  She served at the World Trade Organization as the Donor representative to the Integrated Framework and was successful in bringing in the private sector for the first time to accelerate linkages between business and development.  

Anne has been a licensed attorney since 1984 and worked in law firms for the first part of her career.  She holds a J.D. from the Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C., a Change Management Advance Practitioner Certificate from Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.