Ed Elmendorf has been actively involved in international organizations for more than 50 years. He earned a BA, magna cum laude, from Yale University, an MA from George Washington University and an master’s in public health from Johns Hopkins University. After teaching in Ghana, he joined the U.S. Foreign Service. His work as an American diplomat at the United Nations from 1963 to 1969 included service as assistant to Adlai Stevenson and Arthur Goldberg.
In 1970, Elmendorf began a 30-year career with the World Bank, where his work included policy planning, loan programming and negotiation, staff development and career management and country assistance strategy and management. During the 1980s he was actively engaged in economic reform programs (‘structural adjustment’) in Africa. Subsequently he worked on health strategy and policy in developing countries at the World Bank and as a consultant.
He was co-author of Better Health in Africa (World Bank, 1994). He has also taught at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He has served in many roles in the United Nations Association (UNA), including as president and CEO of UNA-USA. Since 2011, he has served as study director for the UNA-USA History Project based at Seton Hall University (James Wurst, UN Association of the USA – A Little Known History of Activism and Advocacy, 2016, Lynne Rienner Publisher). Elmendorf has served on the board of the World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C., as treasurer of the Washington Chapter of the Society for International Development, and as advisory neighborhood commissioner in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Textile Museum Council in Washington and a member and a project adviser with the Partnership for Transparency Fund, which supports local developing country NGOs promoting good governance and combating corruption.