Jillian Abballe


[email protected]


Jillian (she, her, hers) joined CDA as a Fellow in June 2020. She is an experienced global advocacy and policy professional who is passionate about fusing bottom-up and top-down approaches—connecting the global and the local—to create a just, equitable, and relationship-centered world. Her expertise in advocacy strategy, policy analysis, and coalition building in international fora, particularly within the United Nations (UN) system, is informed by her prior experience working with community-based organizations in the Bronx and organizing for racial and economic justice in New York City. Jillian currently serves as the Advocacy Manager and Head of New York Office for the Anglican Communion Office at the UN.

With over six years of experience working with INGOs, Jillian has a demonstrated history of working across a diverse array of cultural, geographic, and thematic areas and is a flexible and adaptive leader. Passionate about shifting power and creating inclusive and participatory processes, Jillian has worked with international delegations of community leaders to link their engagement with local and national issues to the global arena, seeking impact and self-determination for those whose voices are often left out of high-level policy discussions and decision-making.

Jillian has specific expertise in gender justice and women’s rights; peacebuilding, mediation, and reconciliation; and working with faith actors and religious leaders. She has also worked on country-specific advocacy initiatives with a particular focus on South Sudan, Burundi, Colombia, the Pacific region, and the Korean Peninsula. As a dynamic facilitator and public speaker, Jilian has moderated large-scale consultations and events and spoken on a number of panels, including an Arria Formula meeting of the UN Security Council. In October 2019, she was the recipient of the Spirit of the United Nations Award, bestowed by the NGO Committee for Spirituality Values and Global Concerns, which recognizes those individuals whose work is an expression of the core principles, spirit and vision on which the United Nations was founded.

Jillian is a ‘country girl’ at heart with strong roots in rural Pennsylvania where she was born and raised. Outside of work she loves a good science fiction novel, Cary Grant movies, playing board games, creative writing, and hiking. She dreams of starting a farm animal sanctuary someday. Jillian is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree at the Center for Global Affairs at New York University, concentrating in Peacebuilding with a specialization in Gender.