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Anne Simmons-Benton

Anne Simmons-Benton

Affiliate Global Futures Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory


  • Affiliate Global Futures Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory


Anne Simmons-Benton is the Executive Director of Arizona State University’s International Development Team based in Washington, D.C.  She leads the strategy for ASU’s international engagement to leverage the university’s expertise to help solve complex global problems.

Anne is an international development attorney with experience in trade, commercial law, WTO, competitiveness in economic growth, rule of law and gender.  Anne brings experience working on international development from within the U.S. government (the US Agency for International Development (USAID), State Department, the Commerce Department) and on the ground in implementation.

Before joining ASU, she worked for DAI, a leading international development firm, for four years in various leadership roles in headquarters and as Project Director in Jordan.

Anne led a team to draft an Economic Empowerment Strategies for Women in Afghanistan in March 2012 and remains engaged in fostering women’s economic empowerment there.

Previous to DAI, she worked for Booz Allen as an associate and trade attorney in the Foreign Affairs Business leading USAID and State Department work on economic growth, business enabling environment, trade and gender.

While with USAID, she was the Donor Coordinator and a Delegate to the World Trade Organization, a Senior Trade advisor in Washington and she also served at USAID/Moscow.  With the Commerce Department, she served as Senior Counsel for Southeast Europe leading the USG contribution to the Stability Pact in trade.

Anne has been a licensed attorney since 1984 and worked in D.C.-area 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 Advanced 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.  She is married to Jonathan Benton, a Foreign Service Officer, and they have three adult children.


  • CMAP, School of Business, Georgetown McDonough School of Business, 2011
  • JD, Law, Antioch School of Law, 1984
  • BSFS, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, 1978