Mette Mikkelsen

An international development and policy expert with rich experience working for the UN, government agencies and NGOs, Mette is adept at providing strategic advice to policymakers and managing and evaluating complex programmes

Mette brings strong people skills and an international perspective grounded in a deep understanding of how New Zealand government operates. She has 10 years’ experience in project management, policy development, stakeholder engagement and evaluation from the government sector, the United Nations and several international NGOs. 

Mette’s deep experience spans work in New Zealand, the Pacific, the US, Europe and the Middle East, with a focus on gender equality, humanitarian aid, health, and multilateral policy.

Mette joined MartinJenkins in 2017 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. At MFAT she had managed New Zealand’s development policy work on humanitarian and development issues at the UN, and led a piece of work to make the Ministry’s humanitarian work more innovative.

She has experience working with a wide range of governmental agencies, including MFAT, the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, UN agencies (the UN Development Programme, the UN Fund for Population Activities, and UNICEF), the US Agency for International Development, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the Pacific Community, and the European Commission.

Examples of recent work:

  • Developing a guiding policy for New Zealand’s engagement and investment in the multilateral development and humanitarian system, to reflect new government priorities. This work formed the basis of a Cabinet paper and a refreshed approach to New Zealand’s multilateral aid spending and portfolio.

  • Designing a multi-million-dollar investment in the UN in the Pacific. This involved working with stakeholders from across the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and UN agencies in the Pacific to develop a design that would meet the UN’s needs and deliver for New Zealand.

  • Delivering a complex, multi-country evaluation on the future of UNESCO’s education mandate. This included designing the evaluation, conducting interviews, developing surveys, overseeing field visits, developing interview guides, and drafting the report.

  • Project-managing a multi-year evaluation of an immigrant and refugee welcoming pilot project for the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Based on international models and operating at multiple sites across New Zealand, the project is intended to promote inclusion and diversity and make the receiving community more ‘welcoming’ of newcomers.

  • Supporting work to develop a business case for Queenstown Lakes District Council to present to Treasury, when the QLDC was seeking government funding for infrastructure investment to maintain Queenstown’s visitor experience and sustain tourism growth.

Mette has a Master’s degree in Economics and International Business and a Bachelor’s degree in Business, Language and Culture, both from Copenhagen Business School.