Following a month-long call for nominations for the 2nd Class of Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals, more than 8,046 submissions from 184 countries were received by the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.

The Young Leaders is a flagship initiative of the Envoy, intended to recognize and engage exceptional young people who are leaders in efforts to end poverty, combat climate change and reduce inequalities – to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

A Selection Committee comprised of leaders from government, the United Nations, civil society and the private sector have shortlisted candidates and selected the final 17 Young Leaders.

The “Class of 2018” was announced during the 73rd UN General Assembly.

The members of the Selection Committee were:

  • Paul Polman – CEO Unilever, SDG Advocate
  • Shamma Al-Mazrui – Minister of State of Youth Affairs in the United Arab States
  • Kate Robertson – Founder, One Young World
  • Ulla Tornaes – Minister of Development Cooperation Denmark
  • Max Trejo – Secretary General, International Youth Organization for Iberoamerica
  • Muzoon Almellehan – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Refugees’ Education Advocate
  • Richard Curtis – Co-Founder Comic Relief, SDG Advocate
  • Crystal Barnes – Senior Vice President of Global Responsibility and Sustainability, Executive Director Nielsen Foundation
  • Kathy Calvin – President and Chief Executive Officer, United Nations Foundation
  • Romulo Dantas – Executive Secretary for Youth Empowerment, YMCA International
  • Samson Itodo – Executive Director, Youth Initiative for Advocacy

Successful candidates have been selected based on robust criteria, including:

  • Their demonstrated achievements in promoting and advancing sustainable development and youth participation;
  • Their personal influence within their respective fields and reputation for inclusive and innovative leadership;
  • The ability to command an audience, influence their contemporaries and inspire their constituents;
  • Their demonstrated integrity, commitment to the SDGs and core values of the UN.