High-level Selection Committee


CEO Unilever, SDG Advocate

Paul Polman has been CEO of Unilever since January 2009. Under his leadership Unilever has an ambitious vision to fully decouple its growth from overall environmental footprint and increase its positive social impact through delivery of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.

Paul actively seeks cooperation with other companies to implement sustainable, long-term business strategies and drive systemic change.


Minister of State of Youth Affairs in the United Arab States

Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail bin Faris Al Mazrui, aged 22, was appointed as the UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs in the new Cabinet, announced in February 2016. Hence, she is the youngest minister in the world. Her tasks are focused on representing youth issues and aspirations at the ministerial Council, setting development plans and strategies for improving youth capabilities, in addition to further utilizing their energy in various fields.


Founder, One Young World.

Formerly Global President of Havas Worldwide, Kate founded One Young World with the mission to identify, promote and connect the world’s most impactful young leaders to create a better world, with more responsible and more effective leadership. Since 2010, the annual One Young World Summit has gathered more than 9,000 young leaders, and members of its Ambassador Community can be found in every country and sector. To date over 14,000,000 people have been impacted by the work of One Young World Ambassadors.


Minister of Development Cooperation of Denmark.

Ulla Pedersen Tørnæs is the current Minister for Development Cooperation. She was born in Esbjerg, daughter of fishing-vessel master and former Minister Laurits Tørnæs and director Katty Tørnæs. Minister Tørnæs has an ample trajectory in the public service, previously to be appointed Minister for Development Cooperation, she was Minister for Higher Education and Science and Minister for Education. She also served as the political spokesperson for Venstre and was a member of the management committee of the parliamentary group of the Danish Liberal Party and Member of the European Parliament for the Liberal Party.

She holds degree in Business Administration in English, and French from the Copenhagen Business School, and has university-level studies by the University of Copenhagen and Chambéry University.


Secretary General, International Youth Organization for Iberoamerica

With more than 12 years of experience, Max Trejo is a Mexican technological entrepreneur who is committed to young people, and a transformative player wherever he goes, uniting entrepreneurship and politics, creation and innovation.

In 2016 he was unanimously elected General Secretary of the International Youth Organisation for Ibero-America (OIJ), the only youth institution in the world, made up of 21 countries.


UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Refugees’ Education Advocate

Muzoon Almellehan is a Syrian activist and the youngest UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. As a refugee, Almellehan experienced how difficult it was to maintain an education in emergency situations and learned first-hand the effects of the civil war, particularly on young women.

Almellehan fled Syria with her family in 2013, always carrying her schoolbooks with her, certain that education was important for her future. Almellehan is now a strong advocate for education in emergencies, determined to help the students of the war-stricken country gain access to education despite the tough circumstances within the country.

Credit: Rich Hardcastle

Director, Screenwriter, Co-Founder Comic Relief, SDG Advocate

Richard Curtis is a screen writer and director, responsible for films including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Mr. Bean, Love Actually, The Boat That Rocked, About Time and most recently Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.

He is the Co-Founder and Vice-Chair of Comic Relief, which he started after visiting Ethiopia during the 1985 famine. In 1988, Comic Relief launched Red Nose Day fundraising initiative which has raised more than £1 billion for projects in the UK and around the world.


Senior Vice President of Global Responsibility and Sustainability for Nielsen, Executive Director Nielsen Foundation

Crystal Barnes is the Senior Vice President of Global Responsibility and Sustainability for Nielsen, the world’s leading marketing and media Information Company and Executive Director of the Nielsen Foundation. In her role, she is responsible for Nielsen’s social and environmental responsibility programs across the areas of philanthropy, volunteering and pro bono investments. She also leads Nielsen’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts inclusive of external reporting, stakeholder inquiries and client assessments.


President and Chief Executive Officer, United Nations Foundation

Kathy Calvin is President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation. She is a passionate advocate for multi-sector problem-solving, U.S. leadership on global issues, and the inclusion of women at all levels and in all sectors. The UN Foundation, created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gifts to support UN causes, advocates for the UN and connects people, ideas and resources to help the UN solve global problems. Kathy’s career has spanned the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Before joining the UN Foundation as Chief Operating Officer in 2003, she served as President of the AOL Time Warner Foundation.


Executive Secretary for Youth Empowerment, YMCA International

Romulo, 36 years old, works as Executive Secretary for Youth Empowerment at the World YMCA and has been serving the YMCA, previously in Brazil, since 1998.

At the World YMCA, Romulo is working on the areas of research; global programmes coordination, leadership development initiatives and external relations.

In July 2011 Romulo spoke on behalf of Youth Organisations to the UN General Assembly during the closing session of the International Year of Youth.


Executive Director, Youth Initiative for Advocacy

Samson heads one of Africa’s leading civic group on democratic governance and citizens’ participation, YIAGA AFRICA. YIAGA AFRICA is a non-profit organization promoting democratic governance, constitutionalism and youth participation in Africa through research, capacity development and policy advocacy. Samson is the pioneer of the Not Too Young To Run movement. The campaign seeks to reduce the constitutional age requirement for political office. The campaign is adopted by the United Nations, African Union and the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS). Samson is a champion for quality youth representation in National Parliaments across Africa.