100 under 40: The world’s most influential young Arabs
Sun 27 Mar 2016 07:37 AM
Ahmad Alhendawi

Ahmad Alhendawi

Industry: Culture and society

Designation: UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth

Country: Jordan

Age: 31

Alhendawi became the youngest ever senior official at the
United Nations when he was appointed the first Envoy on Youth, working directly
under secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, in January 2013. His mandate includes
harmonising and enhancing the organisation’s response to youth issues, as well
as youth involvement, and to advocate the development of their needs and
rights. The Envoy on Youth also acts as the advisor to and the representative
of the Secretary-General on youth-related matters.

With a Master’s Degree in Advanced European and
International Relations and a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information
Systems, Alhendawi has spent the majority of his career advocating for youth.
He was previously youth policy advisor to the League of Arab States and has
worked on several major youth projects across the Middle East, as well as with
non-government organisation Save the Children.

He co-founded the Youth for Democracy Network in Jordan and
the International Youth Council, based in New York.

In February, he made a speech to a UN youth forum
challenging ten common misconceptions of youth, including that they are the
‘future’ rather than the ‘present’. He said it was imperative that youth have
greater participation in decision-making processes at all levels.