Celebrating Ahmed Badr and International Leadership

Ahmed Badr ’20 (front right)

Ahmed Badr ’20 has been selected by the United Nations as one of 17 Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), class of 2018.

The UN Young Leaders Initiative is a flagship initiative led by the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth. The Young Leaders have been recognized for their leadership and contribution to a more sustainable world. They will come together as a community to support efforts to engage other young people in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals through strategic opportunities with the UN and through their existing initiatives, platforms and networks. Specifically, they will advocate publicly for the goals in ways that are relatable to young people; promote innovative ways of engaging audiences in the advocacy and realization of the goals; and contribute to a brain trust of young leaders supporting the UN and partners for key moments and initiatives related to the goals.

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including no poverty; zero hunger; quality education; gender quality; affordable and clean energy; climate action; and peace, justice and strong institutions, among others.

Ahmed was invited to attend the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, which took place Sept. 21–27 in New York. The Young Leaders class of 2018 was officially announced on the sidelines of the High-Level General Debate during the General Assembly.

Ahmed is part of the second class of Young Leaders chosen by the UN. This year, over 8,046 young people from 184 countries applied to the program. The selection was based on the candidates’ records of “demonstrated achievements and impact to sustainable development” as well as their “proven leadership and ability to inspire others.”

Ahmed is a junior at Wesleyan, studying anthropology and pursuing independent projects as an Allbritton Fellow and Patricelli Center Fellow. He was born in Iraq and in 2008 came to the United States as a refugee, after his family’s home in Baghdad was bombed by militia troops. While adjusting to life in the U.S., he started a personal blog to write about his journey—an experience he found “incredibly empowering.” Determined to empower others, he created Narratio to publish written work by young people around the globe. Badr leads creative storytelling workshops for youth around the country, including one with high school students in Wesleyan’s Upward Bound Math-Science program. Narratio has been recognized by the UN, We are Family Foundation, and featured on NPR and Instagram.

Please join me in congratulating Ahmed Badr!