At a ceremony held at the United Nations headquarters, YouthActionNet® Fellow Ahmad Alhendawi, 29, of Jordan was sworn in as the UN Envoy on Youth. This newly-created position reflects the priority accorded to youth in the UN Secretary-General’s Five Year Action Agenda and a commitment to addressing the needs of the “largest generation of youth the world has ever known.”

In 2008, Mr. Alhendawi was selected by the International Youth Foundation (IYF) as one of its YouthActionNe Fellows for his work in promoting the active engagement of Jordanian youth in the development of their country. A lawyer by profession, he has held various positions in international, regional, and national organizations dealing with youth.

“Our warmest congratulations extend to Ahmad, whose extensive experience as a youth advocate and commitment to youth issues have prepared him well for this new role,” said IYF President and CEO Bill Reese. “Through the creation of this position the UN is sending a timely and very welcome message about the vital importance of incorporating youth views and perspectives in decision-making at the heart of development efforts. ”

“The UN wants indeed to work with and for young people,” commented Mr. Alhendawi following the swearing in ceremony. “My mission now is to facilitate that.”

Among his previous roles, Mr. Alhendawi has served as Team Leader at a World Bank-funded program to the League of Arab States on Institutional Development to Strengthen Arab Policy and Participation. He served as the Youth Policy Advisor in the League of Arab States in Cairo and as an officer in the Technical Secretariat of the Arab Youth and Sports Ministers Council. His past experience also includes serving as a Team Leader for the National Youth Policy Project in Iraq, as Youth Program Associate at the Iraq office of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and as an Emergency Program Officer at the non-governmental organization Save the Children. He is a co-founder of the All Jordan Youth Commission, and also co-founded and headed the Youth for Democracy Network at the Jordanian Commission for Democratic Culture.

Mr. Alhendawi is one of nearly 700 YouthActionNet® Fellows, young leaders who have launched their own social ventures in 70+ countries around the globe.