Somali American Academic Selected as US Youth Observer to the UN

A Somali American academic has been selected as United States Youth Observer to the United Nations, according to statement released by the US Department of State

The U.S. Department of State, in partnership with the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), announced the selection of the sixth annual U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations, the statement said.

Ms. Munira Khalif of Minnesota was chosen from a competitive pool of applicants that included top-ranked university students and young professionals from across the United States.

Ms. Khalif studies economics and government at Harvard University. She co-founded a youth-run non-profit organization called Lighting the Way, which works to make education more accessible and equitable for girls in East Africa.

She has actively advocated for women and girls’ issues at the United Nations through the UN Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign and is passionate about empowering youth voices through grassroots community initiatives.

The U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations program was launched in 2012 to increase youth engagement in global affairs. As the Youth Observer, Ms. Khalif will represent American youth at the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York and other UN events throughout the coming year, traveling within the United States and overseas to share her impressions and experiences.

Ms. Khalif follows Ms. Nicol Perez, who served as a voice for American youth at major global events in New York, Rome, Dubai, and Berlin as the U.S. Youth Observer for 2016-2017.