Jayathma Wickramanayake
United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth

Jayathma Wickramanayake was appointed as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth in June 2017 at the age of 26. In this role, she works to expand youth engagement and advocacy efforts across all four pillars of work in the United Nations – sustainable development, human rights, peace and security and humanitarian action – and serves as a representative of and adviser to the Secretary-General.

Originally from Sri Lanka, Ms. Wickramanayake has worked extensively on youth development and participation, and has played a key role in transforming the youth development sector in her home country.

Prior to taking up her post, Ms. Wickramanayake was instrumental in creating the movement for civic and political engagement of young people, especially young women in Sri Lanka, named “Hashtag Generation”. Previously, she advocated for global youth development on an international level including as the first-ever Sri Lankan Youth Delegate to the United Nations and as the youth lead negotiator and member of the International Youth Task Force of the World Conference on Youth 2014 where she played a critical role in mainstreaming youth in the Post-2015 Process and in the establishment of World Youth Skills Day.