United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka as his next Envoy on Youth. She will succeed Ahmad Alhendawi of Jordan.
Having represented and motivated global youth development on an international level since the age of 21, notably during high-level United Nations initiatives including the declaration of World Youth Skills Day, Ms. Wickramanayake has also played a key role in transforming the youth development sector at the national level, notably through the creation of a large movement for civic and political engagement of young people named “Hashtag Generation.”
Presently working as an officer of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service, Ms. Wickramanayake has previously served as Secretary to the Secretary General of the Parliament of Sri Lanka (2016-2017), Project Officer-Youth, One-Text Initiative in Sri Lanka (2015-2016), Member and Youth Lead Negotiator, International Youth Task Force of the World Conference on Youth 2014 (2013-2014) and Official Youth Delegate to the United Nations, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development (2012-2013). She was furthermore a Senator in the Sri Lankan Youth Parliament (2013-2015).
Born in 1990, Ms. Wickramanayake is reading for Master of Development Studies, at the University of Colombo and holds a Bachelor degree in Science, from the same university.
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”.