New York, NY, September 17, 2020: SDSN Youth, the official youth initiative of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and one of the world’s largest global networks of young professionals with more than 750 member organizations from 85 countries, is set to begin a search for a new Director. Its current Director, Sam Loni, will transition to another leadership role within the SDSN, while also undertaking graduate studies at the University of Oxford in November. 

The Director of SDSN Youth will lead a team of 185 staff members from more than 35 countries across 22 regional/ national networks, and oversee global programs in the following areas: cities and urban communities, innovation and social entrepreneurship, universities and campuses, and education for sustainable development.

The directorship role will also include serving as a member of the SDSN Secretariat in New York City, reporting to the Vice President of SDSN for the Americas (Head of the New York Office), while also working closely with the President of the SDSN. 

“The past 5 years as Director of SDSN Youth has been the greatest honour of my life. I have had the privilege of working with incredibly talented people from all over the world, whom I am proud to call colleagues and friends. Together we have built a global, vast, diverse, and influential network, equipping young leaders with the skills and tools to solve urgent problems in their communities and shape a more sustainable world. Along this journey, I have been extremely fortunate in making life-long friendships and receiving mentorship from incredible leaders. Now, it’s time to pass the baton to the next generation of leaders, and support them in shaping a better future for all,” said Sam Loni.

Loni co-founded SDSN Youth back in 2015 with Dario Piselli. Since then, he has been enhancing the reach and impact of the initiative by leading the development of the four flagship programs of SDSN Youth (Local Pathways Fellowship, Solutions Program, SDG Students Program, and Global Schools Program), expanding the initiative to 22 regions/ nations across the globe, and building strategic partnerships with various organizations.

The SDSN Secretariat is excited to begin work with the new Director to further SDSN Youth’s mission to educate and empower young leaders to advance the agenda for sustainable development.
“During the past 5 years, SDSN Youth has grown into one of the world’s largest and most impactful networks of young people dedicated to sustainable development. It has forged a global alliance of students, young professionals, teachers, and young leaders in the quest to achieve the SDGs,” said Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs, President of SDSN.

“The next leader should build boldly on the superb legacy of outgoing SDSN Youth leader Sam Loni, and expand the reach, participation, and impact of SDSN Youth, especially as the world confronts and builds back better from the COVID-19 pandemic,” he continued.

Sophia Huynh, current Project Lead of Operations/ Networks Team, will be the interim Director from November 2020 to March 2021. Day-to-day operations will continue unaffected.

The Director of SDSN Youth is a full-time position based in New York and includes domestic and international travel. In ordinary circumstances, the candidate must work directly from the SDSN Secretariat in New York City. However, due to circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, this position may require a period of remote work. Candidates must have prior legal authorization to work in the United States. SDSN Youth is committed to diversity and inclusion, encouraging applications from a broad range of individuals. 

Application closes at 23:59 (ET), October 30, 2020.


For inquiries about the position, please contact

Hayley Lam, Deputy Project Lead, People and Culture, at 

For media inquiries, please contact

Amy Au, Project Lead, Communications, at

About SDSN

UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) was launched by United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in 2012 to mobilise global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical problem solving for sustainable development, including the design and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and global scales. 

About SDSN Youth

UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth (SDSN Youth) is one of the world’s biggest networks of young leaders dedicated to action for sustainable development. Founded in 2015, the network currently has approximately 750 member organizations in 85 countries, being coordinated by 22 regional centres, to support localization and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Working with partners from the UN, academia, civil society, business, and government, SDSN Youth trains and supports young leaders and organizations to tackle the most urgent problems in their communities and help shape a sustainable future. The core projects include programs on innovation and entrepreneurship, education, sustainable cities, and sustainable campuses, all designed to respond to community challenges through practical, structured, and science-based approaches.

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