IYC appoints a new chief executive

1 Sep 2022

International Youth Council has appointed a new chief executive, as the World’s leading youth-led organization continues to provide a platform for young people and advocate inclusive and sustainable youth development in all UN member countries.

International Youth Council has appointed a new chief executive, as the World’s leading youth-led organization continues to provide a platform for young people and advocate inclusive and sustainable youth development in all UN member countries.

The International Youth Council (IYC) is a Non-Government Organisation founded at the Youth Assembly at the United Nations in 2007 having special consultative status at the UN ECOSOC. The IYC aims to bring young people together from all walks of life, regardless of religion, colour, or gender, to speak up for the benefit of mankind. IYC fosters an environment where young people's voices are heard, appreciated, and acted upon by being a global platform for Inclusive and Sustainable Youth Development.

Mr. Sadham Dhikran Zarjahan, Sri Lankan, who led multiple youth-led organizations around the world, will be leading the International Youth Council headquarters as a Chief Executive Director from the 2nd of September 2022.

He has joined the IYC in 2012 as a chairperson of the International Youth Council’s Sri Lanka Chapter. During his tenure, he has represented as Sri Lankan Youth Ambassador to youth forums including the Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations, which was held in New York, the USA in 2013. He has devised strategies to build long-term partnerships with other youth-led organizations, funding agencies and UN organizations to extend IYC’s operations in Sri Lanka and around the world.

During the establishment of the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) in 2013, he was elected as 1st Vice Chairperson for Partnerships and Resources of the CYC which is the recognized voice of the 1.2 billion young people of the Commonwealth, and it was established by the Commonwealth Heads of Government within the terms of Article X111 of the Commonwealth Charter.

While he was working at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisations (UNIDO) in Sri Lanka, he was in charge of obtaining the Geographical Indication (GI) for the first time in Sri Lanka with the Ceylon Cinnamon industry. He also designed and launched, Sri Lanka’s 1st ever, IT-based Traceability System for the Food industry pilot with Ceylon Cinnamon.

He originally trained as an industrial engineer and since his appointment with IYC Sri Lanka Chapter, he has shifted his focus towards youth work and the development sector. As a passionate and successful youth advocate, he carries recognition at national, regional, and international levels for showing great compassion and deliberation in extensive social service and initiating impactful movements for growth and development through effective planning and implementation.

With a postgraduate degree in international organization management (Int. MBA) from Birmingham City University in the UK, and a bachelor’s degree in mechatronics engineering from the University of Wolverhampton - UK, he is now engaged in an intensive study program to qualify as Chartered Director at the Institute of Directors (IoD), UK.

He is a strong advocate for SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals) and strongly believes without partnerships, any individuals or organisations, or any government cannot achieve the targets of the other 16 SDGs. He is greatly driven by the growing need for efficient leadership, effective partnerships, relationship-building, and positive change-making, and in continuous pursuit of opportunities to step in and create a positive impact with a set of key skills, in-depth knowledge, and broad experience.

He intends to connect youth-led organizations, INGOs, development partners, government institutions, private institutions, celebrities, and young people through the IYC's new strategic plan to ensure young people's voices are heard, appreciated and acted upon by advocating for inclusive and sustainable youth development to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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