Like all of us at Girl Up, Zeenat Rahman strongly believes in the power of youth. Recognizing that half of the world is under the age of 25, Zeenat knows that global problems cannot be solved without youth participation.
Zeenat has one of the coolest jobs…ever. As the Special Adviser on Global Youth Issues and Director of the Office of Global Youth Issues at the State Department, she connects with young people around the world to embolden change, works tirelessly to empower young people, and encourages governments to respond to youth issues.
“I see my job not as one that guides young people, but rather gives young people platforms and opportunities to lead and then for us to get out of the way,” said Zeenat during a panel last week on engaging youth.
“We realize that young people are the agents and the key drivers of change on global events that are happening,” Zeenat said. “We want to have a relationship and be in communication with those change-makers. We want to help connect you to networks, build opportunities where they’re appropriate, make those linkages between you and your peers around the world. And we want to make sure you have an important voice in policy processes,” Zeenat continued.
Zeenat travels around the world to meet with youth groups and expose them to opportunities they might not have otherwise had access to. This week she traveled to Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi, India to meet with and listen to young Indian innovators from across the country!
Zeenat is a strong, powerful woman who listens to the voice of our generation and makes young people a priority in global diplomacy. If you want to learn more about this fab female and her work empowering youth around the world, visit www.state.gov/j/gyi.