The Team

The SDG Students Program is a flagship initiative of SDSN Youth, the global youth initiative of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), launched in 2012 under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary-General, and directed by Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Sustainable Development Goals. The work of the SDG Students Program is managed by the Networks Team of SDSN Youth.



Project Leader, Networks

Hailing from Singapore, Yi Jun serves as Project Leader of the Networks Team at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network - Youth Initiative (SDSN Youth), where he oversees the Member Organization and SDG Students Programs. Outside of his work with SDSN Youth, Yi Jun co-founded and serves as President of Advisory, a nonprofit dedicated to helping Singaporean youth make informed career choices.

Yi Jun has advocated for the importance of youth engagement for the SDGs at multilateral fora like the UN SDG Action Campaign Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development, the UN-Habitat World Urban Forum, and the Vatican Youth Symposium. He has also represented Singapore on the international stage, as an EU-ASEAN Young Leader at the inaugural EU-ASEAN Young Leaders Forum and at Commonwealth engagements such as the Commonwealth Day Service and Commonwealth Youth Forum. Yi Jun is a Queen’s Young Leader, Schwarzman Scholar, Global Shaper, and Youth Environment Envoy with Singapore’s National Environment Agency.



Senior Advisor (Americas)

Sienna Nordquist is a third-year Robert W. Woodruff Scholar at Emory University in Atlanta, USA, where she is studying International Studies and Economics with a minor in Italian Language. Sienna was previously an SDG Coordinator for SDSN Youth, and now serves as a Project Officer for their Networks Team. At Emory, she is the Co-President of Red Light at Emory, a service-based student organization that works to provide local survivors of sex trafficking with mental health resources. In the past, she worked as a 2015 Global Community Champion and a 2017 Mentor for a division of United Nations Women. Sienna is originally from the Chicagoland area, and enjoys reading, writing, running, and sharing stories.



Project Officer (Hubs)

Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Arifa is currently pursuing a MSc in Comparative Public Policy and Welfare Studies at the University of Southern Denmark. For several years, Arifa worked with the youth-leadership organisation, AIESEC, and she now frequently attends case competitions and innovation labs on the SDGs, especially pertaining to areas in education and female empowerment.

Being a delegate within the Education track at UNLEASH Global Innovation Lab 2017, she has gained an interest and passion for alternative learning spaces. Currently, she is volunteering with an award-winning Danish NGO, Mind Your Own Business, which seeks to provide interpersonal development and entrepreneurial opportunities to socially excluded teenagers. Here she acts as a mentor and ‘venture pilot’ in realizing a micro-enterprise. Furthermore, she works part-time at a local school in assisting with special-needs inclusion.

Arifa holds a joint MA (honours) in Economics and International Relations from the University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom.



Project Officer (Networks)

Tea is serving as a Project Officer in the Networks Team of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network - Youth Initiative. She is currently part of the first cohort of students pursuing a dual master’s degree in public policy and global affairs at Sciences Po and the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. She graduated with a specialist degree in Peace, Conflict and Justice in June 2018 from the University of Toronto. As an undergraduate, Tea served as Co-President of the Peace, Conflict and Justice Society and Co-Chair of the 11th Annual Peace, Conflict and Justice Conference. Tea was also Co-President of the University of Toronto’s UNICEF Campus Chapter and Co-Editor in Chief for the European Studies Students’ Association.

Tea conducted field research in Tbilisi, Georgia where she studied gender equality in the electoral system and the prospect of EU membership. Tea was an International Presidential Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress in Washington D.C. and interned at the Donner Canadian Foundation.


Project Officer (Communications & Strategy)

Júlia serves as the Communications & Strategy Project Officer on the SDSN Youth Networks Team. Based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Júlia is in the final year of her International Affairs Bachelor’s Degree at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where she is focusing on gender, migration and Latin American studies. Aside from her role with SDSN Youth, she has also worked as a Communications Intern at UN-Habitat in Cabo Verde, and as a global trade compliance intern at a major multinational company. Júlia has volunteered as an English teacher with NGOs both in Rio, teaching low-income young adults, and in Cairo, Egypt, at a refugee service center. 

She currently volunteers as a translator for the Rio-based Rio on Watch, a program bringing visibility to the favela community and reporting on sustainable solutions being developed by them. In her free time, Júlia can be found managing her campus’ community vegetable garden and listening to international politics podcasts.



Project Officer (Content & Programming)

Theresa is a third-year International Relations student at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Before joining SDSN Youth, she worked on sustainable development in both the public sector and in startups. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she interned at a member’s office at the Hong Kong Legislative Council, and later served as President of Amnesty International Society at LSE.

Through her previous experiences, she has developed a deep interest in applying technology in the sustainable development of the urban environments that she knows and loves. At Eversend, a Techstars startup, she worked with the team to apply financial technology to reduce cost and physical inaccessibility of financial services in East Africa. She has also worked on urban waste reduction and recycling initiatives at the Hong Kong Government’s Environmental Protection Department. She will be taking these skills forward in a role at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange’s Innovation Lab.

As a Project Officer with the Networks Team, she hopes to empower other passionate youth by making it easier to create positive impact in their local environments.



Project Officer (Operations)

Based in Chennai, India, Ankur is serving as Project Officer (Operations) in the Networks Team of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth Initiative (SDSN Youth). He is a Research Manager at IFMR LEAD, a development research organisation in India. He graduated with a specialization in Development Finance in April 2015 from the Institute for Financial Management and Research, Chennai. As an undergraduate, Ankur studied Economics at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara. 

As a researcher, Ankur has conducted research projects across the sanitation, public finance, digital payments and entrepreneurship domains. His work in these areas has informed the efforts of multilaterals, governments and donors in improving access to services for the bottom of the pyramid population in India. Most recently, he was part of the Catalyst initiative at IFMR LEAD – a multi-stakeholder partnership to create inclusive digital payment ecosystems targeted towards micro-businesses.  

In his free time, Ankur loves to explore the country and its people on his motorcycle.



Project Officer (Hubs)

Vicky Aridi is a fourth-year law student at Strathmore University, and serves as Project Officer (Hubs) in the Networks Team of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth Initiative. She previously served as an SDG Coordinator with SDSN Youth, and is a Youth Advocate with UNICEF Kenya. Her work experience includes stints in Argentina at law firm Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal, and in Mauritius with Elles C Nous Association, an NGO providing tuition and mentorship to children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Vicky gives pro-bono legal advice in conjunction with Strathmore Law Clinic to people in need, and has served as Head of Strathmore Law Clinic’s Criminal Justice Unit and Project Coordinator for its Children’s Project. She is also an advocate for children’s rights and youth empowerment, founding a mentorship project in Kenya in conjunction with Bridge Academies to support primary school students and youth in Kenya. She has volunteered as a teacher and a mentor in various schools in Kenya in conjunction with various NGOs.

She is a Tide Turner Trainer, Kectil fellow, as well as a Mentor at Bridge Academies and Wakilisha Organisation.