The Importance of Diversity in Global Leadership

In my experience as a medical doctor and an underrepresented minority (URM), the UNA-USA fellowship has allowed me to engage diverse stakeholders in conversations about the UN and the World Health Organization (WHO)’s relevance in reducing health inequalities around the world. My experience in the Emerging Leaders Fellowship has been an excellent opportunity to work with fellows from different backgrounds and develop communication and leadership skills.

The UNA-USA Emerging Leaders Fellowship is a professional opportunity for UNA-USA Students and Young Professionals. The Fellows lead creative UN Day events in their local chapters that celebrate the UN’s 75th anniversary, and also gain professional skills in design thinking, event-planning, leadership, and communications.

UNA-USA is a multicultural and highly diverse organization that encourages and embraces diversity, and the Emerging Leaders Fellowship embodies that. Fellows specifically have a variety of cultural, socioeconomic, and professional backgrounds which allows us to contribute unique ideas that UNA-USA can then present to world leaders and senior UN officials. If you interested in pursuing a career in global leadership, participating in the UNA-USA Emerging Leaders Fellowship is a great way to start. This fellowship will allow you to practice essential leadership skills, build your professional networking, and get advice from senior leaders in your local chapter. You will also learn more about the role that the United Nations plays in building a better future and the current threats and challenges the organization is facing.

I encourage all young professionals, particularly people from under-represented minority backgrounds, to engage in UNA-USA initiatives and help the organization build a diverse global vision for 2045. As young leaders, we are the future of the UN and the world. We cannot sit on the sidelines. Our voices are important.

Dr. Severiche Mena is a medical doctor with a clinical focus on primary care, and a research focus on public health. As an emerging leader fellow, she is committed to increasing public awareness of the UN’s importance to reducing health inequalities and ensuring health and well-being for all (Sustainable Development Goal 3). Dr. Mena is also a participant in the UNA-USA Emerging Leaders Fellowship. She writes about the importance of more UNA-USA members from diverse backgrounds getting involved with these programs.