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ILR grad Dustin Liu ’19 named UN youth observer

Dustin Liu ’19, a graduate of the ILR School and former student trustee, has been named the ninth annual U.S. youth observer to the United Nations.

Liu will connect young people to the work of the U.N. and represent young Americans at the 75th U.N. General Assembly, being held virtually in September, and at other U.N. events in 2020-21.

Dustin Liu

“I hope to build and engage youths in opportunities that support their identity as global changemakers,” Liu said. “I look forward to using my platform to lift up narratives and recognize the great work led by youths across the United States.”

Liu was active in numerous campus activities at Cornell, including serving as an Engaged Ambassador in the Office of Engagement Initiatives, and as a leader of Cayuga’s Watchers, a student group that promotes safe, responsible drinking.

Liu, now pursuing a master of education degree at Harvard, was selected for the U.N. post from a pool of more than 200 applicants from across the U.S.

“The coursework at ILR aligns exceptionally well with my role as youth observer … [and] helped develop my understanding of global citizenship,” he said. “I think about the concepts I learned from my foundational ILR classes almost every day.”

The youth observer program began in 2012 to increase youth engagement in global affairs.

“We need young leaders like Dustin who have shown their commitment to acting locally to foster social change,” said Rachel Bowen Pittman, executive director of the United Nations Association of the USA.

– Julie Greco

Media Contact

Rebecca Valli