The Panel of Judges* for the 2023 UN SDG Action Awards is comprised of distinguished individuals from around the world – from UN leadership, high-level government representatives, grassroots activists, civil society, creatives, and impact-driven business champions. Given their extensive experience and knowledge, our judges are uniquely positioned to identify and celebrate the most impactful initiatives and individuals that mobilize, inspire and connect people to drive positive change.
The UN SDG Action Campaign is honoured to work with such a distinguished group of leaders committed to flipping the script to build a peaceful, greener and sustainable world for all.
*The Panel of Judges will be announced on a rolling basis in the coming weeks

Sandra Uwera Murasa

Global CEO, Fairtrade International

Sandra Uwera Murasa is the Global CEO of Fairtrade International. Previously, she served as CEO of COMESA Business Council, the leading Business Member Organization in Africa and a private sector institution of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which represents 34 business sectors across 21 countries. As part of Ms. Uwera Murasa’s work with CBC and COMESA, she has led projects and programs on sustainable solutions for small and medium enterprises, advocacy, technical capacity-building, industry competitiveness and market access, digital financial inclusion, and programs focused on women and youth empowerment. Ms. Uwera Murasa is also an Eisenhower fellow and sits on various Boards in Africa and internationally. She holds a Master of Science in Strategic Planning, a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications, and has undertaken advanced professional training in international trade policy and law, digital inclusion, and leadership for business sustainability.

Pablo Ciano

CEO, DHL eCommerce Solutions, Deutsche Post DHL Group

Pablo Ciano is the CEO of DHL eCommerce Solutions at Deutsche Post DHL Group. He began his career at Deutsche Post DHL Group in 2005 as DHL Express’ Senior Director for Strategy and Business Implementation. Over the years, he took on various leadership roles within the DHL Express US organization, including Chief of Staff CEO US positions from 2008 to 2012. In 2012, he was promoted to the role of Chief Information Officer at DHL Express Americas and became a member of the Express Americas Management Board. Pablo’s responsibilities expanded in 2014 when he took on the role of Vice President of Customer Services for DHL Express Americas, followed by his appointment as CEO Central and South America in January 2016. In 2018 he took over the position as EVP Corporate Development & Corporate First Choice in Deutsche Post DHL Group and successfully led the development and roll out of the Group wide “Strategy 2025”. With his wealth of experience, he was appointed as a Member of the Board of Management at Deutsche Post AG in 2022. Pablo holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Darden Business School at the University of Virginia.

Lucia Silva

Group Chief Sustainability Officer, Assicurazioni Generali

Lucia Silva is the Group Chief Sustainability Officer for Assicurazioni Generali, where she leads the definition and implementation of the Group Sustainability strategy and policies.

Lucia is a senior sustainability professional with 20 years of experience. She strongly believes that by aligning people, planet, and profit, companies can ensure they are successful now and in the future, also creating shared value for their stakeholders. In her current role, she has the opportunity to work on some of the most pressing challenges of our time, such as climate change, ageing population, demographic changes, and digitalization. Her focus is on integrating sustainability into business practices, looking at insurance products, and investment strategies. Lucia also covers the role of Board Member for some Generali companies such as: Generali Italia, Generali Deutschland, Generali Real Estate and the Foundation The Human Safety Net. 

Prior to joining Generali, Lucia worked for 15 years at KPMG, where she successfully supported various companies from a wide range of sectors in defining and developing their sustainability strategy. Lucia holds a Master’s degree in ‘Governance, Business Ethics and Risk Management’ from Libero Istituto Universitario Carlo Cattaneo University and a degree in Philosophy from Statale di Milano University.

Jayathma Wickramanayake

United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth

Jayathma Wickramanayake was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth in 2017 at the age of 26. She is the youngest senior official in the UN and the first woman to hold this position. In this role, Jayathma works to expand the UN’s youth engagement and advocacy efforts across all four pillars of the organization’s work and serves as a representative of and advisor to the Secretary-General. In 2019 Jayathma was recognized by Time Magazine as one of “Time 100 Next: Rising stars shaping the future” and in 2020 was recognized by Forbes magazine as part of its “30 under 30” list. Originally from Sri Lanka, she has worked extensively on youth development and participation, including playing a key role in transforming the youth development sector. Prior to taking up her post, Jayathma was instrumental in creating the movement for civic and political engagement of young people, especially young women, in Sri Lanka through the “Hashtag Generation” movement. Previously, she advocated for global youth development on an international level including as the first ever Sri Lankan Youth Delegate to the UN and as the youth lead negotiator and member of International Youth Task Force of the World Conference on Youth.

Steven W. Stavrou

Co-Founder & Director, CyprusInno
Steven is a PeaceTech entrepreneur, deeply passionate about using social innovation to tackle complex issues in fragile contexts. He is the Co-Founder of CyprusInno, an award-winning social venture that connects and empowers entrepreneurs across the divided island of Cyprus via digital tools, live programs, and physical spaces as a path towards peace. He is also the Co-Founder of The Base by CyprusInno, a Social Impact Generator™ situated within Cyprus’ Buffer Zone and the first innovation space of its kind in the world located in a demilitarized zone. Steven is a European Obama Leader (2022) and a Yunus & Youth Social Entrepreneurship Fellow (2019).

Paola Andrade

Co-founder and Executive Director, Ecuador Says No More Foundation

Paola Andrade is an international activist and expert on sexual violence and prevention. She is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Ecuador Says No More Foundation, which received a 2022 UN SDG Action Award in the Mobilize category for driving a series of inspirational campaigns to empower sexual abuse survivors to become ‘SUPER survivors’ and realise their potential as agents of change. Paola received UNICEF’s “Champion for Children” medal in 2022. She is also a spokeswoman for UN Women’s #HearMeToo Campaign for Latin America.  As a video producer, writer, and campaign specialist, she has created innovative resources and audio-visual tools with 22 million downloads to prevent sexual violence across the world. She is currently developing “SHEroes of 5 Continents”, a series of worldwide events focused on inspiring and giving practical resources to Latina women refugees and migrants in Europe who are survivors of, or at risk of, sexual violence. She is passionate about rethinking how to flip the script through transformative and creative leadership with one purpose: a safe world.

Billie Dumaliang

Co-Founder and Trustee, Masungi Georeserve Foundation

Billie Dumaliang is a Trustee of the Masungi Georeserve Foundation, an award-winning environmental conservation organization protecting a threatened karst ecosystem in Rizal, Philippines, through research, education, protection, and innovation geo-tourism. Today, her team’s goal is to reforest some 2,700 hectares of degraded watershed areas, serving as the capital’s natural defence against climate change.  Billie is an honouree of the 2022 Forbes 30 under 30 in Asia List for Social Impact, the 2021 Vanity Fair Changing Your Mind Travel Awards, and was named “Warrior of the Year” by Esquire Magazine PH in 2021, together with her sister Ann Dumaliang. The Masungi Georeserve was the winner of the 2022 UN SDG Action Award in the Inspire category.

Srishti Bakshi

Founder, WOMB – Women of My Billion

After spending more than a decade in the corporate world, Srishti’s passion for gender equity led her to embark on a remarkable journey. She walked 3,800 kilometres over 230 days across India to put a spotlight on social norms that limit a girl’s potential. Srishti conducted over 100 workshops focussed on importance of digital literacy and financial independence for all women. Her journey has been captured in an 11-time awarded documentary, WOMB – ‘Women Of My Billion’. After her walk, Srishti, further committed herself to grassroots projects focussed on gender equity in education and resilient livelihoods.

In recognition of her outstanding contributions, Srishti has received several awards, including the 2022 UN SDG Action Award in the Changemaker category. Her work has been featured in two TED talks, TEDWomen, and TED Salon.


The Hon. Emma Theofelus is a young, 26-year-old Namibian born in Windhoek, who is currently a Member of Parliament and the Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology in the Republic of Namibia. Before her appointment, The Hon. Emma Theofelus was a youth activist for issues of gender, children’s rights, sustainable development and youth unemployment. She served as the Deputy Speaker of the Youth Parliament of the Republic of Namibia and the Junior Mayor of the City of Windhoek amongst other roles. The Hon. Emma Theofelus holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours Degree) from the University of Namibia, a Diploma in Business Management from Amity University and a Diploma in Afrikan Feminism and Gender Studies from the University of South Africa.


Inna Modja is a Malian-French visual artist and musician. She is a United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification’s Land Ambassador and a strong global figure for social, gender and climate justice. She has been advocating for the African-led movement Great Green Wall for the past five years. She co-founded the non-profit organization Code Green, which is disrupting traditional fundraising models to accelerate social and climate solutions and helping grow a Web3 community of artists and collectors who harness the power of technology for green justice.

Amina J. Mohammed

Deputy Secretary-General
Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG)

Ms. Amina J. Mohammed is the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Mohammed served as Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where she steered the country’s efforts on climate action and efforts to protect the natural environment.

Ms. Mohammed first joined the United Nations in 2012 as Special Adviser to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with the responsibility for post-2015 development planning. She led the process that resulted in global agreement around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ms. Mohammed began her career working on the design of schools and clinics in Nigeria. She served as an advocate focused on increasing access to education and other social services, before moving into the public sector, where she rose to the position of adviser to four successive Presidents on poverty, public sector reform, and sustainable development.

Ms. Mohammed has been conferred several honorary doctorates and has served as an adjunct professor, lecturing on international development. The recipient of various global awards, Ms. Mohammed has served on numerous international advisory boards and panels. She is the mother of six children and has two grandchildren.



Tolu Olubunmi is a Nigerian-born, American-raised chemical engineer turned political strategist, social entrepreneur and public speaker. She is the founder and CEO of the social impact venture, Lions Write. In 2018, Tolu was tapped by the Director-General of the UN Migration Agency (IOM) for a special appointment as Advisor to the UN Department of Global Communications and Manager of the Climate Action Campaign ActNow.  Tolu has established and led numerous NGOs and campaigns focused on education, migration, economic inclusion, sustainability, and climate change. She has worked closely with leaders in government, the private sector, and civil society to shift culture, influence public policy and build strategic and mutually beneficial partnerships – she served on the World Economic Forum’s Migration Council, co-founded Immigrant Heritage Month, and has helped draft and implement U.S. immigration policies.  

Tolu sits on the Board of Directors of the Anti-Defamation League, Board of Directors of USA for IOM. In 2015, the World Economic Forum named her one of 15 Women Changing the World and an Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur. Her inspiring personal story and work have been profiled by several media outlets, including BBC, MSNBC, TIME, CBS, US News and World Report. Tolu is an inaugural Leadership Institute Fellow at the Center for American Progress and holds a chemistry-engineering degree from Washington and Lee University. 

Ulrika Modéer

Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy (BERA) United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Ms. Ulrika Modéer officially began her role on 20 August 2018 as UNDP’s Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy. In this role she leads the organization in nurturing and growing key relationships with Member States, and new and emerging partners, as well as lead UNDP’s communications and advocacy, as it works to realize the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals. Ms. Modéer previously served as Sweden’s State Secretary for International Development Cooperation and Climate and has been instrumental in reshaping the country’s international development cooperation to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. She combines a strong policy background with parliamentary and civil society experience and has had several assignments in Latin America (Bolivia, Guatemala) and Africa (Mozambique/South Africa). Ms. Modéer holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.


Ms. Ponti is the Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign since July 2018.
Prior, Ms. Ponti served as Global Deputy Director and Regional Director for Europe for over a decade and was at the vanguard of innovative campaign initiatives, building multi-stakeholder coalitions, mobilizing resources and forging long-term partnerships between civil society organizations, local government, parliamentarians, media, the private sector and the UN.
Ms. Ponti served as an advocacy and resource mobilization specialist with UNICEF and the UN Secretariat. She also was Chief Operating Officer of Catapult -a girls and women’s right crowdfunding platform and as Special Advisor on post-2015 during the final negotiations of the Agenda 2030 for the global network Social Watch.
Ms. Ponti holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Milan and has completed an executive education programme from INSEAD in Global Management, Finance and Partnerships.

Katlego Kai Kolanyane-Kesupile


Katlego Kai Kolanyane-Kesupile is an international award-winning cultural architect, communications specialist, performance artist, development practitioner and human rights advocate. OkayAfrica named her one of the 100 Most Influential Women of African Descent in 2018. Her accolades include being nominated for the US State Department’s International Women of Courage Award, a TED Fellow, Queen’s Young Leader, Chevening Scholar, Mandela Washington Fellow, and OutRight’s UN Religion Fellow. She holds a Sociology Masters in Human Rights, Culture, and Social Justice, with a focus on Disability Rights and Public Space Design, from Goldsmiths University of London, UK. Her published writing spans theatre, academic texts and policy analyses. 



Mame Balla is a Senegalese singer, songwriter, and music producer based in Europe who sings about peace, environmental issues, the experiences of growing up in West Africa and more.

Mame Balla has worked with Bouba Ndour, producer and brother of the famous singer Youssou Ndour, with whom he released two internationally successful albums. Between his solo career and the former music groups Dancehall Masters and Darou Salam, Mame Balla has partnered with international artists of different music genres such as Senegalese pop singer Viviane, dancer Ndeye Geye, hip hop group Gokh-Bi System, and Dutch-Albanese rapper Jon Tarifa. He has also partnered with Polish and German artists for a jazz project, and performed with Congolese afrobeat singers in the Netherlands. Between 1999 and 2004, Mame Balla and his former group Dancehall Masters received awards as Best New Group and Best Group in The Gambia; and also received the prize Prix de l’intégration at a Senegalese hip-hop awards. Mame Balla took a course in music production at the State of Mic Studio in The Gambia. Performing with Pape Samory and Issa Ndiaye. 

His Excellency Mr. Khalifa Jassim Al-Kuwari

Director General

Qatar Fund for Development

Since 2014, Khalifa Jassim Al-Kuwari has led the establishment, strategy-setting, partnerships, and funding programs of the Qatar Fund for Development in developing countries. Previously, Mr. Al-Kuwari was the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director – Joint Venture and International Business of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). He has been appointed to the boards of leading organisations, including: Harrods, Volkswagen Group, Fairmont Raffles Group, Songbird Real Estate, Qatar Exchange, Katara Hospitality, and Mowasalat. He holds an Executive MBA in Business Administration from the London Business School, an MBA in Accounting from Cleveland State University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Qatar University. He graduated from the Leadership Development Program at Harvard Business School and Qatar Leadership Center.