Ravi Karkara
Senior Advisor to the Deputy Executive Director, UN Women

With over two decades of experience, Ravi is an expert in various development related fields. He has been driving innovation, building strategic partnerships, promoting advocacy and programming in the areas of human rights, gender equality, accountability and social justice.

As a Senior Advisor to the Deputy Executive Director, Ravi has been working on high valued strategic partnerships and resource mobilization. For example, he created the first MOU between the City of New York and UN Women and developed strategic partnerships with corporations such as MasterCard and Citibank. He is also instrumental in supporting UN Women’s work on strategy development including the recently adopted Global Strategy on Youth and Gender Equality. Ravi also innovated advocacy initiatives such as Ring the Bell on Gender Equality in over 34 stock exchanges across the world, in partnership with UN Global Compact and others. He has also organized a unique gender equality march with thousands marching from the UN HQ to Times Square. He represents UN women as the co-chair of the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth and Development and founded its Working Group on Youth and Gender Equality that hosted the first Youth CSW in 2016. He also supports Goodwill Ambassadors and Planet5050 Champions in support of UN Women.

He developed and led the youth outreach of the UN Secretary General’s MyWorld Survey to deliver votes from more than 6 million youth from 193 nations.  Ravi has been the recipient of the prestigious NOVUS Award – that unites global leaders from around the world to tackle today’s big challenges via actionable change. He has been awarded the Global Officials Award for his work on youth and gender equality and the Inter-Faith Award on promoting peace and harmony. He was also appointed as Junior Chamber International Ambassador. 

Inspired by the outcomes of the Beijing Conference in 1995, Ravi is a feminist and has been advocating for gender equality and girls’/women’s empowerment throughout his career. He has worked on programs to strengthen women’s political participation in local governance and economic empowerment in South Asia and also served as the first Male Trainer for gender sensitization at the Centre for Social Research’s Gender Equality Training Institute, India. He has been a founding member of the Men-Engage Alliance and was instrumental in forming their South Asian network. As Save the Children’s Sweden Regional Program Manager, Ravi worked to gender mainstreaming and action to end violence against women and children in South Asia, promoting cross-regional programmatic collaboration. He also served on Save the Children’s Global Gender Task Force.

Additionally, Ravi has worked with other UN agencies and governments. He served as Global Advisor on Youth with UN-HABITAT. He also served as the Global Strategic Advisor on Partnership with the UN Millennium Campaign. He served as the Global Advisor to the World Conference on Youth in Sri Lanka and contributed to the establishment of the first UN Youth Skills Day.  He has worked for UNICEF at HQ and the Regional office for South Asia on child and adolescent participation, gender equality and child protection. He has also served as Child and Adolescent Participation Advisor to the UN Study on ending Violence against Children in Geneva. 

Ravi has written more than 75 publications which have been fundamental in forming policy at the United Nations. Representative publications include: “Youth 21: Building the Architecture of Youth Engagement in the UN System”, which contributed to the creation of the United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth. In addition, he has been the co-chair of World We Want 2030— the largest UN & civil society post-2015 data-curation-visualization big data platform to further engage global populations on Sustainable Development Goals with over 1,000,000 perspectives on sustainable development goals harvested.