The United Nations Foundation announced the appointment of ALA alumnus Eddie Ndopu ‘08 to its Board of Directors on December 13, 2021.
The UN Foundation is an independent charitable organization created to work closely with the United Nations to address humanity’s greatest challenges, build initiatives across sectors to solve problems at scale, and drive global progress.
“We are proud to welcome Chad Holliday, Naoko Ishii, and Eddie Ndopu to our Board of Directors,” said UN Foundation Founder and Chairman Ted Turner. “They will be tremendous assets, and I’m excited to see how they can help the Foundation foster the ambitious and inclusive cooperation it will take to tackle our collective challenges and deliver on the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Eddie has overcome several personal challenges to become a global advocate for people living with disabilities. Diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at age two and given only five years to live, he has gone on to become a beacon of hope and possibility for people with disabilities around the world.
He believes that his activism is about creating a world in which all people regardless of who they are and where they come from are able to be and become the best versions of themselves.
He works to create an environment in which individuals with disabilities are able to start out on an even playing field. In his words, “humanity is done a disservice when we fail to acknowledge the immense brilliance and potential that people have”.
Appointed in 2019 and in 2021 as one of the UN Secretary-General’s SDG Advocates – a group of 17 inspiring, influential people raising global awareness of the SDGs through their global platforms – Eddie advises UN leaders on global policy. He has also advised organizations such as the World Economic Forum, UN Women, the Paralympic Games, and Amnesty International.
Eddie is the Founder and CEO of Beyond Zero, a new platform for creating global change and seeing the possibilities that come from reduced inequalities and sustainable development. He currently serves as the Founder and Chair of A BILLION REASONS, a groundbreaking incubator envisioned to tackle the SDGs through the lens of universal design and disability innovation.
“We are at a crossroads. We can either reimagine global cooperation to ensure ecological harmony and social justice, or we can continue down a path of devastation and deprivation on a monstrous scale. The choice is ours, and I’m profoundly honored to join the UN Foundation Board and support the essential work of the United Nations at this moment of profound consequence for our shared future,” said Eddie.