In 2004, Lehigh University became the sixth university in the world to gain official recognition as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI). The NGO status allows Lehigh to foster a unique experiential and educational link from the classroom to the United Nations’ headquarters and beyond. 

What is a UN NGO?

An NGO is a non-governmental, non-profit, voluntary citizen’s group organized on a local, national, or international level and officially recognized by the UN.  An NGO bears the responsibility of disseminating information to its constituency regarding UN beliefs, practices, and activities.  In turn, NGOs provide a wealth of expertise that shapes and informs UN decision-making. 

Direct Interaction with Global Decision Makers

  • Each year more than 1,800 Lehigh faculty, staff and students attend UN programs including UN conferences, private briefings by UN officials, and other educational seminars
  • Ambassadors from Iraq, South Korea, Pakistan, Sudan, Bangladesh, Israel, Palestine, Syria, and Afghanistan have spoken on campus
  • More than 30 Lehigh students have interned at the UN
  • Lehigh is a member of the UN’s Higher Education Sustainability Initiative
  • The College of Education’s course “Experiencing the UN” won the Committee on Teaching About the UN “Best Practices Award”
  • Lehigh started the world’s first UN NGO Youth Representative Program
  • Lehigh is one of the leading universities in the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) program
  • The UN Secretary General has met with Lehigh students three years in a row

Lehigh Students visit UN General Assembly