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In 2004, Lehigh University became the sixth university in the world to gain Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status with the United Nations.

This designation gives the university rare access to the world’s largest intergovernmental organization. Each year more than 1,500 Lehigh faculty, staff and students attend UN conferences, high-level briefings and private meetings with ambassadors and other UN officials in New York City and on campus.

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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.

United Nations International Labor Organization / Lehigh University Research Externship

During January 2021, more than 70 students from Lehigh University, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador and Global Villagers from around the world participated in the world's first LU/UN Partnership Research Externship in Collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO). During this intensive 4-week (virtual) session they conducted research on issues related to: Human Trafficking, Living Wage, Child Labor and AI / Automation. Their final presentations, below, were made to ILO senior officials and experts from around the world.

Below are the final reports from each of the 11 teams for review:

Externship Final Team Reports (pdf)
Team 1 (AI Automation)Team 5 (Child Labor)Team 9 (Living Wage)
Team 2 (AI Automation)Team 6 (Human Trafficking)Team 10 (Living Wage)
Team 3 (AI Automation)Team 7 (Human Trafficking)Team 11 (Living Wage)
Team 4 (Child Labor)Team 8 (Human Trafficking)   



By the Numbers

The UN Connection


students are UN NGO Youth Representatives

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students have interned at the United Nations

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Ambassadors from around the world have spoken at Lehigh

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Our Team

Representatives and Interns

Andrew Ward Photo

Andrew Ward

Professor, Management and the Charlot and Dennis E. Singleton '66 Chair
Alternate Representative to the United Nations

Secil Sozuer

Lehigh University United Nations Youth Representative - Health Focus

Sophia Holt

Lehigh University United Nations Partnership Intern

Sam Barney-Gibbs

Communications Intern

William Newbegin

Communications Intern