Ronan Farrow is Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Global Youth Issues and director of the State Department’s Global Youth Issues office. With youth populations swelling and young people driving global events to an unprecedented extent, Special Adviser Farrow is responsible for implementing and amplifying youth policy and programming throughout the Department. The Office of Global Youth Issues, created by Secretary Clinton as a result of a Department-wide review of youth policy, oversees an historic effort to empower young people as economic and civic actors through U.S. programs, encourage governments to respond to youth through U.S. diplomacy, and directly engage young people around the world.
A lawyer and former human rights advocate and journalist, Special Adviser Farrow assumed his current role following two years as the State Department’s Special Adviser for Humanitarian and NGO Affairs in the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, overseeing the U.S. Government’s relationships with civil society and nongovernmental actors.
Prior to joining the State Department, he served as Spokesperson for Youth at UNICEF, working with youth groups on the AIDS epidemic in Nigeria, on post-war reconstruction efforts in Angola, and in the Darfur region of Sudan. His writings on humanitarian and human rights issues have appeared in publications including the Los Angeles Times, the International Herald Tribune and the Wall Street Journal, and he has appeared on MSNBC, ABC, and CNN, among others, advocating for children associated with armed conflicts. He has heavily emphasized youth engagement in his advocacy efforts, working at the forefront of the student movement on Darfur and touring the country speaking at universities as a Representative for the Genocide Intervention Network.
In 2008, he was awarded Refugees International’s McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award for “extraordinary service to refugees and displaced people.” In 2009, he was named by New York Magazine as their “New Activist” of the year and included on their list of individuals “on the verge of changing their worlds.” In 2010, Harper’s Bazaar named him their “up-and-coming politician of the year.”
He is a graduate of Yale Law School and a member of the New York bar. During his time at Yale Law School, he practiced at New York-based law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell. He has also served on the legal counsel team for the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, working on international human rights law issues.