On January 6th 2017, then 14 year old Zuriel Oduwole was honored by the US Secretary of State – John Kerry at the State Department in Washington DC, for her numerous programs and initiatives across the globe, that has brought a fresh and insightful approach to pressing social development issues. Calling her The World’s Most Powerful Girl for her ability to meet and engage one-on-one with world leaders, so far 29 Presidents & Prime Ministers, she has focused in the last 6 years on four initiatives. These are Speaking Globally at conferences and events about pertinent change issues, Creating Documentary Films that communicate development issues, bringing a fresh and powerful youthful voice the issue of Climate Change, as a UN Climate Neutral Champion, and using herself as a powerful example advocating for Girls Educations.
On November 2nd 2018, Zuriel met with her 30th world leader and first Arab leader – President Abdelfattah El Sisi of Egypt, to discuss development issues that revolve around Tourism and Youth Involvement in Government for the Arab world.
Who is this very precocious young American girl, born in Los Angeles to British parents, who themselves are direct descendants from Mauritius and Nigeria.
Best described as a child humanitarian protégé, she has addressed global bodies including the UN, UNESCO and COP, spoken to more than 25,670 youths in 15 countries about the importance and power of education, and been featured on almost every global news platform, including the BBC, Bloomberg TV, CNBC, TRT World London, CCTV, CNN and the New York Times.
A UN Climate neutral Champion, Zuriel Oduwole speaks with leaders and institutions across the globe on the primary and secondary effects of Climate Change on education. The issue becomes a planning and content delivery point when meeting with leaders from coastal countries, such as the Prime Minister of Samoa, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, the Prime Minister of Fiji, and the President of the Marshall Islands.
Now, at age 16 and on a year gap before heading to University in the Fall of 2019, Zuriel has managed an impressive list of accomplishments under her belt. This includes being named in the prestigious list of “33 Women Who Changed The World” in 2015, a list that includes the likes of Marry Barra the President of General Motors, ABC Producer Shonda Rhimes, and former Federal Reserve Bank Chairwoman Janet Yellen. Last year, she addressed over 30,000 people at the Place de la Concorde in Paris on Global Issues, more specifically education and social development. A recipient of the Governor’s Gold Coin Award for her humanitarian services, she founded her Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up project in 2013 at the age of 10, to inspire young children on a global scale to dream big and reach higher. Her influence has spread to such an extent, that her foundation gives an annual awards to First Ladies and Gender ministers on the African continent, in recognition of their efforts with regards to promoting girls education.
Zuriel Oduwole, as a speaker has thus far in her relatively short life, addressed a wider range of audiences than most people who have years of speaking experience under their belt. Her unique voice and amazing insights on relevant current topical issues have made her a firm favorite on the international scene, – and she has been engaged by major telecoms companies, investment banking institutions, governments, and several universities including the Ivy League Columbia in New York, in a speaking or panellist delivery capacity.
Her speaking areas loosely or specifically have revolved around issues of Education Development, Skill Transfer, Documentary Film & Communications, Youth Insight into Generation ‘Z”, and social development issues with World Leaders.
Zuriel is always a fresh and unexpected clear voice at major conferences around the world. She has spoken in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, in places such as Paris, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Cairo, Bonn, London, Accra, Lagos, Atlanta, Marrakech, New York, Addis Ababa and Dakar in Senegal.
She was a surprise guest at the Women in Film Awards in Beverly Hills, at the age of 13.
“On behalf of Natixis, thanks so much for participating. Zuriel was a breath of fresh air for our event, which is exactly what we had hoped for. If it wasn’t clear from the reactions in the room, I can certainly say our guests were very impressed. I’m glad she enjoyed the event and felt at home, which is what we were striving for with all of our guests.”
“I watched Zuriel deliver the speech online and she was absolutely FANTASTIC. So charismatic and made such an impact. I will let Lucy get back to you properly once she's back in the office tomorrow, but a heartfelt thank you from the whole team here at Girl Effect for the immense effort you've put in for us.”
“Zuriel, you are doing more than any young person I have evet met. You are not just trying, you're indeed, changing the world with your projects. One day, you would sit here, and truly do more for the word.”