City of New York
Commissioner for International Affairs
Penny Abeywardena, Commissioner for International Affairs, New York City. Penny leads the City agency which serves the largest diplomatic corps in the world, including strategic partnerships and programming reaffirming NYC’s local leadership on global issues. Since her appointment in 2014, New York City has successfully implemented a series of initiatives and programs with the international community, which include youth empowerment and the leadership of cities and local governments on global issues like climate change and managing/rebuilding post the Covid-19 pandemic. During spring 2020, when NYC was the epicenter of the pandemic in the US, her team was responsible for working with the United Nations and foreign governments to secure necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators. Penny is a French-American Foundation Young Leader (2017) a WEF Young Global Leader (2016) and a Co-Chair on WEF’s Global Future Council on Cities for Tomorrow (2019-current).