The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced March 7, it has appointed Emmy-nominated Indian-American television personality, award-winning author and internationally acclaimed food expert Padma Lakshmi as its newest Goodwill Ambassador.
In this new role, Lakshmi is expected to mobilize support for the Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on fighting inequality, discrimination and empowering the disenfranchised. Lakshmi was named UNDP’s latest Goodwill Ambassador in a ceremony held March 7, at UNDP headquarters in New York, a press release from UNDP said. She was appointed by UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner.
“As we celebrate International Women’s Day tomorrow, let’s remember that women and girls face some of the worst discrimination and hardships in the world,” Lakshmi is quoted saying at the press conference . “My main mission as UNDP Goodwill Ambassador will be to shine a spotlight on the fact that inequality can affect people in rich and poor countries alike,” she added.
“Many nations have greatly reduced poverty, but inequality has proved more stubborn,” Lakshmi went on to say, adding, “Inequality is further compounded by gender, age, ethnicity and race. It especially affects women, minorities and others who face unimaginable discrimination in the societies in which they live.”
“We are very grateful to welcome Padma Lakshmi to our global UNDP family and for her to join our fight against inequality around the world,” said Steiner.
Best known for starring as a judge and host, as well as executive producer, of Bravo Television’s Emmy award-winning series Top Chef, Lakshmi is also a New York Times bestselling author, the co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America, a Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an ambassador for the American Civil Liberties Union advocating for immigrants’ rights.