Introducing the One Young World Politician of the Year Award 2022 Shortlist

Picture of Shortlist for Politician of the Year Award 2022


These 15 young politicians have all been shortlisted because of the considerable impact they have made to politics. 

The One Young World Politician of the Year Award recognises five of the world's most outstanding politicians between the ages of 18 - 35, who are using their positions to have a positive impact on young people in their communities and countries. Through their important work, these candidates highlight the benefit of including young people in politics. 

The shortlisted nominees are currently being reviewed by One Young World’s expert judging panel, who will decide the final five winners.

The winners will be announced in mid-March and will be presented with this award at the One Young World 2022 Summit. 

The Shortlist





Andrea Villagrán, Guatemala


Andrea is the youngest female deputy in the Congress of Guatemala. Assuming office in 2017 at 25 years old, Andrea is now in her second term, working on strengthening state institutions, improving budget allocation and execution, and defending the rights of women, youth, and migrants.

Picture of Andrea Villagran
Picture of Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir


Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Iceland


Aslaug is the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, and former Minister of Justice. When appointed, she was the youngest minister in the history of the Icelandic republic, and the youngest Minister of Justice ever to be appointed.


Chanston Paech, Australia


Member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly representing Gwoja, Chanston is the first openly gay Indigenous Member of Parliament in Australia. He is the Minister for Local Government, Minister for Central Australian Economic Reconstruction, Minister for Remote Housing and Town Camps, Minister for Indigenous Essential Services, and Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage.   

Picture of Chanston Paech
Picture of Emma Theofelus


Emma Theofelus, Namibia


Emma is a Member of Parliament and the Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology in the Republic of Namibia.  At the time of her appointment in 2020, Emma was amongst Africa’s youngest cabinet ministers.


Izkia Siches, Chile


Izkia will take office in March 2022 as the first woman in Chile to be appointed as Minister of Interior and Public Security. Izkia managed President-elect Gabriel Boric’s successful presidential campaign and will be heading one of the youngest cabinets in history.

Picture of Izkia Siches Pastén
Picture of Juan Deigo Vasquez


Juan Diego Vásquez, Panama


Juan is the youngest member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Panama. Elected in 2019 at the age of 22, he is the first independent MP for his home district, San Miguelito, and was the most voted and youngest candidate nationwide.


Naisi Chen, New Zealand


Naisi is New Zealand’s second youngest Member of Parliament and only Chinese MP. Naisi serves as the Deputy Chair of the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee as well as being a member of the Governance and Administration Select Committee.

Picture of Naisi Chen
Picture of Natasha Asghar


Natasha Asghar, United Kingdom


Natasha is the first woman of colour elected to the Senedd as the regional member for South East Wales. Since her election, Natasha has worked tirelessly to promote greater cohesion between the diverse communities she represents.


Nida Allam, USA


Nida is the Durham County Commissioner, an immigrant of Indian and Pakistani descent, and the first Muslim woman ever elected to public office in North Carolina.

Picture of Nida Allam
Picture of Ofelia Fernandez


Ofelia Fernández, Argentina


Ofelia is the youngest legislator in Latin America and has been a Legislator for the City of Buenos Aires since 2019. She is a spokesperson for Argentinian youth, especially in the struggle for women's and LGBTQI+ equality.


Seun Fakorede, Nigeria


Seun is the Commissioner for Youth & Sports in Oyo State in Nigeria. By becoming the youngest Commissioner to be appointed into a State Government cabinet in Nigeria, Seun has become an influential voice of reason for Youths in politics, not just in Nigeria but also in Africa as a continent.

Picture of Seun Fakorede
Picture of Shirly Pinto


Shirly Pinto, Israel


The first Deaf member of the Israeli Parliament, Shirly is an advocate for promoting equal rights for people with accessibility issues and the disadvantaged. Shirly is fluent in Israeli Sign Language, as well as Hebrew, and is one of the founders of The Israeli Center for Deaf Studies.


Dr Sumera Shams, Pakistan


Sumera made history when she was elected at the age of 26 to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and was the first female member of the Public Accounts Committee. Sumera advocates for women and youth empowerment, better public health services, and is passionate to uplift marginalized and less privileged communities.

Picture of Dr Sumera Shams
Picture of Taylor Small


Taylor Small, USA


Elected in November 2020, Taylor serves as Vermont's first out transgender legislator, and one of seven in the United States. She is a strong advocate for marginalised, especially LGBTQ+, people, and in her first year in office passed a bill into law banning the use of the 'LGBTQ+ Panic Defense' in Vermont. 


Terry Reintke, Germany


Terry is a member of the European Parliament for Germany, vice-president of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, and co-president of the LGBTI Intergroup. Terry is committed to women's rights issues, the protection of democracy, the preservation of the rule of law in Europe, and the rights of LGBTIQ* communities.

Picture of Terry Reintke