Dr. Kishva Ambigapathy

Dr. Kishva Ambigapathy

Chairperson, Commonwealth Youth Innovation Hub

Dr. Kishva Ambigapathy is the Chairman and Global Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Youth Innovation Centre. The Commonwealth Youth Innovation Centre was launched by Prince Charles of Wales, as a hub to develop human capital and societal innovation through sustainable impact. Coming from Malaysia, he was the first from the Asia-Pacific Region to be elected as the Chairperson of Commonwealth Youth Council at the Commonwealth Heads of Government. The Commonwealth Youth Council is the official youth organization mandated by the Commonwealth Heads of Government, to represent more than 1.4 billion young people in the Commonwealth. Kishva also sits on the advisory board to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for young leaders and youth development. In September 2018, Kishva was appointed as the Secretary-General of the Economic & Innovation Council of the Belt Road Initiative, a senior-level position to play a key role in the design and promotion of the “Digital Silk Road”. Kishva is also the advisor for Globalization & Youth Development for Limkokwing University Worldwide.

Kishva received his early education from Penang Free School and SMK Bukit Jambul before being awarded a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Engineering from Universiti Sains Malaysia in 2013. Kishva pursued MSc in Global Politics at the School of Government & International Affairs, Durham University under the UK Government’s most prestigious scholarship, the Chevening Award. In 2019, Kishva was awarded an honorary doctorate by Limkokwing University of Creative Technology for his contributions in youth development and global diplomacy. Kishva Ambigapathy worked with MMC Gamuda KVMRT Malaysia as a Mechanical & Electrical Engineer involved with the design of Malaysia’s 1 Mass Rapid Transit and did a brief stint as an Audit Associate with Ernst & Young (EY) Malaysia. Kishva then continued to be the Chief Executive Officer of Pan Veera (M) Pte. Ltd whilst serving the Campaigns & Elections Committee of the Liberal Democrats Party in the United Kingdom. Upon returning to Malaysia in 2017, Kishva was appointed the Special Advisor to the State Government of Perak for Special Initiatives and Youth Development.

He is the youngest recipient of the “USM Tokoh Alumni Award” bestowed by His Royal Highness, The King of Perlis, Malaysia. He was also awarded the British Council UK Alumni Awards for Professional Achievement & named Malaysia’s Youth Icon by Berita Harian in 2015. In 2016, Kishva was recognized as a Global Youth Leader by the United Nations at the United Nations General Assembly and was entrusted to chair the United Nations Economic & Social Council (UN ECOSOC) from 2016-2018.

He has championed youth-led initiatives throughout the Commonwealth and has also served as the Chair of International Council for Youth Organisations for two consecutive terms. Kishva’s areas of expertise lie in inclusive youth policies, organizational leadership, youth development, global sustainability, enterprise and investments. Kishva has significantly contributed as a ‘Commonwealth Champion’ through his role as Chairperson, stakeholder panel for the Youth Development Index, adjudicator for Commonwealth Youth Awards 2016/2017 and was also entrusted as the Royal Mace Bearer during Her Majesty’s Birthday Commemoration of Commonwealth Day Service. In various occasions, Kishva has advocated for youth empowerment and engagement in high-level international forums like European Union Development Day (EDD) Forum, the UN General Assembly & Commonwealth Ministerial Meetings. He was also given the ‘Entrepreneur Youth Icon’ Platinum Award by the Malaysian Entrepreneurship Foundation. Kishva has been an invited speaker on youth and innovation to more than 69 countries upon the invitation of the Government, industry leaders and civil society movements.

Kishva has been instrumental in convening significant global summits and conventions, bringing across country heads, political leaders, industry champions and civil societies to advocate for various issues on the Sustainable Development Goals and trade, security and cultural diplomacy. At the Commonwealth Youth Summit Malaysia, Prince Charles of Wales launched the Commonwealth Youth Innovation Centre and declared Tanjong Malim, Malaysia as the Commonwealth Youth City. Kishva established diplomatic relations between Commonwealth and China with the setup of the Commonwealth-China Innovation Centre’s in Kunming and Shanghai. As the advisor to the Government of Malta, he launched the Commonwealth Youth Blockchain Initiative and the Commonwealth Youth Token at Malta. Kishva also played a prominent role in strengthening ties between Malaysia, Japan and India at the Global Partnership Summit and established the partnership on innovation with India’s largest incubator, T-Hub in Hyderabad. Kishva is currently advising the Government of Pakistan, Government of China, Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Government of Russia on trade and innovation. In July 2019, Kishva led Malaysia’s delegation to North Korea for promoting bilateral, multilateral ties between North Korea, Malaysia and international organisations. Under Kishva’s leadership, the Commonwealth Youth Innovation Centre embarked on a “Malaysia Space 4.0 Hub'' initiative in partnership with the European Space Agency, Italian Space Agency and Thales Alenia Space launched at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2019 enabling Malaysia to have its first spaceport.