Kavita Desai is an Advisor on Sustainable Development and Global Policy at the United Nations Foundation. Previously, she was Adviser to the Permanent Mission of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to the United Nations from 2010 to 2016. Her duties at the Mission covered a range of topics including climate change, human rights, and legal issues, with a particular focus sustainable development. She negotiated the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda, advocating for the inclusion of SDG 16 on peaceful societies. She also represented the Group of 77 and China during negotiations on 'Women in Development' between 2012 and 2016. She joined the UN Foundation’s Global Policy Team in 2018 and focuses on tracking and supporting UN negotiations around sustainable development. Desai is a native of New Jersey, and a graduate of Rutgers University College where she double majored in political science and art history. She received her Jurist Doctorate from Pace University Law School with certificates in both environmental and international law.