Ohana has been tapped to shape the next generation of the philanthropy’s global communications and engagement strategy

Washington, D.C.

January 16, 2024


Megan Rabbitt

The United Nations Foundation today announced that it has appointed Australian David Ohana as Chief Communications and Marketing Officer. Ohana will spearhead global communications and engagement strategy for the Foundation, and in support of the United Nations and its causes.

“We are thrilled to welcome David to our leadership team. His international experience and track record of delivering high-impact, pathbreaking campaigns and partnerships at the UN and beyond will be invaluable in shaping the next generation of our global communications and engagement work,” said Elizabeth Cousens, President and CEO of UN Foundation. “At this time of profound challenge and change in the world, visionary and transformative communications leadership is more essential than ever.”

Ohana comes to the UN Foundation with 24 years of in-depth and diverse marketing and communications experience, including at the UN. He served as Chief of Brand Building at UNICEF, Content Producer for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and Head of Film and Special Projects for the UN’s humanitarian arm, OCHA. His career spans countries and regions, marked by record-breaking content to drive awareness and action on major global issues of the day.

Ohana has led social impact collaborations and campaigns with notable influencers and celebrities including Beyoncé (their ‘I Was Here’ campaign reaching over a billion people on World Humanitarian Day in 2012), Charlize Theron, George Clooney, Shakira, and will.i.am. He is widely known for his leadership of the inaugural World Children’s Day in 2017, which launched across 161 countries and was headlined by Hugh Jackman, David Beckham and Millie Bobby Brown in support of vulnerable children. For the Minderoo Foundation in Australia he also wrote ‘Molly’s TED Talk’ which become the no. 1 TED Talk in the world in 2021.

“The UN Foundation has long been a game-changing philanthropy, playing an indispensable role in launching content and campaigns on the most pressing issues of our time,” said Ohana. “I am honored to be joining this award-winning communications team to channel the power of partnerships and inspire action when it is most needed in the world.”

David has received over two dozen international film and advertising awards, including Cannes Lions, One Show and consecutive MTV Music Video Award nominations. At age 24, he was named Young Australian of the Year for Community Service by Prime-Minister John Howard and awarded a Centenary Medal for his cause-based communications work in Timor Leste.

He will be based in the Foundation’s Washington, D.C. office.

About The UN Foundation
For 25 years, the UN Foundation has built novel innovations and partnerships to support the United Nations and help solve global problems at scale. As an independent charitable organization, the Foundation was created to work closely with the United Nations to address humanity’s greatest challenges and drive global progress. Learn more at www.unfoundation.org