Leadership plays a central role in any society or community. The World Assembly of Youth is a community of like-minded people with the aim of advancing the development of the youth. To champion this, the past and present leadership of way has been diverse and committed to their task. Since 1949, WAY has been managed by leaders from all the continents with each having its unique style of administration and strategy of addressing youth development issues.

1949 - 1952
President: Maurice Sauvé ( Canada )
Secretary General: Paul Mercereau ( France )

1952 - 1954
President: Guthrie Moir ( Britain )
Secretary General: Paul Mercereau ( France )

1954 - 1956
President: Guthrie Moir ( Britain )
Secretary General: Helen M. Dale de Mestral ( Britain )

1956 - 1958
President: Antoine Lawrence ( Guinee )
Secretary General: Helen M. Dale de Mestral ( Britain )

1958 - 1962
President: Ravindra Varma ( India )
Secretary General: David Wirmark ( Sweden )

1962 - 1964
President: Carlos Delgado ( Peru )
Secretary General: David Wirmark ( Sweden )

1964 - 1966
President: Romeo Naione ( Canada )
Secretary General: Carl Axel Valen ( Sweden )

1966 - 1969
President: Alessandro Berti ( Italy )
Secretary General: Jyoti Shankar Singh ( India )

1969 - 1972
President: Peter Shiedex ( Austria )
Secretary General: Jyoti Shankar Singh ( India )

1972 - 1975
President: Thomas Sandiford ( Guyana )
Secretary General: Carlos Antonio Carrasco ( Bolivia )

1975 - 1982
President: Ole Lovig Simonsen ( Denmark )
Secretary General: John Danquah ( Ghana )

1982 - 1988
President: Ole Lovig Simonsen ( Denmark )
Secretary General: Shiv Khare ( India )

1988 - 1993
President: Ole Lovig Simonsen ( Denmark )
Secretary General: Shiv Khare ( India )

1993 - 2000
President: Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam ( Malaysia )
Secretary General: Heikki Pakarinen ( Finland )

2000 - 2005
President: Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam ( Malaysia )
Secretary General: Donald Tinotenda Charumbira ( Zimbabwe )

2005 - 2007
President: Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam ( Malaysia )
Secretary General: Donald Tinotenda Charumbira ( Zimbabwe )

2007 - 2010
President: Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam ( Malaysia )
Acting Secretary General: Ediola Pashollari ( Albania )

2010 - 
Present
President: Datuk Seri Utama Ir. Idris Haron ( Malaysia )
Secretary General: Ediola Pashollari ( Albania )