If popular culture dictates who young people will look up to and respect, then Harry Potter is a good choice. He is brave and incredibly loyal to his friends. If we look at others taking over our media--the Kardashians, etc.--I think there are not many good role models in general out there.
Yes, Harry Potter is a good role model for today's youth. he gives children and teens hope and shows them that there is still magic in the world. He gives them imagination and creativity and encourages and inspires them to be these things. He is a great role model for people all ages today.
Ever since his creation, Harry Potter has been a source of contention, particularly among those who allege that he corrupts the youth by encouraging them to believe in magic. I believe the opposite: Harry Potter encourages creative thinking, critical problem solving skills, and most importantly of all, the value of friendship and how having strong interpersonal relationships can get you out of any difficult situation.
After 19 years of global fandom, Harry Potter is still a valid role model who does the right thing in the face of adversity and evil. This same set of characteristics he used to succeed across the first six books are the same characteristics the youth of multiple countries need for guidance of how to be better, act better, make the world better.