Who we are

The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a community with the vision, courage and influence to drive positive change.

During a transformational five-year experience, YGLs are inspired to be bold in undertaking a sense of shared responsibility, impact and ambition.

Learn more

Meet our members

Thembalihle Phillip Baloyi

Founder and Executive Director, Discovery Insure Ltd, South Africa

Themba is a Founder and Executive Director of Discovery Insure Ltd, a Motor Insurance Company launched in 2011. He joined Discovery in 2001 spearheading numerous initiatives culminating in his innovative and relentless drive to launch his 10-year vision of Discovery Insure.

Themba is member of the board in the following organisations: YPO-WPO Africa Regional Board, Henley Business School Academic and Advisory Board; South African Insurance Association (SAIA); South African Insurance Crime Bureau (SAICB); and Institute of Insurance South Africa (IISA). In 2003 he co-founded Black Insurance Professionals of Southern Africa (BIPSA). Themba was awarded the Green Number in 2012 (for obtaining Ten Comrades Marathon-89.9kms Medals).

He is the initiator and Pretoria Chapter Chair of the mentorship programme for the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) designed to guide high potential future leaders to achieve greatness.

Prior to joining Discovery, Themba worked for Rubico Consulting Services, Siemens Ltd and Durban Metro Waste Water Services where he was responsible for budgeting and accounting systems.

A cost and management accountant by training, Themba holds an Executive MBA from Henley Business School (UK). He also has other qualifications on leadership and management from various academic institutions such as Duke University Fuqua School of Business (US), Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS- South Africa); University of Cape Town- Graduate School of Business (UCT/ GSB).

Maggie MacDonnell

Teacher; Co-Founder, Kativik School Board, Canada

Maggie MacDonnell is the winner of the Global Teacher Prize, a $1,000,000 prize that is touted as the Nobel Peace Prize for education. Maggie's educational approach is rooted in community development and feminist practice. For the last 15 years she has worked with such diverse populations as Congolese and Burundian refugees, Tanzanian youth living with HIV, to Inuit teenagers in the Canadian Arctic. Most recently she taught in an isolated Inuit village called Salluit, nestled in the mountains of the Canadian Arctic and only accessible by plane. Here she worked with the community to establish several initiatives, including a running club that saw her student runners turn into philanthropists raising over $100,000, while running in marathons in places such as Hawaii and Barbados, and bringing a peer-led suicide prevention message across the Nunavik region. Maggie is very passionate about working with Indigenous groups and others who are demonstrating resilience in overcoming the legacies of colonization.

Maggie has studied at St. Francis Xavier University, the Coady International Development Institute, University of Toronto and McGill while she was a Jeanne Sauve Fellow. She has worked abroad with Right to Play, the Canadian International Development Agency, CARE International, and Youth Challenge International. She has been named one of the BBC Top 100 Women, as well as a Visionary with the Albert Einstein Institute. She is using her prize money to fund a QAJAQ/KAYAK program to raise awareness about climate change and reignite cultural pride within Inuit youth. She loves movement - supporting young people to chase their dreams - being outside in mother nature - and slowly moving from an intermediate to a fluent Swahili speaker.

Tigran Khudaverdian

Chief Executive Officer, Yandex Taxi, Russian Federation

Born in Yerevan, Armenia in 1981, Tigran Khudaverdian is a graduate of the Moscow State University Faculty of Physics. Before joining Yandex, he participated in developing internet projects and headed a web studio.

He joined Yandex in 2006, starting out as manager of Yandex.Passport, a service that brings together all user’s Yandex accounts in one profile. In 2008 he became head of mobile and software products. Yandex.Navigator and Yandex.Browser apps were launched under his leadership.

Tigran became head of Yandex.Taxi in 2014, and then its CEO after it became a separate company in 2015. Thanks to technologies like smart routing, machine learning, demand forecasting and smart order distribution, the Yandex.Taxi app quickly transformed taxis into an accessible, fast and safe form of transportation.

On February 7, 2018, Yandex and Uber announced that the merger of Yandex.Taxi and Uber ride-sharing businesses in Russia and neighboring countries had been finalized. The combined company is held approximately 59% by Yandex, 37% by Uber, and the remaining share by employees of the group on a fully diluted basis. Tigran Khudaverdyan became the CEO of the combined business.

With Tigran at its helm, the Yandex.Taxi group has also expanded into self-driving cars and food tech.

Tigran is married and the proud father of four sons.

Catherine Raw

Chief Financial Officer, Barrick Gold Corporation, Canada

Catherine Raw was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Barrick in April 2016, having joined the company in May 2015 as Executive Vice President, Business Performance. She was previously a Managing Director at BlackRock where she was Co-Manager of BlackRock’s flagship mining equity funds. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, a MA in Natural Sciences, with first class honors, from Downing College, University of Cambridge, and a Master of Science in Mineral Project Appraisal from Imperial College, London.

Zulfikar Ali Bader

Chief Executive Officer, Jehangir Bader Institute of Vision and Leadership (JBIVL), Pakistan

Mr. Bader is a Business, Social, Political and Knowledge Entrepreneur and currently working as a Litigation, Corporate and Human Rights Lawyer in his father’s law firm, the Bader and Bader Law Associates and also active in the national politics affiliated with Pakistan Peoples Party and had contested the General Election in 2008.

Mr. Bader has earned Bachelors in Economics & Political Science, Business Administration and degree in Law from the University of Punjab. He also earned the degree of MBA (IT) from the National College of Business Administration and Economics and MBA with major in Marketing, International Business & Management and Business Administration from Ashland University Ohio USA. Mr. Bader also earned the degree of LLM. Mr. Bader has specialized in Global Leadership and Public Policy of 21st century from Harvard University John F Kennedy School of Government.

Mr. Bader, CEO of Jehangir Bader Institute of Vision and Leadership (JBIVL) is working to launch and erect a Leadership Institute aimed to develop and mentor the new class of leadership community from different sectors of the society focused on to create an impact with a difference for sustainable development in the country in all sectors of the country.

Mr. Bader has actively served as the Vice Chairman of SAARC Young Entrepreneur Forum for the last many years since 2010 and is also the life member of the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Chamber of Commerce (SCCI). Mr. Bader alongside being an executive member at the Pakistan Industrial Alliance Foundation, He has served as the Chairman of Young Entrepreneur Development Committee at the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Convener Youth Development at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is also a founding member of the World Punjabi Organization (Pakistan Chapter), Mr. Bader represented Pakistan as a special observer for the American Presidential Elections in 2008 and represented Pakistan in CPC’s conference for the South Asian young future leaders conference in 2011.

Mr. Bader is currently the Chairman of Lahore High Court Bar Association standing committee on Foreign Relation, Diplomatic Affairs and Embassies Liaison. Mr. Bader is honored with title as the Young Global Leader (YGL) from the World Economic Forum in 2015.


Cynthia Wu

Executive Director, Shin Kong Life Foundation, Taiwan, China

Cynthia Wu is a business executive, nonprofit leader and philanthropist. She began her career in financial services as an investment analyst at Merrill Lynch in London. She moved back to Taipei to work for her family business, the Shin Kong (SK) Group, which was founded in 1945 and has several areas of business including financial services, real estate, energy, retail, health care and security. Rising in the ranks to become Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning at Shin Kong Life, Cynthia now oversees transformation planning, human resources and business development into ASEAN countries. As Executive Director of the SK Life Foundation she has won several national awards, including the National Civic Service Award for the best NGO in Taiwan and also started a local social enterprise which is now expanding their operations in Asia.

She studied for her BA at Wellesley College, her MBA at London Business School, and her MA at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She serves a board member on several companies in SK group and was also a U.K. trustee of the Institute for Philanthropy and the international board member of The Philanthropy Workshop. Cynthia has been named as one of China’s 100 outstanding female entrepreneurs, and is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

Chih-Han Yu

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Appier, Taiwan, China

Chih¬-Han Yu is CEO and co¬founder of Appier, a technology company for businesses to use artificial intelligence to grow and succeed in a cross screen world. Under his leadership, Appier has grown from a five-person startup to a rapidly growing company with employees throughout 11 countries in Asia. Appier has raised 30 million USD in total funding and is the first investment Sequoia Capital made in Southeastern Asia.

Prior to Appier, Yu has authored dozens of research articles in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and machine learning, and has been awarded two US patents. In 2010 Yu obtained his doctoral degree in computer science from Harvard University, where he collaborated with the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard Medical School to develop self-¬adapting robotics systems to help polio patients walk correctly. His doctoral thesis was nominated as the best thesis of the year in the field of multi¬ag ent AI. Prior to Harvard, Yu earned his master’s degree from Stanford University, where he participated in the school’s champion DARPA Grand Challenge development team.

Cristina Pozzi

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Impactscool Srl, Italy

Cristina Pozzi founded Impactscool to raise awareness and innovative education of technology and society in schools and universities, specifically the combined effects of artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnologies, genetics, 3D printing and space exploration on economics and the human experience. Her mission is to give everyone access to a productive and meaningful future in a global and fast-changing society.

Sara Menker

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Gro Intelligence, USA

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Gro Intelligence. Gro Intelligence is the go-to source for information on global food and agriculture. Gro’s leading edge software automatically harvests vast amounts of disparate agricultural data, transforms it into knowledge, and generates predictions for volatile markets. This allows Gro customers to make better and faster decisions by quickly understanding and predicting the factors that affect the availability and price of agricultural products. Gro is leading the modern agricultural revolution by marrying deep domain expertise with the latest advances in computing, machine learning and AI.. Former Vice- President, Commodities Group, Morgan Stanley. Trustee, Mandela Institute of Development Studies. Fellow, African Leadership Initiative, Aspen Institute. Trustee, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). WEF Young Global Leader