Who we are

The Young Global Leaders ® Community is an accelerator for a dynamic community of exceptional people with the vision, courage, and influence to drive positive change in the world.

Our growing membership of more than 1,400 members and alumni of 120 nationalities includes civic and business innovators, entrepreneurs, technology pioneers, educators, activists, artists, journalists, and more.

Aligned with the World Economic Forum’s mission, we seek to drive public-private co-operation in the global public interest. We are united by the belief that today’s pressing problems present an opportunity to build a better future across sectors and boundaries.

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Meet our members

Irina Lachowski

Member of the Board, RenovaBR, Brazil

Irina Bullara is former Chief Executive Officer of RenovaBR, an initiative founded by a group of Brazilian entrepreneurs looking to empower and qualify ordinary citizens that wanted to participate in Brazilian politics. Under her leadership, RenovaBR has transformed itself into one of the main political organizations in the country. Each election thousands of Brazilians subscribe to RenovaBR’s to learn about democracy, leadership, public finance, law and marketing. It has graduated more than 3,000 participants from all parties and ideologies, with RenovaBR students being among the most promising politicians in the country. Prior to starting RenovaBR, Bullara was the woman behind the largest private educational learning system (Anglo).

James Kwame Mensah

Senior Lecturer, University of Ghana, Ghana

James is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School, and a fellow at the Penn Institute for Urban Research, University of Pennsylvania, USA. He also served as the Resilient Advisor to the former Mayor of Accra from 2017 to 2020, where he led the city in the development of the Accra Resilient Strategy. One of the initiatives in the Strategy – engaging informal waste collectors in the waste management chain, won the C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Award in 2019. His research focuses on the development of local economies to improve the quality of life of residents in local and rural communities, and urban informality in its multiple dimensions ― economy, settlements, livelihood, waste, and trade. He has been involved in the development of government policies in Ghana – National Local Economic Development Policy, and National Decentralisation Policy and Strategy. Dr Mensah is a graduate of the National Institute for Development Administration, Thailand, and the University of Ghana.

Dominic Wadongo

Chief Risk Officer, Smartcash Payment Service Bank, Nigeria

Dominic Wadongo is the Group Head of Operational Risk at Equity Group Holdings, overseeing operational risk management across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is also in charge of driving the operational risk management in non-banking subsidiaries, which include Equity Investment Bank, Equity Insurance, Equity Group Foundation and Finserve. The scope encompasses driving the integrated operational risk management framework covering operational risk, IT and cyber risk, business continuity management, fraud risk, data privacy and protection, and security. Previously, Wadongo was Acting Chief Risk Officer and Head of Enterprise Risk at the National Bank of Kenya, where he ensured an effective risk management framework covering key risk areas in the company. Before joining National Bank of Kenya, Dominic started his career at Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya (SCBK) in 2007 where he worked for six years. He was the Senior Operational Risk Officer, in Global Shared Services Centre Africa. He graduated from the University of Nairobi with an MBA in 2015. He also has a BSc in Wildlife Management from Moi University. Wadongo is currently pursuing professional certifications in operational risk management (PRMIA) and Certified Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC). He is also a member of the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP).

Felipe Valencia-Dongo

Managing Partner, Grupo Estrategia, Peru

Felipe Valencia-Dongo is Managing Partner at Grupo Estrategia. In Grupo Estrategia they work with large-scale investment projects in emerging markets to achieve Social Acceptance (permission to enter or start a project) and Sustainable Relationship (long-term harmonious relationship with the communities and social organizations of the project's area of influence). He articulates efforts between the private sector, communities, and the public sector to achieve sustainable development for the three of them. They work with several projects of +1 billion USD investment, and Grupo Estrategia is a social-purposed firm that has articulated investments for social good for +USD 500 million.

He served as CEO & Fund Manager of an investment fund in higher education. He also served as Advisor to Peru’s Prime Minister and as Advisor to Peru’s Minister of Education while implementing the educational reform. He worked in poverty reduction with Muhammad Yunus at the Grameen Creative Lab and in the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion of Peru.

Felipe is a former Global Shaper. He has served as Vice-President of IPAE (distinguished private sector non-profit). He was appointed as the youngest President in 60 years of CADE Ejecutivos (the annual gathering for Peruvian business leaders, politicians, and civil society). He is Board Member of IPAE and Sistema B Perú (B Corps); Member of Es Hoy (Movement of private sector leaders working for Peru) and L+1 (leaders for sustainability).

Felipe graduated with honours in Economics from Universidad del Pacifico (Lima, Peru) and holds a Master’s degree in the University of Cambridge as a Chevening Scholar. He was selected as Young Global Leader in 2023.

Barbara Garza

Operations & Product Strategist, Mexico

Barbara is a dynamic and visionary leader who has spearheaded impactful projects that prioritize inclusivity and innovation. Her extensive experience in multicultural settings has enabled her to gain valuable insights into diverse realities and needs, equipping her to tackle challenges with creativity and ingenuity. 

Throughout her career, Barbara has been passionate about driving change, promoting equality, and fostering innovation in a range of industries, including healthcare, ridesharing, food delivery, and crypto. She has held key roles in global startups, where she has made significant contributions to operations, strategy, and product development. 

Barbara earned a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from ITESM and a Certificate in Global Management from Grenoble Ecole de Management. She has been recognized as one of the 500 Latin Americans in 2022 by Bloomberg Línea, a prestigious honor awarded to only 54 Mexicans who are making significant contributions to business development and the economic landscape. In addition, she has been named one of the 50 Women of Impact in Latin America by Bloomberg Línea and has been included in Expansión's 30 promesas in Mexico, a list that recognizes young professionals under 40 who are making a meaningful impact in the business world.

Conrod Kelly

Managing Director, MSD, USA

Conrod Kelly is an award-winning marketer and industry leader, as well as a published author and sought-after speaker. Conrod’s tenure at Merck includes commercial leadership of the Diabetes, Anesthesia, Surgery, and Alzheimer’s Franchises. He is currently serving as Merck’s first Executive Director of Health Equity, leveraging data, digital solutions, partnerships, and policy frameworks to improve health outcomes and driving sustainable business and societal value. Prior to joining Merck, Conrod held roles at Johnson & Johnson in diabetes and GlaxoSmithKline in vaccines. In 2020, Conrod was recognized by Medical Marketing & Media’s inaugural 40 Under 40 in Healthcare. His work on the film A Touch of Sugar was a finalist for 33 industry awards and winner of 15. He also received the United Nations SDG Media Award and Top Black in Healthcare Award from the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Conrod serves on the SDOH Taskforce and the Global Futures Council at the World Economic Forum. He received his MBA and BS from Florida A & M University and has continued his executive education at The Wharton School at UPenn and Duke University.

Kamissa Camara

Senior Adviser, Africa, United States Institute of Peace (USIP), USA

Ambassador Kamissa Camara serves as a Professor of Practice in International Diplomacy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan. In her role, she brings real-world experience to the theoretical underpinnings of international diplomacy studies. Parallel to this, she contributes her expertise as a Senior Africa Advisor at the United States Institute of Peace and as a Non-Resident Scholar at the Middle East Institute.

Ambassador Camara has held strategic roles within the Malian government. She notably served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as Chief of Staff to the President of Mali. These high-profile positions cemented her status as a leading authority on African politics and international relations.

Beyond academia and public service, Ambassador Camara is an influential voice in global media circles and contributes to CNN, Aljazeera and BBC, among others, on African and global politics. Ambassador Camara is finalizing her doctoral studies in political science at the University of Oxford, underscoring her commitment to blending academic rigor with practical diplomacy.

Shelley Stewart

Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company, USA

Shelley Stewart III is a Senior Partner within McKinseys Growth, Marketing and Sales Practice, where he works across the US, Europe and Asia with industrial and technology companies to help them scale their businesses in a global context. Shelley leads the firms research on inclusive economic growth in his role as leader for McKinseys Institute for Black Economic Mobility. In this capacity, he focuses on conducting research related to Black economic development and translates these insights into tools that corporations, philanthropists and governments can use to create meaningful impact for Black individuals and communities. Shelley is on the Board of Directors of the National Black MBA Association, a non-profit supporting 15,000 members with career placement and development. He is also on the Board of the Brooklyn Community Foundation, the first and only public foundation solely dedicated to Brooklyns charitable community. He is a member of the United Justice Coalition, a non-profit working across disciplines to raise awareness around social justice issues, emphasizing the need for criminal justice reform. Shelley has a BA in economics from Boston College, an MBA with a focus on finance from Columbia University, an MPA in political economy from Harvard and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of New Haven.

Natashya Gutierrez

President, Rappler.com, Philippines

Experienced multimedia journalist with a demonstrated history of working in the online media industry. Skilled in digital reporting, breaking news, editing, management, investigative journalism, and content strategy.

As a leader and editor, Natashya built two newsrooms in Asia-Pacific: the Indonesia bureau of multi-award winning newsroom Rappler, and the Asia-Pacific digital news operations for Vice News. Under her watch, the Vice APAC team won several awards for their reporting on human rights in the region.

As a journalist and correspondent, she is trained in text, video, and social media. Natashya is particularly knowledgeable on Southeast Asia, and has lived and worked in Manila, Jakarta, Singapore and Sydney in the last decade. Her work is largely focused on covering women's rights, politics, democracies and disinformation.