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.

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Meet our members

Leland Maschmeyer

Chief Creative and Strategy Officer, Chobani, USA

Leland Maschmeyer is an internationally recognized systems designer and entrepreneur focused on social impact at scale. He has worked on climate change initiatives that have influenced US. Federal policy and driven participation in solving the clean water crisis. He is Chief Creative Officer of Chobani, a multi-billion dollar food-focused wellness company that uses food as a force of good in solving some of society's most pressing issues.

Malak Jehad Al Akiely

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Golden Wheat for Grain Trading Ltd, Jordan

Malak Al Akiley is Founder and Managing Director of Golden Wheat for Grain Trading, Ltd., represent international Grain Trading companies in Jordan. She is the sole young female owner of such company in the MENA region with over ten years of experience in agricultural commodities trading with focus on food security.she has become the official liaison for worldwide grain international companies

Malak is co-Partner in Golden Kayan for Marketing Consulting Co. for Oil, Energy & Renewable Energy.

Adviser and MENA development Manager for Swiss Co. Cerealia Co. Blockchain platform for Agri-commodities Trading and Financing.

Have been selected as one of the top ten young persons of the world by Junior Chamber International (JCI) in August 2019

Founding Member in FutureTalks, Norway and went to the Arctic Expedition with 100 brilliant people from all sectors and all continents, exploring the Arctic and engaging in the most important discussions of our time which made her the first Jordanian women to cross 80 degrees' north pole.

Founding Member of Jordan Economic Forum, a forum consist of prominent economic figures & parliament members to foster economic growth and moving towards the objectives of sustainable development.

Partner and Business Development consultant on Oil and Aviation investment projects in East Africa.

Have been selected by U.S. Deparment of States, United States of America to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program, “Entrepreneurship as the Engine of Prosperity and Stability: Women Fostering Economic Security.

She was also the youngest member of both the Public Financial Policies Committee, Economic Committee for Jordan’s Vision 2021 in his Excellency Dr.Talal Abu Ghazaleh Knowledge Forum.

Malak is the Manager and Director of "Women BeeBuzzers" project in Jordan, Women BeeBuzzers, is a project that aims to introduce beekeeping as a secondary and main source of income for women in rural areas in Jordan.

Michael Lefenfeld

President and Chief Executive Officer, Cyanco International LLC, USA

Michael Lefenfeld, a serial entrepreneur, currently leading Cyanco, the world's largest producer of lixiviants for the gold and silver mining industry. Prioir to this role, he co-founded SiGNa Chemistry, a global manufacturer of highly-active, environmentally-friendly chemicals used to improve production processes in the energy recovery, petrochemical refining and chemical manufacturing industries. SiGNa has been recognized with the EPA's Presidential Green Chemistry Award and the WEF's Technology Pioneer Award. Michael built his career around the belief that many of the solutions our world seeks in better healthcare, cleaner manufacturing, sustainable energy can be achieved with better science. Prior to SiGNa, Michael embraced his ability for developing and commercializing new technology and launched and sold three other companies by the time he was 30. 2002, B.Sc., ChE, Washington University, St Louis; 2007 M.Sc. and M.Phil., Chemistry, Columbia University, New York; 2002-03, Technical Staff, Lucent-Bell Labs, New Jersey, US; Founder, Blood Gas Diagnostics (1999); Founder, SiGNa Chemistry, Inc. (2007). Holds more than 100 patents. Recipient of awards: Young Global Leader, WEF (2016); Chemical Power Player to Watch, ICIS (2009); Top Lab Talent, Red Herring (2005); Top Entrepreneur: Business Week (2005); Inc. Magazine (2006); Red Herring (2006); Presidential Green Chemistry Award (2008); Technology Pioneer, WEF (2008). Adjunct Faculty, Michigan State University. Charity: Venture for America; ADDF; JDRF. Interests: travel, reading, music, charity work.

Cyrus Habib

Lieutenant Governor of Washington, Washington State, USA

2016, elected Lieutenant Governor, at the age of 35. Had previously served in the State House of Representatives and the State Senate, as Democratic Whip and a member of the Democratic leadership team. As Lt. Governor, he is President of the State Senate, serves as Acting Governor whenever the governor leaves the state, and oversees an agency whose key issues include economic development, trade, and higher education. Currently, Co-Chair of the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association. A three-time cancer survivor, has been fully blind since age eight. Parents immigrated to the US from Iran; the first and only Iranian-American to hold statewide elected office in the United States. Graduate, Columbia University, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and Yale Law School. Former Editor, Yale Law Journal. Practiced law at Perkins Coie and served as Distinguished Lawmaker in Residence at Seattle University Law School. Truman Scholar, Soros Fellow, and member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Adebola Williams

Chief Executive Officer, Red Media Africa, Nigeria

Adebola Williams is a pioneer at the intersection of media, democracy and social change. He is co-founder and chief executive officer of RED, which owns Africa’s largest portfolio of youth media brands that engages millions of youths on the continent, including Red Media Africa, StateCraft, the Future Awards Africa, and YNaija.com. Williams co-founded EnoughisEnough (EiE) in 2010, one of Nigeria’s foremost civic participation groups and a voice for young people on politics. He was chairman of the board until resigning to take the lead on the communication and rebranding of the current Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari In 2014. Williams led the team that shaped the national discourse and optimized media engagement to change longstanding perceptions. He did the same in Ghana in 2016, helping the opposition candidate win the presidency on his third attempt. He and is team have recently concluded the Macky Sall campaign with a big win in February 2019.Williams consults in other regions in the continent. 

Maliha M. Quadir

Founding Managing Director, Shohoj Limited, Bangladesh

Maliha Quadir, a Bangladeshi -American, is a technology entrepreneur. Her start up Shohoz.com has done breakthrough work in digitizing the disorganized and male-dominated transportation industry in Bangladesh. Before Shohoz.com, she was based in Singapore as Director of Vistaprint’s digital business in global emerging markets. Prior to this, she worked for Nokia in strategy and business development for an emerging market focused digital content service called Nokia Life Tools, covering India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, China and Nigeria. Maliha also founded an online portal in Bangladesh while working for an ISP called bracNet. In the early part of her career, Maliha worked in Investment Banking, in Utilities Mergers and Acquisition department of Morgan Stanley in New York and San Fran and also in Debt Capital Markets of Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Computer Science and Economics from Smith College. Mother of two, she lives in Bangladesh

Hadia Tajik

Member of the Storting (Norwegian Parliament), Storting (Norwegian Parliament), Norway

Hadia Tajik (born 18 July 1983) is a Norwegian jurist, journalist and politician. In 2015 she was elected Vice Chair of the Norwegian Labour Party, and vice head of the Labour Party Parliamentary group. She is also the Chair of the Standing Committee on Justice in Parliament. In 2012 Tajik was appointed Minister of Culture, and was then, at the age of 29, the youngest minister ever to serve in a Norwegian government. She was also the first ever Muslim, and the first of Asian heritage. Tajik has been a Member of Parliament since 2009. Previous to this she was political advisor to the minister of Labour and Social Inclusion, and to the Prime Minister of Norway – at the age of 24 at the time, the youngest ever to advise a Norwegian Prime Minister. By education Tajik has a BA in journalism, an MA in Human Rights and a law degree.

Ivy Huq Russell

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Maya, Bangladesh

Ivy Huq Russell is the CEO & founder of Maya. After becoming a mother for the first time, Ivy originally founded Maya in 2011 as a blog for mothers in Bangladesh. Through her personal journey she experienced first hand the challenges faced by women in Bangladesh when trying to access the information and advice they are looking for.
These can range from geographic and financial barriers all the way to socio-cultural. After partnering with leading NGO, BRAC, the Maya service officially launched in Bangladesh in February 2015 with a clear mission to provide women with the information they are looking for, when they need it. Maya is an intuitive, anonymous messaging service that connects its users to qualified experts on health and mental health issues and each other. The service is available on app, web and recently in messenger. We have plans to expand abroad very soon.

Ivy grew up in Bangladesh before pursuing her higher education in England. She completed her MSc. in Finance and Economics at Warwick Business School, before spending a number of years as an Investment Management & Hedge Fund professional at leading firms including HSBC, GAM and Barclays. She currently divides her time between Bangladesh and San Francisco, where she is based with her husband, Bickey and 2 children, Ameena and Emir.

Joy Dunn

Head, Manufacturing, Commonwealth Fusion Systems, USA

Joy Dunn is the Head of Manufacturing at Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), a clean energy startup based in Boston, where she is responsible for building the superconducting magnets that are at the heart of a commercial fusion power plant which will provide safe, clean, and limitless energy for the world. CFS was spun out of MIT and works collaboratively with MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center to combine decades of government and academic research with the innovation and speed of the private sector. Supported by the world's leading investors, the CFS team is driven by the climate change crisis to develop the fastest path to commercial fusion energy. Before joining the CFS team in January 2019, Joy spent a decade at SpaceX developing and manufacturing the Dragon spacecraft to deliver cargo and astronauts to the International Space Station. She was heavily involved with the manufacturing of the Dragon 1 spacecraft and played an integral role in SpaceX's achievement of being the first private company to launch a spacecraft in orbit and also dock with the International Space Station. She managed the manufacturing engineering team responsible for substantially reducing overall spacecraft build hours and cost while overseeing Dragon's annual budget and construction of a high-tech production facility for the Crew Dragon vehicle. Joy also co-founded both the Women's Network and LGBTQ employee interest groups at SpaceX and she is actively involved in STEM outreach events, including sitting on the Board of Directors for Out For Undergrad, a non-profit that helps LGBTQ students reach their full potential. She was also named to Business Insider's list of the Most Powerful Female Engineers of 2017. Joy received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.