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

Heba Aly

Director, The New Humanitarian, Switzerland

Runs a leading source of original, field-based journalism about humanitarian crises: www.thenewhumanitarian.org. The New Humanitarian (formerly IRIN News) amplifies the voices of those affected by conflicts and natural disasters to drive more effective and accountable responses by the international community. Multimedia journalist; spent one decade reporting from conflict zones in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia before joining the transition team that led IRIN's spin-off from the United Nations to a non-profit media organization. Work for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Christian Science Monitor, Bloomberg News and IRIN, among others, has taken her to places like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Chad and Libya; and received a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting for work in northern Sudan. Recent TEDx Talk – "Stop Eating Junk News" – drives home the importance of responsible journalism from crisis zones. Regular commentator on media coverage of crises, as well as humanitarian aid policy, in published work, in governmental briefings and at conferences around the world. 2018, World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Member of the Forum's Global Future Council for the Humanitarian System. Named by New African Magazine one of the 100 Most Influential Africans of 2018. Speaks English, French, Arabic and Spanish.

Irina Anghel-Enescu

Managing Director, South Eastern European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, Romania

Managing Director, South Eastern European Private Equity and VC Association. On the Representative Committee, European Venture Capital Association (InvestEurope). Appointed Member, Romanian Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Founder and Chairperson, Triple Helix, an NGO dedicated to catalyzing a shift to a more entrepreneurial mentality in the former communist countries in Eastern Europe. Spent a year at Harvard Kennedy School focusing on the role of smart money for kick-starting and/or strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world. Eisenhower Fellow (2008). Mason Fellow, Harvard (2010). Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum (2014).

Asif Zahir

Deputy Managing Director, Ananta Apparels Ltd, Bangladesh

Deputy Managing Director, Ananta Group, a leading apparel exporter in Bangladesh with a turnover of $280 million and employing over 25,000 people. Co-Founder and Managing Director, Sindabad.com, the first and one of the largest B2B focused e-commerce companies in the country. Member of the Board of Directors, National Finance, a non-banking financial institution, and Vanguard Asset Management, an investment management firm. Formerly: spent several years in the USA working as a Product Manager at Google, focussing on developing applications for the Android mobile operating platform. Degree in Computer Science, President’s Scholar and Mayfield Fellow, Stanford University, USA; MBA, Harvard University, USA. World Economic Forum Young Global Leader (2019).

Pablo Alberto Barrera Lopez

Executive Vice-President, Strategy and Supply Chain, Yara International, Norway

A passionate multicultural young business leader, Pablo Barrera is determined to transform how large companies act as corporate citizens. Barrera promotes sustainability as an untapped potential rather than a threat and establishes collaborative efforts with other companies to solve some of the key challenges the world faces. Barrera explores new ways to feed a growing population and he works for one of the world's largest crop nutrition companies. Through many years of volunteer work, Barrera has focused on establishing arenas where teenagers and young adults can nurture their talents and develop into responsible forces for good in their societies, regardless of their background.

Mauricio Rodas Espinel

Former Mayor of Quito & UPenn Perry World House Visiting Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Mauricio Rodas is a JD from Universidad Católica de Quito. He also holds two master’s degrees in government administration and political science from the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). He started his professional career with the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Santiago de Chile and Mexico City. Later he worked as a policy consultant for the Mexican government. In 2007, he founded and served as the Executive Director of Ethos Public Policy Lab, a think tank based in Mexico ranked among the most influential in Latin America by the Global Go To Think Tank Index Report.

In 2011, Rodas returned to Ecuador and founded SUMA, a national political party. In 2013, he ran for president of Ecuador; the following year was elected as mayor of Quito (2014-2019). During his period, Rodas was the hosting mayor of the UN’s Conference on Urban Sustainable Development – Habitat III. He also had an active leadership role in the main city networks: two terms as world co-president of UCLG, member of the global boards of C-40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, ICLEI, and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. He is a young global leader and member of the Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization of the World Economic Forum (WEF). In 2019, he was named one of the 100 Worlds’ Most Influential People on Climate Action by Apolitical; he also received UPenn’s World Urban Leadership Award.

Currently, he is a Visiting Fellow at UPenn and through the Perry World House, the Penn Institute for Urban Research and the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, he launched the “Cities Climate-Resilient Infrastructure Financing Initiative –C2IFI.” C2IFI aims to develop a knowledge hub to consolidate information about financing opportunities for cities and facilitate access to these resources. Rodas is orchestrating a broad partnership with city networks, DFIs, WEF, the private sector and other organizations.

Lisa Walker

Chief Executive Officer, Ecosphere+, United Kingdom

Lisa Walker recently left BG Group (now part of Royal Dutch Shell) where she served as Vice President for Environment & Climate Change to become CEO of start-up Ecosphere+. Lisa worked in the oil and gas sector for >17 years, closely involved in all aspects of climate change strategy development & implementation, public policy formation, sector coalition building and low-carbon business development. She was a driving force behind the UK Emissions Trading Group, the CCAC Oil & Gas Methane Partnership (which she Co-Chaired), the Sustainable Gas Institute and the CEO-led Oil & Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI). Lisa helped BG Group secure multiple industry awards for sustainability. Before BG Group Lisa held various roles at BP including Director of the BP Carbon Ventures corporate-VC fund. Lisa successfully secured capital for many innovative investments in sustainable land-use and forestry, low-carbon technologies and b io-energy, including first-of-their-kind deals for the private sector such as the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). Lisa is a mother of four and originally from New Zealand.

Faraja Nyalandu

Founder and executive director, Shule Direct, Tanzania

Faraja Nyalandu is an award-winning social entrepreneur, committed to promoting systemic change in digital learning in secondary school education in Tanzania. She has authored two youth empowerment books written in Kiswahili, Tanzania's national language, to reach underserved young people.

John Zimmer

Co-Founder & President, Lyft, USA

John Zimmer is the co-founder of Lyft, a ride sharing service based in San Francisco. Lyft is valued at $5.5 billion.

Farzana Yaqoob

CEO, Center for Asian African Studies, Pakistan

Farzana Yaqoob represents the next generation leadership of South Asia. Being a youth leader, social activist & entrepreneur from Azad Jammu & Kashmir, she believes in humanity and striving for justice. Yaqoob is a former minister for Social Welfare and Women Development, Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Yaqoob is the founding member and Chief Executive of Center for Asian African Studies. Yaqoob is Associate of Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan. Yaqoob is Advisor to Center for Strategic and Contemporary Research, Islamabad, Pakistan. Yaqoob is Board member of Aiming Change for Tomorrow (ACT). Yaqoob is Secretary General Eisenhower Fellowship Pakistan. Yaqoob is member of Civil Advisory Group UNWomen Pakistan. Yaqoob is Eisenhower fellow 2016. Yaqoob is Young Global Leader 2017 of World Economic Forum. Her areas of expertise are conflict and gender empowerment. Farzana is also an alumna of The National Defence University Islamabad. She strives to justify her belief after winning the trust of people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and then serving as Minister for Social Welfare & Women Development in 2011. Farzana has developed the Azad Jammu and Kashmir State Policy Framework for the Empowerment of Women. In the year 2014 she established the separate directorate of Women Development to empower the women of AJ&K. During her fellowship she examined conflict resolution and climate change mitigation strategies for Kashmir. She is considered to be one of the most thought provoking leaders in the region on issues of conflict, women empowerment and social security networks. She is a frequent speaker at national and international forums.