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

Paula Marcela Moreno Zapata

Founder and President, Manos Visibles, Colombia

Paula Moreno is former Minister of Culture of Colombia - the youngest woman and first Afro descendant to be appointed as a cabinet minister in the country’s history. She founded and now serves as President of Manos Visibles (Visible Hands). In 2010 she was selected by the Council of the Americas as one of the most influential young leaders in the region for her work on effectively? understanding diversity. She received the Unita Blackwell Award in 2009 from the National Conference of Black Mayors of the United States as one of the most influential Black leaders in the world. For her service to the Government of Colombia and the nation as Minister of Culture, Paula was awarded the Order of Saint Charles in 2010 by President Uribe, and in 2011 she was awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle by President of Mexico Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa for her contribution to the improvement of Colombia/Mexico relations during her term as Minister of Culture. Paula holds a Mas ter’s Degree in Management Studies from the University of Cambridge, she was a United States Fulbright scholar for the program of urban and regional planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology?(MIT) and Yale World Fellow 2014. More recently, she was selected as 2014 BBC Women leaders in the Word. She is currently a board member of the Ford Foundation.

Tolu Oni

Professor, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Tolu Oni is a Public Health Physician Scientist and urban epidemiologist, a Clinical Senior Research fellow with the MRC Epidemiology Unit’s Global Public Health Research programme at the University of Cambridge, and an Honorary Associate Professor at the School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town.
Born in Lagos, she completed her medical training (and a BSc in International Health) at University College London, postgraduate medical training in the UK (Member of the Royal College of Physicians) and Australia, a Masters degree in Public Health (Epidemiology) at the University of Cape Town, and a research doctorate in Clinical Epidemiology at Imperial College London. She completed Public Health Medical Specialty training in South Africa and is a Fellow of the College of Public Health Medicine of South Africa. She spent 11 years conducting research in South Africa, where she was an Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town. There, she established a Research Initiative for Cities Health and Equity (RICHE), conducting transdisciplinary urban health research focused on generating evidence to support development and implementation of healthy public policies in rapidly growing cities, with a focus on Africa. Research activities include Systems for Health projects: investigating how urban systems (e.g. housing, food) can be harnessed for health; and Health Systems projects: integrated heath systems responses to changing patterns of disease and multimorbidity in the context of urbanisation.
She has published her work in high-impact journals, and has given presentations at international academic (urban health, HIV, TB) and non-academic meetings including the United Nations High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development, New York; and the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, Davos 2018. She serves on several advisory boards including Future Earth and the African Academy of Science Open Research Platform; and is an editorial board member of Lancet Planetary Health, Cities and Health, and the Journal of Urban Health.
Profiled in the Lancet journal in 2016, Science magazine in 2018, and the British Medical Journal in 2019, she is a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, a 2015 Next Einstein Forum Fellow, a Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, and 2017-2019 co-Chair of the Global Young Academy. In 2019, she was selected as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

Shoko Takahashi

Representative Director, Genequest Inc., Japan

Starting the bio venture in 2013 while a doctoral student in molecular bioscience at the University of Tokyo, Takahashi's company anlyzes saliva to see what a people's genetics can tell about their current and future health. Individuals send the same directly to the firm, and it returns the results in four to six weeks, all for around $400. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Sciences and Technology recognized her as one of the researchers who are contributing to major innovation in science and technology in Japan in 2016.

Ipek Ilicak Kayaalp

Chairperson, Ronesans Holding, Turkey

Bachelor's in Economics, Middle East Technical University, Ankara-Turkey, Program in Finance & Project Management, University of California Berkeley, California-USA, speaks fluently Turkish, English and French. Chairperson of the Board of Ronesans Group Turkey, Chairperson of the Supervisiory Board of Ballast Nedam N.V. Netherlands, Member of TUSİAD Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association, Founder and Board Member of Ronesans Education Foundation; Executive Board Member in Creative Children’s Association, Member of SAHA Association supporting turkish contemporary art; Sponsor of KANÇODER, the Society for Supporting Children with Cancer.

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 female owner of such company in the MENA region with over ten years of experience in agricultural commodities trading with focus on food security.

Malak is co-Partner in Golden Kayan for Marketing Consulting Co. for Oil & Energy, Business Consultant for (ENOC) Emirate National Oil Company in Jordan.

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

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.

Additionally Malak is currently working on launching “Believe in Jordan,” initiative to embark on Jordanian women business intelligence and their role in knowledge sharing & creation.

She was also the youngest member of both the Public Financial Policies Committee, Economic Committee for Jordan’s Vision 2021 and currently a member in the Investment Encouragement committee 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.

Malak holds an MBA in Management Business Administration from the German-Jordanian University.

Roy Hessel

Chief Executive Officer, Clearly, Canada

Roy Hessel is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Clearly Group (Clearly.ca), the world’s largest online eyewear seller. Through their brands Clearly.ca, FramesDirect, Lensway and EyeBuyDirect.com, the group sells its products in 150 countries. Roy has been a pioneer of online optical since he founded EyeBuyDirect in Shanghai in 2005 with the ambition to make vision correction accessible globally. In 2012 Roy sold EyeBuyDirect to the Essilor Group (EPA:EI) and partnered with Essilor to create the world’s largest online optical group that provides access to product and education to vision consumers worldwide. Education: Harvard Business School (OPM), MBA Rutgers Business School; Tel Aviv University (Economics and Philosophy); The George Washington University The Eliot School of International Affairs, Washington D.C. where he received the Presidential International Scholarship.

Iwao Aso

Group Chairman, ASO Corporation, Japan

Iwao Aso is President of the Aso Corporation and Group Chairman of the Aso Group, with interests in the fields of infrastructure, environmental solutions, healthcare, education and lifestyle services. He is also a Director of Dwango Co. Aso started his career in the family business as auditor at Aso Cement. He also served in the Aso Group as a director, executive director, senior managing director and vice-president. Prior, Aso worked as a trainee in Hongkong Land, Colliers Jardine in Hong Kong and the financial instruments development division in Shinsei Bank. Aso completed his undergraduate studies at Keio University with a BA in Economics. He also majored in international relations at the University of Cambridge.

Poppy Allonby

Managing Director and Head, Strategic Product Management, Europe, Middle East and Africa, BlackRock, United Kingdom

Poppy Allonby, CFA, Managing Director, is head of Strategic Product Management for BlackRock in EMEA. As such she is responsible for driving product strategy, product development & structuring and the investment oversight of Blackrock's EMEA and cross-border investment products (which encompasses over $1 Tr in assets). Previously, Ms Allonby was a portfolio manager and member of BlackRock's Natural Resources Team where she was responsible for approx. $4 billion in global Energy investment funds. She managed investments in both the oil & gas sector and in businesses that are facilitating and benefiting from the transition to a lower carbon economy (for example: clean tech, renewable power, energy efficiency and sustainable mobility).
Poppy is a member of the EMEA Executive Committee, the Global Human Capital Committee and the Product Development Committee (Chair). Poppy's service with the firm dates back to 2000, including her years at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers. Poppy serves as the Vice Chair of EFAMA's Fund Regulation, Asset Protection and Service Providers Standing Committee. She sits on the Board an Assets Committee for the Church Commissioners, one of the world’s largest charitable endowments and a leader in responsible investments. In 2016, she was honoured by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. Poppy has a degree in Physics from Imperial College, London

Mouhamed Moustapha Fall

Chair, African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Senegal

Mouhamed Moustapha Fall is a Senegalese mathematician who focuses on agricultural and food production, especially overfishing. He is endowed Chair in Mathematics and its applications at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Senegal. Fall created a mathematical application that helps calculate a sustainable rate at which fishermen in Senegal can fish the local waters without affecting future fish populations.