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

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.

Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi

Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economy of the United Arab Emirates, United Arab Emirates

Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi was appointed as the Minister of Climate Change and Environment for the United Arab Emirates in February 2016. He has a long-standing career at the intersection of energy, climate change and environment, and a unique mix of technical, commercial and leadership skills that make him an effective negotiator for advancing a sustainable future.

Anna Fang

Partner and Chief Executive Officer, ZhenFund, People's Republic of China

Chief Executive Officer and Partner, ZhenFund, an early stage venture capital firm in China; oversees the fund's investments, portfolio management and operations. Investments include e-commerce, artificial intelligence (AI) and education companies such as RED (XiaoHongShu), Mia, Club Factory, Perfect Diary, Yitu, Mobvoi, Horizon Robotics and VIPKID. Formerly with GE China in Corporate Business Development, responsible for GE’s M&A and BD efforts in China. Started career as an investment banker at JPMorgan New York office covering consumer and retail companies. Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum. Named among “Top 10 Early-stage Investors of the Year 2018”, Zero2IPO Group; voted “2018 China's 100 Best Investors” by entrepreneurs on 36Kr; made the Forbes Midas Brink List in 2016. Undergraduate degree in Economics, Columbia University; MBA, Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Member of the Advisory Board, Columbia College and Columbia’s Global Centers; also leads the Beijing chapter of Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Ruba Borno

Vice-President and General Manager, Cisco, USA

Ruba Borno is the VP/GM of Cisco Managed Services. Ruba runs a global team that helps Cisco's most strategic customers accelerate their digital transformations, while reducing inefficiencies, maximizing system availability, and improving security and compliance. Prior to her current role, Ruba spent three years as Cisco's VP, Growth Initiatives and Chief of Staff to CEO, and worked across the executive leadership team to develop the company?s growth and transformation strategy. In April 2018, Ruba was appointed as a non-executive director on the board of Experian. She is an Executive Sponsor of Cisco's Connected Conservation efforts and is a board member for the Tech Museum of Innovation in Silicon Valley where she is applying her passion for STEM education to take the Tech's programs global. She has worked with the World Economic Forum to establish a skills-based education platform for individuals whose jobs will be impacted by automation, as well as organizations like the United Way of the Bay Area and City Year Silicon Valley on experiential work and education of disenfranchised youth.

Umra Omar

Founder and Executive Director, Safari Doctors, Kenya

Umra Omar received her bachelor’s in neuroscience and psychology at Oberlin in 2006. After receiving a master’s degree and starting a career in Washington, D.C., Omar returned to her native country and during a visit to her childhood community on the islands of the Kenya-Somalia border, she learned about a medical aid project that had been abandoned because of the security concerns. That’s when Omar founded Safari Doctors, an initiative that provides free basic (and potentially life-saving) medical services, youth community health trainings and civic engagement for women. In 2016 Omar was selected as a CNN Hero, and in 2017, she was recognised as the 2017 UN Person of the Year.

Lamya AlHaj

Assistant Professor, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman

Lamya Al Haj holds a PhD in Structural and Molecular Biology from UCL and an MSc in Environmental Science and Technology from UNSW. She is a researcher on biodiesel alternatives to oil, and an Assistant Professor at the Sultan Qaboos University. Lamya founded a speakers platform in GCC region “Jalasat Mulhimoon” to showcase role models and inspire younger generations. She has spoken at conferences and corporate events including Harvard and IMD Middle East Alumni conferences on leadership. She was recently selected as a judge for an MIT based competition “Innovators under 35” organized by MIT Technology Review. She is the founder of “Coach4Change” where she worked alongside and supported senior government officials, CEOs, business leaders and boards around the country. She received numerous awards & recognitions including the “Boban Marcovic Prize in Environmental Science”, The “Gulf Intelligence - Occidental Award”, “National Research Award”, “Omani Woman Award 2019” for her innovation, and the prestigious “L’Oréal UNESCO award for women in science- Middle east fellowship award”- 2018. She is also a Fellow at The World Academy of Science (TWAS 2019-2023 affiliate).

Thum Ping Tjin

Founder and Managing Director, New Naratif, Singapore

Dr Pingtjin THUM is a Singaporean historian, and founder and Managing Director of New Naratif, a movement for democracy, freedom of expression, and freedom of information in Southeast Asia. As civil rights activists, he and his colleagues have been threatened, harassed, and condemned as traitors by Singapore’s government. Dr Thum earned his DPhil in History from Oxford in 2011 and is currently an Academic Visitor at Hertford College. He is a Rhodes Scholar, Commonwealth Scholar, Olympic athlete, and the only Singaporean to swim the English Channel. A graduate of Harvard and Oxford, his work centres on decolonisation in Southeast Asia, and its continuing impact on Southeast Asian governance and politics. His most recent published work is “Independence: The Further Stage of Colonialism in Singapore” in Barr and Rahim (eds.), The Limits of Authoritarian Governance in Singapore’s Developmental State (Palgrave, 2019).

Phanindra Sama

Chief Innovation Officer, Government of Telangana, India

Phanindra Sama, A firm believer in active citizenship, is the first chief innovation officer of the Government of Telangana, contributing to building an innovation-driven economy in the state. Previously, he was the founder of redBus, the world's largest bus ticketing company, with operations in six countries. After exiting redBus, he co-founded Kakatiya Sandbox, a social impact venture that nurtures active citizenship for the economic prosperity of the region.

Aroon Hirdaramani

Director, Hirdaramani Group, Sri Lanka

Owner and Director, Hirdaramani Group. Aroon is a leader of the Group's Executive Committee which is responsible for the overall strategy and execution of the Group's global apparel business and excellence in sustainability. Aroon overlooks the Group's woven apparel operations in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh as well as its Global Trading and Sourcing Operations. Aroon also oversees the Group's investment strategies. Honorary Counsel to Guatemala for Sri Lanka. Also serves as Chairman, Future Leaders Committee, Sri Lanka JAAF. Member, Young Presidents' Organization. 2001, Bachelor's in Business Economics, Brown University. 2001-03, Investment Banking Analyst, Credit Suisse, New York.