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.
Discover how science and technology are being brought together to help those affected by paralysis walk.
Greenland Impact Expedition
Learn the story of YGLs who travelled to Greenland to observe first-hand the effects of climate change.
Explore the annual awards programme that celebrates, showcases and promotes circular economy innovation.
Discover a community of strategic philanthropists who use their resources to improve the health and rights of girls and women worldwide.
Kakuma Impact Expedition
Learn the story of YGLs who travelled to Kakuma in Kenya to help refugees gain access to the global economy.
Meet our members
Matthew Guilford is co-founder and CEO of Common Health, a purpose-driven company that uses mobile technology to advance universal health coverage. Through an innovative model that integrates telemedicine, last mile service delivery, and health financing benefits, Common Health improves access to care and reduces out-of-pocket costs for families with complex health needs like pregnancy, early childhood health, and non-communicable diseases. Since launching services in Myanmar in April 2021, the company has grown to serve more than 30,000 members through a blended business model that integrates consumer sales and donor support.
Prior to founding Common Health, Guilford served as co-founder, chief commercial officer, and chief growth officer of Telenor Health, a part of global telecommunications company Telenor Group. Over the course of five years living and working in Dhaka, he helped to scale health coverage to more than five million clients across Bangladesh.
He holds an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School and a degree in biological basis of behavior (behavioral neuroscience) from the University of Pennsylvania. He splits his time between Yangon, Myanmar and Providence, Rhode Island, USA.
Poonam Mahajan is a member of parliament from Mumbai North Central and a politician of the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). She is also the first woman President of the Basketball Federation of India.
Virginijus Sinkevičius has been the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries since 2019. He was formerly the Minister of Economy of Lithuania (2017-2019). Before becoming the Minister of Economy, Sinkevičius led the Economic Committee of the Parliament of Lithuania. Sinkevičius was elected to Parliament in October 2016. Before that, he was a Team Lead for Regulatory Affairs at Invest Lithuania. Prior to joining Invest Lithuania, Sinkevičius was Managing Editor at the US Office of The Lithuanian Tribune in Washington D.C. Sinkevičius holds a BA in International Relations and Affairs from Aberystwyth University and a Master’s degree in European International Affairs from Maastricht University.
Eva Maydell is a Member of the European Parliament and President of European Movement International, the largest organisation of associations and civil societies in Europe.
Maydell´s policy priorities include innovation and the use of new technologies as well as supporting entrepreneurs and sustainable investments in Europe. In the European Parliament, she is a member of the Industry and Economic Affairs Committees, Vice-Chair of the Delegation for Relations with Japan and member of the Delegation for Relations with the U.S.
MEP Maydell is the EPP Group Rapporteur on the Chips Act and the rapporteur on the Chips Joint Undertaking, a massive new planned EU public-private partnership for microchips. MEP Maydell is also the lead rapporteur in the Industry Committee on the AI Act, the first-ever general law on Artificial Intelligence, as well as the EPP Group rapporteur on the NIS 2 Directive on cybersecurity.
Eva Maydell is a Board Member for World Economic Forum’s Digital Europe program and a member of the WEF Global Future Council of Europe. Maydell has been awarded the European Parliament's MEP of the Year Award twice and has been featured in FT's 'New Europe 100' ranking of CEE's emerging change-makers, European Forbes' 30 Under 30 list, POLITICO’s 40 most influential MEPs and “POLITICO 28” list of people who shape Europe.
Juan Pablo Mata
Juan Pablo Mata is an experienced leader with extensive experience in the food & beverages industry. Skilled in market planning, business planning, entrepreneurship, market analysis, and team leadership. Juan Pablo studied finance & economics at Babson College where he graduated in 2008. In 2015, he completed a MBA at the Wharton School of business in the University of Pennsylvania focused in strategic management. Juan Pablo holds an Executive General Management Program from Harvard University. In 2020 he was appointed CEO of Apex Global Mobility where he leads the corporate units including the total societal impact agenda where he is leading the circular economy and social fabric strategy for the group.
Dr. Roopa Dhatt is a passionate advocate for gender equality in global health and a leading voice in the movement to correct the gender imbalance in global health leadership. She is also a practicing Internal Medicine physician in Washington, D.C. Dr. Dhatt is particularly committed to addressing issues of power, privilege, and intersectionality that keep many women from global health leadership roles and to opening up spaces for the voices of these women to be heard. Determined to build a movement to transform women’s leadership opportunities in health, Dr. Dhatt co-founded Women in Global Health in 2015. Today, Women in Global Health has 47 chapters, 100,000 supporters in more than 100 countries, and continues to grow. Dr. Dhatt, the Executive Director, the global team, and its network of chapters drive change by mobilizing a diverse group of emerging women health leaders, advocating for governments and global health leaders to meet commitments made, and holding those leaders to account. Dr. Dhatt has worked in global health for nearly 15 years, collaborating with 120+ countries. She holds numerous advisory and board roles. She advises global health institutions on matters of the health workforce, gender equity, and universal health coverage. Dr. Dhatt was recognized in the Gender Equality Top 100, the most influential people in global policy. She was on the Lancet COVID-19 Commission. She is a former W7 Germany Advisor and a current W7 Japan Advisor on advocating feminist agendas to the G7 governments (2023), a member of the Global Council on SDG3, a member of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Scientific Advisory Board, and is a member of the Virchow Prize Committee. She was invited as a public delegate to the historic U.S. Delegation to the United Nations 65th Commission of Status of Women Meeting in March 2021, which was led by Vice President Kamala Harris. She has published in the Lancet, British Medical Journal (BMJ), Devex, and Forbes and has been interviewed in National Geographic, Nature, NPR, EuroNews, and numerous other channels.
Maryam Khansari, born on September 1984 in Tehran, is the General Manager at one of Iran’s top construction companies. Herison Company is one of the country’s oldest companies, working on a wide range of infrastructure projects such as industrial sites, power stations, refineries, sports complexes, sewage treatment plants, residential buildings, roads and bridges, for over sixty years.
She is also a board member and the International Relations Manager at the Syndicate of Construction Companies of Iran, the oldest syndication of firms in construction industry and the leading association advocating the rights of the private sector in engineering and construction.
Billy Ng Wai-Lung
Professor Billy Wai-Lung Ng is an Assistant Professor at the School of Pharmacy at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), where he leads the Laboratory of Chemical Biology & Drug Discovery. He has successfully used cutting-edge technologies to develop therapeutic molecules for combating viral pandemics and aging-related diseases. Professor Ng and his international team were the first to discover that an approved HCV drug can be repurposed for the treatment of COVID-19. He is currently creating disruptive therapeutic molecules with the ultimate goal to eradicate cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. Professor Ng completed his post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School and the University of Oxford after receiving his Ph.D. and B.Sc. in Chemistry from CUHK. He was also a Fulbright Scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) during his graduate study. He has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Marie Curie Fellowship, Croucher Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, and Hong Kong PhD Fellowship.
Amit Paley is the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people. He began as a counselor on The Trevor Project's 24/7 TrevorLifeline in 2011, and since then he has answered hundreds of calls from LGBTQ youth in crisis. Amit is the first volunteer counselor to become the CEO of the organization in its 22-year history and he still continues to answer calls on TrevorLifeline. Under Amit’s leadership, the organization has dramatically expanded the number of LGBTQ youth that it serves and the breadth of programming that it offers. During his tenure, The Trevor Project built and launched a new, integrated crisis services platform, expanded its chat and text services to 24/7, and more than tripled the number of youth served each month. The organization has also transformed its TrevorSpace platform into the largest safe-space social networking site for LGBTQ youth and expanded the Trevor Project’s research initiatives. Trevor also now operates the largest grassroots campaign in the world to end conversion therapy. Amit is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College with an MBA from Columbia Business School and a Master’s from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.