The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a community of innovators from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Search current members and alumni by year awarded, sector or region.
Porter joined Bridgewater in 2009 and is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer. He partners with the co-CEOs to set and drive the strategic goals and oversee the day-to-day management of the firm. Previously, Porter was Lead of Portfolio Analytics, working closely with the co-CIOs to evolve the portfolio construction process, evaluate and manage investment risks, and design investment strategies for clients. His work has included evolving the risk controls and event risk strategy, researching how to best combine beta and alpha, and systemizing the portfolio construction and trade generation logic. Porter is also a member of the firms Executive Committee, Commercial and Business Strategy Committee, and a Partner.
Michael Drexler is the Chief Strategy Officer and Managing Director at Brightstar Capital Partners. He currently serves on the boards of America's Group and REMarkets, both Brightstar portfolio companies.
Prior to Brightstar, Michael was Managing Director and Global Head of Strategy and Business Transformation at J.P. Morgan Asset Management based in New York. He was a member of the division’s Operating Committee and worked with all business lines on strategic initiatives, including M&A, business efficiency, and decision making.
Previously, he worked for nearly a decade in a senior leadership role at the World Economic Forum as Member of the Executive Committee responsible for partnerships and content in the Alternative Investment industry and later the Forum’s content initiatives across the financial sector, infrastructure, and long-term investing. Michael also spent nearly a decade at Barclays Capital in London, as the Global Head of Strategy and Planning for the majority of his time there, following his role as a consultant at McKinsey & Co and a post-doctoral position at Stanford University.
Michael holds a doctorate in Mathematics from Oxford University and an M.Sc. in Engineering from the Technical University at Munich.
Joy Dunn is the Head of Operations at Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), a clean energy startup based in Boston, where she is responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations including manufacturing, construction and facilities, safety, and quality. CFS was spun out of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) 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 early 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.
Re-elected to the Crescenta Valley Town Council in November 2018 to a second 3-year term, encompassing more than 22,000 residents in unincorporated Los Angeles County, California, and currently serving as its Corresponding Secretary, Sophal Ear, PhD, is a tenured Associate Professor of Diplomacy & World Affairs at Occidental College in Los Angeles where he lectures on political economy, security, development, and Asia. Previously, he taught how to rebuild countries after wars at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and international development at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. He consulted for the World Bank, was Assistant Resident Representative for the United Nations Development Programme in East Timor, Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Advisor to Cambodia's first private equity fund Leopard Capital, and Audit Chair of the Nathan Cummings Foundation. A TED Fellow, Fulbright Specialist, and Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, he sits on the Boards of Refugees International (Washington, DC), Partners for Development (Silver Spring, MD), International Public Management Network (Washington, DC), the Southeast Asia Development Program (Phnom Penh, Cambodia), and the Center for Khmer Studies (Siem Reap, Cambodia). He is the author of Aid Dependence in Cambodia: How Foreign Assistance Undermines Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2013, http://amzn.to/UXhoWc) and co-author of The Hungry Dragon: How China’s Resources Quest is Reshaping the World (Routledge, 2013, http://amzn.to/WkxCEf). He wrote and narrated the award-winning documentary film "The End/Beginning: Cambodia" (47 minutes, 2011, news blurb http://youtu.be/QwsSDPRI25E) based on his 2009 TED Talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/sophal_ear_escaping_the_khmer_rouge) and has appeared in four other documentaries. He is an Executive Producer of In the Life of Music (92 minutes, 2018) and Some of My Best Friends Are Kimchi: A True Documentary (Coming soon!). A graduate of Princeton and Berkeley, he moved to the US from France as a Cambodian refugee at the age of 10.
Salimah Yvette Ebrahim
A serial founder, Salimah got her start in building communities by co-founding the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition to help protect BC’s endangered Spirit Bear and its habitat in the Great Bear rainforest. Under her stewardship the Coalition - which started with just two members and grew to a network of over 6 million members in 64+ countries. Their campaign to save the spirit bear – named the official mascot of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver – was recently recognized as one of the most supported conservation initiatives in Canadian history.
After beginning her international journalism career in the alleyways of Cairo, Salimah spent years filling on culture and politics from the Middle East, covering the war in Iraq and reporting on environmental security challenges in Africa. She also was on the trail for the historic 2008 US presidential campaign, and for a time was based in DC covering the White House. She has worked on assignment for Reuters, A&E, CBC Television, the Globe and Mail, The Walrus Magazine and the Cairo Times.
A fellow and graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York, Ebrahim also holds an honours degree in Middle Eastern History and International Relations from Trinity College, University of Toronto. She has been awarded and recognized for her work as both journalist and community builder, having been chosen and profiled by CBC Television as one of 25 Canadians who are changing the world; named by Chatelaine magazine one of its 80 amazing Canadian women to watch; and honoured by the World Economic Forum in 2009 as a Young Global Leader.
Her latest adventure: co-founding Artery.is and Bramble.live and thinking about how technology can facilitate our humanity online and off.
Dr. Elisseeff is the Morton Goldberg Professor and Director of the Translational Tissue Engineering Center at Johns Hopkins Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Wilmer Eye Institute with appointments in Chemical and Biological Engineering, Materials Science and Orthopedic Surgery. She was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and is a member of the National Academy of Inventors, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Medicine. She is committed to the translation of regenerative biomaterials and has founded several companies and participates in several industry advisory boards including the State of Maryland’s Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO).
Sofia Elizondo is a biotech entrepreneur. She is co-founder and COO of Brightseed, an AI company that discovers bioactive molecules for health based in San Francisco. Brightseed makes proactive, precision health a reality by using pioneering advancements in machine learning to identify bioactive molecules in nature. Brightseed has commercialized novel bioactives in gut health and has a pipeline with nutritional and therapeutic applications across a dozen health areas. It been selected as a Technology Pioneer by the WEF and awarded distinctions by Forbes, Nutritional Outlook, R&D World, Rabobank, FastCompany, Nutra Ingredients and Nutritional Business Journal.
Sofia has helped build multimillion-dollar companies and brands in the consumer goods, pharmaceutical, and technology industries. Before Brightseed, Sofia led the commercialization of plant-based protein products, including the novel mung bean protein isolate. She began her career at the Boston Consulting Group and was also a founding member of the BCG Henderson Institute; the consulting firm's think tank on the future of business innovation. She also served as a Special Advisor to the United Nations supporting their work with the private sector. Her decades of leadership now enable Brightseed's mission to illuminate nature to restore human health.
Sofia's accolades include Top 40 Under 40, San Francisco Business Times; WEF Young Global Leader; 100 Women of Influence, Entrepreneur Magazine; EXTRAORDINARY leaders in Health, Newsweek; Top 100 Female Founders, Inc. Magazine; Women in AI Award, VentureBeat. She has spoken at conferences ranging from nutrition industry with the American Nutrition Association to artificial intelligence and global affairs with the Milken Global Institute and JP Morgan Tech Revolution. Sofia holds a BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Undergraduate and Master's degrees, Harvard University; PhD, Stony Brook University. Policy and ethics expert in stem cell research for over 15 years, has been committed to changing the perception of life-saving science. Currently, Assistant Professor, Stony Brook University; Director, Education and Ethics, Stony Brook Stem Cell Facility. Co-Founder, VENTure Think Tank, to provide policy and technological solutions for ventilator users. Associate Director, Center for Community Engagement and Leadership Development, to empower underserved communities. Former Member, Empire State Stem Cell Board, which designed New York State's stem cell policy. At age 11, was in an accident leaving her paralyzed from the neck down and dependent on a ventilator. Author of memoir, Miracles Happen (2002), which was made into a movie, The Brooke Ellison Story, directed by Christopher Reeve.
Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of 54gene, a health technology company advancing the state of healthcare through large-scale discovery and translational research, advanced molecular diagnostics, and clinical programs for the benefit of Africans and the global population. He holds a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from the University of London, a Masters in human molecular genetics from Imperial College London, and a Masters in Business Management from Claremont Colleges, California. He also worked as a cancer researcher and published a seminal paper on pancreatic cancer immunology, Gastroenterology Journal. He has extensive experience operating in the US, UK, and Nigerian healthcare industries. Prior to 54gene, Dr. Ene-Obong worked with leading healthcare organizations, including Fortune 100 pharmaceutical companies, academic and research institutions, and governments as a management consultant with PwC and IQVIA (formerly QuintilesIMS). Founded in 2019, 54gene has made the Time Magazine list of 12 innovations that would change healthcare in the 2020s and has been listed by Nigeria’s Punch newspaper as 1 of 5 innovations that would improve healthcare for Africans. 54gene also made the Fast Company list of the world's Most Innovative Companies’ in 2020. It was also awarded the best health technology solution by AppsAfrica. Dr. Ene-Obong was listed as 1 of the 30 most innovative entrepreneurs on the African continent in 2019 by Quartz Africa. In September 2020, Dr. Ene-Obong was labelled a Nigerian hero in the fight against COVID-19, by a Nigerian newspaper, ThisDay. Dr. Ene-Obong is also included in Fortune’s 40 under 40 most influential people in healthcare for the year 2020.
Joelle Faulkner co-founded and manages four funds with aggregate commitments of C$300 million. Area One Farms has maintained over 120,000 acres under Canadian ownership and control, helped 28 families establish equity positions in land that they farm, and brought over 15,000 acres into agricultural production from Area One's unique methods of land rehabilitation. Faulkner is a Director of Cognicity Inc., Baycrest Global Solutions Inc., Western University Entrepreneurship Advisory Board and the Canadian Rhodes Scholars Foundation.
Michael Faye is the co-founder and CEO of Taptap Send, which is working to ensure everyone has access to fairly priced remittances consistent with the SDGs. He's also the Executive Chair and co-founder of GiveDirectly, which has recognized by FastCompany as one of the top 10 most innovative companies in finance, and on the Board of Crown Agents Bank HoldCo.
Michael’s work has been published in the American Economic Review, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Foreign Affairs and others. He is a term member of the Council of Foreign Relations, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and was named one of Foreign Policy’s 100 leading Global Thinkers. Michael holds a PhD in Economics from Harvard, where he also studied Math and Classics.
Valerie is a Senior Vice President in Verizon Global Services with a focus on global location strategy and accelerated digitization and automation of service operations. Previously, Valerie served as COO in a cleantech start-up, as an Associate Partner in McKinsey's High Tech practice in New York and Beijing, as a policy advisor to the International Telecommunication Union, and as Adjunct Faculty at Free University Berlin. Valerie holds an M.Sc. in business management and a M.A. from University of Muenster, a Ph.D. from Free University Berlin, and an Executive Certificate in Technology and Operations Management from MIT.