Community

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.

Matthew Anderson

Strategic Advisor, Lupa Systems, USA

Matthew Anderson is Chief Marketing Officer of Roku, the Internet TV pioneer. He is also a senior adviser to 21st Century Fox and serves on the boards of MOBY Media Group, the emerging-markets broadcaster, and Team Sky, a top World Tour Cycling team and twice winner of the Tour de France. Previously, Anderson was Group Director of Strategy & Corporate Affairs, Europe & Asia, of News Corporation. Before that he was Group Director of Communications & Brand Marketing at the British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB). Anderson was instrumental in News Corp's Global Energy Initiative and to Sky becoming the world's first carbon neutral media company. Before Sky, he was Chief Executive, Asia Pacific & EMEA, of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, a global agency network and subsidiary of WPP. He is also an Advisory Board Member of Tokyo University's health policy think tank, a Board Member of the Institute of Public Relations and a Trustee of Malaria No More UK. Anderson graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard's Global Leadership and Public Policy program.

Mark Boris Andrijanič

Vice President, Kumo.AI, USA

Mark Boris is Vice President at Kumo.AI, a Sequoia-backed deep learning venture based in California. He also serves on the Governing Board at the EIT, the EU's innovation agency. In 2021 and 2022 he was Slovenia's first-ever Minister of Digital Transformation. During Slovenia's EU presidency, he led negotiations between the Member States on Digital Services Act and digital files in the EU. In 2022, he received the Ukraine Peace Price from President Zelenskyy for his contribution to Ukraine's digital resilience. From 2016 to 2021, he headed Uber's public policy and government relations efforts in Central and Eastern Europe. Mark Boris received a master's in public policy from the University of Oxford and a law degree from the University of Ljubljana.

Matthew Anestis

Managing Director; Global Head, Investment Performance for Alternatives, BlackRock, USA

Matt Anestis is Managing Director and Global Head of Investment Process and Performance for BlackRock Alternative Investors - the Alternatives business of the world's largest Asset Manager. He has previously served as Chief of Staff to the President and COO of BlackRock, as the COO of BlackRock's Aladdin Product Group, the COO of BlackRock Alternative Investors and the Global Head of BlackRock Platform Innovation. He has served on various firm leadership committees including on BlackRock's Global Operating Committee, Global Human Capital Committee and Firmwide Risk and Complexity Committee. He also served as Head of BlackRock's Boston office.

Prior to joining Blackrock, Matt Anestis was a Partner and Managing Director with The Boston Consulting Group in Hong Kong and also worked with Microsoft and in the White House. He serves as a Senior Advisor to the Presidential Scholars Foundation and founded the Boston Volunteer Bridge and Toronto Volunteer Bridge. He is also a Founding Curator of the World Economic Forum's Boston Global Shapers Hub.

Matt Anestis earned an undergraduate degree (magna cum laude) in Economics from Harvard, an MBA (with high distinction) from Harvard Business School (Baker Scholar) and a JD (magna cum laude) from Harvard Law School.

Irina Anghel-Enescu

Entrepreneurship Expert, USA

Entrepreneurship and VC expert Oxford University. Former Managing Director, South Eastern European Private Equity and VC Association and member of 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).

Akudo Anyanwu

Vice President of Development, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, USA

Dr. Akudo Anyanwu is an award-winning global health expert, public health innovator and social entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in the field of international development. She is an Associate Dean at Johns Hopkins University and the Founder of Friends Africa, a pan-African organization that fights AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by mobilizing African businesses, governments and NGOs. She has also served on the boards of Roll Back Malaria, the Global Health Council and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Anyanwu's pioneering work on the Gift from Africa Campaign has been recognized by the Rockefeller Foundation as a top 100 next century innovation. She has also been recognized as Tufts University's Distinguished Service Award (21015), a Harvard School of Public Health Innovator of the Year (2013), an Ogunte Social Leader of the Year (2013) and Stevie Innovator and Social Entrepreneur of the Year (2012). Anyanwu holds a MD in Medicine from Tufts University, an MSc in Public Health from Harvard University and a BSc in Molecular Biology from Lehigh University.

Marisol Argueta de Barillas

Head of the Regional Agenda, Latin America; Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum, USA

Head of Latin America and Member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum. Salvadoran lawyer and career Ambassador. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador. She served as Director General of Foreign Policy and was a Diplomatic Officer at the Embassy of El Salvador in Washington DC and at the Salvadoran Diplomatic Representation to the United Nations in New York. She holds a degree in Law and a master’s degree in diplomacy from the University of Oxford, England. With specialized studies at the International Peace Academy, Harvard University and the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, USA. She has received awards and National Decorations from Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Italy and the USA. She is a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and a Central American Leadership Initiative Fellow by the Aspen Institute and has been recognized by various publications among the most distinguished regional women leaders. She has published articles on international affairs, regional integration, gender issues and sustainable development. She serves in various Advisory Boards.

Andrea Armani

Professor, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California (USC), USA

BA in Physics, University of Chicago; PhD in Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology. Currently, Sr Director of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the Ellison Institute of Transformative Medicine and Irani Chair and Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Southern California. Research is focused on advanced functional materials for integrated photonics for telecommunications and cancer diagnostics/prognostics. Fellow: Optica, SPIE, AAAS. 2015 Northrop Grumman Faculty Fellow.

Daniel Arrigg Koh

Deputy Cabinet Secretary, The White House, USA

Daniel Arrigg Koh is a public servant dedicated to positive social change.

He currently serves as the White House Deputy Cabinet Secretary, where he helps guide the affairs related to the Cabinet of United States President Joseph R. Biden. Immediately prior, Dan served as the Chief of Staff of the United States Department of Labor, a $14 billion, 17,000 employee organization dedicated to improving the lives of America's 150 million workers. He helped lead the development of the Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard that protects millions of healthcare workers around the country from COVID-19.

Before his service in the Biden-Harris administration, Dan served as Chief Operating Officer of HqO, a technology company focused on changing the way we interact with physical space. In this capacity, he helped grow the company from 30 employees to over 150 across multiple financing rounds, leading to a $500 million valuation.

In 2019, Dan was elected to the Town of Andover Select Board where he served as Vice Chair. Previously, he was a candidate for the Massachusetts Third District of the United States Congress, where he ran a true grassroots campaign with thousands of volunteers knocking hundreds of thousands of doors, coming within 0.2% of the Democratic primary nomination after a district-wide recount.

From 2014-2017, Dan served as Chief of Staff to Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, guiding his agenda for the city, its 18,000 employees, $3 billion budget, and 700,000 residents. In this role, he pioneered “CityScore,” an award-winning performance management system for improving city services.

Dan previously worked as Chief of Staff to Arianna Huffington at The Huffington Post and Advisor to Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston. He has served additional roles at Booz Allen Hamilton, Spencer Stuart, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Major League Baseball, and the New England Patriots. He began his career as an intern for the late Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

He has been named to the “30 under 30” list by Forbes Magazine and the “40 under 40” list by the Boston Business Journal. In 2016, he received an honorable mention from The Boston Globe for “Bostonian of the Year.” A native of Andover, Massachusetts, Dan holds a B.A from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he was President of his section. Dan is an avid runner, having completed 62 marathons across the U.S. and Canada.

Yara Asad

Private Sector Development-B2B and Matchmaking Consultant, World Bank, USA

Yara Asad is a Senior Private Sector Development Consultant with the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Private Sector for Refugees Project (PS4R). Yara has four years of experience working with the WBG, primarily on Private Sector Development - B2B and Matchmaking, focusing on vulnerable groups of refugees, migrants and women. Prior to that Yara served as the Project Manager and Research Lead at Building Markets-focusing on building the supply chain for Small and Medium size businesses (SMEs) in crisis affected countries. Between 2015-2017, Yara worked as a Lead Middle East and North Africa Researcher and Policy Analyst at Wolfensohn and Company under a project on the MENA 2050. Previously, she was the Director General for the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Palestine from January 2011- December 2014, a venture through which she focused on promoting regional and international trade relations. Parallel to that, Yara was the Chief Executive Officer of the Jerusalem Arbitration Centre. An initiative that aims to create a mechanism for Palestinian and Israeli businesses to resolve commercial disputes via arbitration.

Yara holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard Kennedy School of Government and is an Edward Mason Fellow of Public Policy. Her first publication at Ivey School was in January 2011, and focused on international marketing.

Solomon Assefa

Founder and Partner, C1 Ventures, IBM Research Africa, USA

Dr. Solomon Assefa is a Founder and Partner at C1 Ventures, focused on building and scaling ventures that tackle industry decarbonization through science and innovation. He leverages his vast R&D and management experience to foster innovation and direct investments into ventures that accelerate breakthrough science and technologies to market to enable environmental sustainability. He applies his deep expertise to identify and turbocharge startups at the cutting edge of science and technology, particularly those focused on decarbonizing industries. He works closely with scientist entrepreneurs from the development of innovations to successful market launches, demonstrating the firm’s dedication to combining technological progress with environmental responsibility.

Dr. Assefa holds a BS, MSc, and PhD from MIT, and two decades of scientific and executive leadership. As a Vice President at IBM Research, he was instrumental in leading global R&D efforts, commercialization of technologies, and management of hundreds of research scientists worldwide. Furthermore, he was responsible for spearheading IBM’s strategy on climate and sustainability, including the launch of products for enterprise clients, a global research agenda focused on innovations to tackle climate change, and partnerships spanning universities, companies, governments, multi-lateral agencies, and non-profits. Dr. Assefa’s achievements include authoring over 150 peer-reviewed articles and holding more than 70 patents. He has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and honored by the Africa America Institute for his notable contributions to science, technology, and innovation.

Jennifer (Jen) Auerbach-Rodriguez

Managing Director, Merrill Lynch, USA

Jennifer Auerbach-Rodriguez is Managing Director, Head of Acquisition, Strategic Growth and Retention at Bank of America. Making managing director at 34 at one of the largest financial services firms in the world, she is a passionate advocate for advancing women and people of colour in traditionally male-dominated industries. Auerbach-Rodriguez has served on numerous councils and networks throughout her tenure, including as the Executive Sponsor for the Women's Exchange, the Merrill Lynch Diversity and Inclusion Council and the Hispanic Latino Advisory Council. She is the recipient of a number of honours, including the 2016 Women’s Bond Club Rising Star Award, and 2016 Global Diversity & Inclusion Award by Bank of America. She was also recognized by the Paradigm for Parity coalition as one of 19 trailblazing women for breaking down barriers to help achieve true equality and full representation in corporate offices, and by Crain’s New York Business as one of 2020’s Rising Stars in Banking & Finance. Auerbach-Rodriguez holds a BA from Dartmouth College in Philosophy and an MBA from the Columbia Business School.

Ronit Avni

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Localized, USA

Ronit Avni is a tech and media entrepreneur and Peabody award-winning producer. She is founder and CEO of Localized, a career tech platform that connects university students and fresh graduates with industry experts to guide them and employers to hire them. Ronit was twice named a “New Power Woman in Tech” by DCA Live.
Previously, Ronit founded and led the media organization Just Vision, which creates documentary films, news analysis and public education campaigns in the Middle East and North America. She has won dozens of media prizes globally, including the Puma Creative Impact Award, and her team’s work was featured in nearly every major news outlet and viewed by tens of millions of people on TV, online and in influential settings from TED to the United Nations.

Named a Young Global Leader through the World Economic Forum in 2009 and a 2018 Halcyon Fellow, Ronit sits on the jury of the MacArthur Foundation’s 100 & Change Competition and the Global Teacher Prize.

Ronit began her career at WITNESS.org, which advises activists and technology companies on the ethical and strategic uses of video and digital technology for social impact. She co-edited the book, “Video for Change - A Guide for Advocacy and Activism” with WITNESS and now sits on the WITNESS Advisory Council.

Ronit has been recognized with a variety of honors, including the King Hussein Leadership Prize, Search for Common Ground’s Common Ground Award, the Circles of Change Award, Auburn Seminary’s Lives of Commitment Award and the Trailblazer Award from the National Council for Research on Women.