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.

Souad Mekhennet

Staff Reporter, The Washington Post, USA

Souad Mekhennet is an award winning reporter for The Washington Post’s national security desk and author.
She worked previously for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, and NPR.
Mekhennet was a 2012 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and is a visiting fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies as well as the Geneva Center for Security Policy and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
She first reported for The Post in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, delving into the backgrounds of the Hamburg cell and writing on the al-Qaeda threat in Europe, North Africa and the Gulf. She was part of The Post’s coverage of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. From 2004 until 2013 Mekhennet worked at The New York Times where she produced some of the most distinguished reporting on the Bush administration’s war on terrorism and "Inside the world of Jihad."
In 2014 she returned to The Post as a contributor and was upped to staff writer in 2017.
Mekhennet has written four books, most recently her critically acclaimed memoir, "I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad", which the New Yorker described as “an enthralling and sometimes shocking blend of reportage and memoir from the centers of jihadi networks.”
It was included in the 2017 long list for The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, received the Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism, in 2018 she received the Henri Nannen journalism award and the "Boerne Preis" one of the highest literature awards in Germany.

Patricia Menendez Cambo

Deputy General Counsel, USA

Patricia Menendez-Cambo was formerly the Deputy General Counsel of SoftBank Group International and the General counsel of SoftBank Latin America Fund and the SB Opportunity Fund . Previously she was the Vice Chair of Greenberg Traurig. During her tenure at the firm she also served as Chair of the Global Practice, Chair of the Corporate & Securities Practice, Co-Chair of the Global Energy & Infrastructure Practice, and was a member of the firm's Executive Committee. Previously, Patricia served as Subdirectora General for Telefónica S.A. and General Counsel to a number of their subsidiaries assisting them in relation to their global expansion. The National Law Journal recognized Patricia as one of the "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America," one of the "Top 40 under 40" attorneys, one of the “50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America,” and one of the “50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America.” Patricia was also by Chambers for "Outstanding Contribution to Gender Diversity," as well as "Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession". Patricia is a Young Global Leader Alumni. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Council of the Americas, Woodrow Wilson Center, the Board of Overseers for the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a member of the University of Miami Board of Trustees. Patricia holds a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a BA in Economics from the University of Miami. She is active with a number organizations working toward gender diversity and inclusion.

Nikhil Meswani

Executive Director, Reliance Industries, India

Nikhil R. Meswani is Executive Director and Board Member of Reliance Industries. The Group’s activities span exploration and production of oil and gas, refining and marketing, petrochemicals, polyesters and textiles. Meswani is a Member on several key India Government committees connected with the Ministry of Textiles, Petrochemicals, Petroleum and Natural Gas. He is a Member of the Young Presidents’ Organisation and is also a distinguished Alumni of the University Institute of Chemical Technology (UICT). He was the President of the Association of Synthetic Fibre Industry and Chairman of the Asian Chemical Fibre Industries Federation. He was honoured by the Institute of Economic Studies, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, the Textile Association of India and the Ministry of Textiles and by the University Institute of Chemical Technology (UICT), Mumbai.

Antónia Mészáros

Executive Director, Hungary, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Hungary

Former: journalist, TV presenter, author and documentary film maker; host of live current affairs interview shows for 10 years on independent news channel ATV and public broadcaster MTV in Budapest, Hungary. Until 2006, worked for the BBC in London, in news, current affairs and documentaries, primarily on the strand Panorama. Experience in investigative journalism, video journalism, war reporting and filming in hostile environments. Continued making documentaries for the BBC on a freelance basis while anchoring flagship TV shows in Hungary. Currently, Executive Director, UNICEF Hungary. Author of a book on migration from Eastern Europe to the European Union (2006).

H.R.H. Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway

Crown Princess of Norway, The Royal Court, Norway

Master's in Management, BI Norwegian Business School; studies in Development Issues, School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Dedicated to youth health and youth empowerment nationally and internationally. 2006, appointed Special Representative for UNAIDS. 2008, invited by UNAIDS to participate in strategic planning of the future AIDS response, and also focused on HIV/AIDS at the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation. 2015, co-founded the Maverick Collective with Kate Roberts (Senior Vice-President, Population Services International); Melinda Gates joined as co-chair. The Maverick Collective aims to engage other women to use their voice, intellectual and financial resources, to improve women's health worldwide and help end extreme poverty. Patron, Norwegian Red Cross. Member, Global Agenda Council on Healthy New Generation, World Economic Forum. Involved with developing and supporting new models of health interventions to address the most critical health issues for youth, specifically for girls. Also focused on strengthening youth leadership, through participation as Member of the Board, The Crown Prince and Crown Princess' Fund, which aims to empower youth in Norway. Member of the Board, Global Shapers, World Economic Forum. Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum. Named: Leading Global Thinker, Foreign Policy Magazine (2016); one of the Most Creative People in Business, Fast Company (2016).

Wenjuan Mi

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, VIPKID, People's Republic of China

Recognized for her career as an educator and entrepreneur, Cindy Mi is the Founder and CEO of VIPKid, a global edtech company that connects children in China with the world’s best teachers for real-time online English language learning. VIPKid has become China’s market-leading edtech startup. VIPKid’s vision is to build a global classroom that empowers students and teachers through personalized learning, connects cultures across the world and sparks a passion for lifelong learning. There are approximately 180,000 classes every day on the VIPKid platform.

VIPKid has been awarded several high-profile honors such as Fast Company’s World Most Innovative Companies 2018 and 2019 and Flexjobs’ #1 global company for remote jobs.

VIPKid has received investment from Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Sinovation Ventures, Coatue Management, Learn Capital and Kobe Bryant’s firm, Bryant Stibel, among others.

Cindy has spoken on the main stage at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, ASU+GSV Summit (2019, 2018 and 2017), OZY Fest in Central Park, Y Combinator’s Startup School at Tsinghua University in Beijing and Y Combinator's Global Founders Summit (2018 and 2017) in San Francisco, among others.

In 2018, Cindy joined the Whittle School & Studios’ Academic Advisory Board. Cindy was also selected to join the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders Class of 2018.
Cindy earned her MBA from CKGSB, China’s leading private business school, and studied at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management as part of an MBA exchange program.

Miao Yanliang

Chief Strategist; Executive Head, Research Department, China International Capital Corporation (CICC), People's Republic of China

Mr. Miao Yanliang joined CICC in March 2023. Before that he has served for 10 years at China State Administration of Foreign Exchange, including as its Chief Economist since May 2018. He joined in 2013 as Senior Advisor to the Administrator and then Head of Research. He helped formulate global macro views and built a top-notch research platform for the world’s largest reserve manager. As Chief Economist, he also advises the senior management of PBC/SAFE on a range of economic and policy issues. Before SAFE, he was an economist with the IMF where he worked on emerging markets and then the euro area crisis including as policy coordinator for the Portugal program. Before the IMF, he was visiting the Bank of Israel in 2007 as special assistant to the Governor and taught economics at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University. Mr. Miao is an adjunct professor of Peking University’s National School of Development, a member of China Finance 40 Forum, a trustee of Shanghai University and an external member of the Academic Committee of China Development Bank. He publishes extensively on global macro and occasionally as a columnist for Project Syndicate. He holds a Ph.D., an M.A., an M.P.A., all from Princeton University, and an M.A. in economics from Fudan University.

Erwann Michel-Kerjan

Partner, McKinsey & Company, USA

Erwann is a world's authority on managing large-scale risks and designing and implementing concrete solutions to enhance resilience and financial protection. A French-American dual citizen, he is currently a Partner at McKinsey and Company (based in the US); global leader for risk in insurance.
Studies at Ecole Polytechnique, McGill and Harvard.
2013/2017: Executive Director, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
2008-2017: Chairman, OECD Secretary-General's Board on Financial Management of Catastrophes.
Former member, Advisory Board, WEF's Global Risks Report series; Steering Committee, WEF Human-Centric Health project. Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum (2007-2012).
Adviser to several corporations, NGOs, governments and heads of state. Recipient of multiple-awards. Expertise: managing and financing of extreme events; strategy; decision science and digital solutions. ;
Dr. Michel-Kerjan is author of 100 publications and 8 books. His works is regularly featured in popular outlets, ranging from BBC, Bloomberg, CNN, FT, The Economist, NYT, Time, WSJ, Nature and Science.
email: dr.erwannmichelkerjan@hotmail.com
Feel free to reach out!

Denis B. Minev

Chief Executive Officer, Bemol e Fogas, Brazil

Denis Minev is CEO of Bemol, a top retailer in northern Brazil. He is also a Co-Founder and Member of the Board of Fundação Amazonas Sustentável, an NGO that promotes development and conservation in poor communities of the Brazilian Amazon. In 2012, he was nominated a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Between 2007 and 2009, Minev served as State Secretary for Planning and Economic Development of Amazonas and was previously an analyst at Goldman Sachs. He holds a BA in Economics and an MA in Latin American Studies from Stanford University and an MBA from the Wharton School.

Rebeca Minguela

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Clarity, USA

Rebeca is Founder & CEO of Clarity, which tries to solve the problem of inefficient and unequal allocation of capital by developing a universal framework and building an automated tool to rate companies and organizations. Previously, she was leading the Global Digital Transformation Program at Santander Bank (one of the largest banks in the World). Rebeca was Founder & CEO of Blink Booking, the award winning last minute hotel booking mobile app leader in Europe, with more than 800,000 downloads, almost 3,000 hotels. Blink was acquired by Groupon less than 1 and a half years after launching. After the acquisition, Rebeca worked at Groupon as General Manager and Senior Director of Product and Operation, leading one of the top priorities of the company.

She is advisor at several startups with focus on social impact.

Prior to Blink, Rebeca worked at Bain Capital Private Equity, Boston Consult ing Group and as engineer at the German Aerospace Agency, Siemens and IBM. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, MSc in Telecommunication Engineering for Polytechnic University in Madrid and Stuttgart University (all of them with Distinction).

Ambarish Mitra

Co-Founder, Greyparrot, United Kingdom

Ambarish Mitra is a serial entrepreneur and investor in AI, AR, Food tech and Genomics. Ambarish is the Founder of Blippar, a leading technology company specializing in augmented reality, artificial intelligence and computer vision. Under Mitra’s direction, Blippar has grown from a groundbreaking idea to an industry leader with offices in the UK, US and India and was listed 3 years in a row in CNBC’s list of most disruptive companies in the world.

Ambarish is also the co-Founder of Greyparrot, an AI / Deep Learning startup focused on waste management and recycling using computer vision to sort waste at scale and fulfil many of key SDGs- UN sustainable development goals. Ambarish started his tech career in 1997 as a high school drop-out teenager creating a web portal towards women empowerment.

With a vision to bridge the physical and digital worlds and give people more from the world they see through AR and Computer Vision, Ambarish has been widely recognized for his pioneering work in the field of Augmented Reality. Mitra was named by Ernst & Young as UK Entrepreneur of the Year for 2016, and was appointed as an Ambassador for the GREAT Britain campaign to promote British innovation around the world. Mitra was also recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2017. He was also announced at Technology Pioneer by WEF in 2021 for Greyparrot.

Ambarish has given many keynotes on pioneering innovations and entrepreneurship at esteemed institutes and events including, TED Talk, World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, Web Summit, Mobile World Congress, CES, DLD, SXSW, Recode Media, TechCrunch Disrupt, GMIC China, Harvard Business School and Oxford University, inspiring many young entrepreneurs, students, and business community with his talks.

Kapil Mohabir

Founding Managing Partner, Plympton Farms, Guyana

Founding Managing Partner of Plympton Farms, a company that is catalysing the tropical food export industry in Guyana while alleviating rural poverty. Dedicated to the sustainable development of small island developing states and has managed Guyana’s $250 million climate fund to increase sustainable livelihoods, indigenous land rights, and access to clean energy.