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.
Rima Assi is a Senior Partner with the Middle East Office of McKinsey & Company and Managing Partner of McKinsey’s Abu Dhabi office. Rima advises leading governments in the Middle East on public finance to drive large-scale social and economic transformation, and is a major champion for women’s empowerment across the region. Rima is a key speaker on the power of gender parity at several fora including the Global Women’s Forum Dubai and GITEX Tech conference. She has authored several articles on the power of gender parity in Newsweek Middle East and more recently on more powerful approaches to ensuring value in public finances.
Bernardo is a vibrant young entrepreneur with a strong sense of purpose in a local industry dominated by large traditional real estate developers. In a country of more than 6 million senior citizens, Bernardo has undertaken the task of designing and building projects that can provide high-quality residences, care and wellness programs for the elderly and has shown signs of always being on the cusp of innovation for social integration in urbanism.
Chris is an award-winning repeat-entrepreneur, engineer and an author. Previously, he founded UCOT Inc.: the world's first center for the unintended consequences of Technologies. Chris coined and popularized the term "UCOT" (unintended consequences of technology) in the tech sector and the concept of "UCOT" evangelism. Before that, he founded Hourglass ventures a fund that supports visionary entrepreneurs from the African continent who come from an underprivileged background- and need Friends and Family round financing to get their ideas off the ground. Before that, he founded Health Access Corps, a non-profit that works to establish sustainable health care systems on the African continent. Chris has been invited to speak at some of the world’s most prestigious platforms such as TED, Clinton Global Initiative, and United Nations. He has won many international awards for his work, most recently 2016 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader; TEDFellow; Forbes Magazine 30Under30, Ashoka fellow and Echoing Green fellow. Chris' work has been featured in many major media publications both locally and Internationally such as BBC, Forbes, and NPR. Chris holds a Bachelor’s of Science, and Master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He was awarded Mark Bingham Award for excellence in achievement by a young alumnus in the last 10 years.
Lera Auerbach's work transcends the 20th-century focus on specialization. A renaissance artist for modern times, she allows her artistic impulse to guide the genre of expression; whatever the medium - art, literature, or music - all of her work is interconnected as part of a cohesive and comprehensive artistic worldview.
Auerbach's large scale works have been produced in major theaters on every continent, including the Hamburg State Opera, Vienna's Theater an der Wien, New York's Lincoln Center, the National Ballet of Canada, the National Ballet of China, the Royal Danish Theater, the Nuremberg State Theater, the Finnish National Theater, Moscow's Stanislavsky Theater, the Nederlands Dans Theater, and the San Francisco Ballet.
Auerbach has been drawing and painting all her life as part of her creative process. In 2009, after a devastating fire destroyed her studio in New York, she began sculpting prolifically. Her paintings and photographs have been included in several exhibitions and, in 2013, she had her first solo photography show in Norway. Her creations are in private collections, have sold at auctions, been reproduced in magazines, and used on the covers of CDs and books. She has published three books of poetry in Russian, and her first book in English, "Excess of Being", was published in 2015.
Auerbach was born in Chelyabinsk at the gateway of Siberia. She received parallel graduate and post-graduate degrees from the Juilliard School and the Hanover University of Music, Drama, and Media. Her awards include the Hindemith Prize, two Golden Masks, the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, the German Radio Prize, and the ECHO Classic Award.
Jennifer (Jen) Auerbach-Rodriguez
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.
BSc in Public Administration, University of Abuja. Over five years of experience advocating for the betterment of persons with disabilities. Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cedar Seed Foundation, Nigeria. President, Disabled Sports Club - Abuja, President, Women on Wheels Multipurpose Cooperative Society. Vice-President, Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Association, Nigeria Chapter. Assistant National Coordinator, Network of Women with Disabilities. Board Member, Potters Gallery Initiative.
Aditi Avasthi is Founder of India's EdTech AI platform Embibe. Embibe is creating learning outcomes at scale through personalising the delivery of education to students in emerging markets. Amongst its many patents and publications, Embibe was recently granted a patent proving learning outcomes being created through its adaptive learning machine. Aditi and her company are the recipients of numerous honours and awards, including: WEF Global Innovator, Accenture Innovator of the Year; CEO of the Year 2019, India; Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, Vogue; Woman of the Year 2018; CEO of the Year; Best AI Company in Education; BWDisrupt 40 Under 40 2017; BBC 100 Women 2017; Digital Disruptor, Maximum Business Impact; Woman Entrepreneur of the Year; Fortune 40 Under 40 2015.
Politician, Our Ocean Conference 2024 Coordinator, Member of the Hellenic Parliament and Chair of the Environment Committee of the Hellenic Parliament, Chair of the Mediterranean Parliamentarians on Sustainable Development, Director of the European Institute of Law, Science & Technology, Attorney at Law, specialized in International Environment, Energy, Water and Climate Change Law and Finance.
Gwenaelle Avice Huet has been Schneider Electric’s Executive Vice President of Europe Operations since September 4, 2023 and serves on its Executive Committee. She is responsible for Schneider Electric’s full business portfolio across Europe Operations, representing the company’s contribution to the development of the EU’s agenda to accelerate Europe’s green and digital transformation.
Gwenaelle joined Schneider Electric in 2021 as Senior-Vice President of Corporate Strategy, before entering the Executive Committee as Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer.
Before joining Schneider Electric, Gwenaelle worked at ENGIE (formerly GDF SUEZ) in various roles, from Senior Vice-President of European and Regulatory affairs, to leading the Renewables energy business. In her last role, she was on the Executive Committee of ENGIE, serving as the Chief Executive Officer of ENGIE North America and in charge of the Global Business Line on Renewable Energies.
Gwenaelle started her career at the French National Centre for Scientific Research and the French Atomic Energy Commission on nuclear energy before joining the World Bank in Washington D.C. as a consultant. She also worked for the service of the French Prime Minister within the General Secretary of European affairs with responsibility for energy and competitiveness matters, and as the advisor on energy and climate change for various ministers.
Gwenaelle also serves on the Board of Air France – KLM. She holds a degree in Physics and Chemistry from the Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, a post-graduate diploma in Molecular Chemistry from France’s Ecole Polytechnique and an engineering degree from the Corps des Ponts et Chaussées. She has also been nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She is based in Europe.
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.
Nick Ayers is one of America’s leading public policy and business strategists. He has forged a successful career in business and served at the highest levels of the United States government. Most recently, Nick served in the White House as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Vice President. While at the White House, Nick helped shape the administration’s most important and high-profile initiatives, from space policy to tax policy to foreign policy, including the U.S. posture toward China and the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Nick recently partnered with Insight Venture Partners to acquire Veeam Software, where he now serves as a member of Veeam’s board of directors. Previously he helped build one of the Nation’s most successful media and digital buying firms.
Time Magazine named Nick one of the “40 most influential people in politics under the age of 40” and The Wall Street Journal called him a “political prodigy.” In 2019, the World Economic Summit nominated Nick to join the forum as a Young Global Leader. He received a Bachelor of Political Science degree from Kennesaw State University. Nick is the proud husband to Jamie and father of ten-year-old triplets, Charles, Mary Floyd, and Talton.
Dr Dawood Azami is an award winning senior journalist and academic with a quarter century of working experience. As a Multi-Media Editor in the BBC World Service (London), he leads a team of journalists in covering international news and current affairs.
Dawood is also an Associate Fellow at The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London, contributing to research and analysis of geopolitical and international security and development issues.
He also served as the BBC World Service Bureau Chief and Editor in Kabul, Afghanistan (2010-2011) where he was responsible for the editorial management of the Bureau and leading a large team of journalists and supporting staff.
He was a Visiting Lecturer/Scholar at the University of Westminster (London) and The Ohio State University (USA) teaching on both BA (Globalization, Power and International Governance) & MA modules (International Politics of Resources) as well as Culture and Politics in the greater Middle East.
Dawood obtained his Ph.D. in the field of Politics and International Relations/Security. His PhD looked at conflict and state (un)building and investigated the impact of drugs on the strength, motivation and ideology of insurgent groups in four countries – Afghanistan (Taliban), Colombia (FARC), Turkey (PKK) and Sri Lanka (LTTE).
He also holds three Master's in various fields including Politics, International Relations, International Security, Science, Law and Diplomacy.
He has won several national and international awards and prizes. In 2009, he won the BBC’s “Global Reith Award for Outstanding Contribution”, the biggest and lifetime achievement award in the BBC. He was selected as a Young Global Leader (YGL) by the World Economic Forum, Geneva, in 2011. In 2012, he was selected as a Young Leader in Europe under the first pan- European programme of leadership called ’40 under 40’. In 2015, he was given "Journalist of the Mediterranean (Giornalisti del Mediterraneo)" Award in Italy.
He has visited more than 30 countries and participated as a speaker in more than a hundred international conferences/seminars on a wide range of topics including politics, security, international relations, media and governance.
He is also a member of a number of international academic and professional initiatives.
Dawood speaks five languages (Pashto, Dari/Persian, Urdu/Hindi, and English) and has a working knowledge of Arabic and Turkish. He paints and practices calligraphy and writes poems and short stories in three languages.