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.

Eleni Antoniadou

Researcher, NASA FDL, Singapore

Eleni Antoniadou is a scientist in the fields of Regenerative Medicine, Bioastronautics and Artificial Intelligence and an advocate against gender inequalities and cyber harassment. Her multidisciplinary research is focused on developing artificial organs as an alternative therapeutic pathway for transplantations, as a means to eliminate illegal organ trading and on artificial intelligence-based applications for space missions. She has been named the 2015 Forbes 30 under 30 for Healthcare, Cartier Laureate for USA, Global Leader by the Tallberg Foundation, 2013 Woman of the Year in the UK , BBC 100 Most Powerful Women, “11 Great Greeks of the Past, Present and Future” by the EPP party of the European Parliament among others and received more than 12 scholarships during her academic career. Eleni has conducted research at NASA's Mars Exploration lab, NASA FDL and the European Astronaut Centre.

Since 2009, Eleni is committed to the elimination of harmful and repugnant organ trade by organising medical mission trips to affected areas in Latin America and Africa and by raising awareness about illicit organ trading. Her endeavours serve as a primary driver to create a global regulatory framework that will culminate in the passage of transplant and artificial organ legislation at an international level.

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.

Paolo Benigno Aquino IV

Co-Founder and President, Hapinoy, Philippines

Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino is the youngest Senator of the 16th Congress of the Republic of the Philippines. In 2003, he became the youngest head of a government agency when, at 25, was appointed as the Chairperson of the National Youth Commission, the primary national policy-making body for Filipino youth. Bam also co-founded the social enterprise Hapinoy, which has received global awards for helping lift poor Filipinos out of poverty through micro-finance and micro-enterprise support. Bam has dedicated his entire career to empowering the youth and the poor, helping thousands of Filipinos improve their lives through access to opportunities and crucial support systems. Because of this work, he was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines in 2010, one of the Asian Social Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2011 and one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World in 2012.

Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister of New Zealand, Government of New Zealand, New Zealand

Bachelor’s in Professional Communication, University of Waikato. Former Adviser, Office of then New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark; then worked in London for the British Cabinet Office. Also volunteered at a soup kitchen in New York. 2008, entered New Zealand’s Parliament at the age of 26; 2017, became the youngest-ever leader of the Labour Party. Only two months after assuming the leadership, led the party to electoral victory and was sworn in as Prime Minister heading a three-party government involving the New Zealand First Party and the Greens. Currently the youngest woman elected head of government in the world and only the second elected head of government to have had a baby while in office. Also holds the roles of Minister for National Security and Intelligence, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, and Minister for Child Poverty Reduction.

Yara Argueta

Member of the Board, Mergers and Acquisitions and Expansion, Grupo Solid SA, Guatemala

Former CEO of Grupo Solid, market leader of Paints and Coatings in Central America with headcount of 1,500 employees and above US$ 100 million in turnover. Currently became board member of Grupo Solid, also in charge of M&A and expansion.
Yara was appointed as one of the most powerful woman in Central America by Forbes Magazine in 2016, and as one of five more admired women in Central America by the business magazine Estrategia y Negocios, for three consecutive years (2008, 2009 and 2010). Honored as Distinguished Professional of the year by INCAE Business School in 2013.
Member of the Central America Leadership Initiative – CALI / Aspen Global Network. President and Mentor of Vital Voices´ Guatemalan Chapter. Board Member of the Guatemalan Board of INCAE Business School. Has served as Industrial Engineering Director in Universidad Rafael Landivar. Electoral Coordinator and Delegate for the last four Guatemalan presidential elections.
Yara has an MBA from INCAE, an Industrial Engineer degree from Universidad Rafael Landivar and additional education in Harvard Kennedy School and in Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Marisol Argueta de Barillas

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

Head of the Regional Agenda, Latin America; Member of the Executive Committee at World Economic Forum. Lawyer and career ambassador. Formerly: Minister of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador; Director-General for Foreign Policy of El Salvador; Minister Counsellor, Embassy of El Salvador, Washington DC; Deputy Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the UN, New York. JD, Universidad Dr Jose M. Delgado; Postgraduate in Diplomacy, University of Oxford; further specialized studies, International Peace Academy, Harvard University, Columbia University and Wharton Business School. Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law and Political Law. Member: Central American Leadership Initiative, Aspen Institute; Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum. Advisory Board, Latin America Program, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington D.C.; Global Council CIPPEC, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Author of articles on international affairs and regional integration. Recipient of awards from Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Italy and the USA.

Steve Arora

Chief Executive Officer, Axis Re Ltd, Switzerland

Degree in Economics, Muhlenberg College; GE Capital Financial Management Program (FMP); Swiss Re Group Management Development Program; STARS Symposium for Leaders of the Next Generation. Diverse track record of experiences; has held roles in various financial services industries, geographic locations, and with various functional responsibilities. Has lived in the US, Germany, UK, Switzerland, Japan and Saudi Arabia. Currently, Member, Reinsurance Executive Committee, Swiss Re; Division Head, Casualty Reinsurance. Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum (2015).

Tewodros Ashenafi

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Southwest Holdings, Ethiopia

Tewodros Ashenafi is Founder and Chairman of SouthWest Holdings Ltd., a leading Ethiopian holding company, and Chairman of Ambo Mineral Water, one of the leading beverage brands in Ethiopia and part of Coca Cola Beverages Africa. Mr. Ashenafi is the local partner and did the largest privatization and private transaction in Ethiopian history, the $1.4 billion enterprise value privatization of (NTE), were he joined as board director, and JTI. He is also the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SouthWest Energy (HK), an African indigenous oil and gas exploration company, which is the top 10 acreage holder in East Africa. Ashenafi started his career at Merrill Lynch & Co. He serves on the Board of the EastWest Institute, a leading security think. He is also on the International Advisory Board of Atlantic Council, a non-partisan institution devoted to promoting transatlantic cooperation and international security, he is on the Advisory Board of Cepheus Growth Capital Partners a leading Ethiopian-focused private equity firm. Mr. Ashenafi is on the Advisory Board of the Columbia University Africa Centre. Mr. Ashenafi is a member of Young President's Organisation (YPO) Intercontinental Chapter. Ashenafi holds a degree in Economics from Columbia University and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School. He was nominated as a Young Global Leader (YGL) Davos 2009.

Iwao Aso

Group Chairman, ASO Corporation, Japan

Iwao Aso is President of the Aso Corporation and Group Chairman of the Aso Group, with interests in the fields of infrastructure, environmental solutions, healthcare, education and lifestyle services. He is also a Director of Dwango Co. Aso started his career in the family business as auditor at Aso Cement. He also served in the Aso Group as a director, executive director, senior managing director and vice-president. Prior, Aso worked as a trainee in Hongkong Land, Colliers Jardine in Hong Kong and the financial instruments development division in Shinsei Bank. Aso completed his undergraduate studies at Keio University with a BA in Economics. He also majored in international relations at the University of Cambridge.

Martin Aspillaga

Managing Director, Sociedad Gestora de Fondos de Inversión Salkantay Capital Partners, Peru

Martin Aspillaga is Managing Director and Founder of Salkantay Partners. He is a PE and VC professional investor. Prior, he worked at Enfoca Investments, Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company and as a Peruvian bank regulator. He is a teacher, mentor and instructor and has published poetry, short stories and articles. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Universidad del Pacifico.

Solomon Assefa

Vice-President, IBM Research Africa, South Africa

Dr. Solomon Assefa is a Vice President at IBM Research. He heads research strategy, execution, commercialization, and partnerships for Impact Science, which includes Future of Climate, Future of Work, and Future of Health. Under his leadership, researchers from IBM’s global labs are applying and advancing disruptive technologies that will transform industries and benefit society. These technologies include AI, cloud, quantum computing, and accelerated discovery. He is also directing the worldwide effort focused on developing core technologies and partnerships for climate change mitigation and adaptation. He directs scientists from IBM’s global labs who are innovating in areas such as sustainable hybrid cloud, AI-enabled material discovery for carbon capture, carbon footprint optimization, AI-driven climate risk and impact modelling to enable resiliency.

Furthermore, Solomon is responsible for IBM’s research labs in Kenya and South Africa, and heads IBM’s research strategy and partnership across MEA. He is responsible for fostering local innovation ecosystems by forming new models for partnership with government, industry, academia, non-profits, and start-up companies. The labs are localizing these technologies and developing scalable (lab to market) solutions for emerging markets in areas such as financial services, telcos, healthcare, supply chain, energy and utilities, agriculture, and public sector.

Previously, Dr. Assefa was the Director of Research Strategy & Growth Initiatives at IBM Research headquarters in NY. He has also served as a Program Manager in the office of Science and Technology at IBM Research headquarters, with responsibilities for evaluating science and technology roadmaps for IBM’s worldwide research laboratories.
As a Research Scientist, Solomon has worked on IBM’s nanophotonics technology with responsibilities spanning research, development, and technology transfer. He has also worked on field switched and spin torque MRAM technologies. He has co-authored over 150 publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, has over 50 patents, and has appeared as a guest speaker at numerous conferences worldwide. His work has been featured in Nature magazine, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, Forbes, Technology Review, EE Times, and IEEE Spectrum, among many others.
Solomon is a recipient of several awards including Corporate Recognition Award and Invention Achievement Awards from IBM. He was named one of the World’s Top Young Innovators under 35 and received the TR35 awarded by MIT’s Technology Review (2011). Solomon was honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2013. He is an Honorary Professor at Wits in South Africa. He received a B.S. in Physics (2001), a B.S. in EECS (2001), a M.S. in EECS (2001) and a Ph.D. (2004) all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Christopher Ategeka

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Startup Playbook, USA

Chris is an award-winning repeat-entrepreneur and an Engineer. He is the founder and CEO at 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.