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.

Verena Pausder

Managing Partner, Pausder Ventures GmbH, Germany

Verena founded the companies Fox & Sheep GmbH in 2012 and HABA Digital GmbH in 2016 and is passionate about the digital life and education of children. Verena is driven by a great vision: All children are supposed to access digital education equally. Therefore, Verena founded the non-profit association Digitale Bildung für Alle e.V. in 2017. Furthermore Verena gives first-hand advice on current issues of digitalization on the political level and serves as a member of the Innovation Council for the Minister of State for Digitalization, Dorothee Bär.

Rolph Antoine Payet

Executive Secretary, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, Switzerland

Rolph Antoine Payet, with a PhD in Environmental Science, is currently Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention Secretariat based in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior he was Minister for Environment and Energy in the Government of Seychelles. He has also held the position of President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Seychelles and Special Adviser to the President of Seychelles. Payet is founding member/trustee of the Global Island Partnership, the Sea Level Rise Foundation, the Seychelles University Foundation, the Seychelles Centre for Marine Research and Technology, the Island Conservation Society and the Silhouette Foundation. In November 2007, he shared the Nobel Peace Prize as an IPCC Lead Author.

Yana Peel

Global Head of Arts, Culture and Communications, Chanel, United Kingdom

Yana Peel is CEO of Intelligence Squared Group, the world’s leading forum for live debate. Having co-founded Outset Contemporary Art Fund as a cultural foundation in 2003, Yana maintains board and advisory positions across the arts that include: Tate Executive Council, British Fashion Council, V&A, V-A-C Foundation Moscow, Para/Site Art Space and Asia Art Archive. Most recently, she authored the third in her series of best-selling children’s books to benefit the National Society for the Protection against Cruelty to Children (Art for Baby), was selected as the recipient of the Mont Blanc Award for Arts Patronage and joined the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Role of Arts in Society.

Yana was born in St Petersburg, Russia. She attended McGill University, completed her post-graduate studies in Economics at LSE and started her career at Goldman Sachs.

Efrat Peled

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Arison Investments, Israel

Efrat Peled is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Arison Investments, a privately owned investment company that delivers solid business and financial performance by investing in companies and projects with sustainability at their core. Peled is a Board Member of Bank Hapoalim and the real estate and infrastructure group Shikun & Binui, both traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. She also serves on the boards of the Ted Arison Family Foundation, Salt of the Earth and Miya, a global water efficiency company, as well as a Member on the Investment Committee for the Weizmann Global Endowment Management Trust and a Member of the Clinton Global Initiative LEAD group. A licensed CPA, Peled holds an MBA from the Kellogg-Recanati executive programme, and a BA in Accounting and Economics and a post-graduate diploma in Real Estate Appraisal and Management from Tel Aviv University. Peled was listed in Forbes “World's 100 Most Powerful Women” in 2009 and ranked as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” by Fortune Magazine in 2011.

Enrique Peña Nieto

Digital Member, Mexico

Enrique Peña Nieto joined public service at an
early age, occupying several positions in the
government of the State of Mexico. From 2000 to
2002, he was Secretary of Administration and
from 2003 to 2004, he was elected Representative
of the 13th District in the 65th Session of the
State of Mexico, where he was Coordinator of the
Parliamentary Group of the Institutional
Revolutionary Party. In 2005, Enrique Peña Nieto ran for the
governorship of the State of Mexico. During his
campaign, he toured the state, listening to people
and signing commitments before a notary,
ranging from remodeling clinics and schools to
building roads and hospitals.
After a successful campaign, he was elected
govern or of the State of Mexico, during the
period from 16 September 2005 to 15 September
During his term as governor, Enrique Peña Nieto
achieved significant progress in infrastructure and
public services, particularly in health. He
restructured finances in the State of Mexico,
reducing public debt and increasing expenditure
targeting works and programs, without the need
to increase taxes. In 2011, at the end of his term as governor,
Enrique Peña Nieto expressed his hopes of
running for the presidency. After an intense
electoral campaign, characterized by the signing
of national and state commitments, he won the
elections on 1 July 2012.
As of 1 December, Enrique Peña Nieto is
President of Mexico. The main objective of his
government will ensure that the rights that the
Constitution confers on Mexicans move from
paper into practice.

Josef Penninger

Director, Life Sciences Institute, University of British Columbia, Canada

Josef Penninger is the Founding Director of IMBA, a research initiative of the Austrian Academy of Sciences that promotes excellence in molecular biology and genetic research. Penninger is one of the world's leading mouse geneticists. In 2006, he received the Descartes Prize from the EU, the Ernst Jung Prize in Medicine and the Carus Medal for his work on finding genes that control life and disease. He is also the youngest Member of the Academy of Sciences in Austria and holds professorships in Toronto, Vienna and Beijing. Penninger has published more than 300 scientific articles; he was the first to identify the key function of a gene that controls bone loss in osteoporosis, arthritis, bone metastases, AIDS patients and in children with leukaemia and also found genes that regulate pain, heart disease, the circadian clock and, recently, lung failure involved in bird flu and bioterrorism. He has a degree in Medicine, studied Art History and worked for many years in Toronto.

Aaron Pereira

Project Lead, The Wellbeing Project, France

Aaron is excited about the interplay between our inner lives and the broader world. Aaron Pereira is currently Project Lead for The Wellbeing Project. The Wellbeing Project is catalysing a culture of inner wellbeing for all changemakers. The Wellbeing Project is co-created with Ashoka, Esalen, Impact Hub, Porticus, the Skoll Foundation, and Synergos. The Project emerged from a 7 year sabbatical ending in 2012. Aaron has also worked with the Guggenheim on an urban labs project, co-founded a pilot social enterprise to address the inequity and the housing issues in Mumbai slums, and on exploring different threads of how neighbourhood life happens especially in Paris. Pre-sabbatical, Aaron was co-founder of CanadaHelps and Vartana. CanadaHelps engages over 2 million Canadians to raise over CAD$200 million a year to support causes in their community and around the world. CanadaHelps also works with over 20,000 charities on capacity related issues. Vartana was one of the pioneers of the Canadian field of social finance. Aaron is an Ashoka Fellow and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Aaron completed a degree with a minor in Economics from Queen's University, studied at Oxford University as a Skoll Scholar, and completed an executive education program at Harvard.

Cheryl Perera

Founder and President, OneChild Network and Support Inc., Canada

Founder and President, OneChild, empowering a movement of children and youth to combat child sex trafficking. Her career in child protection began at age 17, after playing the main role of the decoy in a STING operation with Sri Lankan authorities to apprehend a child sex perpetrator. Today, her career spans over a decade where she has investigated child sex tourism (CST) cases; lobbied across private, public, and civil society organizations to increase action against CST legislation; and provided shelter and long-term comprehensive care to hundreds of victims in Asia.

Canadian Youth Ambassador, UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative. Youth Advocate, Global Partnership for Education. Adjudicator, Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 and World of Children Awards. Former Board Member, Canadians Addressing Sexual Exploitation. Youth Ambassador, Free the Children and Me to We. Mentor, Women’s Executive Network. Youth Volunteer, National Child Protection Authority of Sri Lanka.

Recipient: Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 (2006), World of Children Honouree (2006) and Canada's Top 20 Under 20.

Rodrigo Pérez-Alonso

Partner, Koalsulting, Mexico

Partner at Koalsulting, a firm specializing in public and government affairs. Former Executive Director of the National Air Transportation Chamber in Mexico, a major industry association for air transportation in Mexico. Law degree, ITAM; MSc in Public Policy, UCL; MPA, Harvard Kennedy School. Formerly Served in the Mexican Congress (2009-2012), in the Presidential Transition Team and as Director of Regulatory Affairs for Televisa, among other positions.

Specializes in law, policy and regulation of network and regulated industries.

Accomplished weekly columnist for Excelsior Newspaper and weekly commentary on national TV and radio for Grupo Imagen. Young Global Leader 2013 of the World Economic Forum. Law Degree (ITAM). MSc In Public Policy (UCL), Master in Public Administration (Harvard University).

An executive with more than 17 years experience in managing teams in the public and private sectors; regulatory affairs, legislation, regulation, finance and economics.

Until May of 2019, he served as the Executive Director of the National Air Transportation Chamber (CANAERO), a private industry association with a 52-year history that represents 67 national, international, and cargo airlines, as well as aviation service providers and private air taxi operators. He manages an annual budget of US$500,000 and seven staff members. Under his tenure, eight new members have been affiliated at CANAERO including Airbus. Participated in negotiations on behalf of the industry for the New International Airport, fuel market liberalization and passenger taxes.

Previously served as Director of Financial Planning and Evaluation at Telecomm-Telégrafos, a state-run telecommunications company with more than 15,000 employees (federal government’s satellites and its fiber optic backbone). Federal Congressman in the LXI Legislature where he chaired the Special Committee on Digital Access and served as Senior Member in the Economics Committee. In the private sector, he worked as a lawyer in various top-tier firms, as Director of Regulatory Affairs at Televisa Corporacion and as a partner at Techonomics, where he advised various companies.

In March 2013 the World Economic Forum selected him as a member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders. Since 2010 he is a national columnist in Excelsior (Opinion, Money) and has written for magazines such as Forbes Mexico. Select speaking engagements at events organized by Forbes Mexico, the World Economic Forum and Harvard Business Review.

Alternative name spelling: Rodrigo Perez-Alonso, Rodrigo Perez Alonso

Lucas E. Pescarmona

Founder, Sitrack Corporation, USA

Lucas Pescarmona is President of Mercantil Andina Compania de Seguros (insurance) and Chief Operating Officer of VENTI, one of the leading industrial groups in Latin America. VENTI has its core businesses in the manufacturing and developing of renewable energy equipment and power stations. The capital goods manufacturing (IMPSA) includes hydromechanical and wind generation equipment, development of hydropower stations and wind farms for electric power generation; waste management and environmental services; auto industry supplies; and property and casualty insurance (Mercantil Andina). Pescarmona holds a BA in Economics and a BA in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as an MBA from Luigi Bocconi University.

Nick Pisalyaput

President, Corporate Responsibility & Ethics Association for Thai Enterprise (CREATE), Thailand

BSc, University of Bristol; MBA, Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration, Thailand. More than 20 years' experience as investor and entrepreneur. 2009, Co-Founder, Corporate Responsibility & Ethics Association for Thai Enterprise. Faculty Adviser for new venture formulation, Lecturer in CSR, and Director, Centre for Sustainability Management, Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration. Co-Chair, Bangkok Professional Chapter, Net Impact. Thailand's Representative, Caux Round Table.

Katarzyna Pisarska

Chairwoman of the Council, The Casimir Pulaski Foundation, Poland

Dr. Katarzyna Pisarska is the Founder and Director of the European Academy of Diplomacy in Warsaw, Poland and the Visegrad School of Political Studies run in cooperation with the Council of Europe. She is also the Program Director of the Warsaw Security Forum and a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum in Davos. In the past, she has served as adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Polish Parliament, to the Office of National Security at the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland; and continues to work as regular foreign affairs broadcaster in Polish and international media.

In addition to her leadership and management experience Dr. Pisarska pursues a career in academia. She is an Assistant Professor at the Warsaw School of Economics and a Visiting Professor at ADA University in Baku, Azerbaijan. Previously, Dr. Pisarska was a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Harvard University (2007), a Visiting Scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (2010) at the University of Oslo (2012) and at the Australian National University in Canberra (2015). She is the author of the book "The Domestic Dimension of Public Diplomacy - Evaluating Success through Civil Engagement (Palgrave 2016).

Recent Distinctions: Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum in Davos (2014); "99 under 33" most influential world foreign policy leaders, Diplomatic Courier (2013); Outstanding Young Scholars Award (2013-2016), Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education (2013).