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.

Eric Anderson

Chairman, Planetary Holdings, USA

Degree (Hons) in Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia. entrepreneur and investor active in wide range of futuristic enterprises including the software development, human space flight, digital asset, computational knowledge and biomedical industries.

Currently: Chairman & CEO, Planetary Holdings; Chairman, Space Adventures; Chairman, Booster Fuels; Co-Founder, Planetary Resources; Founder, Idea.com.

Additional: X Prize Foundation Board & TED; Chairman Emeritus of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation; CEO, Intentional Software (frmr), acquired by MSFT in 2017.

Author: The Space Tourist's Handbook.

Recipient of awards: Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year; CEO of the Year, Smart CEO magazine (2008); National Space Society Top 20 Space Visionaries;

Interests: entrepreneurship, knowledge and innovation engineering, exploring the solar system, artificial intelligence, the physics of life, and improving state of the world.

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.

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.

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 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 and Wharton Business School. Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law and Political Law. Member: Central American Leadership Initiative, Aspen Institute; Young Global Leader alumna, World Economic Forum. Advisory Board, Latin America Program, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington D.C.; Advisory Board United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for Latin America and the Caribbean; Global Council CIPPEC, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Author of articles on international affairs and regional integration. Recipient of national awards from Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Italy and the USA.

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, Irani Chair of Engineering and Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Southern California. Director of O'Brien Nanofabrication Laboratory. Research is focused on advanced functional materials for integrated photonics for telecommunications and cancer diagnostics/prognostics. Fellow: OSA. PECASE, NIH New Innovator, ONR Young Investigator Awardee. Northrop Grumman Faculty Fellow.

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.

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.

Jennifer (Jen) Auerbach-Rodriguez

Managing Director - MLWM Strategic Growth Markets, 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.

Gwenaelle Avice-Huet

Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer, Schneider Electric, USA

Gwenaelle Avice Huet joined Schneider Electric in March 2021 as Senior Vice-President in charge of Corporate Strategy. She worked for the past 11 years at ENGIE in various positions, her last one being Executive Vice President of ENGIE in charge of the Global Renewables Business Line, and President and CEO, ENGIE North America. Gwenaëlle began her career with the French government joining various ministerial offices as an advisor to the Secretary of State for European Affairs, and later to the Minister of Energy. She holds a Bachelors degree from the Ecole Normale Supérieure de cachan, an agrégation in Chemical Physics, and an Engineer Degree at the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussees

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.

Asli Ay

Chief Investment Officer, Lioness Capital, USA

Asli Ay is CIO of Lioness Capital, a policy and political event-driven hedge fund based in New York, focusing on developed and large emerging economies, with a US bias. Lioness runs a discretionary thematic portfolio, where each theme is expressed in liquid exchange-traded instruments that include equities (single stocks, ETFs, and equity indices), fixed income, futures, commodities and currencies. Risk management is a core component of the
investment process and is managed at position, theme and portfolio levels. Asli is the former Managing Partner of US Policy Metrics, a policy advisory and research firm for hedge funds. This follows her experience for almost a decade at UBS as Senior Client Relationship Director in the CEO's office, covering the largest client and/or transactions globally, where she developed a rare blend of policy expertise, an ability to analyze complex business problems, and a range of global economic policy and regulatory issues. Asli began her career at Schlumberger International, working in Egypt, India, Venezuela and Trinidad &Tobago. She later worked for Procter & Gamble as a Brand Manager running a flagship brand with US$ 100 million-plus revenue at the age of 25. Ay has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSc in Industrial Engineering from Bilkent University in Turkey. She holds various financial licenses in the United Kingdom and in United States and is a Chartered Alternative Investments Analyst.