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.

Alan Ricks

Founding Principal and Chief Design Officer, MASS Design Group, USA

Alan is a Founding Principal and the Chief Design Officer of MASS Design Group, whose mission is to research, build, and advocate for architecture that promotes justice and human dignity. He leads strategy and design of the 140-person firm, which has worked in twenty countries, on projects that range from design to research to policy—a portfolio that continues to expand the role of design in advancing a more just world.

In 2017 Alan and MASS were awarded the National Design Award for Architecture from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. First launched at the White House in 2000 as an official project of the White House Millennium Council, the annual Awards program celebrates design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world, and seeks to increase national awareness of the impact of design through education initiatives.

MASS was named the #4 Firm for Design in Architect Magazine in 2019, the official magazine of the American Institute of Architects.

Previously he was the William B. and Charlotte Shepherd Davenport Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture and has also taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He regularly speaks, writes, and creates films focused on the role of architecture in catalyzing social change. Chris Anderson, chief curator of TED, described his TED talk as “a different language about what architecture can aspire to be.”

April Rinne

Founder and Principal, April Worldwide, USA

Ranked one of the “50 Leading Female Futurists” in the world by Forbes, April Rinne is a change navigator: she helps individuals and organizations rethink and reshape their relationship with change, uncertainty, and a world in flux. She is a trusted advisor to well-known startups, companies, financial institutions, nonprofits, and think tanks worldwide, from Airbnb to Nike to the World Bank, as well as governments ranging from Singapore to South Africa, Canada to Colombia, Italy to India. April is the author of FLUX: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change.

A graduate of Harvard Law School, April has been weaving a story about how to thrive amid flux for as long as she can remember, drawing on her history as a futurist, advisor, global development executive, microfinance lawyer, investor, mental health advocate, certified yoga teacher, globetrotter (100+ countries), and insatiable handstander. April also harnesses her very personal experiences with flux, including the death of both of her parents in a car accident when she was 20. Through her travels and tragedy, vision and values, global perspective and grounded sense of purpose, April helps others better understand how we see, think about, struggle with, and ultimately forge positive relationships with change.

Kate Roberts

Founder & CEO, The Body Agency, USA

Kate Roberts is the founder of The Body Agency, TBACollective.org, The Ikigai Co, and Maverick Collective. The Maverick Collective was formed with Melinda Gates, Dr. Precious Motsepe, and the Crown Princess of Norway as Co-Chairs and, is redefining what it means to be an influential philanthropist and innovator through its work tackling women’s health issues in the developing world. Kate was formerly Senior Vice President for Population Services International (PSI), a Washington, DC-based $500M global NGO that operates in 50 countries. She has raised hundreds of millions of dollars, created public and private partnerships, and impacted women's lives across the world. Kate describes herself as a pioneer in developing a new type of philanthropy – going beyond the checkbook, using time, talent, and treasure to become a more powerful and efficient advocate for mission-driven philanthropy to end extreme poverty. In 2020, Roberts launched Ikigai Co, a private consulting practice dedicated to advising families, individuals, and organizations on strategies to design and execute customized and
purpose-driven fundraising. 2021, Kate founded The Body Agency, an eCommerce, femtech start-up and global movement making it easy for individuals to have access to much needed fem health products, services, and education.
20007 YGL, CNN Hero. Fast Company Top 100 Most Creative, Public Policy Top 100 Thinkers, Vogue Top 100, Founding Curator WEF Global Shapers.

James Rogers

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Apeel, USA

Dr. James Rogers is Founder and CEO of Apeel, a company that’s fighting the global food waste crisis by using materials found in nature to help food last longer — a sustainable approach to enable a more abundant future for the entire supply chain. Apeel’s mission has enabled Dr. Rogers to learn from and collaborate with thought leaders from all segments of the global food system. Founded in 2012, Apeel works with a global network of suppliers to serve retail customers across the globe with longer-lasting organic and conventionally grown produce, ensuring a fresher experience for customers at home. Apeel also invests its expertise in biological and data science toward helping retailers solve their fresh challenges and securing new opportunities for growth.

Shezad Rokerya

Chairman, The Interlink Group, USA

Shezad Rokerya has been a global investor and financier for 30 years. He has been an active co investor alongside governments, private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds globally.

He is Executive Chairman of The Interlink Group, a 30 year-old merchant bank with over $70 billion in transactional experience. Direct investment experience across multiple asset classes including financial services, industrials, real estate, telecom, media, technology and energy where equity requirements range from $100 million to $1 billion per transaction.

Originated and executed high-profile transactions managing senior investment teams across Europe, US, Asia and GCC encompassing strategic reviews, equity and debt raising, M&As, LBO's, distressed asset sales, re-organizations, restructurings, balance sheet advisory, hybrid capital, project finance with a combined deal value in excess of US$100bn

Board Member of Interlink Investment Group (IIG) a global co investment platform and IIG Silverpeak a US focused Real Estate co investment platform. IIG and Silverpeak (which manages $14 billion in RE assets) are the two shareholders of IIG Silverpeak.

Senior Advisor of Carver Cross Securities, Inc. NY based $4 billion cross border boutique investment bank and M&A firm. Board Member of Interlink Private Office, US based single family office primarily investing directly and through a legacy portfolio of fund investments.

Counseled political leadership and Fortune 100 CEO's on strategic issues including Geopolitics; Foreign Policy; Former Special Envoy having negotiated a 4000MW power sale between Pakistan and India.

He attended McGill University and Western State Law School and is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the Said Business School at Oxford University.

As Chairman of The Interlink Foundation, he is committed to the people’s empowerment in South Asia by developing human capital. Larta Institute (www.larta.org) Board Member, supports World Affairs Council, Asia Society and Young Arab Leaders. Board of Governors, Saba Trust; pioneering female education with orphans and upliftment in South Asia. Board of Trustees , KG IT Institute, India.

Michele Romanow

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Clearco, Canada

Michele Romanow is a serial entrepreneur who started six companies before her 35th birthday. A “Dragon” on CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den (Canada’s Shark Tank), Michele is the Co-founder and CEO of Canadian unicorn, Clearco (formerly Clearbanc). Clearco has invested more than $3.2B+ into 7000+ companies making them the biggest ecommerce investor in the world. She previously co-founded SnapSaves, acquired by American tech giant Groupon, and Buytopia.ca, which acquired ten competitors, including Shop.ca and WagJag.

A prolific investor, Michele was recently named Fortune’s 40 under 40, a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women, Canada’s Angel Investor of the Year and winner of RBC’s Women of Influence, Innovation Award.

Michele co-founded the Canadian Entrepreneurship Initiative with Richard Branson to encourage more women entrepreneurs. Michele has worked driving new digital solutions to many of the world’s leading brands, including P&G, Netflix, Starbucks, and Cirque du Soleil. In addition, she’s advised Fortune 100s and governments on innovation, AI, blockchain and the new economy.

During her Civil Engineering undergrad at Queen’s University, Michele founded The Tea Room, the first zero-consumer-waste coffee shop. At Queen’s, she was given the Queen’s Tricolour — the highest honor awarded by the university — and, after completing her Queen’s MBA, she founded Evandale Caviar, a vertically integrated commercial fishery.

Michele is a director for Vail Resorts (NYSE: MTN), BBTV and Queen’s School of Business. Previously she was a director for Freshii, Whistler Blackcomb, SHAD International and League of Innovators.

Carolina Rossini

Co-Founder; Director, Partnerships and Research, The Datasphere Initiative, USA

Carolina Rossini has over 20 years of experience in technology law and policy, including ICT for development, internet, intellectual property, open innovation, and telecommunications. She is the co-founder of the Datasphere Initiative and Portulans Institute, founder of iNova Partners Consulting – assisting non-profits in executing effective and long-term change and impact -, and Yong Global Leader with the World Economic Forum. She is a law lecturer at Boston Unniversity.

She serves on the advisory board of InternetLab (Brazil), Derechos Digitales (Chile), Lighthouse Collective (USA), Instituto EducaDigital (Brazil) and #IamtheCode (Global).

She is a results-oriented, decisive leader with proven success in policy change and advocacy impact, strategic organizational development and growth, and fundraising. Previously, once based in Washington DC, she served as the RightsCon Director at Access Now for the Tunisia edition, as a Global Policy Manager for Connectivity at Facebook, and as the Vice President for International Policy at Public Knowledge (PK). While living in San Francisco she was the International Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and a consultant to Wikimedia Foundation. Previously, while in Boston she was Fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.

Back in Brazil, where she was born, she was an in-house counsel Telefonica, and a law lecturer at the Center for Technology and Society at Fundação Getulio Vargas (CTS/FGV).

Carolina has an LLM in Intellectual Property from Boston University (2008), an MA in International Economic Negotiations (2006) from UNICAMP/UNESP, an MBA from Instituto de Empresas (2004), and a JD from the University of Sao Paulo – USP. (2000)

Linda Rottenberg

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Endeavor, USA

“Innovator for the 21st Century” (TIME), “America’s Best Leader” (U.S. News), “Ms. Davos” (Business Insider), “The World’s Mentor Capitalist” (Thomas Friedman, The World Is Flat) and “The Entrepreneur Whisperer” (ABC, FOX, NPR) are among the designations given to Linda Rottenberg. The subject of five Harvard Business School and Stanford GSB case studies, Linda is primarily known by another name: Chica Loca (“the Crazy Girl”). Why crazy? Two decades ago, Linda insisted that high-growth, high-impact entrepreneurs exist in emerging and underserved markets; almost no one believed her.

As co-founder and CEO of Endeavor, Linda has led the global entrepreneurship movement since 1997. With 55 offices spanning the world, Endeavor’s team and network rigorously selects, mentors, and co-invests in the most promising entrepreneurs at the scale-up phase of their ventures. Today, Endeavor Entrepreneurs generate over $20BN in annual revenues and produce more than 3 million jobs. Linda also oversees Endeavor Catalyst LP Funds with over $115M AUM, raised to co-invest in Endeavor Entrepreneurs headquartered throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and underserved markets in the United States.

Beyond Endeavor, Linda currently serves on three corporate boards: a leading bandwidth infrastructure company (NYSE: ZAYO); a pioneering software developer (NYSE: GLOB); and a digital food-ordering platform (OLO). In her board capacity, Linda has served on two public company audit committees. Linda is also a member of the Yale President's Council on International Activities. Her book, CRAZY IS A COMPLIMENT: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags, became an instant NYT bestseller. Other recognitions include: Global Leader for Tomorrow/Young Global Leader (World Economic Forum); 2017 Visionary Award (Silicon Valley Forum); Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters (Babson College); 2018 Heinz Award in Technology, the Economy and Employment (Heinz Family Foundation).

A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, Linda lives in Brooklyn Heights with her husband, author/journalist Bruce Feiler, and identical twin daughters, Tybee and Eden.

Maya Roy

Director of Partnerships, Institute for Change Leaders, Canada

Maya Roy is an experienced social worker and is the past CEO of YWCA Canada and Newcomer Women's Services Toronto.
Experienced in affordable housing and public policy, Roy has served on a range of committees and task forces providing expert council to decision-makers. Roy served on the 2018 Gender Equality Advisory Council during Canada’s G7 Presidency and was the Co-Chair of the Future of Jobs Working Group. In 2019, she was a member of Canada’s official delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. In partnership with Rotman School of Business, she served as Strategic Co-Lead on A Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for Canada: Making the Economy Work for Everyone, the first nationally-focused plan of its kind in the world.

Roy currently serves on the board of Women’s College Hospital where she serves on the Quality Assurance Committee and is an appointed member of the National Housing Council. She has also worked internationally as a front-line social worker where she worked to mainstream gender-based analysis in Brazil, India, Thailand, and the U.K., in human rights and violence prevention programming.

Her contributions have been recognized nationally and internationally. Roy was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, where she serves on the YGL Advisory. She has been a recipient of many honours including being named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, Toronto Community Foundation’s Vital People, and has received the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA)’s Gender Equity Advocate Award.
Roy is proficient in Bengali, French, and English. She holds a Master's degree in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics, and a bachelor's degree in Social Work from Toronto Metropolitan University. In 2022, she completed executive education with the Harvard Kennedy School and Wharton School of Business in public leadership and board governance.

Nilmini Rubin

Chief of Staff and Head of Global Policy, Hedera, USA

Nilmini Rubin spent more than two decades driving foreign policy and business improvements. Recently, Nilmini joined the international institutions policy team at Facebook. She is the Co-Founder of Fix the System to strengthen democracy in the USA. Previously, Nilmini led Tetra Tech’s global team of more than 300 diverse professionals implementing energy and internet projects. For 12 years, she served as a senior aide to Senate Lugar (R-IL) on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and to Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She spearheaded the passage of legislation to provide electricity access in Africa, increase global internet access, reduce corruption through transparency, and reform U.S. foreign assistance. One of her pieces of legislation, to improve extractive industry transparency has been adopted by Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions. She also served at the White House National Security Council under President George W. Bush where she helped secure agreements on non-proliferation, international health and foreign aid. Nilmini was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the World Economic Forum Experts Network and the Academy of the Global Teacher Prize. Nilmini co-wrote an illustrated book entitled How Carrots Became Orange with her oldest daughter, Renuka and a coloring book entitled The United Shapes of America with her middle daughter, Araliya.

Veronica Ruiz del Vizo

Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Women on Stage, USA

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of WOS. Veronica Ruiz del Vizo has led the communication strategist of global brands, advised Venezuelan foundations, celebrities and democratic organizations on digital strategy. She is also the Co-Founder and Director of Bootcamp Vero, Team Remoto, Amarillo and Dar Learning reaching more than 20,000 online students around the world only during the first year of the pandemic.

Pardis Sabeti

Professor, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, USA

Dr. Pardis Sabeti is a Professor at Harvard University, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Her computational genomic lab has contributed to widely varying fields — including human evolutionary biology, viral sequencing, information theory, rural disease surveillance and education efforts in West Africa. They aim to create comprehensive approaches for detecting, containing, and treating deadly infectious diseases, including Lassa virus, Ebola virus, Zika virus, and Babesiosis microtia. She has invested in capacity building and education throughout, enabling the first diagnosis of Ebola in Sierra Leone and Nigeria, training over seventy African scientists through summer-long educational programs, and establishing genome centers in West Africa. Dr. Sabeti completed her undergraduate degree at MIT, her graduate work at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and her medical degree summa cum laude from Harvard Medical School as a Soros Fellow. Sabeti has received numerous awards and honors including World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader, National Geographic Emerging Explorer, Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for Natural Science, TIME magazine “Person of the Year” as one of the Ebola fighters, TIME’s 100 Most Influential. She is also the host of ‘Against All Odds’ included as part of AP stats classes nationwide, and is the lead singer of the rock band Thousand Days.