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.

Joud Abdel Majeid

Deputy Chief Financial Officer, BlackRock, USA

Joud Abdel Majeid is a global executive serving as Deputy Chief Financial Officer for BlackRock. Previously, she served as Chief of Staff to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock and Chief Operation Officer of BlackRock Solutions, BlackRock's technology business. Prior to joining BlackRock, she was Head of Strategy and Corporate Development for E*TRADE Financial where she was responsible for corporate strategy development, business partnerships and M&A activities. She was also a management consultant for Booz & Company where she advised global financial institutions on key strategic, operational and organizational issues. Abdel Majeid holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BSc in Finance and Economics from Elmhurst College, where she was named Senior of the Year.

Usman Ahmed

Head of Global Public Policy and Research, Paypal, Inc., USA

Usman Ahmed is the Head of Global Public Policy at PayPal. His work covers a variety of global issues including financial services regulation, innovation, international trade and entrepreneurship. He has given talks on these subjects at conferences and universities around the world and has published in the World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report, Journal of World Trade and the Michigan Journal of International Law. Ahmed is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law School where he teaches courses on international law and policy issues related to the Internet. Prior to PayPal, Usman worked at a number of policy think tanks in the Washington DC area focusing on good governance issues. He earned his JD from the University of Michigan, MA from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and BA from the University of Maryland.

Daniel Ahn

Global Fellow, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, USA

Dr. Daniel P. Ahn is the co-founder and CEO of Delfi Labs, which provides machine learning-driven financial risk management solutions for businesses. He is also a non-residential Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Previously, he was Managing Director, the Chief U.S. Economist, and Head of Markets 360 – North America at BNP Paribas in New York. From 2014 to 2018, he was the Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of State, where he advised the Secretary of State and senior principals on a wide range of international economic and security topics, including global macroeconomic growth, economic warfare and sanctions, international trade, and energy and environmental issues.

Prior to entering public service in 2014, Dr. Ahn was the chief commodities economist at Citigroup in New York and also held senior positions at Citadel, Barclays Capital, and Lehman Brothers. He has also held research and teaching positions at Harvard University, the National Bureau of Economic Research, Columbia University, the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Monetary Fund, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Georgetown University, and the U.S. Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

He is the author of multiple research articles, Congressional testimony, and a textbook, Principles of Commodity Economics and Finance with MIT Press.

He was featured in Forbes Magazine as one of 30 under 30 in Finance. He is the recipient of both the Superior Honor Award and the Meritorious Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State.

He completed his A.B. in economics and finance with honors from Princeton University, and his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

Peter Biar Ajak

Visiting Fellow and Adjunct Faculty, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, USA

Peter Biar Ajak is a prominent civil society leader, political dissident, and scholar from South Sudan. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies of the National Defense University. Peter is also the Chairman of the South Sudan Young Leaders Forum, Senior Advisor to the LSE-based International Growth Centre, and the Founder of the Juba-based Center for Strategic Analyses and Research. He was previously a Senior Advisor to the Minister of National Security in the Office of the President of South Sudan and an In-Country Economist for the World Bank. An outspoken advocate of human rights, free and fair elections, he was arbitrarily detained and convicted in a politically-motivated show trial for “disturbing the peace” and jailed for eighteen months in South Sudan’s notorious Blue House prison. Peter is also a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellow, and a Millennium Fellow at the Atlantic Council. He holds a Ph.D. in Politics & International Studies from the University of Cambridge, a Master of Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a BA in Economics from LaSalle University.

Samuel Alemayehu

Managing Director, Cambridge Industries, USA

Mr. Samuel "Sam" Alemayehu is the co-founder and General Partner at C1 Ventures (C1V). C1V exists to catalyze the emergence of carbon-negative and resource-efficient industries by investing in science and technology. Sam leads the commercialization of cutting-edge technologies and innovations that aim to reimagine large-scale industrial processes with deep decarbonization and efficiency at the core.

Sam started his entrepreneurship journey in Silicon Valley as a serial entrepreneur launching two companies while a student at Stanford University. He first got introduced to venture capital at Venrock Associates, where he focused on consumer media services. Sam has also spent significant time in Africa, founding and investing in numerous companies across the continent and in various industries. For example, he built a mobile gaming platform in 18 countries with over 50m customers before exiting the startup in 2013. In addition, Sam has partnered with leading investment banks to develop large health infrastructures in Africa. He then co-founded Cambridge Industries Ltd (CIL) to accelerate the implementation of pioneering infrastructure projects in emerging cities. As Managing Director, Sam led the development of the first municipal waste-to-energy Facility in Africa, designed as a multi-purpose plant with numerous functions, including recycling, brick production, industrial steam, and modern insect farming. Sam is currently Chairman of CIL.

Moreover, Sam is an active angel investor globally and sits on the board of numerous companies as an investor. He also sits on three non-profit boards: the Ron Brown Scholars Program, KID Museum, and VC Include. He is the World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and Technology Pioneer.

Samar Ali

Chief Executive Officer, Millions of Conversations, USA

SAMAR ALI is the founding President and CEO of Millions of Conversations. She is a Research Professor of Political Science and Law at Vanderbilt University, and co-chair of the Vanderbilt Project on Unity & American Democracy with Jon Meacham and Governor Bill Haslam. She has over 15 years of experience in international relations and legal practice. As a conflict resolution practitioner and mediator, she is a recipient of the White House Fellows IMPACT Award and Vanderbilt University’s Young Alumni Professional Achievement Award. Ali is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She currently serves as an adviser to the Aspen Institute’s initiative, “Who Is Us: A Project on American Identity,” and was recently appointed as a New Pluralist Fellow.

Working at the intersection of national security, human rights, and economic development, Ali served as a White House Fellow in President Obama’s administration and as Assistant Commissioner of International Affairs in Tennessee Governor Haslam’s administration. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, NPR, TIME, PBS, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, BBC, MSNBC, Washington Post, The Hill, Foreign Affairs, The Ryman Auditorium, TEDx, The Tennessean and other publications, podcasts and venues. She is currently co-writing the opening ceremony for the 2022 World Cup with Laeta Kalogridis and Gregg Hurwitz, co-producing the Heartland to Holy Land peace series in Bethlehem with music producer T Bone Burnett, and working on a memoir, From the Holy Land to the Heartland: Olives & Sweet Tea, about one family’s centuries long quest for peace through belonging.

Colin Allred

Congressman from Texas (D), 32nd District, U.S. House of Representatives, USA

Colin Allred is an American politician, civil rights attorney and former professional football player. A member of the Democratic Party, he is currently serving as the US Representative for Texas's 32nd congressional district. He is part of the "Blue Wave" of Democrats who were elected during the recent midterm elections and took seats previously held by Republicans. Prior to joining Congress, Allred worked as a Special Assistant in the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of General Counsel alongside then-Secretary Julian Castro in the administration of president Barack Obama.

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

Nick Ayers

Managing Partner, Ayers Neugebauer & Co., USA

Nick Ayers is one of America’s leading public policy and business strategists. At 37 years old, 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.

Today, through Ayers Neugebauer & Co., Nick invests in and advises organizations in healthcare, entertainment, financial services and business services. 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 exhausted father of seven-year-old triplets, Charles, Mary Floyd, and Talton.

Priyanka Bakaya

Commercialization Advisor, US Department of Energy, USA

Priyanka Bakaya is an entrepreneurial environmental leader. She has been recognized on the Fortune 40 Under 40: Ones to Watch List, the Forbes 30 under 30 List, Conscious Company's Top 30 Social Entrepreneurs List, and is a Laureate of Cartier Women's Initiative Award for North America for her leadership in environmental entrepreneurship. She is a graduate of Stanford and MIT.

Angela Baker

Chief Sustainability Officer, Qualcomm, USA

Angela Baker is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Qualcomm where she oversees all corporate responsibility and ESG programming. This includes the company's climate strategy and net-zero emissions by 2040 goal as well as several other ESG 2025 targets. She also manages all social impact programs, including Wireless Reach, a strategic initiative that brings wireless technology to under-served communities globally. Wireless Reach invests in projects that foster entrepreneurship, aid in public safety, enhance the delivery of health care, enrich teaching and learning and improve environmental sustainability. To date, Wireless Reach has partnered with hundreds of organizations on programs in over 40 countries and has reached over 20 million beneficiaries. The team also includes strategic corporate giving around Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs.

Previously, she served as an advisor to Secretary Hillary Clinton in the Office of Innovation at the United States Department of State, where she worked on foreign policy goals connected to the 21st Century Statecraft agenda through bilateral and multilateral engagement with strategic partners on technology and development issues. Specifically, she was part of a team that designed and implemented “Techcamp” – an ongoing program that connects civil society across the globe with new and emerging technology resources to solve real world challenges and build digital capacity - in over 30 countries.

Prior to working in the Obama Administration, Baker worked for an international advocacy firm in Seattle, WA, where she helped to create nongovernmental organizations focused on helping those in need.

Baker has worked in several countries spanning five continents. She has a Master’s Degree in International Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University and sits on the board of Running Start, an organization that works to bring more young women to politics and leadership roles. She serves on the Advisory Committee on Public Issues for the Ad Council, working on the some of society's most pressing social issues. She has also been named to the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society 2016 Rising Talents Program.