We are excited to welcome 127 Young Global Leaders for the Class of 2019. This year's class includes the most decorated Olympian female swimmer of all time, the founder of the first app providing advice on contraception in Bangladesh, the managing director of a leading supermarket chain looking to ban plastic packaging, and a female scientist whose work is revolutionizing batteries.
32 YGLs in North America
At the age of 35, Nick Ayers is widely regarded as a powerhouse political strategist resulting in his appointment as US vice-president Mike Pence's trusted chief of staff. He holds a track record for running successful campaigns for his candidates and holds an increasingly growing influence in the US political sphere.
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.
Bakaya is the Founder & CEO of Renewlogy, which is a technology leader in developing innovative solutions for renewing waste and creating circular economies. Business Insider named Renewlogy one of the 20 Most Inspiring Companies and Inc. named it one of the 25 Most Audacious Companies. Bakaya also serves as a Director of Renew Oceans, which has received support from the National Geographic Society and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste.
Ruba Borno is the VP/GM of Cisco Managed Services. Ruba runs a global team that helps Cisco’s most strategic customers accelerate their digital transformations, while reducing inefficiencies, maximizing system availability, and improving security and compliance. Prior to her current role, Ruba spent three years as Cisco’s VP, Growth Initiatives and Chief of Staff to CEO, and worked across the executive leadership team to develop the company’s growth and transformation strategy.
In April 2018, Ruba was appointed as a non-executive director on the board of Experian. She is an Executive Sponsor of Cisco's Connected Conservation efforts and is a board member for the Tech Museum of Innovation in Silicon Valley where she is applying her passion for STEM education to take the Tech's programs global. She has worked with the World Economic Forum to establish a skills-based education platform for individuals whose jobs will be impacted by automation, as well as organizations like the United Way of the Bay Area and City Year Silicon Valley on experiential work and education of disenfranchised youth.
Agnes is the Global Head of Growth and leads the Office of the CEO at ConsenSys, focusing on growth strategy, operations, and acquisition strategy for over 40 early-stage companies in the portfolio. ConsenSys is a global formation of technologists building solutions for a blockchain-powered future. With a decade of traditional finance experience at BlackRock before ConsenSys, Agnes stands at the intersection between the legacy financial industry and emerging blockchain-enabled fintech solutions. Her years in traditional finance provided her first-hand experience working with many of the world’s largest institutions and advising key regulators on strategic challenges. She performed country-wide financial reviews of Ireland and Greece and others for the European Central Bank. Agnes maintains relationships with financial institutions, government bodies, and central banks. In this capacity, Agnes informs, collaborates, and strategizes blockchain-related solutions with relevant stakeholders in order to ensure this groundbreaking technology is adopted quickly and efficiently. Agnes has spoken on blockchain technology and its applications at events held by the FDIC, GW University, Salesforce, US Chamber of Commerce and the World Economic Forum. She is also currently a member of the Board of Directors at the Biden Institute and the Yale Club Finance Committee.
Jessica Burgner-Kahrs is Associate Professor and Director of the Continuum Robotics Laboratory at University of Toronto, Canada. From 2013 to 2019 she was with Leibniz University Hannover, Germany and from 2010 to 2012 with Vanderbilt University, USA. She received her Diploma and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany in 2006 and 2010 respectively.
Her research focus lies on continuum robotics and in particular on their design, modeling, planning and control, as well as human-robot interaction. Her fundamental robotics research is driven by applications in minimally-invasive surgery and maintenance, repair, and operations. In 2015 her research was recognized with the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, the Lower Saxony Science Award in the category Young Researcher, and she was entitled Young Researcher of the Year 2015 in Germany. The Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences awarded her the Engineering Science Prize in 2016. She was elected as one of the Top 40 under 40 in the category Science and Society in 2015, 2016, and 2017 by the business magazine Capital.
One of the most visible political figures from the Millennial generation, Pete Buttigieg is mayor of the once-struggling industrial midwestern city of South Bend, Indiana. A winner of the JFK Library Foundation New Frontier Award, he has guided the comeback of his city and works to help peer cities prepare for the future as chair of the US Conference of Mayors Task Force on Automation. An emerging leader in the US Democratic Party and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan.
Rohit Chopra is a Commissioner on the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. He has been an outspoken advocate for fair competition, consumer rights, and accountability for corporations that break the law. He is widely recognized for his expertise on America's trillion-dollar student loan crisis.
David Chubak is one of the financial world's youngest influencers, leading a business that spans across global markets and serves more than 100 million customers, with 2,600 branches and 65,000 employees. With an eye to the future and an understanding of the past, he adheres to a philosophy that puts customer well-being first. Most recently, Chubak consolidated Citi’s global retail bank and consumer lending businesses and launched a digital banking strategy to ensure the bank meets the needs of the ever-evolving customer.
Dan Crenshaw, the Congressman for Texas’ 2nd Congressional District, is a retired Lieutenant Commander, having served in the U.S. Navy SEALs. After being hit by an IED Afghanistan, he left service with two Bronze Stars (one with Valor), the Purple Heart, and the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor, among many other recognitions, to pursue a degree at Harvard University. He believes there is no higher calling than service to the American people.
An apparel, hospitality, and real estate entrepreneur, Eric Dayton started a movement to reimagine the identity of America's north as one of adventure, creativity and the embrace of cold winters. His company is on a mission to keep the north cold by donating 110% of its own carbon impact to organizations leading the fight against climate change. Prior to founding Askov Finlayson, he was a member of Arctic Transect 2004, a six-month, 2,000 mile dogsled expedition focused on climate research and education.
Jean-Francois Gagné is a veteran AI entrepreneur and co-founder and chief executive officer of Element AI, one of the fastest growing AI start-ups in the world. He was formerly chief product officer and chief innovation officer at JDA Software, where he was the youngest global C-level executive of a top 20 enterprise software company. He is the only non-European member of the EUs High Level Expert Group on AI, a member of the World Economic Forum's Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and his company Element AI is the only Canadian member of the Partnership on AI, based in the US.
As the youngest woman in Canadian history appointed to cabinet and the first to have a baby while a minister, Karina Gould is an advocate of women's issues and social inclusion. As Minister of Democratic Institutions, she is mandated to strengthen the openness and fairness of Canada's democratic institutions and restore trust and participation in Canada's democracy. Previously serving as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, she was involved in developing Canada's Feminist International Assistance Policy. Before entering politics, she worked with the Government of Mexico and OAS to promote greater economic and political relations between Canada and Latin America.
Fernando Grostein Andrade
Fernando Grostein Andrade is a filmmaker originally from São Paulo, Brazil. Abe is his first narrative feature in English, starring Noah Schnapp (Stranger Things), Seu Jorge (City of God) and Mark Margolis (Breaking Bad) and shot by director of photography Blasco Giurato (Cinema Paradiso). Grandson of Jews that escaped Europe in the 1930s and catholic immigrants to Brazil, Fernando created the story, later collaborating with Palestinian American screenwriters Lameece Issaq & Jacob Kader.
Fernando directed the feature length documentaries Wandering Heart (featuring Caetano Veloso, Pedro Almodóvar, David Byrne & Michelangelo Antonioni) and Quebrando o Tabu, a film that discusses alternative solutions to the war on drugs featuring 6 chiefs of state, including Jimmy Carter and Fernando Henrique Cardoso. The film was distributed in 22 countries and became a 10-episode TV series, show-run by Fernando. He was also one of the creators of Carcereiros, a 2017 MIPTV drama award-winning TV series, of which he directed 5 episodes. Quebrando o Tabu also spun off into an online media channel with 10 million followers becoming the major human rights internet outlet in Brazil, advocating for LGBTQ rights, women’s rights and fighting racism, environmental issues, among other causes.
Fernando was a member of the jury of “É Tudo Verdade" as well as the Netflix Prize for Brazilian cinema. He co-founded a theater group formed by inmates inside a maximum-security penitentiary called “Do Lado de Cá”, later cast in his films and series, as well as “Mapa Educação”, a youth movement that advocates for quality in public education. Currently, he is a board member of 3 NGOs, Humanitas 360, Mapa Educação and Gerando Falcões.
With a growing online presence, Fernando produces content that covers a range of social and political issues across multiple platforms, such as blogs, Youtube and Twitter. His coming out video on YouTube had 250k views and started an online debate about acceptance in Brazil. In 2011, he was named one of GQ Brazil’s “Men of the Year”. He also has a monthly column on Veja magazine and writes for Folha de São Paulo (covering the 2018 Sundance Film Festival).
Currently in post-production of a music video for David Byrne and two documentaries, one about penitentiary agents and the other about exploring identity though food, filmed in Jerusalem. Fernando is writing a thriller about deforestation in Brazil.
2016, elected Lieutenant Governor, at the age of 35. Had previously served in the State House of Representatives and the State Senate, as Democratic Whip and a member of the Democratic leadership team. As Lt. Governor, he is President of the State Senate, serves as Acting Governor whenever the governor leaves the state, and oversees an agency whose key issues include economic development, trade, and higher education. Currently, Co-Chair of the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association. A three-time cancer survivor, has been fully blind since age eight. Parents immigrated to the US from Iran; the first and only Iranian-American to hold statewide elected office in the United States. Graduate, Columbia University, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and Yale Law School. Former Editor, Yale Law Journal. Practiced law at Perkins Coie and served as Distinguished Lawmaker in Residence at Seattle University Law School. Truman Scholar, Soros Fellow, and member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
An innovator and market maker, Nathaniel Harding's company in 2018 discovered one of the largest new natural gas resources in the United States, pioneered waterless completions, and is a founding investor in an Environmental Protection Agency approved fluid with application in medicine and energy. Viewing education and jobs as critical to fighting poverty, he is a recognized leader for both. The Governor of Oklahoma has named him chairman of the Council for Workforce and Economic Development, and to the White House STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) Summit to develop the five-year federal STEM education strategy.
Cal Henderson is an experienced technology leader, having previously built and led the engineering team at Flickr, through its acquisition by Yahoo. He was a pioneer in the use of web APIs, and created the basis for oAuth and oEmbed, now used by YouTube, Twitter, and many others.
A scientist pioneering the field of printed battery technology, Christine Ho invested safe, ultra-thin rechargeable flexible batteries that will revolutionize flexible electronics. The end result is in commercializing the technology to allow for unprecedented design freedom for manufacturers and bringing a new paradigm of cost-effective production.
Halla Hrund Logadottir
Halla Hrund Logadottir is the Co-Founder of the Arctic Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Founder of the Arctic Innovation Lab, established to encourage business and social innovation across the Arctic region. In her native Iceland, Halla serves on the advisory board to Iceland's Minister of Industry, Innovation and Commerce on Iceland's Energy Fund and collaborates with the country's senior leadership on Arctic issues. Halla is the former director of the Iceland School of Energy at Reykjavik University where she lectures on Arctic affairs. Halla is a frequent commentator on environment, energy, and innovation for the Arctic. She was one of the 15 invited writers in United Nations Chronicle's special edition on sustainable energy published in relation to COP21 and co-curates the World Economic Forum's Arctic Transformation Map. Among her other roles include being the Co-founder of Girls4Girls non-profit; a global mentorship program which aims to arm young women with the courage, vision, and skills needed to take on public leadership. Previously, Halla worked on an entrepreneurship training program in Togo, West Africa, on the "Aid for Trade Initiative," at the OECD in Paris, and as an EU and bilateral officer for Iceland's Minister for Foreign Affairs in Brussels. In 2016, Halla was selected as a Louis Bacon Environmental Leadership Fellow through Harvard's Center for Public Leadership and earned an MPA degree from the Harvard Kennedy School. Earlier, Halla studied political science, economics and trade at the University of Iceland, the London School of Economics, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University..
In 2012, a centralized ecosystem of clean energy entrepreneurs, corporations and venture capitalists did not exist. Emily Kirsch launched Powerhouse in 2013 to be that community. Powerhouse is based in Silicon Valley where it houses and invests in the country's most innovative clean energy entrepreneurs. What sets Powerhouse apart is its focus on technologies and business model innovation that drives a paradigm shift in energy worldwide. Powerhouse has housed over 50 clean energy start-ups and has invested in 17. Powerhouse start-ups have collectively created hundreds of jobs, raised hundreds of millions in capital and have generated hundreds of millions in revenue. She also launched and led Green Jobs Corp, Climate Action Coalition and Oakland Solar Mosaic.
Joseph Konzelmann is the Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, USA. Konzelmann advises leading sovereign funds on their investment portfolios and geopolitical risk. Prior to his career in finance, he served in the US Government, focused on Middle East affairs, and advised President Ashraf Ghani on developing economic development programmes for weak and fragile states.
Farhan Latif is a philanthropic leader, social entrepreneur and cross-sector mobilizer on minority inclusion. His work is inspired by democratic values and universal norms shared by faith traditions and his leadership has challenged global extremism and ideologically motivated hate. He leads the DC-based El-Hibri Foundation, focused on intersectional coalition building around religion, race and gender equity, and investing in minority leaders and allies to build capacity and resilience. Previously, in his capacity as executive director of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, he advised White House officials, Homeland Security and other agencies on issues tied to national security and equity.
Building and leading WeWork’s first central Growth Team, Sam Lee is a recognized growth leader and charged with exponentially accelerating WeWork's membership and revenue growth through data modeling and insight, product innovation, growth strategy, and sales and marketing.
Prior to joining WeWork’s Leadership Team in 2016, Sam held various strategy and general management roles in the financial services (Goldman Sachs) and consumer Internet industries (AOL). Sam is a board member, advisor, and investor in various venture-backed and non-profit organizations that span the technology, education, and healthcare industries. He is also a Limited Partner and Board Member at Redesign Health, a venture studio that partners with entrepreneurs to identify, launch, and scale new direct-to-consumer healthcare businesses that improve access and elevate patient experience.
Sam earned his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and his Masters in Finance and Public Policy from Harvard University.
An unusual technology executive, Katherine Maher balances the demands of a mission-based volunteer non-profit with the realities of running one of the world's most popular consumer platforms. A bold voice for equity and opportunity, with a long background as an outspoken advocate for human rights, her work focuses on the transformative, and often socially disruptive, nature of new technologies. She is passionate about finding the commonalities in our interconnected and interdependent human experience.
As a native South African, Naidu has been a proponent of equality and strives to break the mould of stereotypes in gender, race and professional norms. She is the global head of strategy at AIG and has executive board responsibility in Asia and the US. Naidu serves as an independent board member to two technology companies in the UK and is a global mentor, coach to underprivileged scholars and an executive lead in employee diversity groups.
Erika Najarian is managing director and head of Americas financial sector research, comprising $4.5 trillion in market capitalization. An expert and thought leader on financial services and global financial regulation, she advises institutional investors, bank executives, central banks, finance ministers and regulatory agencies. She founded the Future of Financials conference, the premier annual forum on disruptive technology, regulatory change and investment themes within financial services. She is a passionate advocate of the professional advancement of women and people of colour. At Bank of America, she is actively involved in mentorship, the Women's Leadership Council and the Asian Leadership Network.
An entrepreneur and an active advocate for diversity/bias in AI, Carol E. Reiley has touched many applications of AI/robotics: healthcare (Intuitive Surgical), space (Lockheed Martin), self-driving cars, etc. She co-founded and was president of the leading start-up drive.ai where she led partnerships with Lyft and Grab and raised over $77 million. She founded Tinkerbelle Labs, specializing in low-cost healthcare. She was an instructor at Johns Hopkins and led a robot outreach event for low-income students. She's written a top selling children's book, is a brand ambassador for Guerlain and was selected by Forbes and MIT Tech Review as one of the top women in AI.
As one of Canada's leading female tech titans, Michele Romanow is regarded as an inspirational role model and entrepreneur. Before the age of 33, she had started five companies, including Clearbanc (which gave entrepreneurs more than $100 million in funding), SnapSave (which was acquired by Groupon) and Buytopia (ranked #3 on the Profit Hot 50 list of fastest growing companies). She is the youngest ever entrepreneur to join CBC's hit show "Dragons' Den" and also shares her knowledge in her role as a director of Shad Valley, a transformational programme that develops the entrepreneurial potential of exceptional Canadian youth.
Maya Roy the CEO of YWCA Canada the largest women's organization in Canada with a 140 year track record. She is a diversity specialist with 22 years of experience in a variety of sectors in public policy development, adult education and social work. She has a Bachelor of Social Work from the Ryerson School of Social Work, and has a Masters in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics. Maya was a member of the Gender Equality Advisory Council for Canada’s G7 Presidency.
She has extensive experience working in marginalized and disadvantaged communities and is skilled in grant writing and project planning as well as in strategic communications and marketing. Maya is proficient in English, French and Bengali. Her work has taken her to Thailand, Brazil, India and the UK where she worked with NGOs to support human rights and violence prevention.
Her essays have been published in Going Beyond the Journey (2013) by Insomniac Press, and she is the winner of the 2013 CASSA Gender Advocate Award and the Toronto Community Foundation’s Vital People award in 2014.
Andrew Sheer is a Canadian politician serving as the Member of Parliament for Regina-Qu'Appelle since 2004 and as the leader of the conservative party and leader of the official opposition since 2017. He was one of the youngest MPs when he was first elected and his vision and leadership have earned him the continued confidence to be re-elected.
Anjali Sud is CEO of Vimeo, the world’s largest ad-free online video platform. Anjali leads a global team of over 500 individuals dedicated to empowering creators with the tools, technology and community to tell their stories. Anjali previously served as General Manager and Head of Marketing at Vimeo, where she oversaw the growth of over 90 million members using the platform. Before that, she held various positions in e-commerce, finance and media at Amazon and Time Warner.
Anjali has been included in Fortune's 40 under 40, Adweek's Power List and The Hollywood Reporter's Next Gen Under 35. She grew up in Flint, Michigan and now lives in New York City with her husband and son.
Responsible for shaping Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina's strategy, evaluating partnerships and improving consumer experience. Before joining Blue Cross, former Partner, McKinsey & Company. A native of Zimbabwe, began McKinsey career by providing strategic and operational counsel to a wide variety of clients across Europe and Africa. 2011, relocated to the US and advised chief executive officers and state leaders on improving systems of care and transforming payment models. Rhodes Scholar; MPhil in International Development, University of Oxford, UK.
John Zimmer is the co-founder of Lyft, a ride sharing service based in San Francisco. Lyft is valued at $5.5 billion.