New Class

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.

23 YGLs in Europe

Jean-Jacques Barbéris

Member of the Executive Committee; Co-Head, Institutional Clients Coverage, Amundi, France

Jean-Jacques Barbéris is a former economic adviser to the president of the French Republic. He is currently responsible for the global development of the institutional business at Amundi, a European leader in asset management. He is also chairman of En Temps Réel, a think tank dedicated to social sciences and the future development of the European Union.

Pablo Alberto Barrera Lopez

Executive Vice-President; Head, Global Supply Chain, Yara International, Norway

A passionate multicultural young business leader, Pablo Barrera is determined to transform how large companies act as corporate citizens. Barrera promotes sustainability as an untapped potential rather than a threat and establishes collaborative efforts with other companies to solve some of the key challenges the world faces. Barrera explores new ways to feed a growing population and he works for one of the world's largest crop nutrition companies. Through many years of volunteer work, Barrera has focused on establishing arenas where teenagers and young adults can nurture their talents and develop into responsible forces for good in their societies, regardless of their background.

Diane Binder

Vice-President, International Development, Africa, Middle East and India, SUEZ, France

Diane Binder is currently vice-president at Suez Group, a global industry leader solving water access and waste management challenges. She is in charge of international development for Africa. She is also a member of French President Emmanuel Macron's Advisory Council for Africa (CPA) and co-founder and president of Action Emploi Réfugiés, the leading job placement online platform providing access to jobs to refugees in France. Binder also serves on the Advisory Board of Women in Africa. Before joining Suez, Binder held a number of positions in consulting and investment related to private sector development and economic empowerment in Africa and the Mediterranean region.

Julie Bonamy

Vice-President, Corporate Planning & Strategy, Saint-Gobain, France

In 2017, Julie Bonamy was appointed vice-president for corporate strategy and planning at Saint-Gobain. Bonamy is a member of the Senior Management Committee. Bonamy is a graduate of the Paris Institute of Political Studies (IEP de Paris) and the National School of Public Administration (Ecole Nationale d'Administration). She started her career as a civil servant (inspector of finance) for the French Government in 2011, before joining the Office of the French Minister for the Economy, Industry and the Digital Sector in October 2014. She was appointed adviser for the budget and digital sector in July 2015.

Geoffrey Bouquot

Group Director, Strategy and External Relations, Valeo, France

Geoffrey Bouquot is a group vice-president of corporate strategy and external relations at Valeo. Formerly, he was a technical adviser on industrial affairs at the Office of the French Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian (2014-16). Bouquot was also a project manager in the Aerospace and Defence Unit of the French Government Shareholding Agency (2011-14), and an adviser on industry at the Office of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OCP Group (2009-10). He graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole des Mines, Paris.

Jessica Burgner-Kahrs

Chair of Continuum Robotics, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany

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.

Pablo Casado Blanco

Party Leader, Partido Popular, Spain

Pablo Casado Blanco is a Spanish politician and leader of the People's Party. He is the youngest Spanish politician to have held this position and a voice of the new generation.

Daniel de Boer

CEO, ProQR Therapeutics N.V., Netherlands

Daniel de Boer is a passionate entrepreneur with a drive to make a meaningful impact on society. Initially, he was focused on building IT companies; however, when his newborn son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening disease with a limited life expectancy, it put everything in his life into perspective. de Boer decided to turn his focus towards finding a treatment for his son and other patients suffering from cystic fibrosis. He founded ProQR Therapeutics, which currently has 150 employees across Europe and the United States. Inspired by his work for cystic fibrosis patients and with a goal to impact many more lives, de Boer decided to broaden the scope of ProQR to include developing drugs for several other severe, rare diseases for which no treatments are available.

M. Bilge Demirkoz

Professor, Department of Physics, Middle East Technical University, Turkey

A UNESCO-L'Oreal International Rising Talent researcher, Bilge Demirköz is a leading physicist, science outreach activist and educator in Turkey. With her team, she is building a particle irradiation facility for space radiation tests, with support from CERN under the CERN associate membership bill she helped pass through parliament. Demirköz is a role model for the next generation of scientists in Turkey and seeks to change the government's approach to science.

Anne-Sophie Grouchka

Chief Customer Office and Executive Board Member, Allianz France, Allianz, France

Anne-Sophie Grouchka started her career in 2005 as an adviser to Xavier Bertrand, the French Minister of Labour, Employment and Health. She joined the pharmaceutical group IPSEN in 2007 as adviser to the chief executive. From 2008 to 2012, she held the respective positions of adviser, joint chief of staff and chief of staff to Nadine Morano, the then-Secretary of State for Family and Solidarity who become Minister of Apprenticeships and Professional Training. Grouchka joined Allianz France in 2012 as project manager to Jacques Richier, the chief executive officer. In 2013, she was appointed head of strategy and innovative projects. In February 2018, Grouchka was nominated to the executive committee of Allianz France as chief customer officer in charge of claims, underwriting and customer journey. She has also been head of customer relationships and solutions since January 2016.

Yalda Hakim

Anchor, BBC News, United Kingdom

Yalda Hakim is an award-winning Australian broadcast journalist, news presenter on “Impact” on BBC World News, and documentary filmmaker. She began her career with SBS's World News Australia. She filmed her first story, “Yalda's Kabul”, for Dateline in 2008. She made her on-screen debut in March 2013, presenting a special three-part series of “Our World” entitled, “Iraq: Ten Years On”. Hakim has built up a wealth of journalistic experience around the world. As well as English, Hakim speaks Farsi, Urdu, Hindi, Pashto and Dari, and is currently learning Mandarin.

Nora Khaldi

Founder and CSO, Nuritas, Ireland

Nora Khaldi is an award-winning TEDx speaker and a highly published mathematician and scientist. Her revolutionary and innovative ideas and inventions have been awarded and recognized by the likes of Forbes, Wired and the European Union Commission. She is the founder of Nuritas, the first company in the world to introduce artificial intelligence to the food arena, with the aim of creating the future of food and personalized nutrition, in a nutshell, the future of health. Nuritas was recently classified among the 21 most innovative start-ups in the world along with Uber.

Guillaume Lefevre

Managing Director, New Ventures and Business Development, Zurich Insurance Group, Switzerland

Guillaume Lefevre is playing a leadership role in transforming one of the world's largest insurance company to align itself with the empowered customer, lead the change in the insurance industry, and increase its societal impact.

Nerissa Naidu

Global Head of Strategy, AIG, United Kingdom

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.

Sarah Nicholls

Director and Head, Global Sustainability, Jones Lang LaSalle Limited, Netherlands

Sarah Nicholls is director and head of global sustainability at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), the professional services firm specializing in real estate with over 77,000 employees. She is spearheading the group's “Building a better tomorrow” global sustainability strategy, a campaign to embed sustainable thinking across all of JLL activities. In so doing, she has set the firm's first-ever energy and carbon reduction targets. She serves as a founding member and first chair of the Global Sustainability Board.

Cristina Pozzi

CEO and Co-Founder, Impactscool Srl, Italy

Cristina Pozzi founded Impactscool to raise awareness and innovative education of technology and society in schools and universities, specifically the combined effects of artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnologies, genetics, 3D printing and space exploration on economics and the human experience. Her mission is to give everyone access to a productive and meaningful future in a global and fast-changing society.

Carlos Reines

President & Co-Founder, RubiconMD, Spain

A mission-driven technologist, Carlos Reines is committed to disrupting current healthcare systems to provide better access for the 3 billion people who live on less than $2.50/day. For every electronic medical consultation on RubiconMD, patients avoid complications, weeks of waiting and hundreds of dollars in unnecessary costs.

Annika Saarikko

Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health of Finland, Finland

Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services in Finland and the woman driving the management of the Social and Health Care Reform (SOTE), one of Finland's most extensive social projects. Saarikko became the Finnish Centre party's Vice Chair at the age of 26 and was elected to Parliament in 2011, where she has served in the Social Affairs and Health Committee and the Employment and Equality Committee.

Thomas Saueressig

President, SAP Product Engineering, SAP, Germany

Thomas Saueressig is president of SAP Product Engineering and has global responsibility for all SAP’s
digital core products from development to delivery, including product management. This also includes
responsibility for SAP’s flagship product SAP S/4HANA, as well as for industry solutions, design and user
experience of SAP products across the entire portfolio, product enablement, and the SAP’s Labs Network.
Furthermore, Thomas is responsible for SAP’s global cloud infrastructure providing a consistent level of
scalability, reliability, performance, security, and data protection across all SAP solutions for SAP’s
customers.
Before he went into the role as president of SAP Product Engineering, Thomas Saueressig was Chief
Information Officer and Global Head of IT Services. In his role as CIO, he was a trusted advisor for SAP and
its customers and responsible for SAP’s IT strategy and its execution. Under his leadership, SAP IT has taken
a cloud-first approach to becoming an agile, user-centric, and business-driven organization that ensures a
great user and customer experience. The organization has optimized business processes by utilizing the latest
technologies and innovations, providing a modern workplace with high customer and end-user satisfaction.
In addition, the team also pioneered new business models.
Having started his career in SAP’s consulting area for CRM implementations, Thomas Saueressig then built
and led the Enterprise Mobility organization including all necessary cross functions, before he then headed
the entire IT Project Delivery and Client IT organization on a global level.
Thomas Saueressig was honored to be included on Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list in 2016. He has a degree in
Business Information Technology from the University of Cooperative Education in Mannheim (Germany)
and a joint executive MBA from ESSEC (France) and Mannheim Business School (Germany).

Eva Scherer

Vice President, Head Business Administration, Siemens Mobility, Siemens AG, Germany

A leader in the Siemens finance community and a diversity advocate, Eva Scherer took over the regional chief financial officer role at age 27 to set up the Middle East/Asia-Pacific headquarters for the Building Technologies division in Singapore. She secured various projects promoting energy efficiency and sustainability across the region, including the company's involvement in the Greener Government Buildings programme in Australia. After five years in Asia, Scherer transferred to Germany in 2017 to head the global finance and controlling function for the Mobility division and played an instrumental role in ensuring the successful signing of the Siemens Alstom rail merger.

Paweł Surówka

Chief Executive Officer, PZU, Poland

As CEO of PZU, Poland's number one insurance company with operations in five countries, Pawel heads Central Eastern Europe's biggest financial group. He is also Chairman of Pekao SA, Poland's second largest bank. Under his leadership, PZU has engaged in an ambitious new strategy, which aims to transform it into one of Europe's most innovative financial services companies with a strong accent on social responsibility. Having lived, studied and worked in Poland, Germany and France he is personally committed to building stronger ties across Europe.

Sue Anne Tay

Director of China and RMB Internationalisation, HSBC Holdings, United Kingdom

Sue Anne Tay is HSBC's group strategy lead for RMB (renminbi) internationalization, where she helps to design and implement the bank's RMB business strategy across its global network. She speaks widely across Europe on RMBI, China outbound trends and the Belt and Road Initiative. As a champion of next-generation thought leadership, Tay also co-leads Young China Watchers (YCW), a non-profit whose mission is to foster a network of 5,000 China-focused young professionals across Asia, Europe and the US as future China thought leaders. In a personal capacity, she has launched research platforms ShanghaiStreetStories.com and ChinainCentralAsia.com, which have been featured in the Financial Times, the Guardian and Asia Society, among others.

Richard Walker

Managing Director, Iceland Foods, United Kingdom

Richard Walker is the managing director of Iceland, the United Kingdom grocer specializing in frozen foods. Iceland was founded in 1970 by Walker's father, Sir Malcolm Walker. Walker took over as managing director in August of 2018 and has led the retailer's concerted charge against the use of plastics and palm oil in the grocery sector. Previously, Walker was managing director of Iceland Food’s sister brand the Food Warehouse and Iceland’s director for sustainability. Iceland has been at the forefront of driving sustainability initiatives in the retail industry, which includes the frozen food chain’s commitment to eliminating plastic packaging for all own-brand products within five years and, most recently, a pledge to remove palm oil from the ingredients in all its products by the end of 2018.