The Forum of Young Global Leaders is led by a board that lends their ideas and passion to the community’s success and development. We are also guided by an advisory group of YGLs reflecting the diversity of the community.
Founded the World Economic Forum in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation; has built it into the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. 1998, together with his wife Hilde, co-founded the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, supporting social innovation around the world. 2004, founded the Forum of Young Global Leaders, a multistakeholder community of young leaders (30-40 years old) who share a commitment to shaping the global future. 2011, founded the Global Shapers Community, a global network of local hubs in cities around the world bringing together young people (20-30 years old) who are exceptional in their potential, achievements and drive to make a contribution to their communities. 1971 to 2003, Professor of Business Policy, University of Geneva. Academic contributions include the first publication describing the Stakeholder Theory in 1971 and a new approach to global competitiveness in 1979. Studied at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, the University of Fribourg and Harvard University. Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering and Doctorate in Economics (summa cum laude). Honorary professorships and numerous honorary doctorates. Recipient of an Honorary Knighthood (KCMG) and international and national honours for initiatives undertaken in the spirit of entrepreneurship in the global public interest and for peace and reconciliation efforts.
Master’s in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; MA in Natural Sciences, Cambridge University. Formerly, worked on health sector reform projects in Latin America, World Bank and the Ministry of Health of Bolivia. 2004-06, Founding Director, Forum of Young Global Leaders. 2009-2018 Co-Founder and President, EDGE Certified Foundation, a global scheme certifying organizations for closing the gender gap in the workplace. Facilitator and Strategic Advisor to non-profit organizations active in reforestation, wellbeing and women’s empowerment. Author of The Heart of the Labyrinth, a spiritual parable offering a message of Earth-centered wisdom.
Thor Björgolfsson is a self-styled “adventure capitalist”, who became Iceland’s first billionaire. He made his first fortune with Bravo Brewery in St Petersburg, Russia, selling it to Heineken in 2002. Over the next years he invested in telecoms, mostly in Eastern Europe, built up generic drugs company Actavis (now Allergan) and became big investor in one of Iceland’s largest banks, Landsbanki.
Thor continues to be an active investor in the emerging economies of Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America through his London-based private equity fund Novator Partners LLP. He is Chairman of Novator and maintains a shareholding in companies including telecoms Play in Poland and WOM in Chile, as well as computer games company CCP, data center Verne Global and pharmaceutical company Xantis Pharma.
Thor graduated from New York University‘s Stern School of Business with a degree in Finance and has served on the School‘s Board of Overseers for the past 8 years.
Thor’s autobiography, “Billions to Bust—and Back: How I Made, Lost and Rebuilt a Fortune, And What I Learned on the Way”, was published in 2014.
Tejpreet Singh Chopra
BA (Hons) in Economics, St Stephen's College, Delhi University; MBA, Cornell University. Over 16 years' global management and finance experience in France, UK, Hong Kong, India and the US. Founder & CEO of Bharat Light & Power. Leading wind and solar power generation company in India (IPP). Group has 3 independent companies - large utility scale wind/solar, distributed solar and technology services - Orion. Orion is an Enterprise AI based IOT platform. Leverages proprietary failure prediction models, big data analytics & machine learning to help industries improve productivity and optimize energy consumption. Provides predictive intelligence for over 2GW of wind & solar farms globally. Also, AI based solutions to industries such as auto, FMCG, mining, oil & gas, steel, cement etc. Earlier with General Electric (GE) for 14+ years. Was President & CEO of GE India, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh in last role. Previous roles included GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS), 1996: roles in marketing, structured finance and risk management; 2005, opened GECAS office in Delhi; Senior Vice-President and Country Head, India, arranged more than $1 billion in financing for India's airline industry; President & CEO, GE Commercial Finance, India; 2007. At present, Chairman of the Board, APM Terminals (Maersk Group) - Gujarat Pipavav Port; Member, Board of Directors, SRF; and Board member Anand Group, and Indian Energy Exchange. National Council of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum and on WEF YGL Foundation Board. Co-Chair of WEF GFC on Energy. Aspen Institute Fellow. YPO member. Interests: national swimmer, golf, classical music and Formula 1.
Andrew L. Cohen
Andrew Cohen is the Executive Chairman of J.P. Morgan Wealth Management. He oversees J.P. Morgan Private Bank’s Institutional Wealth Management practice and leads the partnership between the firm’s Corporate & Investment Bank and Private Bank. In this role, Mr. Cohen focuses on servicing the Private Bank’s largest and most sophisticated clients globally. He is a member of the Asset & Wealth Management Operating Committee and the Wealth Management Operating Committee.
Prior to this role, Mr. Cohen was Chief Executive Officer of J.P. Morgan’s International Private Bank, which operates in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America. Before relocating to Hong Kong in 2010 as the Asia Private Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, he was Head of the Southern California region, based in Los Angeles. Previously, he worked with ultra-high-net-worth families in Northern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Mr. Cohen holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and attended the Executive Program of Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government
Mr. Cohen sits on the Board of Directors of the Serpentine Galleries, the Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University, and is an alumni of the Young Global Leaders Forum (World Economic Forum) and the Hong Kong Forum. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, sailing, philanthropy and traveling.
H.R.H. Prince Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme
Jaime is the Climate Envoy of the Netherlands. He has an extensive diplomatic career in forging partnerships for innovative solutions to complex global challenges. He was the Senior Advisor on Private Sector Partnerships to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), where he worked on the energy transition in refugee settlements. As the Ambassador of the Netherlands to the Holy See (Vatican), he partnered on peace, climate action and forced migration. As Special Envoy for Natural Resources, he initiated the Responsible Mining Index and set up conflict-free supply chains of metals and minerals in the DRC with the private sector and civil society. He was a member of the Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Competition, worked in the field as Political Advisor to the Dutch Commander of the NATO Peacekeeping Mission in Afghanistan and helped set up the Netherlands Embassy in Iraq. He has held various other functions in MENA, Africa and Latin America. Born in the Netherlands in 1972, he holds an MA from Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a BA from Brown University. He is married and has two young daughters. Concurrently he is a Member of the Board of the Green Climate Fund and the Forum of Young Global Leaders (WEF).
Paula Escobar Chavarría
Paula Escobar Chavarria is a chilean journalist, editor and author. She is a columnist/ panelist at La Tercera, CNN Chile and Duna radio. She is a professor at Universidad Diego Portales and member of the board of the Young Global Leaders Foundation and of ComunidadMujer.. She is also Executive Director of the Chair on Women and Media at Universidad Diego Portales and member of the Council of the WEF Gender Parity Initiative (Chile). She is a Young Global Leader (2006), Yale World Fellow(2012), won the Lenka Franulic award for the best woman journalist in Chile (2014) , and was chosen one of the BBC 100 Inspiring women of 2015. In 2019 she won -with her team- the Excellence in Journalism Award in print media in Chile, for their coverage of sexual misconduct and abuse. She studied Journalism at the Catholic University of Chile and has a Master's degree studies in Comparative Literature. She has published six non-fiction books: in one of them she interviewed all Chilean Presidents after the return of democracy. Former Magazines Editor at El Mercurio, former Editor in Chief of Caras magazine and former Editorial Director of Televisa Group in Chile. She also wrote for the Huffington Post.
Bachelor’s in Economics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University; MBA, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. 2007, joined Alibaba Group as Senior Director, Finance; then Vice-President, Finance. 2009, joined Alipay as Chief Financial Officer; then appointed Chief Operating Officer and President. Former Chief Financial Officer, Guangzhou Pepsi Cola Beverage Co. Currently, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ant Financial Services Group.
Currently serves as senior advisor for the World Bank Group ID4D, International Monetary Fund Comprehensive Surveillance Review 2020, UNECA Digital ID, Trade and Economy. He is also a member of the UN Secretary-General's Task Force on Digital Financing for SDGs.
Peter Lacy is the global sustainability services lead and chief responsibility officer, overseeing the integration of sustainability in all client work and ensuring the responsible business agenda across Accenture services and internal operations. Peter is a member of Accenture's Global Management Committee.
He leads sustainability services with clients and ecosystem partners, working across Accenture's service offerings to help clients create value and impact. Peter's work spans environmental, social and governance issues as they impact business, clients and ecosystems, as Accenture builds toward achieving the United Nations Global Compact's Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. He directs market growth for sustainability services and demand for responsible business consulting.
Peter previously led Accenture Strategy in Europe and Asia Pacific and helped launch the company's sustainability practice in 2008.
He has led the world's largest CEO studies on behalf of the United Nations Secretary General and co-led a global research program on digital transformation with the World Economic Forum, where he also sits on the Forum of Young Global Leaders foundation board.
Peter is the author of two books on the value of the circular economy: Waste to Wealth, an international best seller, and its follow-up, The Circular Economy Handbook.
Peter achieved First Class Honours at the University of Nottingham, winning the David and Elizabeth Marsden prize, and has been a Business Fellow at the University of Oxford since 2010. He has completed executive programs at Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Cambridge and INSEAD.
He lives in London with his family.
Ndidi O. Nwuneli
Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli is an expert on agriculture and nutrition, entrepreneurship, social innovation, and youth development. She has over 25 years of international development experience and is the founder of LEAP Africa, Changing Narratives Africa, and African Food Changemakers (www.afchub.org). She is also the co-founder of Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition Ltd. and AACE Foods Processing & Distribution Ltd.
Ndidi serves on the boards of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), AGRA, Nigerian Breweries Plc. (Heineken), Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. India, the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum, the Bridgespan Group, and the African Philanthropy Forum.
Ndidi holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She was a Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government at the Harvard Kennedy School, a visiting Scholar at Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University, an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow, and Eisenhower Fellow.
Ndidi is TED speaker and has received numerous awards and recognitions, including a National Honor from the Nigerian Government and the 2021 Harvard Business School Distinguished Alumni Award. She is the author of Social Innovation in Africa: A Practical Guide for Scaling Impact, & Food Entrepreneurs in Africa: Scaling Resilient Agriculture Businesses; both published by Routledge.
Michelle Zatlyn is co-founder, President, and COO of Cloudflare, the Internet security, performance, and
reliability company on a mission to help build a better Internet. Cloudflare is a publicly traded company
on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: NET). Prior to co-founding Cloudflare, Michelle held positions at
Google and Toshiba and launched two successful startups. Michelle currently serves on the board of
directors for Atlassian and the World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders Foundation. Michelle has
been named to Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list and was part of Marie Claire’s 7th Annual New Guard. She
holds a B.S. degree, with distinction, from McGill University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School,
where she was awarded the Dubilier Prize for Entrepreneurship.
Meet the team
Wadia Ait Hamza
Wadia is the Head of the Forum of Young Global Leaders at the World Economic Forum. Based in Geneva, he is responsible for the Forum´s engagement with young leaders – managing a community of more than 1,400 members and alumni. Previously, he was the Head of the Global Shapers Community and under his leadership, it has expanded to 500 cities, with local projects benefiting 2 million people and touching the lives of 11 millions people.
Wadia is a past United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Fellow, Atlantic Dialogues Emerging Leader, World Economic Forum Global Leadership Fellow, Tariq Ibn Ziyad Initiative Awardee and was selected among the 15 below 40 who make "The International Geneva" by the Swiss magazine Le Temps.
Background in international relations and humanitarian work. Previously worked at the United Nations as Programme Management Lead managing sustainability programmes across ~65 countries. Other work experiences include management consulting and European Parliament. Areas of experience include multilateral partnerships, SDGs, food security, migration, governance, inter-agency coordination, and public-private cooperation. Member of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability (CISL) Network.
Gwendoline De Ganay
Gwendoline de Ganay is a Community Lead for the Americas for the Foundations Communities at the World Economic Forum since April 2016. She started her career at the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society in Paris, where she was part of the Program team for 3 years. She then graduated from an MBA at IE Business School in Madrid. Prior to joining the Forum, she was an entrepreneur and sustainability consultant in Brazil for 3 years, working on projects with local and international companies, as well as running a blog on sustainable practices in Brazil. Gwendoline speaks English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Community Lead, Asia for YGL Community.
George is the Community Lead for the YGL Alumni community, supporting members to stay connected, engaged, and involved after graduating from the programme.
Liantsoa Joanna Raoeliarindranto
Joanna Liantsoa Raoeliarindranto is the Community Specialist for Africa and Operations for the Forum of Young Global Leaders. She brings over five years of experience in project management and business development in INGOs, IOs, and fortune 500 companies. Having worked in several interconnected sectors, including in peacebuilding, social and environmental impact management, and migration governance, she developed a solid understanding of these cross-cutting issues and a specific interest in the role of multi-stakeholder partnerships in reinforcing their nexus. She also has a strong interest in the role of digital transformation in achieving these goals. In the last decade, she has lived and worked in eight countries, which helped her develop a comprehensive understanding of cultural bias and a genuine interest in working in multicultural environments. She holds a BA in Sociology from Cornell University and an MA in Development studies from IHEID. She is fluent in English, French, and Malagasy.
Miao started her career as a climate policy analyst on low-carbon development in China at the innovative Green Development Programme, initiated by Energy Foundation China. She designed and lead the digital tool for tracking national, provincial, and city-level climate policies in China: Policy Mapping. Her research covers city-level low-carbon planning, carbon pricing, green finance by creating analytical tools, facilitating multidisciplinary exchange to foster integrated solutions for cities, and delivering reports for policymakers. Miao joined the World Economic Forum at 2017 and served the Programme and Design team for the design, development and deliver of Forum events around topics on sustainability, economics and finance, including World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Annual Meeting of the New Champions in China, and etc.
Prior in her research and programming career, she was a Community Host at Impact Hub Stockholm to serve the community of social enterprises in Sweden. She is passionate about people, and aspires to bring her expertise to community management of the two most exciting Forum communities: Global Shapers’ Community and the Young Global Leaders Community.
Miao has got two master’s degrees (MSc. and MA.) in Environmental Economics from University of Bonn, Swedish University of Agricultural Science, and Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing. She has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Beijing Normal University, and graduate certificate on international relations at The Johns Hopkins University–Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies.
Miao’s mother tongue is Mandarin, and she speaks fluent English, basic German and Swedish. In her spare time, she loves reading, doing Yoga, and rock climbing.
Erica Viegas is a strategic communicator and relationship builder—using these skills to create advocacy, awareness and social change. With a decade of communications and fundraising experience, she has positioned multi-million dollar campaigns for success, contributed thought leadership pieces to The Globe and Mail, written speeches for university presidents and created social media content for President Bill Clinton, Bill Gates and Sir Richard Branson. She is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, and is currently building a $20 million endowment fund for the Forum as their Development Lead. Erica has honed her ability to craft strategic messages and build relationships as an in-demand public speaker and as a singer-songwriter who has released two albums, toured across Canada and held ‘top 10’ positions on national music charts.
Supporters, partners and donors are critical to our success. Whether through a grant, an in-kind contribution or a gift from a YGL member to our endowment fund, we work with a range of individuals and organizations to increase our impact. See our full list of supporters.