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.
Studied at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, University of Fribourg and Harvard University; degrees include doctorates in Mechanical Engineering and Economics (summa cum laude). 1972-2003, Professor of Business Policy, University of Geneva. 1971, founded the World Economic Forum as a not-for-profit foundation and built it into the foremost international institution for public-private cooperation; 1998, Co-Founder, with wife Hilde, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, supporting social innovation around the world; 2004, Founder, Forum of Young Global Leaders; 2011, Founder, Global Shapers Community. Numerous honorary doctorates. Several honorary professorships. Recipient of international and highest national honours for initiatives undertaken in the spirit of entrepreneurship in the global public interest and for peace and reconciliation efforts in several regions of the world.
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.
Bodour Al Qasimi
President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), and a global authority in the international publishing scene. Leading a number of diversity initiatives in the sector and promoting robust and more cohesive regional publishing hubs worldwide. Has been at the forefront of socio-economic and cultural development in native Sharjah and the wider United Arab Emirates, receiving in the process a number of regional and global accolades. Avid advocate of the role of books and literacy in social development and has led, through the Kalimat Foundation, a number of campaigns to provide books for refugees and children affected by conflicts around the world. In 2019, established PublisHer, a rapidly growing platform with the vision of building a global, supportive community of women in publishing to create more gender diversity and equality of opportunity in the international publishing sector.
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 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 Global Sustainability Services Lead & 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 earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Nottingham 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.
Ndidi O. Nwuneli
Mrs. Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli is an expert on social innovation, African agriculture and nutrition, entrepreneurship, and youth development. She has over 25 years of international development experience and is a recognized serial entrepreneur, author, public speaker, and consultant.
Mrs. Nwuneli 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, Fairfax Africa Holdings Canada, Royal DSM Sustainability Board, Netherlands, and the African Philanthropy Forum. She previously served on the Boards of Nestle Nigeria Plc., the World Vegetable Center and Cornerstone Insurance Plc.
Mrs. Nwuneli started her career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, working in Chicago, New York, and Johannesburg. She returned to Nigeria in 2000 to serve as the pioneer executive director of FATE Foundation, supporting young entrepreneurs to start and scale their businesses. In 2002, she established LEAP Africa to inspire, empower, and equip a new cadre of principled, disciplined, and dynamic young leaders in Africa. In the same year, she established NIA to support female university students in Nigeria to achieve their highest potential.
Over the past 13 years, she has focused exclusively on transforming the African agriculture and nutrition landscape. Through her work as the co-founder and the Executive Chair of Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition, she has partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, DFID, ECOWAS, Syngenta and a range of private and public sector organizations to implement ecosystem solutions in the African agriculture and food landscapes. As the co-founder of AACE Foods, which produces a range of packaged spices, seasonings, and cereals for local and international markets, Mrs. Nwuneli has propelled the growth of a catalytic business. As the founder of Nourishing Africa, a digital home for food and agriculture entrepreneurs operating on the African Continent, she is accelerating the growth of the ecosystem and supporting entrepreneurs in 36 African countries.
Mrs. Nwuneli was recognized as a Young Global Leader and a Schwab Social Innovator by the World Economic Forum and received a National Honor from the Nigerian Government. She was listed as one of the 20 Power African Women by Forbes, on the 2019 100 Most Influential Africans List by New African Magazine and recently received the 2021 Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Awards, the highest honors given by the school. She is a TED Global and TED Women speaker.
Mrs. Nwuneli is the author of "Social Innovation in Africa: A Practical Guide for Scaling Impact," and "Food Entrepreneurs in Africa: Scaling Resilient Agriculture Businesses," both published by Routledge. She is also the author of “Working for God in the Marketplace.”
She 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 and an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University.
Co-Founder President, & Chief Operating Officer, Cloudflare, a web performance and security company that was named to CNBC’s Disruptor 50 List, selected by the Wall Street Journal as the Most Innovative Internet Technology Company for two successive years, and named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. Before co-founding Cloudflare, held positions at Google and Toshiba and launched two start-ups. BSc degree (Hons), McGill University; MBA, Harvard Business School. Recipient, Dubliner Prize for Entrepreneurship, Harvard Business School. Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum. Named one of the Top 15 Women to Watch in Tech by Inc. magazine; 40 Under 40 leader by San Francisco Business Times. Featured as one of the Women Who Rule Silicon Valley in a recent issue of ELLE magazine.
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.
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.
Joanna Liantsoa Raoeliarindranto
Joanna Liantsoa Raoeliarindranto is a Community Engagement Specialist with the Forum of YGLs, coordinating the selection of the new Class and providing overall community management support. She brings over four 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.
Ana Saldarriaga is the Manager of the Impact Strategy and Digital Engagement for the Forum of Young Global Leaders and Global Shapers Community. She is also a Global Leadership Fellow of the World Economic Forum.
Prior to the Forum, Ana was the first Latin American woman to become the CEO/President of AIESEC, the world’s largest youth-led organisation with 50,000+ members and 300+ employees. During her 7 years within AIESEC, the International Labour Organization recognized its internship model as a global example to tackle youth unemployment and develop 21st-century skills.
With an Engineering background, Ana is a Chevening Scholar with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration in Engineering and Public Policy from UCL. Her research focused on the impact of artificial intelligence and new technologies on the future of work and education.
Born and raised in Medellín, she has lived in five countries and delivered events in more than 50.
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.