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 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 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.
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, AGRA, Stanbic IBTC Group, Nigerian Breweries Plc. (Heineken), Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. India, the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum, and the Bridgespan Group.
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 an Eisenhower Fellow.
Ndidi is the author of three books: Social Innovation in Africa: a practical guide for scaling impact, Food Entrepreneurs in Africa: Scaling Resilient Agriculture Businesses and Walking for God in the Marketplace.
Meet the team
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.
James Forsyth is a Swiss-American-British professional with a diverse background in economics, politics, and leadership. After completing his education, James worked as a political adviser and field organizer for the 2008 Obama presidential campaign, before transitioning to a career in finance. He spent six years with HSBC as a private banker, covering middle eastern markets and alternative investments.
In 2016, James joined the World Economic Forum, where he has since held various roles. He initially worked on Blended Finance, a program aimed at mobilizing private sector capital for sustainable development. Later, he led the Climate & Nature portfolio of the Global Shapers community, a network of young change-makers around the world. Currently, James leads the leadership development for the Young Global Leaders community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum that brings together exceptional leaders under the age of 40 from across sectors and regions.
He obtained a Bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Montreal before pursuing an MBA (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Geneva, School of Economics and Management, where he was awarded the Vacheron Constantin Best MBA Project Award. James is passionate about leveraging his expertise and networks to advance sustainable and equitable development and has been recognized as a thought leader in his field.
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 Sun is the Community Lead for Young Global Leaders Community and Global Shapers Community in Greater China, Japan, South Korea and Mongolia. She overseas the two communities' strategy in the region by bringing the younger generation of leaders to the World Economic Forum's agenda and initiatives. As a Global Leadership Fellow, she is also passionate about empowering leadership, multistakholder dialogue, and sustainable development.
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 ot that, she was a climate policy analyst on low-carbon development in 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 and green finance by creating analytical tools and facilitating multidisciplinary exchange to foster integrated solutions for cities. She used to be a Community Host at Impact Hub Stockholm to serve social enterprises in Sweden.
Miao has 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 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.