Global Leadership Council
Members of the Global Leadership Council advance GenU’s mission through advocacy, programs, and mobilization of resources.
Ms. Catherine M. Russell (Co-Chair)
Executive Director, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Catherine M. Russell became UNICEF’s eighth Executive Director on February 1, 2022. Ms. Russell brings to the role decades of experience in developing innovative policy that empowers underserved communities, girls, and women around the world, including in humanitarian crises. She has extensive experience building, elevating and managing diverse workforces and mobilizing resources and political support for a broad range of initiatives. From 2020 to 2022, Ms. Russell served in the US government as Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. From 2013 to 2017, she served as Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State, where she integrated women’s issues across all elements of U.S. foreign policy, represented the United States in more than 45 countries, and worked with foreign governments, multilateral organizations and civil society. She was the principal architect of the ground-breaking “U.S. Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls.” Previously, Ms. Russell served as Deputy Assistant to the President at the White House under President Barack Obama, Senior Advisor on International Women’s Issues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice, and Staff Director of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Before re-entering government service in 2020, she taught at the Harvard Kennedy School as an Institute of Politics Fellow. She also served as the board co-chair of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, as a board member of Women for Women International, as a member of the Sesame Street Advisory Board, as a member of the non-profit organization, KIVA Advisory Council, and as a member of the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Trust Women initiative. Ms. Russell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, magna cum laude, from Boston College and a Juris Doctor degree from the George Washington University Law School.
Mr. Robert E. Moritz (Co-chair)
Appointed in 2016, Bob Moritz is the Chairman of the PwC International Network which supports over 276,000 employees in 157 countries. In this capacity, Bob leads a network of PwC firms that serve clients around the globe from multinational companies to start-ups. He is focused on creating a common culture based on quality, ethics, diversity and inclusion and developing a workforce for the future.
Dr. Tariq Al Gurg
CEO, Dubai Cares
Appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares in 2009, Mr. Tariq Al Gurg and has since been responsible for strategically defining and leading the UAE-based global philanthropic organization working towards providing children in developing countries with access to quality education. Dr. Al Gurg has been the driving force behind Dubai Cares’ involvement in global development efforts such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and has allowed the organization to play a more effective role as an advocate of universal quality education, strategic convener and information disseminator globally.
Ms. Shamma bint Suhail bin Faris Al Mazrui
Minister of Youth, United Arab Emirates
The youngest minister in the world, appointed at age 22 in February 2016 as the UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs in the new Cabinet, Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail bin Faris Al Mazrui's tasks are focused on representing youth issues and aspirations at the ministerial Council, setting development plans and strategies for improving youth capabilities, in addition to further utilizing their energy in various fields.
Ms. Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen
Chief Executive Officer, Plan International
A renowned leader in development and gender equality, Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen has worked for over 25 years in international development, human rights, change management and diplomacy, has been listed as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Gender Equality by Apolitical, and has served as CEO of Plan International since September 2015.
Ms. Alice Albright
Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education
Appointed as the first Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education's Secretariat in February 2013, Ms. Albright has strengthened the position of GPE to be a major delivery agency of the Sustainable Development Goals agenda and travels extensively to GPE partner countries and meets with ministers of education and finance, as well as all education stakeholder groups, to promote progress and support efforts toward a quality, inclusive education.
Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi
Secretary-General, World Organization of the Scout Movement
The 10th Secretary General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), Mr. Alhendawi is the youngest to helm one of the world’s leading educational youth movements. Prior to his appointment in WOSM, Mr. Alhendawi served as the first-ever United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth and the youngest senior official in the history of the UN.
Ms. Kanchan Amatya
Founder and Chief Executive Director, Sustainable Fish Farming Initiative
An award-winning Nepalese activist and social entrepreneur, Ms. Kanchan Amatya is recognized for her work in promoting rural women’s access to education and finance in Nepal and is the Founder and Chief Executive Director of Sustainable Fish Farming Initiative, a social enterprise combating extreme hunger and poverty in South Asia.
Ms. Audrey Azoulay
Director-General, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Having worked in the sector of culture since the start of her professional career, Audrey Azoulay has notably served the European Commission providing her expertise on issues concerning culture and communication. In 2014, she worked as an advisor on culture to the President of the French Republic, and was appointed in 2016 as Minister of Culture and Communication.
Ms. Kate Behncken
Vice President, Global Head of Microsoft Philanthropies, Microsoft Philanthropies
Kate leads a global team that is focused on partnering with nonprofits, the private sector, and government on local and global initiatives that help drive equitable and inclusive access to economic opportunity. Her work centers on providing access to digital skills for people excluded from the digital economy, empowering nonprofits, IGOs and civic organizations to leverage technology and services to build their capacity and advance their missions, and community engagement initiatives such as humanitarian response, TechSpark and Affordable Housing. Prior to this role, Kate was General Manager of the Microsoft Philanthropies Global Community Engagement team and Associate General Counsel and Chief of Staff to Microsoft President, Brad Smith. Kate began her Microsoft career in Australia and previously worked in legal roles across APAC and EMEA. In addition to her work with Microsoft, Kate serves on the board of United Way of King County, Titletown Tech, Generation Unlimited (UNICEF) and is a member of the CARE Corporate Council
Ms. Ingrid Maria Johansen
Chief Executive Officer, SOS Children’s Villages International
In January 2021, Ms. Ingrid Maria Johansen assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer of SOS Children’s Villages International, the umbrella organization for the global federation. Ms. Johansen’s career in the NGO and civil society sector spans nearly 20 years, from coordinating projects on the ground to leadership positions in the boardroom. Ms. Johansen joined SOS Children’s Villages from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), where she was a member of the International Board. Ms. Johansen, a dual-national of Sweden and Norway, holds a Bachelor’s degree from the London School of Economics, an M.Phil. in Development Studies from the University of Oxford, and an LL.M. (Master of Laws). She lives in Innsbruck.
Mr. Sigve Brekke
Chief Executive Officer, Telenor Group
Coming from the position as EVP and Head of Region Asia, Mr. Sigve Brekke and has been instrumental in building Telenor’s footprint in the region from being part of setting the initial direction in 1999 and has been a key driver and shaper of making Telenor a leading force in key Asian markets.
Ms. Sarah Brown
Executive Chair, Global Business Coalition for Education
A passionate advocate for global education and health issues and her work brings together the worlds of business, philanthropy, social media and charity campaigning, Ms. Sarah Brown is the Chair of children’s charity Theirworld and Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education.
Mr. Tijani Christian
Chairperson, Commonwealth Youth Council
Currently the elected Chairperson of the Commonwealth Youth Council, Mr. Tijani Christian comes from Jamaica, is the first Chair from the Caribbean and Americas Region, and has been actively involved in youth activities at both national and international levels championing youth empowerment through leadership and capacity building.
Mr. John W.H. Denton AO
Secretary-General, International Chamber of Commerce
A former diplomat and an Alumnus of Harvard Business School and the University of Melbourne, Mr. John Denton was unanimously elected as ICC’s Secretary General in March 2018, having previously served as CEO of Corrs Chambers Westgarth – Australia’s leading independent law firm. In 2015, Mr Denton was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to the business community, the arts and the rights of refugees.
Ms. Ilwad Elman
Director, Elman Peace Centre
Currently responsible for designing and overseeing the Elman Peace & Human Rights Centre’s programs with a broad portfolio focus on human rights, gender, justice, protection of civilians, social entrepreneurship, and peace & security, Ms. Ilwad Elman also co-founded the first rape crisis centre in Somalia for survivors of sexual and gender based violence, designing interventions aimed at security sector reform to create an inclusive space for women in peace building, and developing programs for the disarmament and rehabilitation of child soldiers and adults defecting from armed groups for their socio-economic empowerment, rehabilitation and reintegration.
Mr. Tony Elumelu
Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation
An economist by training, a serial entrepreneur, and a philanthropist, Mr. Tony Elumelu is known for his significant contribution to entrepreneurship in Africa. In 2010, he created The Tony Elumelu Foundation, which has committed $100m in a 10-year programme to fund, mentor and train 10,000 African entrepreneurs, inspired by Tony’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions the private sector as the key enabler of economic and social wealth creation in Africa.
Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat
Chairperson, African Union Commission
The Chadian Minister of Foreign Affair, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat was elected as the new African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson and has occupied very senior positions with a thirty-year experience. African’s peace and security issues has been at the heart of Mr. Mahamat’s activities and many other missions geared towards the wellbeing of Africa. The Chairperson of the Commission is the Chief Executive Officer, legal representative of the AU and the AU Chairperson’s Chief Accounting Officer, and is directly responsible to Executive Council for the discharge of his duties.
Mr. John Fallon
Chief Executive Officer, Pearson Education
Before becoming Pearson’s chief executive on 1 January 2013, John Fallon had been responsible for the company’s education businesses outside North America and a member of the Pearson management committee since 2008. He joined Pearson in 1997 as director of communications and was appointed president of Pearson Inc. in 2000. In 2003, he was appointed CEO of Pearson’s educational publishing businesses for Europe, Middle East & Africa. John is also the president of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
Mr. Michael Froman
Vice Chairman and President of Strategic Growth, Mastercard
Serving as vice chairman and president, Strategic Growth for Mastercard, Mike Froman is responsible for growing strategic partnerships, scaling new business opportunities, and advancing the company’s efforts to partner with governments and other institutions to address major societal and economic issues. He and his team drive financial inclusion and inclusive growth efforts and work to develop new businesses key to the company’s strategic growth.
Ms. Mariya Gabriel
Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, European Commission
Mariya Gabriel is European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. She is responsible for European Union (EU) policies related to Horizon Europe (the EU R&I programme), research and innovation, the Erasmus+ programme, education, culture and sport. Between 2017 and 2019, she was European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society. Under her leadership, the Digital Single Market of the European Commission became a reality. She created the first pan-European programme Digital Europe with a budget of €9 billion. She has been elected as Member of the European Parliament in 2009, 2014 and 2019. Mariya Gabriel is First Vice-President of the European People’s Party, and since 2012 Vice-President of EPP Women.
Mr. Napoleón García
Youth Director, Nuestro Tiempo and Censura Cero
A political entrepreneur and activist who works on youth issues and citizen participation, Napoleón is the Youth Director of Nuestro Tiempo, a new political party for young people in El Salvador. Moreover, he is the co-founder of Censura Cero, a legal youth organization seeking to encourage youth opinion and participation in issues of national and international interest.
Ms. Atsuko TODA
Acting Vice President of Agriculture, Human and Social Development, African Development Bank
Atsuko Toda is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience with international institutions. She is responsible for the Bank’s investments in private sector agribusiness companies, mainstreaming disaster risk finance, and development of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) across the African Continent. Before joining the Bank, Atsuko worked at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), on rural development projects in Asia and Africa. In 2012, Atsuko moved to Africa as the IFAD Country Director for the Nigeria country programme. Atsuko holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the International Christian University, Japan; a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Doshisha University, Japan and a Diploma in Developmental Studies from Cambridge University, United Kingdom.
Mr. José Ángel Gurría
Secretary General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
As Secretary-General of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) since 2006, Angel Gurría has firmly established the Organisation as a pillar of the global economic governance architecture including the G7, G20 and APEC, and a reference point in the design and implementation of better policies for better lives. He has also heralded a new growth narrative that promotes the well-being of people, including women, gender and youth, and has scaled up the OECD contribution to the global agenda, including the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ms. Kate Hampton
Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
Becoming CEO in March 2016 after having run CIFF's Climate Change team since 2009, Kate is also a member of the FP2020 Reference Group and she sits on the board of the European Climate Foundation. Current advisory roles include to the Observer Research Foundation (India) and the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development. Kate’s career spans roles in government, finance, consulting, a think tank and NGOs and before joining CIFF she was Head of Policy at Climate Change Capital, a boutique investment firm with $1.5 billion under management, advising asset managers and multinational companies on clean energy opportunities.
Mr. Per Heggenes
Chief Executive Officer, IKEA Foundation
As CEO of IKEA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Stichting INGKA Foundation, the owner of the Swedish home furnishings company IKEA, Per Heggenes sets and drives the Foundation’s funding and innovation strategies, and is a tireless advocate for children living in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since becoming the Foundation’s first CEO in 2009, Heggenes has presided over the Foundation’s evolution into a global, grant-making philanthropy that funds programs in more than 45 countries. He serves on numerous advisory boards for humanitarian and development organizations and has taken a special interest in helping reform the way the global community works to embrace the rights of refugees and migrants – aimed at positive integration that leads to economic independence and self-reliance.
Ms. Sri Mulyani Indrawati
Minister of Finance, Republic of Indonesia
An Indonesian economist who currently serves as the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia, a position she has held since July 2016, Ms. Sri Mulyani Indrawati returned to this role after serving as the World Bank's Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, where she was responsible for the Bank's operations around the world. In this capacity, Sri Mulyani often represented the World Bank Group at the G20. She also chaired the International Development Association (IDA)− the World Bank's fund for the poorest countries.
Mr. Alan Jope
Chief Executive Officer, Unilever
Joining Unilever in the UK in 1985, Mr. Alan Jope subsequently worked in North America for 14 years and in Asia for 13 years. From 2009 Alan led Unilever's business in China and North Asia, doubling its size and laying important foundations for future success. He was appointed to Unilever’s Leadership Executive in 2011 in his role as President of Unilever’s businesses across North Asia. His previous senior roles have also included President Russia, Africa & Middle East; global category leader for several of Unilever's Foods businesses; and President of Unilever's Home & Personal Care business in North America. Earlier, Alan worked in a number of sales and marketing roles in the UK, Thailand, and the US.
Mr. Mohammad Nouri Jouini
Vice President, Partnership Development, Islamic Development Bank
Prior to joining the IDB, Mr. Mohamed Nouri Jouini was Managing Director of the consulting firm MNJ Consulting. His experience spans strategy, development, economics, finance and international relations and he has held key positions in the Tunisian government, including as Minister of Planning, Investment and International Cooperation. Between 2002 and 2011 Mr. Jouini sat on the Board of Governors of the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the IDB, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development, and the Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation.
Sigrid Kaag worked for Shell International in London between 1988 and 1990 and at the UN Political Affairs Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1990 to 1993. She subsequently held a series of international positions. From 1994 to 1997 she was the Programme Manager and Head of Donor Relations at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Jerusalem. She then worked at the International Organization for Migration in Geneva from 1998 to 2004. In 2004 and 2005 Mrs Kaag was senior UN adviser in Khartoum and Nairobi. She continued her career at UNICEF, where she held various positions between 2005 and 2010, including Deputy Director of the Programme Division and Chief of Staff in New York, and Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa in Amman. Mrs Kaag then served as Assistant Secretary-General for the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in New York. From October 2013 to September 2014 Mrs Kaag, as UN Under-Secretary-General, led the mission to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria. After this mission was completed, in 2015, she became Under-Secretary-General in Lebanon with responsibility for all UN activities in the country, specifically the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701. On 26 October 2017, Sigrid Kaag was appointed Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the third Rutte government.
Ms. Natalia Kanem
Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
On 3 October 2017, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Dr. Natalia Kanem Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. She brings to the position more than 30 years of strategic leadership experience in the fields of medicine, public and reproductive health, peace, social justice, and philanthropy.
Mr. Christian Klein
Chief Executive Officer, SAP
Christian Klein is Chief Executive Officer and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE. In his role as CEO, Klein holds the overall responsibility for the corporate strategic direction, management, and performance of SAP. In addition to the role of CEO, until July 2021, Klein was also SAP’s Chief Operating Officer, leading SAP’s transformation into an Intelligent Enterprise to the benefit of both customers and employees. Prior to becoming CEO, Klein was the COO and head of the Intelligent Enterprise Group, combining global responsibility for the development and delivery of SAP’s core applications with the cross-board area mandate for SAP’s global business operations. Klein’s Intelligent Enterprise Group drove SAP’s digital core development functions and product management. This included SAP’s flagship product SAP S/4HANA, SAP Digital Supply Chain, and managing SAP’s rich industry-specific portfolio. Klein holds a diploma in International Business Administration from the University of Cooperative Education in Mannheim, Germany.
Mr. Michael Kocher
General Manager, Aga Khan Foundation
The General Manager of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), based in Geneva, since 2013, Mr. Michael Kocher leads AKF’s multi-sector efforts in agriculture and food security, economic inclusion, education, early childhood development, health and nutrition, and civil society across 20 countries of South and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, North America and Western Europe. Within these contexts, Mr. Kocher closely engages AKF’s sister agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and a broad range of external partners. Before joining AKF, Mr. Kocher was the Vice President of International Programmes at the International Rescue Committee in New York City, where he led efforts in its multi-sector development, emergency response, and support for refugees and internally displaced persons.
Ms. Tsitsi Masiyiwa
Co-Founder & Co-Chair, Higher Life Foundation
A philanthropist and social entrepreneur, Mrs. Tsitsi Masiyiwa is devoted to empowering young people in Africa with education opportunities and access to technology. During the last twenty years, the Higherlife Foundation, founded by Masiyiwa and her husband, Strive Masiyiwa, has, directly and indirectly, supported the education of more than 250,000 vulnerable and highly talented students in Zimbabwe, Burundi, and Lesotho.
Ms. Rosemary Mbabazi
Minister of Youth, Republic of Rwanda
Appointed the Cabinet Minister for the newly created Ministry of Youth, the former Ministry of Youth and ICT, on 31 August 2017, Ms. Mbabazi Rosemary holds bachelor’s degree in Education from Makerere University and MBA from UK.
Mr. Joseph Mucheru
Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Republic of Kenya
Appointed Cabinet Secretary by His Exellency the President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2015, Mr. Joe Mucheru was formerly the Google “Sub-Saharan Africa ambassador” as well as Google Country Manager Kenya, based in Nairobi. He joined Google in June 2007 where he lead the delivery of strategy, business planning and operations. Before joining Google, he worked at Wananchi Online, a company he co-founded in 1999. He held various roles at the company including Strategy & Business Director and CEO. He studied at London’s City University and also attended Stanford University’s Executive Program in 2008.
Ms. Mamta Murthi
Vice President for Human Development, World Bank
Mamta started as Vice President for Human Development at the World Bank on July 1, 2020. In this role she oversees the Global Practices for Education, Health, Nutrition, Population, Gender, Social Protection and Jobs, as well as the Human Capital Project. Mamta has held many leadership positions at the World Bank, including as Director of Operations Policy (2019), Director of Strategy and Operations in Infrastructure (2018), Director of Strategy and Operations in the Africa Region (2015-2018), and Regional Country Director for the EU, based in Brussels (2012-15). An economist by training, she has had technical roles in Social Protection and Labor (1996-2004) and Education (2006-10). She was Deputy Director of the World Development Report on Development and the Next Generation in 2006. During 1998-2000, Mamta was MacArthur Fellow for Poverty and Inequality at King’s College, Cambridge.
Ms. Chaeli Mycroft
Co-Founder & Global Ambassador, The Chaeli Campaign & Chaeli Foundation USA
A South African ability activist with cerebral palsy who won the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2011, Chaeli Mycroft co-founded The Chaeli Campaign in Cape Town, in 2004 at age 9, to raise funds for her motorized wheelchair. The organization now runs several programs that impact the lives of more than 7,000 beneficiaries annually. In 2012, at the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Chicago, she was awarded the Peace Summit Medal for Social Activism on behalf of all Nobel Peace Laureates. She was also awarded the 2013 World of Children Award (Youth category) and 2018 Obama Foundation African Leader. She is the first female quadriplegic to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
Mr. Sobel Aziz Ngom
Founder and Executive Director, Social Change Factory
A Senegalese Edu-entrepreneur, Sobel Ngom holds a Bachelor degree in Communications from École Supérieure de Commerce in Dakar (Senegal) and a certification in Civic Leadership from Wagner College, New York City. For 5 years, Sobel has been the Head of Africa hub for Changemakers, a program of the renowned NGO Ashoka. His mission was to build an entrepreneurial mindset amongst a network of over 2000 young people from Africa and facilitate their access to life changing opportunities. In 2014, he founded Social Change Factory, a civic leadership center redefining civic participation among African youth and strengthening their leadership and entrepreneurship capacity. Social Change Factory covers 8 countries to date. Under his organization, the entrepreneur developed Voix des Jeunes (or Voice of the Youth in English), the biggest and most popular television program dedicated to youth empowerment in French speaking countries in frica, as well as several other initiatives strengthening youth education, skills and employability.
Ms. Sanda Ojiambo
CEO and Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact
Sanda Ojiambo is the Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact. Launched in July 2000, the United Nations Global Compact is the Secretary‑General’s strategic policy and advocacy initiative calling for the alignment of business operations and strategies with 10 universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. It also motivates companies to integrate the SDGs into their core business strategies and operations. With more than 10,000 corporate participants and other stakeholders from over 160 countries engaged through 68 country networks, the Compact is the largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative in the world. Endorsed by chief executive officers, it is a practical framework for the development, implementation and disclosure of sustainability policies and practices, committing businesses to sustainability and shared responsibility for achieving a better world. Ms. Ojiambo, brings 20 years of experience to lead the UN Global Compact. She has served as Head of Sustainable Business and Social Impact, Safaricom Plc, Kenya since 2010. Ms. Ojiambo was also the Senior Manager of Safaricom and MPESA Foundations, Kenya from 2008 to 2010, during which she led the implementation of several public-private partnership initiatives between Safaricom and UN organizations.
Mr. Guy Ryder
Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO)
Elected as ILO Director-General by the ILO's Governing Body in May 2012, and taking office on 1 October 2012,
Guy Ryder pledged to position the Organization as a determined actor translating principle into action and ensuring that it had the capacity to make a major difference to the working lives of people on all of the continents. To support this he launched a major reform process geared to assuring the ILO’s authority on matters falling within its mandate. He was re-elected as ILO Director-General by the ILO's Governing Body on 7 November 2016 with overwhelming support across the ILO's tripartite constituency. His second term started on 1 October 2017. Born in Liverpool (UK) in 1956, Guy Ryder studied Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge and Latin American Studies at the University of Liverpool. He speaks French and Spanish as well as his mother tongue, English.
Mr. Asif Saleh
Executive Director, BRAC Bangladesh
Asif Saleh is the executive director of BRAC Bangladesh. He brings with him a diverse multi-sectoral experience in senior leadership roles in private, public and non-government sectors, with a track record of effectively managing interfaces of development programming, operational and financial sustainability and building effective partnerships, both within and outside BRAC. He joined BRAC in 2011, and took up an increasingly important role in leading advocacy for social change, information technology, communications and social innovation. He has been instrumental in BRAC’s concentration on emerging development challenges in the areas of urban poverty, youth skills development, inclusive growth and migration. As the senior director of the empowerment programme cluster, he led BRAC's new programmatic areas, namely, the urban development programme, human rights and legal aid services, skills development programme and migration programme. He also led the development of BRAC’s five-year strategic plan in 2016. Prior to joining BRAC, Mr Saleh worked as a policy specialist for the Access to Information (A2i) Programme at the Prime Minister’s Office. As part of the Government’s Digital Bangladesh initiative, he led the policy effort to expand affordable broadband connectivity across Bangladesh and devised the Government's m-governance strategy.
Mr. Saddam Sayyaleh
Founder & Director, I Learn Jordan Initiative
As the Founder for I Learn Jordan Initiative, Mr. Saddam Sayyaleh is a social entrepreneur who employs a community-based approach to empowering youth and children in disenfranchised communities. Through informal education, youth volunteerism, and global partnerships he seeks to establish safe spaces that encourage innovation, intellectual growth, and critical thinking. Saddam is also an expert in community mobilization and social innovation and has developed skills in training, project management, and community outreach activities. Saddam is a Global Fellow at Laureate 2016 in addition to other organizations such as Young Leaders Visitors Program, the Swedish Institute and a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum and UNESCO youth fellow and State Department Alumni.
Ms. Vibhu Sharma
Co-Chair, Global Partnership for Disabilities Youth Council
A Disability & Inclusion Research Consultant with Theirworld, a global children's charity, and researcher of inclusive education and assistive technology for children with disabilities in the developed countries, Ms. Vibhu Sharma is a graduate with a Master’s degree in Inclusive Education from the University of Edinburgh who is focused on expanding access to inclusive education and assistive technology in the developing countries, has an understanding of the best Scottish policies and pedagogical practices for mainstreaming children with disabilities in inclusive education, and is a member of several global partnerships working for young people, serving on the Global Board of Generation Unlimited and representing young people with disabilities to the other board members who include executive leads of UNDP, UNFPA, ILO, among others.
Mr. Feike Sijbesma
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Managing Board, DSM
Appointed CEO & Chairman in May 2007, Mr. Feike Sijbesma has transformed DSM and its portfolio through various divestments and acquisitions. Under his leadership, DSM repositioned itself from a chemical company into a Life Sciences & Materials Sciences company, focusing on health, nutrition & materials, expressed in a new brand of which "Bright Science. Brighter Living" forms the core. Feike sees sustainability as both a responsibility and a business driver and has given purpose to the company by DSM's involvement in amongst other things, malnutrition and climate change. He also considers it important for business to have more women in the top and sees diversity as increasingly important for DSM as an innovative company. He is committed to develop science as a bases for innovation in order to create brighter lives for people today and generations to come.
Ms. Liesbet Steer
Director, The Education Commission
Serving as Director of the Education Commission, Dr. Liesbet Steer led the report “The Learning Generation. Investing in Education for a Changing World.” and currently she oversees the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations, including the design of the International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd), the introduction of reform and results based approaches in Pioneer Countries, a new Education Workforce Initiative and the development of global accountability measures. She has more than 20 years of experience in international development research and policy. Before joining the Commission, Liesbet was a Fellow at the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution and Director of the Overseas Development Institute’s (ODI) flagship program on Development Progress, financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As a fellow of ODI’s Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure, she also worked on issues of development finance, aid effectiveness, and the production and use of impact evaluations. Between 1997 and 2007, Liesbet lived and worked in Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos and Cambodia. She directed the economic reform program for the Asia Foundation in Indonesia, a technical assistance and research program on local economic development and growth. She also worked with the World Bank and IFC on private sector reform and the design and evaluation of SME development programs in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Mr. Achim Steiner
Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Mr. Steiner brings to the position of Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), extensive senior leadership experience, both at the grass-roots and highest levels of international policymaking addressing environmental sustainability, social equity and economic development. His professional experience includes assignments with governmental, non-governmental, as well as international organizations around the world, most recently Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme between 2006 and 2016. He previously served as Director-General of the United Nations Office in Nairobi from 2009 to 2011, Director-General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature from 2001 to 2006, and as Secretary-General of the World Commission on Dams, in South Africa, from 1998 to 2001. Born in 1961, Mr. Steiner’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oxford, as well as a Master of Arts degree from the University of London, with specialization in development economics, regional planning and international development and environment policy. He also studied at the German Development Institute in Berlin, and at Harvard Business School.
Mr. Justin W. van Fleet
President of the global children's charity Theirworld and Executive Director of the Global Business Coalition for Education, Justin van Fleet previously served as the Director of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity and Chief of Staff to the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown where the landmark “Learning Generation” report put forward a pathway to finance and deliver the ambitions of Sustainable Development Goal 4 – inclusive and equitable quality education for all. He has been a passionate advocate for financing education, playing an instrumental role in the establishment of the Education Cannot Wait Fund for education in emergencies and the new International Finance Facility for Education. van Fleet was a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Universal Education in Washington, D.C. where his research focused on corporate social investments and philanthropy for global education. He has previously held various non-profit and academic posts, including as Deputy Chair for Education at the Clinton Global Initiative, an Instructor at the University of Maryland and Associate Director of the Council on Foreign Relations Center for Universal Education. He has consulted for various international and national organizations and foundations.
Mr. Anko van der Werff
Chief Executive Officer, Avianca Holdings
Appointed by the Board of Directors of Avianca Holdings as the new president of the Company, Anko van der Werff, is an expert in the airline industry, with extensive international and executive experience in companies such as Qatar and Aeromexico. His last position was with the Aeromexico Group, as Executive Commercial Vice President for the past 5 years. He has also led key industry processes with Qatar Airways and Air France-KLM, one of the first commercial airlines in the world.
Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake
Secretary General's Envoy on Youth, United Nations
Appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth in June 2017 at the age of 26, Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake works to expand the UN’s youth engagement and advocacy efforts across all four pillars of work – sustainable development, human rights, peace and security and humanitarian action – and serves as a representative of and advisor to the Secretary-General. Originally from Sri Lanka, Ms. Wickramanayake has worked extensively on youth development and participation, and has played a key role in transforming the youth development sector in her home country. Prior to taking up her post, Ms. Wickramanayake was instrumental in creating the movement for civic and political engagement of young people, especially young women in Sri Lanka named “Hashtag Generation”. Previously, she advocated for global youth development on an international level including as the first ever Sri Lankan Youth Delegate to the United Nations and as the youth lead negotiator and member of the International Youth Task Force of the World Conference on Youth 2014 where she played a critical role in mainstreaming youth in the Post-2015 Process and in the establishment of World Youth Skills Day.
Ms. Saadia Zahidi
Managing Director, Centre for the New Economy and Society, World Economic Forum
As Head of the World Economic Forum's Centre for the New Economy and Society, Ms. Saadia Zahidi works with leaders from business, government, civil society and academia to understand and shape the new economy, advance competitiveness, drive social mobility and inclusion, close skills gaps, prepare for the future of work and foster gender equality and diversity. Saadia founded and co-authors the Forum's Future of Jobs Report, Global Gender Gap Report, Reskilling Revolution Report and Human Capital Report. Her book, Fifty Million Rising, charts the rise of working women in the Muslim world and was longlisted for the FT/Mckinsey Book of the Year 2018. She has been selected as one of the BBC's 100 Women and won the inaugural FT/Mckinsey Bracken Bower Prize for prospective authors under 35. She holds a BA in Economics from Smith College, an MPhil in International Economics from the Graduate Institute of Geneva and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. Her interests include the future of work, the impact of technology on employment, education and skills, income inequality, economic development and using big data for public good.
Mr. Liu Zhenmin
Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs (UN DESA)
Zhenmin is the head of UN DESA. He advises the Secretary-General on the three pillars of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental, and nurtures key partnerships with governments, UN agencies and civil society organizations. The Under-Secretary-General is responsible for a number of tasks, including: managing the Department and its divisions; advising the Secretary-General on the three pillars of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental – including the SDGs; establishing key partnerships with governments, UN agencies and civil society organizations; convening the Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs, which is the coordination vehicle within the UN development system; overseeing the Development Account of the United Nations regular budget, which funds programmes implemented by ten different entities in the UN Secretariat. USG Mr. Liu Zhenmin assumed office on 26 July 2017. He brings to the position more than 30 years of experience in the diplomatic service, with a strong focus on the promotion of bilateral, regional and global issues.
*Representative to be confirmed:
• Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Republic of Germany