Class of 2006 Bios

Getachew Mengisitie Alemu photo

Getachew Mengisitie Alemu

Getachew Mengisitie Alemu is an intellectual property (IP) consultant and lends his expertise to a wide range of countries and organizations. He has worked in over 20 countries implementing IP projects supported by the European Commission, the World Bank, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), UNDP, and UNECA working with professionals in multicultural and multiethnic environments.

He drafted the national IP policies, development plans and laws of a number of African countries, and he has implemented projects aimed at demonstrating the use of IP as a tool for development. These include branding of Ethiopian Fine Coffees and Ugandan Vanilla with the aim of changing marketing position of growers and small traders and maximizing their benefits.

A lawyer by training, Getachew directed the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office as the first Director General and was the driving force in developing Ethiopia's intellectual property system from scratch. He has authored or co-authored over 25 works published in books and international journals. 

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Xenofon Avlonitis

Xenofon Avlonitis is a finance expert serving as Executive General Manager, Group Compliance Officer, at Alpha Bank, a major financial services corporation based in Greece that operates across Europe. In this role, Xenofon supervises Alpha Bank’s Compliance Unit for managing the compliance risk of the Bank and its Group Companies, specializing in the local regulatory framework in Greece and abroad. His mission is to ensure the full adherence to all regulatory requirements pertaining to the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Policy and the Group Compliance Policy.

For 10 years prior to that, Xenofon was Vice Chairman at the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC), where he played a crucial role in the development of Greece’s capital markets, supervising the functions of the Listed Companies Department, among others, while also working on the regulation and the supervision of capital markets throughout Europe.

In parallel he held several roles on the board of directors of Greece’s Accounting and Auditing Standards Oversight Board, the Standing Committee of the European Securities and Markets Authority, and the Executive Committee of the Institute of Financial Economic Management. He has also served an active member of the Mediterranean Partnership of the Securities' Regulators.

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Mohamed Baba

Mohamed Baba is Chairman of the Board of Haag Wonen, an Amsterdam-based non-profit organization helping to provide safe and affordable housing for vulnerable populations in the city. He previously worked as the Director of Strategy and Policymaking for the city of Amsterdam where he focused on the nexus between multiculturalism and economic expansion in the greater city area.

Prior to working for the city of Amsterdam, in 2000, Mohamed co-founded Mexit Intercultural Management, a consultancy working to overcome cultural barriers and promote successful integration of immigrant communities in Europe with a specialization in intercultural change management.

From 2011 to 2015, Mohamed served as Vice-Chairman of the international supervisory board of Rutgers WPF, a renowned expert center on sexual and reproductive health and rights for the Netherlands, Africa and Asia.

In 2010 he was awarded the “The Other Businessman” award in the Netherlands for his achievement as an entrepreneur in a multicultural society. His initiative to promote dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims was recognized for contributing to the prevention of increased ethnic violence in the Netherlands after the murder of film director Theo van Gogh in 2004.

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Saleh Barakat

Saleh Barakat is an expert in contemporary Arab art and founded the Agial Art Gallery in 1991 and Saleh Barakat Gallery in 2016, both in Beirut. As the executive manager of the two galleries, he has participated in building major collections of modern and contemporary Arab art.

With a strong business background with decades of experience in the art sector, Saleh is deeply engaged in developing a healthy market environment for creative expression in the Arab world. He has curated several pan-Arab exhibitions including the IXth Francophone Summit in Beirut, the 2003 World Bank Summit in Dubai, and "The Road to Peace: Painting in Times of War 1975-1991" at the Beirut Art Center in 2009. He also co-curated the first national pavilion for Lebanon at the 52nd Venice Biennale and the touring exhibition "Mediterranean Crossroads" in collaboration the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He sits on the advisory boards of the Lebanese American University and the American University of Beirut Art Center.

Chantal-Line Carpentier photo

Chantal-Line Carpentier

Dr. Chantal-Line Carpentier is Chief of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Prior to that, she was actively involved in the successful negotiations of the Sustainable Development Goals for the Division for Sustainable Development of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). During her time with DESA, she acted as Major Groups Coordinator to enhance non-state actors engagement with the UN system on sustainable development. She facilitated the participation of more than 10,000 non-state actor participation in the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. She was also focal point for sustainable consumption and production, food security and sustainable agriculture.

Prior to her UN career, Chantal-Line served as Head of the Trade and Environment Program of the NAFTA Commission for Environmental Cooperation from 2000 to 2007 and as policy analyst for the Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture from 1998-2000. She was a postdoctoral fellow for IFPRI in the Brazilian Amazon from 1996-98.

Chantal-Line has consulted for UNDP, World Bank, OCDE, and USDA. She also regularly publishes journal articles, book chapters, and Secretary General Reports on the intricate relationships between sustainable development policies, trade and agriculture. She has co-authored a book on Ethical Investing published in French in Quebec in 2008.

She has completed several marathons and Ironman triathlons and detains a second dam black belt in karate.

Allegra da Silva photo

Allegra da Silva

Allegra da Silva is Brown & Caldwell’s PFAS National Municipal Coordinator and Regional One Water Leader, working to improve water and wastewater treatment, expand the field of water recycling and reuse, and evaluate alternative sources of water. She works with clients to address the removal of pathogens and emerging contaminants in order to expand alternative water supplies safely for the protection of public health and benefit of the environment.

Allegra has nearly two decades' experience in engineering and public health. She is working on a number of innovative research and development projects to improve water treatment and reduce energy consumption. She is serving on an industry panel to provide guidance to wastewater workers vis-a-vis COVID-19. Prior to entering consulting, she worked at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Her doctoral research on norovirus in wastewater drew from the fields of engineering, microbiology, and epidemiology and was conducted in Colombia, France, and Texas and Connecticut in the U.S. Her postdoctoral research examined how advances in materials science can be harnessed for low-cost drinking water filtration.

Stefaan De Rynck photo

Stefaan De Rynck

Stefaan De Rynck works as Senior Adviser to Michel Barnier, who is the European Union's Chief Negotiator for Brexit. Previously, he was a Head of Unit in various departments of the European Commission, where he has worked on financial service regulation, economic integration in the single market, regulatory standard-setting, and regional and urban development.

He has served as spokesperson for various Members of the European Commission and been responsible for media relations on issues such as EU transport policies, treaty negotiations, and institutional reform. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Turin (Italy) and at the College of Bruges (Belgium) where he teaches on EU governance.

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Jessica Faieta

Jessica Faieta is Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Colombia since April 2019. She is also the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Colombia. Jessica has more than 28 years of distinguished service in the United Nations.

Prior to this appointment, from March 2018 to March 2019, she was the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Deputy Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia. Since 2014, she was UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Previously she served as Director of UNDP in Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 Earthquake; She led the UN in El Salvador and Belize. She also served in the Executive Office of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and in the Office of the UNDP Administrator. Jessica has also had assignments in Argentina, Cuba, Guyana, and Panama.

A National from Ecuador, Jessica holds a Master’s in International Affairs, and an MBA from Columbia University in New York.

David Fuentes-Montero photo

David Fuentes-Montero

David Fuentes-Montero is General Manager of BD Consultores, a technology consulting company based in San José, Costa Rica. He was formerly Deputy CEO of Banco Internacional de Costa Rica, a state-owned commercial bank, where he was responsible for developing the strategy for Financing Trade Commerce to support development of the Central American region.

He served as Costa Rica’s Minister of Finance until May 2006, having previously served as Vice Minister. While serving in the top two positions in the Ministry of Finance, he negotiated significant fiscal reforms and maintained economic stability during a period of rising oil prices, achieving the lowest budget deficit level in the country’s recent history.

Prior to entering the public sector, David was Director of Administration and Finance for the Bolsa Nacional de Valores, the Costa Rican stock exchange, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Cooperative de Servicios Aeroindustriales.

He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Costa Rica and he has represented Costa Rica as a governor of the Inter-American Development Bank.

Balázs László Karafiáth photo

Balázs László Karafiáth

Balázs "László" Karafiáth, an economist by trade and one of Hungary’s best-known Internet entrepreneurs, is Strategic Director of in-Depth SOULutions, a professional training and coaching company based in Budapest. He previously ran Culture Culture Inc., a unique communications research and consulting enterprise.

László has been fascinated with culture since his teenage years and helped start one of Europe’s most popular week-long music and arts festivals, Sziget, when he was 20 years old. He was a radio host and DJ for 7 years at the opinion-leading Tilos community radio of Budapest.

A serial entrepreneur, László co-founded Darwin’s Marketing Evolution in 2003 in Budapest. Using meme science, the company works with Fortune 500 companies like Unilever, Coca Cola, Abbott Laboratories, or SAP to map their brand-memes and create new communication strategies. His second startup, Carnation Strategic Internet Consulting (1997), was acquired by WPP in 2011.

Previously, László was advisor to Hungary’s Ministry of Economy and Transport. He completed a PhD in 2014, researching the use of meme science in corporate communications. 


Garentina "Tina" Kraja

Garentina "Tina" Kraja is an independent researcher and consultant on issues ranging from transitional justice to violent extremism and malign influence. She advised Kosovo’s President Atifete Jahjaga (2011-2016) on foreign policy and security issues and lectured at R.I.T. Kosovo on religion and globalization, international relations, and politics.

She started her career as a journalist covering the war in Kosovo, initially for Koha Ditore, Kosovo’s first independent newspaper, and later as a correspondent for The Associated Press for nearly a decade. Tina was one of the first journalists to report on the emergence of the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army and extensively documented war crimes during the war. As the war intensified, she was eventually forced to Macedonia, where she continued her reporting as a refugee. After the war, she returned to Kosovo and continued to report on the establishment of the international protectorate, the war’s violent aftermath and talks that led to Kosovo’s declaration of independence.

She graduate cum laude with a BA and MA degree in Political Science from Yale University.

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Massimo Lapucci

Massimo Lapucci is Secretary General of Fondazione CRT, a philanthropic foundation based in Italy with an endowment of about 3 billion euros. He is also the Secretary General of the Development and Growth Foundation, a foundation primarily focused on impact investing. Massimo is also Chair of the European Foundation Centre, the international network of institutional philanthropy based in Brussels.

Massimo has an extensive international experience as a board member for public and private companies in various industries (including finance, banking, media and infrastructures) and nonprofit organizations in the EU and the Americas, including the Rockefeller Philanthropy Europe, the advisory board of the London School of Economics-Marshall Institute, and the ISI Foundation for Big Data in Turin and New York.

Previously Massimo was Investment Director for Sintonia SA, a holding company based in Luxembourg. He was also Senior Vice President of strategic planning and M&A for a major holding company that includes the Italian railway system. 

Tarek Masoud photo

Tarek Masoud

Tarek Masoud is a Professor of Public Policy and the Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. His research focuses on the Muslim world's political development.

Tarek is the author of Counting Islam: Religion, Class, and Elections in Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 2014), the co-author of The Arab Spring: Pathways of Repression and Reform (Oxford University Press, 2015), as well as of several articles and book chapters. He is a 2009 Carnegie Scholar, a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Democracy, and the recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation and the Paul and Daisy Soros foundation, among others. He holds an AB from Brown and a Ph.D from Yale, both in political science.

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Nicky Newton-King

Nicky Newton-King is a lawyer by training and was CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), Africa’s largest stock exchange and one of the world’s top 20 exchanges.

Nicky was previously Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the JSE where she headed a diverse team of professionals which handled the JSE’s strategy, legal issues, investor relations, media and corporate transactions. She was part of the team which developed the JSE’s Socially Responsible Investment Index, the first index of its type globally, and guided its evolution.

Nicky has also been part of various teams which were responsible for drafting key legislation affecting the South African financial markets and the new Companies Act. She was a World Economic Forum Young Global leader.

Tung Ngo photo

Tung Ngo

Tung Ngo is a founding partner of Vietnam International Law Firm (VILAF), the first and largest business law firm in Vietnam. It was established in 1993 in association with UK-based law firm, Clifford Chance.

Tung has assisted many giant foreign investors, such as Coca Cola, Mercedes Benz, Shell, and Exxon Mobil in establishing their businesses in Vietnam since the country opened its doors to foreign investment in the 1990s. Tung has advised several international companies in M&A, corporate, and commercial matters related to Vietnamese laws, as well as P&I Clubs on maritime cases.

Tung is highly respected and has been identified by various well-known international legal magazines, such as Legal 500, Global and Chambers and International Financial Review, as one of the leading lawyers in Vietnam. He was recognized by Asia Law & Practice as one of the finest leading lawyers in Asia. He is also recognized by Benchmark Litigation as Dispute Resolution Star for Commercial Transactions for 2019.

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Jason Pielemeier

Jason Pielemeier is Policy Director for Global Network Initiative (CNI), a multi-stakeholder group of companies, civil society organizations, investors, and academics who are helping to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy on the internet.

Prior to joining GNI, Jason was a Special Advisor at the U.S. Department of State, where he led the Internet Freedom, Business and Human Rights section in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. In that role, he worked with colleagues across the U.S. government, counterparts in other governments, and global stakeholders to promote and protect human rights online.

Jason is a graduate of Northwestern University and Yale Law School. Between degrees, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer and later led an innovative land titling and conservation project in rural Guatemala. After law school, he worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Raymond J. Dearie in the U.S. Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and as an Associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

Imane Rtabi photo

Imane Rtabi

Imane Rtabi is a Moroccan information technology entrepreneur and has been instrumental in leading and developing the country's information technology infrastructure through her company, Maghrebnet.

Initially founded to bring internet access to homes and businesses in Morocco, Imane restructured Maghrebnet to focus on the integration of communications solutions within large infrastructures, including network installations, perimeter security, electricity and green energy, establishing the company as a major solutions integrator in Morocco while expanding to neighboring countries.

Imane co-founded and co-chairs INC Group, an investment company involved in renewable energies, light steel construction, and electrical panel building and distribution. She formerly served as vice president of AFEM in charge of International Relations (The Association of Moroccan Women Entrepreneurs), and is a founding member of MENA BWN, a regional business women's network.

Imane serves on the Board of MedGlass Industy, and Association Ribat Al Fath, a leading NGO in sustainable development and the fight against illiteracy targeting women and young girls. 

Tomáš Sedlácek photo

Tomáš Sedlácek

Tomáš Sedláček is a Czech economist and university lecturer. He is the Chief Macroeconomic Strategist at ČSOB (a Czech national bank), a member of a group Narrative of Europe commissioned by Manuel Barroso and Council Member of World Economic Forum focused on New Economic Thinking.

He is a former member of the National Economic Council of the Czech Republic and an economic advisor to former President Václav Havel. His book Economics of Good and Evil, a bestseller in the Czech Republic, was translated into English and published by the Oxford University Press in June, 2011. He is also host of the podcast "CzechMate."

Priya Shete photo

Priya Shete

Priya Shete is a physician specializing in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and San Francisco General Hospital. Her current work focuses on developing implementation strategies for global tuberculosis guidelines as well as assessing the impact of TB control programs with a particular focus on drug resistant TB.

Prior to her professorship at UCSF, Priya served as the health advisor for the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance at USAID, based in Washington DC, providing technical guidance for humanitarian health aid in complex humanitarian emergencies across the globe. Her portfolio also included programmatic assistance for USAID's tuberculosis team. Priya has consulted for the WHO and has a clinical practice in San Francisco.

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Igor Shevchenko

Igor Shevchenko has played a major role in bringing the rule of law to Ukraine by founding and leading the Ukrainian Bar Association from 2002 till 2007. He is also the founder and former managing partner of Shevchenko Didkovskiy & Partners, the leading law firm in Ukraine (rebranded as Asters in 2008). Igor left his legal practice in 2008 to concentrate on politics and civil service. In 2014-2015 he served as a Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of Ukraine and was a presidential candidate in 2019 elections. He currently leads Successful Ukraine political party and heads the Institute for State Efficiency, a think tank conducting research on world’s best practices of public governance for further use in Ukraine and promoting meritocracy as the most efficient way of forming good government and civil service. He was also designated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2006.

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Sem Shikongo

Sem Shikongo is Director for Tourism and Gaming in Namibia's Ministry of Environment and Tourism where he provides vision and strategic leadership. He works to increase the participation and capacity of previously disadvantaged Namibians in the tourism sector, while creating new tourism investment opportunities.

Sem is also responsible for the strategic management, control, and regulation of the casinos, gambling houses, and the national lottery sector in Namibia with a view to generate revenue for social welfare while protecting the individual and society from the harmful effects of gambling.

As previous head of the International Environmental Conventions Unit, he coordinated the implementation of Namibia’s obligations to multilateral environmental agreements. He was Chairman (2006-2007) of the Intersessional Intergovernmental Working Group under the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

Formerly, he served as Africa’s Chief Negotiator on the legally binding, international Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing, a protocol set by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. He also lectures in Biodiversity Research and Management at University of Namibia.


Oyungerel "Oyuna" Tsedevdamba

Oyungerel "Oyuna" Tsedevdamba is an author, public speaker, and human rights activist based in Mongolia. She formerly served as Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism for Mongolia and served as president of the Democratic Women's Union of Mongolia and as non-staff advisor to Mongolian President Elbegdorj Tsakhia.

During her 15 years in public service, she has worked on the country’s privatization efforts and social insurance reform, and served as advisor to the prime minister and a member of parliament. As the co-founder and Executive Director of the Liberty Center, a human rights watchdog, Oyuna has developed a reputation as a tireless advocate for democracy and gender equality in Mongolia. As the co-founder and President of the Local Solutions Foundation, she actively educates the Mongolian public on environmental health.

Oyuna is an activist with the Mongolian Democratic Party. She is the author of many books, including Note on My Study in America, a bestseller in Mongolia; Nomadic Dialogues; and Green-Eyed Lama, which was awarded The Best Book of 2008, 2009, and 2010 in Mongolia.

Ezzat Ibrahim Youssef photo

Ezzat Ibrahim Youssef

Ezzat Ibrahim Youssef is Editor-in-Chief of Al-Ahram Weekly and the English portal, Ahram Online. Al-Ahram Weekly is the largest Weekly English newspaper in Egypt and one of the most influential papers in the Middle East. Ezzat is also a member of the board of directors at Al-Ahram Establishment.

Previously, he was the Managing Editor of Al-Ahram 2014-2017 and served as the bureau chief in Washington D.C. and New York from 2009-2013, during which he focused on American and Egyptian relations. After advising a U.S. Congressman for six months on Middle East issues as a Congressional Fellow in 2004 and as a Fellow at The Brookings Institution, Ezzat returned to Egypt to report on his country’s first multi-candidate presidential election.

While at Yale, he started writing a book on the history of Islam and Jihad in historical American newspapers. His areas of particular interest are the relationship between the West and Islamic societies, American-Egyptian relations, American foreign policy, U.S. politics, and media and cultural studies.