Class of 2009 Bios

Muna AbuSulayman photo

Muna AbuSulayman

Muna AbuSulayman is an international development expert with over 25 years in cross sectorial work focusing on women empowerment, media, philanthropy, poverty alleviation, and community development. She is Partner with 3S Consulting focusing on improving philanthropy in the Middle East, and working to increase female empowerment and employment in MENA.

She is also a well-known television personality and co-host of the top-rated MBC show, Kalam Nawaem. The show focuses on cultural, social, and gender issues and has a worldwide viewing audience.

Muna was the founding Secretary General of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, where she focused on women’s empowerment, East-West cross-civilizational programs, and strengthening educational institutions in the Middle East. Muna is Founding Partner of ADRI, a platform that provides academic knowledge and articles to students all over the Arab world.

Hakan Altinay photo

Hakan Altinay

Hakan Altinay is a distinguished intellectual and promotor of global civics. In 2018 he was sentenced to 18 years in prison by a Turkish court, accused of planning to overthrow the government, in Turkey’s crackdown on dissent and freedom of assembly.

Hakan was previously Director of the European School of Politics and the President of the Global Civics Academy. His book, Global Civics: Responsibilities and Rights In an Interdependent World, reflects work done while at Yale and was published in 2011 by Brookings Institution, later translated into Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. The book also led to a documentary, directed by Jian Yi, another World Fellow, with viewers in 110 countries. His writings have appeared at Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, New York Times, and Project Syndicate. Hakan was also the founding director of the Open Society Foundation in Turkey.

Unmesh Brahme photo

Unmesh Brahme

Unmesh Brahme is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of several leadership and strategy coaching firms, including Purpose Partners Worldwide and Coach Partners Worldwide. He is also Co-founder and Director of Transcend Leadership and TruePurpose. He works with clients globally as well as specific to the Asia Pacific region on building organizational and individual leadership quotient through a combination of purpose, mindfulness, and presence-based coaching interventions.

Prior to these roles, Unmesh had successful senior management work experience in the social development, education, public-private partnerships, financial services, building purpose brands, social enterprise and investment management, start-ups mentoring, inclusive sustainability, strategy advisory, and co-creating compassionate emerging economies. His body of work has been spread across his stints with Room to Read, HSBC, Ogilvy Advertising, Oxfam, and the World Bank, among other entities and initiatives. Unmesh's board experiences have been with Net Impact, International Society of Sustainability Professionals, SustainAsia, Anthem Publishing.

He is also co-founder of Climate Civics Initiative and of Ubiquitous Post, a worldwide op-ed initiative. He is also the creator of a brand impact assessment technique, Purposeful Brands, centered on defining the purpose-DNA of brands.

Unmesh has a BS degree from the University of Mumbai and a Masters from York St. John University.

Leslie Brown photo

Leslie Brown

Leslie Brown is Senior Advisor with the NYC Office of Technology and Innovation (OTI).  OTI was created by executive order under Mayor Eric Adams consolidating all NYC tech agencies and offices, including NYC Cyber Command, 311, DOITT, Office of Data Analytics, and the Office of Information Privacy with a combined contract procurement portfolio of $6.4 billion.  In this role Leslie preps the Chief Technology Officer and other principals for legislative hearings and other public-facing tech and innovation stakeholder domestic and international engagements.  Leslie works to advance OTI’s legislative agenda in collaboration with internal subject matter leads and the NYC City Hall Intergovernmental Affairs team to foster knowledge sharing and engagement on shared priorities with federal and state elected officials and partners.   On international partnerships, Leslie works closely with the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs and the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to support NYC’s technology ecosystem on a global stage, and facilitates OTI team engagement in global policy partnerships, summits, and consortia. Her portfolio areas include cybersecurity, information privacy, research, and collaboration/emerging tech (AI/ML, IoT+), digital literacy & inclusion, and internal workforce development.  

Prior to joining OTI Leslie served in NYC public sector offices as Chief of Staff of the NYC Civic Engagement Commission; Director of Development with the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Bureau of Learning and Development; and, Senior Program Manager for Growth Businesses at the NYC Department of Small Business Services. Leslie is experienced in program design and management, strategic communications, and stakeholder relations gained from her municipal service, consultancy projects, and federal leadership staff positions in the United States Senate, as a presidential appointee in the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and in national political and public policy/campaign initiatives. 

Alexander Evans photo

Alexander Evans

Alexander Evans is a Professor in Practice of Public Policy at the London School of Economics. A career diplomat, he has worked as an advisor to the Prime Minister in 10 Downing Street, Strategy Director in the Cabinet Office, and Director Cyber in the Foreign Office. He has served as British Deputy and Acting High Commissioner to India and (briefly) Pakistan, led the United Nations Security Council expert group on Daesh, Al Qaida and the Taliban, and was a senior advisor to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke in the U.S. Department of State. He has also been the Henry Kissinger Chair at the Library of Congress, a Senior Fellow at Yale, and a Gwilym Gibbon Fellow at Nuffield College Oxford.

Emmanuelle Ganne photo

Emmanuelle Ganne

Emmanuelle Ganne is an international trade expert with extensive experience in international trade, trade policy, global governance, and diplomacy. She currently works as Senior Analyst in the Economic Research Department at the World Trade Organization (WTO) where she leads work on blockchain and SMEs. In 2018, she authored the book Can Blockchain Revolutionize International Trade? and is a regular speaker at blockchain events.

She previously held the position of Vice President for Europe with the global strategy consulting firm Allam Advisory Group (AAG), a team of former C-level executives and high-ranking diplomats that specializes in helping businesses expand their operations globally. Prior to joining AAG, Emmanuelle held various positions at the WTO, including four years as counselor to the WTO Director, General Pascal Lamy. While in the Cabinet, Emmanuelle helped shape the strategic direction of the Organization and represented the Director-General on the UN Chief Executive Board.

Before joining the Cabinet, she spent several years assessing trade policies of governments wishing to join the WTO and advising them on how to improve their policy and business environment. She managed, among others, the accession processes of Algeria, Lebanon, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam. In 2007, she was granted Vietnam's medal of friendship for her work on their accession.

Before joining the WTO in 2002, Emmanuelle worked for the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, putting in place the Stability Pact Anti-Corruption Initiative, which assisted South Eastern European states curb corruption. Emmanuelle is a board member of several associations.

Vusi Gumede photo

Vusi Gumede

Vusi Gumede is a professor at the University of South Africa and at the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute where he teaches courses on political economy and development. He was previously an associate professor at the University of Johannesburg and has lectured public policy at the School of Government at the University of Witwatersrand.

Vusi has published two books on South Africa and edited several books focusing on Africa’s political economy of development, as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters, editorials, and blogs. He is Editor-in-Chief for Africanus (Journal of Development Studies) and of Africa Insight and is a member of various academic editorial boards and committees.

Vusi previously worked for the South African government for about twelve years, including serving as Deputy President of the National Council of the South African Association of Political Studies. He holds postgraduate qualifications in economics and policy studies, including a Ph.D in Economics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

John Hendra photo

John Hendra

John Hendra recently established his own consulting practice – JD Hendra Strategic Consulting – after retiring from a dynamic 32-year United Nations career as a development leader in both Headquarters and the field. He played a leading role in major UN change initiatives including: in the strategic design of the UN’s support for both the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and now the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); helping to establish UN Women, the UN’s newest entity dedicated to gender equality and women’s rights; and as UN Resident Coordinator pioneering the “Delivering as One” Initiative in Vietnam for greater UN system-wide coherence and country level impact.
JD Hendra Strategic Consulting provides strategic advice in, and brings demonstrated experience to: strategic positioning around sustainable development and the SDGs; leadership for transformative change; complex multi-stakeholder facilitation; gender equality and women’s empowerment; multilateral organization repositioning and multilateral financing. Clients include various UN entities – the UN Development Coordination Office (DCO); the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development; and several UN Country Teams – the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, Dalberg, Global Affairs Canada and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
Most recently, John served as the UN Development Group’s Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) helping the UN Development System (UNDS) become more “fit for purpose” to support implementation of the SDGs. In this role, he worked directly with the UN Deputy Secretary-General on broader UNDS reform. As such, he played a key role in the preparation of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ two seminal 2017 reform reports on “Repositioning the UN Development System to Deliver on the 2030 Agenda”. He also substantively supported the intergovernmental negotiations which resulted in the landmark General Assembly Resolution 72/279 (May, 2018). Over this period, he also provided advisory support to UN Resident Coordinators and UN country teams around the world on support to implementation of the SDGs.
John’s 32 years of UN experience also span leadership roles as UN ASG and Deputy Executive Director for Policy and Programme at UN Women (2011-14), and in “the field”, including 13 years as UN Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Vietnam (2006-2011), in Tanzania (2002-2006), and in Latvia (1993-1997). He also served as UNDP’s Director of Resource Mobilization (1998-2002) and concurrently as Deputy Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Resources and Strategic Partnerships (2000-2002).
John has an MA in Development Studies from the University of Toronto and an Honours BA from Queen’s University. He has co-written a chapter for the forthcoming “Routledge Handbook on the UN and Development” as well as published numerous articles including on a “theory of change” for making the UN fit to support the 2030 Agenda; opening up national budgets for more accountable SDG financing; women’s rights; the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality; climate change and the MDGs. He has been awarded the Three Star Order of Latvia (1997) and Vietnam’s Friendship Order (2011), among other honours.

Azeem Ibrahim photo

Azeem Ibrahim

Dr. Azeem Ibrahim is a Research Professor at the Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College and a Director at the Centre for Global Policy in Washington DC. Over the years, Azeem has advised numerous world leaders on strategy and policy development with his most recent role being the Strategic Policy Advisor to the Chairman of Pakistan’s PTI party, Prime Minister Imran Khan. Azeem is also the author of the seminal books, Rohingya: Inside Myanmar’s Genocide (Hurst: 2016) Radical Origins: Why we are losing the battle against Islamic extremism (Pegasus: 2017).

Outside academia, Azeem has been a reservist in the IV Battalion Parachute Regiment (UK’s elite airborne infantry reserve) and a multi-award winning entrepreneur. He was ranked as a Top 100 Global Thinker by the European Social Think Tank in 2010 and named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge after which he completed fellowships at the universities of Oxford and Harvard. In 2019, he received the International Association of Genocide Scholars Engaged Scholar Prize for his research on the Rohingya genocide.

Tim Jarvis photo

Tim Jarvis

Tim Jarvis is an environmental scientist, author, and adventurer committed to finding pragmatic solutions to major environmental issues related to climate change and biodiversity loss. He uses his public speaking engagements, films, and books about his expeditions and sustainability work to promote creative and progressive thinking in these areas.

Tim has undertaken unsupported expeditions to some of the world’s most remote regions, including retracing polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s "double" – sailing a replica James Caird boat 1500km across the Southern Ocean from Elephant Island, Antarctica to South Georgia and climbing over South Georgia’s mountainous interior using the same period equipment and technology as Shackleton.

Tim was conferred a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to environment, community, and exploration in the 2010 Australian honors list, is author of three books, and leads innovation in the sustainability area for international engineering and environmental services firm Arup. In 2013 Tim was named the Australian Geographical Society’s Adventurer of the Year. Tim is also WWF-Australia Global Ambassador, and he holds Masters degrees in environmental science and environmental law.

JIAN Yi photo


JIAN Yi is an independent filmmaker and food activist. In 2008 he founded the IFChina Original Studio, a citizen participatory media project, and he founded the Good Food Fund in 2017, which leads in promoting transforming China's food system transformation. They also run a Good Food Summit and a Good Food Festival in China every year.

Yi's films have won international awards and shown at numerous venues across the globe including New York's MoMA. He made What's For Dinner? in 2009, the first China-made short documentary on meat consumption and its impact on the environment. He also co-founded the Food Forward Forum with Yale Hospitality in 2019.

Yi has spoken/taught at Apple Store Artists' Series, the Goethe Institute, and the South Asia Film Talents' Camp, among others. He has served on the juries of several international film festivals and taught at the Communication University of China for four years. He is a graduate of CUC and the University of Notre Dame, where he won a distinguished alumni award in 2015. He is an Asian Cultural Council grantee (2008), India-China Fellow (2008) and was a Visiting Fellow to Cambridge University (2007).

Claudia López photo

Claudia López

Claudia López is the Mayor of Bogotá, previously serving as a Senator for the Republic of Colombia from 2014 to 2019. Her dedication to strengthening human rights and the rule of law makes her one of the most well-known contributors to democratic development in Colombia.

A former researcher for New Rainbow Corporation and Civil Society Electoral Mission, Claudia is one of Colombia's most respected political analysts: she exposed the infiltration of paramilitary death squads at some of the highest levels of Colombia’s political system. Her research on the infiltration of paramilitary groups in the Colombian Congress triggered a national scandal known as "parapolitics" which led to the legal investigation of more than a third of all members of Congress. Claudia subsequently helped found the Electoral Observatory Mission, a coalition of NGOs and journalists that monitors political processes in Colombia, and worked New Rainbow Foundation as an analyst of illegal groups and armed conflict.

Maria Corina Machado photo

Maria Corina Machado

María Corina Machado is National Coordinator of Vente Venezuela, the party of freedom and a liberal political organization born in 2013 and of which she is a founding member. She was the Member of the National Assembly of Venezuela elected with the highest number of votes of all the candidates for that electoral contest (2010-2015) and is one of the main opposition leaders in the country. Since 2017, she is a founding member, along with Antonio Ledezma and Diego Arria, and accompanied by an extensive National Council, of the SoyVenezuela platform, an alliance of large sectors of the country, with international projection, committed to the rescue of the Republic and democracy in Venezuela.

As a Member of Parliament, she stood out as one of the strongest and most critical voices when denouncing the institutional abuses of the regime, as well as the repression, the serious economic problems and, more recently, the humanitarian crisis that Venezuela is going through. In March 2014, Maria Corina spoke in the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States, after the Republic of Panama gave her its right to speak to denounce the violations of the Maduro regime to human rights in Venezuela. For this reason, she was arbitrarily expelled from her position as elected Member of Parliament, by the President of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello; in violation of due process and international law.

Today, Marina Corina faces unfounded accusations of treason, terrorism, conspiracy and assassination, as well as repeated threats of imprisonment and a ban on leaving the country since April 2014. In recent days, the threats against her have increased, linking her as political leader of an alleged military conspiracy to assassinate Nicolás Maduro. In July 2015, in total violation of the Constitution, she was politically disabled to prohibit her from running again as Member of the National Assembly.

in 2006 she was acclaimed by the National Review on a list called "Women the World Should Know"; in October 2014, she was awarded the “2014 Charles T. Manatt” prize, of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems; in June 2015 the Cádiz City Council awarded her the “Libertad Cortes de Cádiz” prize, together with Antonio Ledezma and Leopoldo López, and she was recently recognized by the IESA as one of its 50 most influential fellows. In 2018, she received the Freedom Award of the Swedish International Liberal Centre (SILC) and the BBC recognized her as one of the 100 most influential women in the world. In addition, the Liberal International awarded her its Freedom Prize 2019 for her struggle for freedom, liberalism and human rights.

She earned her degree in industrial engineering from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, with a specialization in Finance from the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Administración.

Beatrice Mategwa photo

Beatrice Mategwa

Beatrice Mategwa is a broadcast journalist with Pan-African experience currently covering South Sudan, a country where a sudden eruption of conflict in mid-December 2013 cast a shadow on the potential for positive growth. In her job at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, where she heads an Audio Visual team of videographers and photographers, her expertise lies in how conflict impacts communities.

Beatrice previously worked in Sudan, covering the North-South Peace deal, before a referendum led to the split of the country and the formation of South Sudan. She was Producer and Head of Television for the United Nations Mission in Sudan from 2005 to mid-2011. In this capacity, she covered the deployment of UN troops in Sudan, the return of displaced populations to their home communities, the rehabilitation of communities directly affected by war, and other issues pertaining to the North-South conflict in Sudan.

Previously, Beatrice worked as a Producer and Reporter for Reuters Television, East Africa, traveling to Darfur’s remote locations covering exclusive stories in the conflict ridden region, and as a reporter for Kenya Television Network and other media. In 2002-03, Beatrice was the Vice Chairperson of the Foreign Correspondents Association, East Africa.

Zafar Sobhan photo

Zafar Sobhan

Zafar Sobhan is Founder and Editor of the Dhaka Tribune, a daily newspaper launched in 2013, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Tribune has already made its mark as the fastest growing English-language newspaper in the history of Bangladesh.

Prior to this, Zafar spent seven years as a senior editor at The Daily Star and four years as the editor of Forum, a monthly long-form magazine. He has also worked as a corporate attorney in Manhattan and a New York City public school teacher. In addition, Zafar is Bangladesh's first columnist to be syndicated outside the country, and has written for The New York Times, the Guardian, TIME, YaleGlobal, EPW, Vice, and Outlook, among other publications. He was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2005 and an Asia 21 Young Leader in 2008.

Joel Steinhaus photo

Joel Steinhaus

Joel Steinhaus is an entrepreneur and non-profit leader. He is the former Head of Strategic Initiatives at WeWork and former Managing Director and Chief of Staff to the Chairman at Citigroup.

Joel helped launch NBC News' Education Nation, a multi-media enterprise focused on engaging the public in a conversation about improving education in the U.S. He is Chairman of the hundred year-old non-profit New Yorkers for Parks and is a Trustee of uAspire, a national non-profit focused on college affordability. Joel is currently a member of the Economic Club of New York and a former term member at the Council of Foreign Relations. In 2014, he was named a David Rockefeller Fellow through the Partnership for New York City.

Joel has an MBA from the Yale School of Management, where he was a Sutphin Fellow. He earned an AB, magna cum laude, from Harvard University. He lives in New York City with his wife and three children. 

Maxim Trudolyubov photo

Maxim Trudolyubov

Maxim Trudolyubov is Editor-at-Large at Vedomosti, a Russian business daily, and he is a Senior Fellow with the Kennan Institute where he writes The Russia File blog and oversees special publications. He also writes a weekly column in Russian on societal and institutional change in Russia and the former Soviet Union. He has anchored a talk show on the radio station Echo of Moscow and is regularly invited to comment for various news outlets in Russia and other countries.

Previously, Maxim was Editorial Page Editor and Foreign Editor for Vedomosti, Editor and Correspondent for the newspaper Kapital, and a translator for The Moscow News, an English-language online newspaper. Maxim won the Paul Klebnikov Fund's prize for courageous Russian journalism in 2007 and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 2010-11.

He is author of several books, including: Me and My Country: A Common Cause; Moscow School of Civic Education; People Behind the Fence: Private Space, Power and Property in Russia; Novoye Izdatelstvo; and Roots of Russia's War in Ukraine (co-authored).