Class of 2012 Bios

Jasmeet Ahuja photo

Jasmeet Ahuja

Jasmeet Ahuja is a senior associate at Hogan Lovells where she focuses on technology law. Previously, she spent six years working in Washington, DC on U.S. policy towards South Asia. As the senior adviser on South Asia on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, she helped draft foreign policy legislation on Pakistan and lobbied for the right of Sikh-Americans to wear turbans while serving in the U.S. armed forces.

Jasmeet began her career as a Presidential Management Fellow in the Pentagon and as a director of South Asia in the U.S. Department of State. She earned a J.D. from Yale Law School and B.S. and M.S. degrees in engineering from Stanford University.

Kamal Amakrane photo

Kamal Amakrane

Kamal Amakrane has 20 years of experience in political mediation, peacekeeping, migration and asylum issues, and regional political questions in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. He is currently Adjunct Professor of International Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He is also Senior Advisor at Columbia University’s Global Policy Initiative, where he directs the Migration Consensus Initiative.

During the 2018 inter-governmental negotiations for the Global Compact for Migration, he successfully led a coalition that pressed for countries to recognize the need to protect those forced to leave their countries due to climate change, as well as for commitments to real action to address climate-induced migration.

Until recently, Kamal served as Political Director to the President of the UN General Assembly, where he led the Office’s instrumental contribution on migration and asylum issues (2015-2017). He is credited as the architect behind the processes resulting in the New York Declaration for Refugees & Migrants, the Global Compact for Migration, and the decision to convene the first-ever UN conference on international migration.

Before this, Kamal served as Chief of Staff of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Côte d'Ivoire (2013-15), Chief of the Office of the UN-African Union Joint Special Representative for Darfur (2011-13), and Head of the Office of the UN Envoy to Myanmar (2008-11). Previously, Kamal spent many years supporting the UN political engagement towards the stabilization of Iraq. He was part of the early UN missions tasked with organizing the country’s first elections after the US invasion and then assisted with the negotiation and implementation of the International Compact with Iraq (2004-08).

His international career began in the Office of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (2002), after which he joined the Office of the Arab League's Secretary-General Amr Moussa (2003). Prior to his career in international cooperation, Kamal worked on development and urban planning issues in his home country Morocco (1998-2001).

Kamal is a member of the Board of Directors of the Tällberg Foundation since 2018. He was elected to the Executive Board of Sciences Po Paris in 2002 and 2003. Kamal is an Architect and a graduate of Sciences Po Paris and Columbia University’s SIPA. He speaks fluent Spanish, French, Arabic, Amazigh, and English.

Bibi Bakare-Yusuf photo

Bibi Bakare-Yusuf

Bibi Bakare-Yusuf is Co-Founder and Publishing Director of one of Africa's leading publishing houses, Cassava Republic Press, and is Co-Founder of Tapestry Consulting, a boutique research and training company based in Abuja focused on gender, sexuality, and transformational issues in Nigeria.

Bibi has worked as a gender and research consultant in the public, private, and development sectors for the BBC, UniFem, ActionAid, eShekels, Central Bank of Nigeria, the European Union, and others. She sits on the editorial board of a number of influential journals and is the chair of board for The Initiative for Equal Rights, the largest organization in West Africa devoted to LGBTQ issues.

Bibi is also a Desmond Tutu Fellow and a Frankfurt Book Fair Fellow. She has a PhD in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Warwick.

Amine Belaicha photo

Amine Belaicha

Amine Belaicha runs Numid-Invest, a private investment and advisory firm providing consulting services to foreign companies developing business opportunities in North Africa. The firm also supports local companies in planning their strategic development, finding investors, and raising debt.

Amine previously served as Vice-President of Investments for Swicorp Private Equity in Tunis, where he gained transactional experience across the region in a variety of sectors, including consumer goods, insurance, and pharmaceuticals. Earlier, he worked as a strategy consultant for the Boston Consulting Group in Paris serving clients in continental Europe, the UK, and the MENA region.

Since 2010, Amine has been a lecturer at HEC Paris Business School. Amine is also strongly committed to the economic development of North African countries and their integration with other sub-regions of the African continent.

Ayush Chauhan photo

Ayush Chauhan

Ayush Chauhan heads up a multi-disciplinary design and innovation consultancy firm, Quicksand, working at the intersection of business, development, and culture. He promotes design for social development by connecting the best practices of design, technology and behavior science with development programs to address the pressing and complex issues of social equity, public health, and education. In this capacity, he has worked with organizations such as Unilever, Google, World Bank, UNICEF, CIFF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, amongst many more, to design products and services that promote sustainability and quality of life for low-income communities.

An entrepreneur, educator, and mentor, Ayush is also the co-founder of UnBox, the first interdisciplinary festival in Delhi bringing together leading voices from across the world for inspiration, debate, and reflection. Ayush serves on the board of William J Clinton Foundation in India.

Bryan Eckstein photo

Bryan Eckstein

Bryan Eckstein is Vice President of Project Finance and Business Development at ForeFront Power, a San Francisco-based renewable energy company. He has over a decade of experience developing market-based clean energy solutions, including renewable energy development and finance, corporate energy management, and implementation of market-based climate change programs.

Prior to this, he was part of the SunEdison project finance team. He has also consulted in energy, water, and climate change programs for clients including the World Bank, the UNFCCC Secretariat, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Environment Canada, the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development, the Australian government, and public utility regulators.

He started his career serving in the pilot year of what is now a U.S. national program, College Advising Corps, increasing the rates of college attendance and completion among low-income and first-generation secondary school students.

Bryan studied financial investments in energy and ecosystem services as part of the joint-degree MBA and Master of Environment Management program between the Yale School of Management and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. For his undergraduate degree, he studied economics and urban planning at the University of Virginia.

Paula Escobar-Chavarría photo

Paula Escobar-Chavarría

Paula Escobar-Chavarría is a leading Chilean journalist and writer and currently serves as Opinion Columnist for La Tercera, Professor at Universidad Diego Portales, and board member of the Young Global Leaders Foundation of the World Economic Forum and of ComunidadMujer. She launched Cátedra Mujeres y Medios at University Diego Portales to develop research and reflection about gender issues in media.

Previously, she was Magazines Editor for Chile's newspaper El Mercurio, where she oversaw six weekly publications and wrote columns and articles. Previously she was the youngest person ever to serve as Editor-in-Chief for Caras magazine, where she led the publication to an increase in circulation and influence over the course of five years.

Paula has authored six books addressing issues such as women leaders in Chile and innovators. Her book Yo, Presidente/a focused on the leadership of the Chilean presidents during the country's transition to democracy. Paula's work has also been published in international outlets such as the Washington Post and the Huffington Post.

Gabriella Gómez-Mont photo

Gabriella Gómez-Mont

Gabriella Gómez-Mont is the founder of Laboratorio Para la Ciudad, the experimental arm and creative think tank of the Mexico City government, reporting to the Mayor. The Lab is a place to reflect about all things city and to explore other social scripts and urban futures for the largest megalopolis in the western hemisphere, working across diverse areas, such as urban creativity, mobility, governance, civic tech, and public space. The Lab also searches to create links between civil society and government, insisting on the importance of political and public imagination in the execution of its experiments.

Besides her fascination with all things city, Gabriella is also a journalist, visual artist, a director of documentary films, as well as a creative advisor to several cities, universities, and companies. She has been awarded several international recognitions for her work in different fields, such as the first prize in both the Audi Urban Future Award and the Best Art Practice Award given by the Italian government, as well as the TED City 2.0 Prize, among others.

Gabriella is a TED speaker, TED Senior Fellow, an MIT Director's Fellow, an Institute for the Future Fellow, a World Cities Summit Young Leader, and part of the international advisory committee for the Mayor of Seoul on Social Innovation. She was recently named one of the 100 most creative people by Fast Company magazine.

Martín Lousteau photo

Martín Lousteau

Martín Lousteau is National Senator for the City of Buenos Aires and Vice-President of the Senate, previously serving as Ambassador of Argentina to the United States. Before that he was acting as a Member of Parliament representing the City of Buenos Aires to which he was elected in October 2013.

In 2015, Martín was a candidate for Mayor of the City of Buenos Aires of the ECO coalition, of which he was a founder, and received 48,4% of total votes in the ballotage. He also served as Minister of Economy and Production of Argentina (2008), and as Minister of Production in the Province of Buenos Aires (2005).

During 2006 and 2007 he was the chairman of Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires and Grupo Bapro SA. After the collapse of the Convertibility Plan, he advised the Central Bank Governor from 2003 until 2004. Recently, he was a partner and CEO of LCG SA, a consulting firm specialized in macroeconomics and politics in Argentina. From 2008-2015 he ran his own economic and political consultancy firm.

Martín was also a columnist for La Nación newspaper, a regular in TV and radios shows, and author of five books, including the bestseller Economía 3D. In 2019 he published Debajo del Agua, a book on the causes and extent of the Argentine decadence, which appeared in the top 10 nonfiction bestselling list.

Martín graduated in Economics from the University of San Andres (cum laude) and obtained his MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He taught at Torcuato di Tella University, San Andrés University, and University College London. In 2008 the World Economic Forum elected him as Young Global Leader.

Sisonke Msimang photo

Sisonke Msimang

Sisonke Msimang is a writer and activist who works on race, gender, democracy, and politics. Sisonke works on human rights and Democracy with the Sonke Gender Justice Network, which has been a leading advocate of working with men and boys in promoting gender equality.

She has global, regional, and national experience, having worked for the United Nations as well as within the civil society sector and in private philanthropy. Until November 2012, she led George Soros’ philanthropic efforts based in Johannesburg as the Executive Director of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa.  

She is also the author of a weekly column at the Daily Maverick, a leading South African online news daily.

Wanja Muguongo photo

Wanja Muguongo

Wanja Muguongo is a queer African feminist, social justice activist, and movement builder. She is Founder and Executive Director of UHAI East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative, Africa's first indigenous activist-led fund supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and sex worker activism in Eastern Africa with funding, capacity support, research, and convening.

Passionate about work that supports social justice, equality, non-discrimination, and a respect for human rights, Wanja has worked within East Africa's civil society, and in India and Pakistan. She has edited and collaborated on various publications and papers, and she is a Synergos Senior Fellow (2014).

Reda Oulamine photo

Reda Oulamine

Reda Oulamine is lawyer strongly committed to legal reform in Morocco, and is a senior attorney and founder of Oulamine Law Group which specializes in business, corporate law, and legal reform consulting. In 2009, he created Droit et Justice, an NGO that promotes the rule of law and human rights in Morocco by advocating on behalf of vulnerable social groups and working pro bono for impoverished citizens with limited access to justice.

Reda served as an election observer in Tunisia, as part of an effort by the Carter Center to demonstrate the support of the international community for democratic transition in that country. Previously, he worked as an attorney in New York for Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, LLP. Reda has also served as a legal advisor to USAID on the reform and modernization of the Moroccan judiciary, where he helped assess and draft amendments to Moroccan corporate, bankruptcy, and intellectual property laws.

He holds a Master of Public Affairs from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Policy.

Roz Savage photo

Roz Savage

Roz Savage MBE earned a law degree at Oxford and was a management consultant for eleven years, before an environmental awakening led to her setting out on a life of adventure. She now holds four Guinness World Records for ocean rowing, including first woman to row solo across three oceans: the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Indian, using her adventures to raise awareness of environmental issues.

She returned to Yale in 2017 to teach a class on Courage in Theory and Practice. The author of Rowing the Atlantic, and Stop Drifting, Start Rowing, in 2020 she earned a doctorate with her dissertation titled “Yin Leadership for Tumultuous Times,” and she writes, lectures, and speaks on sustainability, personal development, psychology, politics, and economics. She is also the founder of the Sisters, a global network bringing women together to create a more resilient future.

Julien Steimer photo

Julien Steimer

Julien Steimer is CEO of AXA Indonesia, a leading insurance company headquartered in France. Convinced of the added value of public-private partnerships, Julien served the French government for over a decade in the areas of agricultural policy reform, global food security, and EU affairs.

From 2009-2012, he shaped the political strategy of the French Ministry of Agriculture, a department with a EUR 15.5 billion budget. Julien successfully led high-level negotiations on the Agricultural Action Plan adopted by G20 Heads of State in 2011 and the first-ever signed Franco-German agreement on Common Agricultural Policy. Previously, he served as Deputy Director for European Issues in the French Foreign Service, where he planned, organized and coordinated the 2008 French Presidency of the EU.

Julien was named one of the 100 most influential people in the French weekly economic newspaper Enjeux—Les Echos. In March of 2014, he was named one of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders.

Patrick Struebi photo

Patrick Struebi

Patrick Struebi is a social entrepreneur, thought leader, and founder and CEO of the Fairtrasa Group, a pioneering social enterprise that lifts marginalized small-scale farmers out of poverty. Fairtrasa is one of the largest organic and fairtrade exporters from Latin America with a vertically integrated business structure, impacting over 40,000 direct beneficiaries. He is also the co-founder of Blooom, a cutting-edge AgTech platform with the goal of lifting 1 million farmers out of poverty by 2023.

For his work with Fairtrasa, Patrick has been selected an Ashoka Fellow, an Endeavor high-impact Entrepreneur, and a Gabelli Fellow. Furthermore, he has been named four times Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the Schwab Foundation (2014), the abc* Foundation (2012), Univision (2012), and Visionaris (2009).

Patrick is also an adjunct professor at Fordham University, where he teaches at the Gabelli School of Business. In 2014, the World Economic Forum named Patrick a New Champion, and he is also a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. He writes a column at HuffPost and gives talks around the world on social innovation and related issues.

Martin Sturgeon photo

Martin Sturgeon

Martin Sturgeon has more than 20 years of military leadership experience and international engagement across the spectrum of conflict, including war-fighting in the Gulf, peace support operations in the Balkans, and high-intensity counter-insurgency in Afghanistan. He currently works in the Ministry of Defense in the Customer Design Team, shaping British defense reform following the Strategic Defense and Security Review.

Previously, he established and ran the Afghan National Security Forces Transformation Program, which was unique in its comprehensive approach to training, logistics, leadership, and facilities construction. The resulting program became a fundamental element of the NATO strategy for achieving transition to Afghan control in the southwest of the country, and was recognized in the UK as "Program of the Year 2011."

WEN Yuanhua photo

WEN Yuanhua

WEN Yuanhua manages the Corporate Banking, International Trade Finance, e-Banking, Information Technology, and Research and Product Development departments of the China Construction Bank, Tianjin Branch. He is responsible for over 6,000 employees and has led successful reform, reorganization, and restructuring efforts resulting in increased competitiveness and market share for CCB.

He has extensive experience with banking reform in China and has held a variety of management positions at several of China’s major banks. Previously, Yuanhua worked for China CITIC Bank and Central Huijin Company Ltd., a shareholder of the Big 4 Chinese banks. There, he took part in the financial restructuring of ICBC, the largest commercial bank in China, and successfully helped ICBC develop a modern corporate governance structure.

Ruchi Yadav photo

Ruchi Yadav

Ruchi Yadav leads and manages The Hunger Project's overall program portfolio in India, which includes strengthening and building the leadership of elected women representatives and empowerment of adolescent girls. She oversees strategic management, program design, policy, and operations. This includes engagement and dialogue with multiple stakeholders, including over 50 community-based organizations across India.

Ruchi has close to two decades of experience in the development sector and the communication business. She has worked on women's rights and human rights issues in South Asia and South East Asia. Ruchi is vitally interested in the intersections of gender with politics, religion, caste, and class. She has also worked on women’s rights and gender issues at the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development and JAGORI, an NGO that provides resources and training for women in India.

Ruchi holds a Master's Degree in International Development from the School of International Service at American University in Washington D.C.