Class of 2016 Bios

Sughra Ahmed photo

Sughra Ahmed

Sughra Ahmed is Director of Education at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization, specializing in human rights education, curriculum design, leadership development, and engaging in related issues stemming from inequalities, racism and injustice in the UK and around the world. She was previously Associate Dean for Religious Life at Stanford University where she taught and led pastoral care to students and staff on campus.

Previously, Sughra was at the Woolf Institute in the Centre for Policy and Public Education, where she had responsibility for the design and delivery of research and training on issues such as faith, belief, communities and integration. She also worked as Research Fellow in the Policy Research Centre where she explored the migratory and settlement experiences of first generation Muslim women and men in the UK, and worked with a number of organizations to consider the issues young people face while growing up in the UK and the impact of this on wider British communities.

Sughra is a Women of the World Festival (WOW) 2018 Committee Member, Trustee of the think-tank These Islands, Specialist of the Christian Muslim Forum, and Distinguished Friend of the Migration Museum, London. She is a Research Associate at St Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge and a Trustee of the Islamic Society of Britain; where she previously served as Chair, 2013-16. She’s a member of the Advisory Council of the Cambridge Institute on Religion and International Studies (CIRIS), Clare College, UK. She is a public speaker and regularly contributes to media discussions, particularly on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thought for The Day’ program. In 2014, she was awarded the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Award for Muslim Woman of the Year at the British Muslim Awards.

Sughra has a BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature, an MA Islamic Studies, a Diploma in Islamic Jurisprudence, and is a qualified Chaplain. 

Mari Bastashevski photo

Mari Bastashevski

Mari Bastashevski is an artist, writer, and a PhD candidate at the NTNU art academy in Trondheim, Norway. Her past works – usually a result of extensive online and field investigations – integrate manifestations of information, photographs, and texts to explore the role of visual presentation in creating and sustaining state-corporate power. Presently, she is engaged in a number of collaborative art and technology research initiatives examining the historical nexus between ecology, technological and cultural, environmental, and political violence.

She has exhibited with Bonniers Konsthalle, Maison Populaire, Musée de l’Elysée, HKW Berlin, Art Souterrain, Noorderlicht, and has been published in Time Magazine, The New York Times, Courrier International, Le Monde, e-flux, VICE, and a number of other venues. She was a 2019 artist in residency at Chateau D’Oiron and a 2017-2018 technology fellow at the Data & Society Institute in New York. She has also been awarded art residencies at IASPIS Stockholm and Cite des Art in Paris. She has sponsorships and production grants from Magnum Foundation, MAST foundation, Abigail Cohen Foundation, and Helvetia among others.  

Belabbes Benkredda photo

Belabbes Benkredda

Belabbes Benkredda is an award-winning social innovator and the founder of the Munathara Initiative, the Arab world’s largest online and television debate forum highlighting voices of youth, women, and marginalized communities. Today, Munathara operates in 11 Arab countries and counts a community of some 170,000 members on its online debate platform. Its monthly prime time TV debates are the only civil society-run, independent political talk programs on Arabic television, syndicated across several channels.

Previously, Belabbes held roles in the German Foreign Office, the League of Arab States, and the Council for Arab-British Understanding. After moving to Dubai in 2005, Belabbes became a government consultant specializing in public diplomacy in the Arab world, a frequent television commentator, and an op-ed columnist for the region’s leading English daily newspaper. In 2013, he was recognized with the NDI Democracy Award for his work in fostering citizen participation in the Arab public sphere. In 2019 in Tunisia, he initiated and oversaw the Arab world’s first-ever televised presidential debates.

Belabbes studied international relations and philosophy of law in Frankfurt, and he holds an MA in Middle East Politics from Exeter University.

Anuradha Das Mathur photo

Anuradha Das Mathur

Anuradha Das Mathur is the founding dean of The Vedica Scholars Programme for Women, an 18-month residential program in management practice for young women. She is committed to bringing more women into the workplace and ensuring their dignity through financial independence.

Anuradha is also a senior advisor to the Albright Stonebridge Group, where she works at the intersection of government, business and civil society to help international organizations with their India strategies. She is a founder director at 9.9 Media, India’s fastest growing niche media company, where she leads a number of professional communities including CFOs and entrepreneurs; the research, advisory and custom services; as well as India’s first Speaker Bureau in association with the London Speaker Bureau.

Before co-founding 9.9 Media, Anuradha led India’s most widely read business weekly magazine, Businessworld, and worked for 12 years with the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Indian affiliate. She is passionate about professional women’s issues and set up the Foundation for Working Women in 2014.

In December 2015, she was recognized as one of 100 Women Achievers by the Government of India. Anuradha holds a BA degree in economics from Lady Shriram College, Delhi University, and an MA in economics from Cambridge University, England.

​Hrund Gunnsteinsdottir​ photo

​Hrund Gunnsteinsdottir​

Hrund Gunnsteinsdottir is the Managing Director of Festa – Centre for CSR and Sustainability in Iceland. She was previously the chair of the board of the Icelandic Technology Development Fund, which supports innovation. She is also the co-director and script writer of the documentary InnSæi—the Sea Within (2016), which explores the art of flourishing, leading and innovating in an age of distraction and transformation.

Following the Icelandic financial crisis in 2008, she designed and directed an innovative, cross-disciplinary university program, which was recognized by the Nordic Council for responding efficiently to the needs of today’s labor market. As a consultant, Hrund works regularly for the UN, specifically on gender and post-conflict reconstruction. Hrund was the program manager for UNIFEM in Kosovo and a statistician at the UNECE.

Her creative writing and art work include short films, a three-dimensional book of poetry, and a play that premiered at Reykjavik’s Art Festival. Hrund has served/serves on various boards related to the arts, innovation, global leadership, education, and human rights. She was also named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2011.

Hrund holds a BSc from the University of Iceland, an MSc from the London School of Economics and Diploma from Harvard Kennedy School.

Mustafa Haid photo

Mustafa Haid

Mustafa Haid is a founding board member of Dawlaty Foundation, a Syrian nonprofit foundation that works with nonviolent activists on capacity-building toward democratic transition and transitional justice in Syria. A Syrian human rights advocate since 2000, Mustafa was under travel bans imposed by the Syrian regime from 2007 until 2011.

Mustafa worked as a consultant for Human Rights Watch and for the UN office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) from 2011 to 2012. He has written and edited numerous articles and published research and books on issues related to transitional justice, the Syrian uprising and human rights. Mustafa is an advocate of accountability in Syria and has participated in many advocacy campaigns since 2011 and has led efforts for an international advocacy campaign on justice and accountability for Syria.

He is currently a senior advisor on Syria and Middle East and North Africa on media development. He holds MA in conflict resolution from King’s College London.

Gabriela Hernández Cardoso photo

Gabriela Hernández Cardoso

Gabriela Hernández Cardoso is a lawyer with vast experience in public and private sectors. In 2010, she was appointed President and CEO of GE Mexico, and in 2013, she was named Latin America General Counsel for GE.

Prior to joining GE, Gabriela worked in the Mexican government, holding positions in the NAFTA negotiation team, Under-Attorney for Consumer Protection and in the Ministry of Communications and Transportation, first as General Director for Telecommunications and then as Undersecretary for Communications, a presidential appointment. In the private sector, she has had experience in corporate law and international trade, working in companies such as Motorola and Tellabs. She was previously an advisor to Grupo Kaluz, one of Mexico’s top corporations.

Gabriela co-taught the course “Building a Business in a Failed State-A Practicum for Hope Village, Somalia” at Yale, leveraging the students' talent to create a sustainable business model for Hope Village bringing economic resources, purpose and dignity to the population. She earned her law degree with honors from Escuela Libre de Derecho.

Kanbar Hossein-Bor photo

Kanbar Hossein-Bor

Kanbar Hossein-Bor is a senior British diplomat and international lawyer currently serving as Deputy High Commissioner for the UK in Bangladesh. He has held a number of posts, both as a lawyer and diplomat, including in the Netherlands as the head of international law team and UK agent to International Court of Justice, Iraq as the head of the human rights team, Libya, and Liberia, where he was briefly deployed as Head of Mission during the Ebola crisis.

Kanbar has successfully led UK delegations in multilateral conferences and meetings, including in Vienna, Geneva, Kampala, and New York. He has also led and facilitated working groups in the International Criminal Court and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Before joining the Foreign Office as a lawyer, Kanbar practiced constitutional and criminal law as a barrister and is a Lord Denning and Kennedy Scholar with Lincoln’s Inn, a British society of lawyers.

Kanbar came to the UK as a refugee and has given talks in schools and universities about his experiences and the importance of diversity in the diplomatic service and wider public life. He speaks Balochi and Farsi and is currently on full time Arabic language training for his next assignment.

Kanbar studied law at Warwick University and holds a master’s degree in international law from Cambridge University (St. Edmund’s College).

Fatema Jafari photo

Fatema Jafari

Fatema Jafari is a women’s rights advocate and public official working as a member of the Provincial Council of Herat for more than 10 years, where she serves on a number of committees related to women’s rights in Afghanistan. As the head of the family support committee for three years, she facilitated the creation of an umbrella group of roughly 80 women’s organizations to help coordinate their efforts.

Previously she participated in three Loya Jirga Assemblies (consultative councils) for peace and security issues from 2009–2013 and recently the Peace Loya Jirga in April 2019. She has worked on several advocacy campaigns opposing violence against women and has pressed for greater respect for women’s rights at the national level.

Fatema is a frequent contributor to media programs and TV shows, speaking about women’s rights and women’s political participation. She is a member of the steering committee of PROMOTE-MUSHARIKAT coalitions and a member of the Peace and Access to Justice Committee, as well as the Mothers of Peace Program of High Peace Council. In 2019 she participated in high level peace negotiation training held by USIP for Afghan peace activists in Istanbul. Fatema is a also a member of the advisory board of Voice of Women Organization, which runs shelters for women, and the Women Integrity for Social Empowerment organization. Since 2014, she has also worked as Deputy Director of Neswan Association, an Afghan civil society organization dedicated to women’s vocational training.

In April 2012, Fatema was invited to the U.S. for the International Visitors Leadership Program. She participated in the Reagan Fascell Fellowship at the National Endowment for Democracy, and as a result she wrote a book titled Women’s Political Participation in Afghanistan. She graduated with a Bachelor of Law and Political Science degree in 2014.

Gernot Laganda photo

Gernot Laganda

Gernot Laganda is leading the Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction Programs at the United Nations' World Food Program (WFP). He supports WFP Country Offices and the governments they serve to understand the effects of climate change on food security, develop strategic measures to reduce climate risks in country programs, and make innovative climate finance instruments work for vulnerable communities. Gernot joined WFP from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), where he managed the world’s largest climate change adaptation program for smallholder farmers.

A geoscientist by training, he spent the past 20 years working at the nexus between disasters and development – holding posts with NGOs supporting disaster relief and reconstruction projects in Afghanistan and Tajikistan; serving as Humanitarian Program Specialist with the Austrian Development Agency; and managing climate and environmental programs with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in South Africa and the Asia/Pacific region.

Gernot holds a M.Eng. degree in Applied Geosciences, an MA degree in Public Policy, and Postgraduate Diplomas in Disaster Management and International Development Cooperation. He is a guest lecturer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Vinicius Marques de Carvalho photo

Vinicius Marques de Carvalho

Vinicius Marques de Carvalho is a lawyer with deep experience in competition law, public policy, and economic regulation, and a managing partner at the Brazilian firm VMCA.

From 2012-16, Vinicius served as president of CADE, the Brazilian antitrust authority. He was also the vice-chair of implementation at the International Competition Network from 2013 to 2016. From 2006 till 2016, Vinicius was a specialist on public policy and governmental management, and since 2014 he is a professor of commercial law at the University of São Paulo. He has published papers in national and international publications in the fields of competition policy and regulation, as well as articles in the mass media.

Vinicius successfully led the transition from the previous to the current Brazilian system for competition defense, which raised the bar for competition enforcement in Brazil, resulting in CADE's recognition by the Global Competition Review as the Agency of the Year in 2014. He has also represented Brazil in several international forums, including the OECD and the BRICS.

Vinicius holds a joint Ph.D. from the University of Paris in comparative law and from the University of São Paulo in commercial law.

Deqo Aden Mohamed photo

Deqo Aden Mohamed

Deqo Aden Mohamed is a Somali-born doctor who grew up feeding the refugees her mother was harboring. She earned an MD in Moscow in 2000 and was an OB-GYN resident in Russia until 2003. Deqo continually traveled back to Somalia to serve internally displaced people in Mogadishu. She came to America as a refugee in 2003 and gained extensive experience working in health care. Today, she works full time on the ground in Somalia.

Deqo leads all operations in the Hawa Abdi Village in Lower Shabelle, while ensuring the safety of the 300 families who have found permanent shelter in the community. She leads the 400-bed Dr. Hawa Abdi General Hospital, the Waqaf-Diblawe Primary School, a women’s education center, and a smart farming agriculture project. She simultaneously manages the administrative aspects of the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation as CEO of the organization in the United States.

Deqo delivers lectures at different universities in Somalia and is the co-founder of Somalia Cancer Society where she actively raises awareness about cancer. She sits on the board of Fursad Fund, which is raises money to rebuild Somalia and create jobs for Somali Youth by Somali people around the globe. She is also advices on reproductive health at the Ministry of Health Somalia. She was awarded Glamour Women of the Year 2010 and Black Girls Rock at BET at 2012.

Besides her work, Deqo regularly attends conferences and speaks on behalf of DHAF and on Somalia. She has been featured on media outlets such as TED, the Leonard Lopate Show, and the Daily Beast. Deqo received an honorary degree from Chatham University as a Doctor of Public Service.

Joshin Raghubar photo

Joshin Raghubar

Joshin Raghubar is technology and impact venture entrepreneur. He is the founder of iKineo Ventures, a venture builder and investment firm, through which is he currently growing Explore Sideways, a leading immersive travel(tech) company; Adbot, a machine-learning powered B2B SaaS platform that automates online search advertising for SMEs; and Inves Capital, a group of digital asset and cryptocurrency businesses building the future of money. He is also the Africa partner for Webrock Ventures, a LATAM/ Swedish venture builder and investment firm, through which he is a co-founder of Kena Health, a health-tech venture which aims to be Africa’s leading low-cost primary healthcare provider. His former ventures include iKineo (marketing), Strive, and Sprout Performance Partners.

Joshin serves as the chairperson of the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (CITi), tasked with development of the region as a technology and innovation cluster. Through this role he is also chairperson of the Bandwidth Barn, Africa’s largest non-profit incubator and accelerator for technology businesses; and BIOCiTi, Africa’s biotech cluster initiative. Joshin also serves as a non-executive director of the Africa Leadership Initiative (Southern Africa) and is on the ExCo of the Cape Town Chapter of YPO.

He is a fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Institute’s Global Leaders Network, and a member of the Bertelsmann Foundation’s global Transformation Thinkers program. Joshin has a business science (honours) degree from the University of Cape Town, and a masters in development studies from the University of the Western Cape’s Institute for Social Development. He is a 2016 Yale Greenberg World Fellow.

In July 2019, Joshin was announced as a global John P. McNulty Prize Laureate, which is awarded to individuals who have leveraged their expertise, experience and networks to build and lead transformative social impact ventures. Joshin was named a Skoll World Forum Fellow in 2020 for this social impact work.

Frank N. Rusa photo

Frank N. Rusa

Frank N. Rusa is the Country Representative of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), a Hague-based international NGO that works to promote dialogue among and between political actors for consensus building on matters of national development and peaceful co-existence. NIMD also works to strengthen the capacities of political parties to deliver on their respective legal and political mandates.

Frank serves as the Executive Secretary of the inter-party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD), a forum that brings together political party leaders of all the parties represented in the Parliament of Uganda. As Executive Secretary of IPOD, Frank facilitates important discussions among presidents and secretaries general of political parties to build consensus on pertinent issues to mitigate against polarization and its spillover effects in the population.

Before taking up this position, Frank previously served as Programme Manager, Deepening Democracy at the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), the largest multi-donor fund dedicated to supporting democratic governance in Africa. In this role he led a number of initiatives to strengthen civic engagement in democratic processes working closely with a civil society organizations and state institutions.

Between 2003 and 2006, Frank was the head of the legal department of the Uganda Electoral Commission and played a critical role in guiding that institution and the Government of Uganda in its political transition from "no party" politics to multiparty politics in 2005.

Frank attended the Draper-Hills Democracy fellowship at Stanford University in 2012 and was a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy in 2013. Frank holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Makerere University, a postgraduate diploma from the Law Development Centre in Kampala, and a Masters of Public Administration degree from Harvard University.

Mitzi Steiner photo

Mitzi Steiner

Mitzi Steiner is an attorney at the United States Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York. She has worked as a foreign law clerk to the Supreme Court of Israel, as a law clerk on the Second Circuit for Judge Robert Sack, and as a fellow on the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Office of Senator Richard Blumenthal.

She is a graduate of Yale Law School, where she served as an Executive Editor on the Yale Journal of International Law and was Vice President of the National Security Group. Before law school, Mitzi served as scheduler and Executive Assistant to the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Ambassador Samantha Power.

Prior to that, she served as a White House intern in the Office of the Chief of Staff. Mitzi graduated from Barnard College in 2012, where she majored in American Studies and Human Rights, and is completing an MA in Talmudic Studies.

Sarah Toomey photo

Sarah Toomey

Sarah Toomey is an engagement manager at the Camber Collective, a strategy consulting firm helping clients navigate complex change. She graduated from Yale College in 2011 and from Yale's School of Management in 2017.

Prior to Yale she worked as a Strategy & Research Analyst at the One Acre Fund in Nairobi, Kenya and as a Strategy & Operations Consultant at Deloitte Consulting in Washington, D.C. At the One Acre Fund Sarah led internal consulting projects to improve the livelihoods of over 300,000 smallholder farmers in East and Southern Africa.

Sarah previously worked at Deloitte where she was a fellow within the Emerging Markets practice and provided technical assistance to U.S Federal Government security and development clients including the Executive Director of Interpol Washington, the Department of State, and the Department of Justice.

Wang Shuo photo

Wang Shuo

Wang Shuo is Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Caixin, China’s leading business and finance media group. He focuses on providing high-quality news reports through leading an independent and professional standard in China. Under his leadership, the Caixin editorial team won the Shorenstein Journalism Award from Stanford University.

Before Caixin, Shuo served as managing editor of Caijing, a business and finance magazine in China. Shuo is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He holds a Master’s degree in philosophy from Peking University, and a Master's degree in international public policy from Johns Hopkins University.

Daniel Ziv photo

Daniel Ziv

Daniel Ziv is a documentary filmmaker, author, and social justice advocate. A native of Canada, he moved to Jakarta in 1999 and has since been documenting society in the country’s bustling capital.

His 2014 feature-length film “Jalanan” is a gritty portrait of Indonesia through the life stories of three marginalized Jakarta street musicians. It became the first Indonesian documentary in history to be released in commercial cinemas across the country, was adopted by Jakarta’s governor as a tool for social policy change, and has traveled to 60 international film festivals and won 12 awards.

Daniel founded and edited the popular and irreverent Djakarta! magazine, and he authored the urban pop culture bestseller Jakarta Inside Out and Bangkok Inside Out, the latter which was banned by the Thai government.

Global PR firm Burson-Marsteller named Daniel one of Indonesia’s 10 most influential political voices on Twitter. A regular speaker at the annual Ubud Writers Festival, Daniel is a founding member of Hubud: Bali’s first co-working space, and curator at TEDxUbud.

Daniel has worked for international humanitarian aid agencies including UNICEF and USAID, and he holds an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from The School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London.