Class of 2017 Bios

Ibrahim Fawzi Ajami photo

Ibrahim Fawzi Ajami

Ibrahim Fawzi Ajami is a Liberian medical doctor born of a Lebanese father and a Liberian mother. He has lived in Liberia his entire life, surviving its 14-year civil war and years long Ebola crisis. During the outbreak, Ibrahim created an initiative to raise awareness of the virus in communities on the outskirts of Monrovia, in addition to working in an Ebola Treatment Unit as a volunteer. In 2017, he founded the Medical Consortium Outreach Program, which seeks to combat the lack of immediate access to primary healthcare in Liberia by stemming illnesses at their source.

Ibrahim is also a Fellow of the President’s Young Professional Program (PYPP), an initiative started by the president of Liberia to identify and develop the country’s most promising future public service leaders. As a PYPP Fellow, he has worked under the direct mentorship of the Liberian Minister of Health, serving as a policy advisor, participating in health planning sessions with the WHO and UNICEF, and representing the minister at public functions and symposiums.

Ibrahim completed his medical education at the A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine – University of Liberia, and he currently serves as an intern doctor at the largest referral hospital in the country.

José Luis Chicoma photo

José Luis Chicoma

José Luis Chicoma is the Minister of Production of Peru. He previously served as executive director of Ethos Public Policy Lab, a Mexican think tank that promotes development and sustainable food systems. He was the editor and coordinator of the publication “Transforming our food systems: Inspirational stories and proposals” and has served as a core member of the Tortilla Alliance, the Mexican AgTech network, as well as other coalitions that advocate for sustainable and healthy food systems. He also frequently writes and speaks internationally about the intersection of food and politics.

He previously held several high-level positions in the Peruvian government, including serving as Vice Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Industries and Director of Export Promotion for PROMPERU. The country’s prestigious Semana Económica weekly named him one of the 25 people under age 45 likely to change the Peruvian economy. He has lectured in various universities and contributes to Latin American magazines and newspapers such as Letras Libres, PODER, América Economía and Animal Político.

He is a 2018 Stanford Draper Hills Fellow and holds a master’s in public policy from Harvard University.

DU Yang photo

DU Yang

DU Yang is the co-founder of China Philanthropist Magazine and CiMedia Group, a pioneering joint venture and an influential media source for the philanthropy industry in China. His work focuses on building partnerships and networks with global philanthropists and China’s growing philanthropy sector.

As a culture “ambassador” in the philanthropy industry, he has been involved in the process of launching a platform of China’s top philanthropists and an east-west cultural program. DU is also on the advisory board of Mediadesign Hochschule – MD.H Berlin.  

Facundo Garretón photo

Facundo Garretón

Facundo Garretón is an entrepreneur working in the intersection of technology, politics and life sciences, and a former member of Congress in Argentina. As an entrepreneur he is Founder of InvertirOnline.com, one of Latin America’s largest online brokerage firms, and Founder and Director of SociaLab, the most important platform for social entrepreneur in Latin America.

Before serving as a Congressman, he sat on the boards of many internet companies throughout Latin America. Facundo is a member of the Endeavor network, promoting entrepreneurship in Latin America. He also participates as judge and selector at NXTP Labs, Start-Up Chile, Wayra, BID Challenge, and MIT Technology Review. In addition, he is part of the board at ASEA, promoting social entrepreneurship in Latin America.

Facundo studied systems analysis at the Universidad de Tucumán. He completed postgraduate studies in business administration at UC Berkeley. He also holds a postgraduate degree from Boston University, where he focused on banking and financial services. Facundo is a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum and former regional chairman of YPO, Young Presidents’ Organization for Latin America.

Chude Jideonwo photo

Chude Jideonwo

Chude Jideonwo is Co-Founder of the media group RED, and human flourishing company Joy, Inc. Chude's work centers on storytelling from across disciplines, to inspire new, human-centered narratives about politics, markets, faith, identity, and society in Africa. He is also host of #WithChude – a network of media products across TV, radio, podcast, newsletter, and blog – telling stories that enable and strengthen the mind, the heart, and the spirit.

RED, one of Africa’s leading media content and consulting companies, has worked on national elections and social movements in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Senegal, and Joy, Inc. has worked with organizations from the Ford Motor Company to the Lagos State Government on building safe, warm spaces across business, government and culture. All of Joy, Inc.’s profits are invested in The Joy Hubs – co-working spaces and walk-in centers for young people dealing with mental health challenges, with a focus on depression and anxiety.

Chude has been a Forbes 30 under 30 honouree, a CNBC Young Business Leader of the Year winner, and an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellow. His writing and work have been featured on the New York Times, the Guardian, the BBC, CNN, Aljazeera, the Huffington Post, and the Financial Times, and he is the author of two books, Are We The Turning Point Generation? and How to Win Elections in Africa: Parallels with Donald Trump.

He also teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students at the Pan Atlantic University, and he has been a board member at Microsoft 4Afrika, the Oando Foundation, WaterEase, and RED.

Bayartsetseg Jigmiddash photo

Bayartsetseg Jigmiddash

Bayartsetseg Jigmiddash is human rights expert with extensive experience in the area of justice, national security and gender equality. She is Founder of the Women in International Security (WIIS) Mongolia chapter. She has held senior positions in the government of Mongolia including the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs of Mongolia, overseeing law enforcement agencies in 2012-2016.  

Prior to this top civil service post, she served as legal advisor to the president of Mongolia. She has extensive international development experience working with Open Society Institute and American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative. She graduated from Harvard Law School and the Law School of National University of Mongolia.

Raheel Khursheed photo

Raheel Khursheed

Raheel Khursheed has 15+ years of experience helping global tech firms grow exponentially. In very short periods of time, he has helped launch some of the world’s most popular tech firms in some of the world’s toughest markets. Currently splitting time between Toronto, Boston, and Kashmir, Raheel is the co-founder of Laminar, a 21st Century Streaming/Video infrastructure OS/platform.

Prior to Laminar, Raheel successfully co-founded Anthro.ai, an AI X Anthropology startup that specializes in supercharged insights at scale. Anthro.ai continues to deliver high quality research projects to a select set of global clients. Before taking the entrepreneurial route, Raheel led Snapchat in India as their sole expert guiding the integration of the world’s largest camera app into the Indian landscape.

Until July 2018, Raheel executed a variety of senior executive roles at Twitter in India and SouthEast Asia. As one of the first employees of Twitter in this region, he led the conception, development, and roll-out of multiple awardwinning civic tech products — Twitter Seva/Kemala, SmartFeed – that democratized information, helped governments across the region do their jobs with accountability and transparency, and enabled meaningful citizen engagement at scale across the region. Raheel’s innovative product and partnerships work — from Twitter SMS alerts to live data on national television — dramatically altered how elections and politics are narrated in South and SouthEast Asia.

Raheel previously served as the founding director of communications and strategy for India at Change.org, the world’s leading petition platform, executing an effective strategy that successfully seeded petitioning as an organizing tool across the sub-continent resulting in many groundbreaking changes in legislation and infrastructure.

A cross-platform storyteller by training, Raheel has worked in, written, produced, field produced, and broken stories for outlets globally such as Vice, PBS, ProPublica, BBC-PRI, and a host of publications across the world. For Mercy Corps International, Raheel executed a highly successful Participatory Planning Youth Leadership Project in Kashmir, where more than 1000 Kashmiri youth, political, business and law enforcement leaders received leadership and negotiation training from experts from Tufts and Harvard.

Raheel is a globally recognized technology impact leader and for his groundbreaking work of democratizing information at scale was named a 2017 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard, a member of the 2017 class of Asia 21 — Asia-Pacific’s foremost network of young leaders — and a 2018 Draper-Hills Summer Fellow at the Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University.

He is passionate about the intersection of technology and social change and is a frequent speaker on these issues across conferences and media outlets globally.

Lin Kobayashi photo

Lin Kobayashi

Lin Kobayashi is Founder and Chair of the Board of UWC ISAK Japan (formerly known as ISAK), a residential high school that opened in Karuizawa, Nagano in 2014. The mission of UWC ISAK Japan is to nurture transformational leaders who explore new frontiers and make a positive impact today and in the future. UWC is an international education organization founded in 1962 which aims to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures and prides itself in deliberate diverse student body through working closely with national committees in more than 160 countries and territories worldwide.

Prior to UWC ISAK Japan, Lin had worked for UNICEF in the Philippines, where she conducted non-formal education projects for street children. She was selected as “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum in 2012, “Change-maker of the Year 2013” by Nikkei Business, “Woman of the Year 2015” by Nikkei Woman, and “EY Entrepreneur of The Year 2019 Japan”.

Lin also serves on the board of Asia Pacific Initiative since 2018, Japan Advisory Board for World Economic Forum since 2019, and UWC International Board since 2020. She holds an MA in Education from Stanford University and a BA from the University of Tokyo.
 

Abdul-Rehman Malik photo

Abdul-Rehman Malik

Abdul-Rehman Malik is an award winning London-based journalist, educator, and cultural organizer. He is Programs Manager for the Radical Middle Way, which offers powerful, faith-inspired guidance and tools to enable change, combat exclusion and violence and promote social justice for all. His work has spanned the UK, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sudan, Mali, Morocco, Singapore, Canada and Malaysia.

In January 2015, he became director of the Insight Film Festival, a unique year-round festival that celebrates the intersection between faith and film. Abdul-Rehman is a regular contributor to BBC Radio, offering contemporary perspectives on spirituality and presenting documentaries and programs for Radio 4, Radio 2 and the World Service. His recent documentary work includes the “The Muhammadan Bean: The Secret History of Islam and Coffee”.

A trustee of the Sandford St Martins Trust, which promotes excellence in broadcasting about religion in the UK, Abdul-Rehman has a keen interest in harnessing cultural production for social change. He has recently trained over 150 young civil society leaders in Indonesia to use the power of storytelling to bridge interfaith and intercultural divides against the backdrop of violence and discrimination.

In addition to providing content guidance to a variety of cultural and literary institutions, Abdul-Rehman is also working with colleagues from around the world to establish a global network of Muslim cultural leaders committed to building cultural capital and supporting cutting-edge artistic production.

Melvis M. Ndiloseh photo

Melvis M. Ndiloseh

Melvis M. Ndiloseh is CEO of the Foundation for Peace and Solidarity, a Cameroon-based non-profit, with outreach operations across Africa, which works to reconcile conflict-ridden communities through human rights and peace education. The organization also runs a pioneering flagship international training program on civilian peace support operations with the goal of building and consolidating deployable African human resource capacity for conflict management and humanitarian operations across the continent.

At the international level, Melvis is a highly solicited independent consultant on human rights, democracy, and peace, with viable international consultancy experiences with supranational organizations such as the African Union, UNECA, EU, and IIDEA.

She holds a PhD in Politics and Human Rights, and serves as Senior Lecturer at the International Relations Institute of Cameroon, where many diplomats from African countries are trained. She also serves as a visiting professor in other African universities where she lectures on the African human rights system, peace, and security issues, lighting the path for change and mentoring/coaching hundreds of graduate students and aspiring diplomats.

Rema Rajeshwari photo

Rema Rajeshwari

Rema Rajeshwari is an Indian Police Service Officer with a distinguished career of integrity and passion. She has held various responsible and dynamic positions for nearly a decade.

She started her career in the Police service as an Assault Commander with the 'Greyhounds', an elite special force, which undertakes high risk operations through jungle warfare against left-wing extremists. Working for people who are at the fault lines of the lethal intersection of society and violence, she has been instrumental in running successful operations against extremists, a women- and child-trafficking nexus, and other criminal activities.

Rema has won accolades as the first female Indian Police Service officer from Munnar, Kerala State and as the topper of the Indian Police Service class of 2009. She successfully implemented a much-needed initiative, “Community Outreach Program,” which creates awareness against social vices and runs campaigns such as “Saving Child Brides,” “Child Laborers’ Rescue,” “SHE Teams,” “Legal Literacy for Underprivileged Rural Women,” and “Rehabilitation of Joginis – girls dedicated as servant of god/forced into prostitution."

Through her collaborative policing efforts, she encourages women to break gender stereotypes and empower them to emerge as leaders. Her research and experience has resulted in publishing articles in major papers and presenting conference papers in numerous organizations.

Baljeet Sandhu photo

Baljeet Sandhu

Baljeet Sandhu is a UK human rights lawyer, educator and pioneer of the global ‘knowledge equity’ movement. She has designed and developed successful systems-led models of practice in the UK legal, social and investment sectors and is a global thought leader on the value and power of lived experience in social impact work.

As a Yale World Fellow, Baljeet supported the development of the Tsai Centre for Innovative Thinking at Yale (CITY), launched in 2017 to serve Yale students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines seeking innovative ways to solve real-world problems. In 2018, she launched the Knowledge Equity Initiative at Yale, a ground-breaking research, education and practice hub exploring the value of both lived and learned experience in systems change, innovation and entrepreneurship. The initiative supported student entrepreneurs and innovators and established cross-disciplinary knowledge exchanges and learning ecosystems to connect local, national and global change-making strategies to understand the value of lived experience in systems practice. Her work also included the design of the Neighbors in Residence Fellowship at Yale, as well as the critical innovation fund.

Baljeet was awarded UK Young Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year in 2011, is a UK Clore Social Leadership fellow and a fellow of the Vital Voices Female Global Leaders Partnership. In recognition of her work, she was honoured with the DVF International Award during the Women in the World Conference at the United Nations in April 2017. In 2020 she was named to the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Rita Sciarra photo

Rita Sciarra

Rita Sciarra is an expert in international development and serves as Team Lead for inclusive Growth and Poverty Reduction for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Hub in Panama. She previously served as Strategic Advisor with the UNDP in Mexico supporting the country during its economic recovery process after the earthquake in 2018. Originally from Italy, she is fluent in four languages, with more than 14 years of experience in three different continents, in post-conflict and normal development conditions.

Prior to this, Rita served as Head of Poverty Reduction with UNDP in Haiti. She has managed a portfolio of projects to ensure the transition from emergency to development, with a special focus on economic development and social inclusion, improving the lives and opportunities of thousands of people.

Rita began her career in 2003, in India and Bolivia, working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy and in Tanzania with the Ivo de Carneri Foundation. From 2007-2011, Rita worked with UNDP in the Dominican Republic on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), early recovery, and monitoring and evaluation.

Rita holds a Masters of Advanced Studies in public law and international relations from the University of Zaragoza (Spain, 2008), a Master’s degree in European economic studies from the College of Europe (Bruges, Belgium, 2006) and a Master’s degree in economics and international relations from the Universita L. Bocconi (Milan, 2004).

Taras Shevchenko photo

Taras Shevchenko

Taras Shevchenko is an activist and Co-Founder of the Reanimation Package of Reforms (RPR), a coalition of reform-oriented NGOs and experts, which began after the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine. Taras serves as Board Co-Chairman for RPR, which brings together 73 NGOs that develop, promote, and control implementation of reforms. It has proved to be a unique coalition that has advocated more than 100 laws.

Taras is also Founder and Executive Director of Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law, an influential Ukrainian think-and-act-tank that focuses on rule of law, independent media, anti-corruption, and civil society development. He established this organization in 2005 after the Orange Revolution.

Taras has been involved with drafting numerous legislative acts, including the Access to Public Information Law. He has started successful civic initiatives in different areas including good governance, transparency, media self-regulation, anti-tobacco, and road safety. He was elected as a member of the Supervisory Board of the Public Service Broadcasting Company in 2015.

Taras holds two Masters degrees in law and in economics from the Kyiv National University.

Lorna Solis photo

Lorna Solis

Lorna Solis is Founder and CEO of Elevate, a non-profit organization dedicated to giving gifted young women who have been forced from their homes by conflict or climate change the opportunity of a first-class, STEM-focused education at a partner university and employment with a Fortune 500 partner company.

She is also Founder and CEO of GritTekkie, a company that aims to fill staffing needs in technology for leading companies worldwide by unlocking access to highly talented, skilled, credentialed pools of labor drawing from underserved groups, including refugees and internally displaced people.

Previously, Lorna was Director for Latin America and Africa at Institutional Investor, focusing on increasing foreign direct investments for infrastructure projects. She also worked at IDEA on Wall Street, covering Latin America, and at Water & Air Research—an environmental consulting firm—on creating national parks in Honduras and Brazil.

Lorna graduated from the University of Florida, as well as the Harvard Kennedy School's Global Leadership & Public Policy Executive Program. She is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Young Global Leader with the World Economic Forum, a member of the Young Global Leaders Group advisory board, a member of the Global Future Council on the Future of the Humanitarian System, and a member of the Women's Empowerment and Gender Parity (2011-2012). Lorna is also an Organizational Partner of Global Dignity Day. She is a board member of the UNHCR Innovation Council and at the Humanitarian Innovation Project at the University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre.

Lorna is also a figurative sculptor whose work has been exhibited in NYC and has won numerous awards.

Annemie Turtelboom photo

Annemie Turtelboom

Annemie Turtelboom is currently a Member of the European Court of Auditors, the external auditor of the EU, based in Luxembourg. Her portfolio includes audit work related to EU budget, EU public finance, policies related to EU governance, financial instruments and technical assistance in the EU. She is enthusiastic about digital agenda and innovation in auditing.

After having served as Deputy First Minister, Minister of Budget, Finance and Energy in the Flemish Regional Government (2014-2016), she returned to the Belgian Federal Parliament, where she was an active member of the Committee for Foreign Affairs until April 2018.

Prior to these positions, Annemie served as Minister of Justice (2012-14) in the Federal Government of Belgium. During her time as Minister of Justice, she instituted a sweeping reform of the judiciary, oversaw the abdication of King Albert and the investiture of King Philippe.

Before this term, Annemie was Minister of the Interior (2009-12)—the first woman in Belgian history—and Minister of Migration (2008-9) in the Belgian Federal Government. During her tenure, she was responsible for the public order and security issues as well as emergency situations. Between 2008 and 2014, she represented Belgium as Minister at the Justice and Home Affairs Council of the EU.

Annemie started her political career as member of the Belgian Federal Parliament in 2003 after teaching marketing for 10 years. She has spoken extensively on topics related to security and migration with various stakeholders in the EU, at the United Nations, in Washington, D.C., and in various European capitals.

In 2010, Annemie co-authored “De toekomst kan elk moment beginnen” (The future can begin anytime). She is a strong supporter of gender equality and empowering youth. Before taking office at the European Court of Auditors, she also served as a City-Councillor for Antwerp and the Municipality of Puurs, and she was a board member of the Port of Antwerp.

Among her other interests, she was the President of the Friends of the Antwerp Fashion Museum. Annemie is fluent in Dutch, English, and French, and she holds a degree in economics from KU Leuven.

Zoe Weinberg photo

Zoe Weinberg

Zoe Weinberg is a joint-degree student at Yale Law School and at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. Prior to graduate school, she worked on the Hillary for America campaign, serving as the assistant to the Chief Administrative Officer.

Previously she worked at the International Finance Corporation at the World Bank, based in Washington, D.C. and Nairobi. She worked on projects in over a dozen countries, including Somalia, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Liberia. Prior to IFC, she worked in Goldman Sachs’s alternative investments group in New York.

In May 2013, Zoe graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in Social Studies. At Yale Law School, she is a student director of the Center for Global Legal Challenges, a member of the Rule of Law Clinic, and a board member of the National Security Group.

Will Wright photo

Will Wright

Will Wright is a graduate of Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where he was a General Wayne A. Downing Scholar and founder of the Yale Special Operations/Interagency Symposium. He is an active duty Major in the US Army Special Forces.

Awarded the Harold W. Rosenthal Fellowship in International Relations, he most recently worked in the Deputy Directorate for Special Operations/Counterterrorism on the US Department of Defense’s Joint Staff. An Honor Graduate of the US military’s Command & General Staff College, he commissioned as a Distinguished Military Graduate from Duke University where he received his BA in English in 2006.

Prior to matriculation at Yale, he conducted combat deployments to locations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Middle East. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star for Valor, the Army Commendation Medal for Valor, and JINSA’s “Grateful Nation” Award.