Class of 2022 Bios

Sahar Albazar photo

Sahar Albazar

Sahar Albazar is an Egyptian MP and the Deputy Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee at the Egyptian House of Representatives. She is also the President of the forum of young Parliamentarians representing more than 179 countries. Before that, she was an advisor to the Minister of Social Solidarity and a social protection consultant at the World Bank on youth employability in Egypt. 

In addition to her experience in the governmental sector and international organizations, she has worked at several Forbes top 500 companies including P&G, J&J, Abbott, and BP. Sahar was named a Young Global Leader in 2022. She holds an MPA from Harvard University.

Huong Dang photo

Huong Dang

Huong Dang is a social entrepreneur and founder of HopeBox, an NGO based in Vietnam that provides employment, training, and opportunities to victims of gender-based violence. Prior to this she worked as Director of Partnerships and Strategy of KOTO, an organization that aids and empowers at-risk and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam. From a humble beginning as a street kid, Huong made her way to Melbourne via a scholarship and was honored as Victoria’s International Student of the Year. In 2021, Huong was recognized as the winner of Women of the Future under the category of Social Entrepreneur. She is passionate about social enterprise and education and believes that innovative approaches can solve social problems. She completed a Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia.

Belva Devara photo

Belva Devara

Belva Devara is CEO and Co-Founder of Ruangguru, the largest education technology enterprise in Southeast Asia, employing 7,000 people across Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore. Ruangguru has impacted over 22 million K–12 students through high-quality learning videos, quizzes, and live tutoring on web and mobile platforms. Its affordable subscription cost allows for high student adoption across lower-income segments and in more rural regions. In addition, Ruangguru has served 10 million lifelong learners through online professional courses and corporate training. With venture funding of over $205 million, Ruangguru is most recently included in the list of the 50 most innovative companies in the world by Fast Company, ranking #25 overall and #2 in the education category globally.

Belva received his dual degree, an MPA from Harvard University, and an MBA from Stanford University. He earned his Business and Computer Science undergraduate degrees at Nanyang Technological University Singapore.

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Fakhar Durrani

Fakhar Durrani is a journalist with The News International, Pakistan’s leading English language newspaper. He is part of the news organization’s Investigation Cell, which reports in-depth and investigative stories, often in high-risk situations. He focuses on corruption and embezzlement in government departments, misuse of authority by government officials, tax evasion issues, health and education related topics, abuse of human rights, and other social issues. Recently he was part of 600 leading investigative journalists who collaborated with International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in the Pandora Papers investigations. During this collaboration, Durrani, along with one of his colleagues, unearthed millions of dollars offshore holdings of more than 700 Pakistanis which they secretly kept in tax havens. Fakhar is a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow and a Chevening Fellow.

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Solangel Fernández

Solangel Fernández is an architect, urban designer, and urban economist with 15 years of experience. Throughout her career, she has been in charge of directing urban development and sustainable mobility initiatives as well as large infrastructure projects, especially during trying political times. In Peru, Solangel directed the urban planning offices at the municipalities of San Isidro and San Borja where she and her team developed innovative strategies to transform public spaces for the wellness of communities. Additionally, she has participated and coordinated metropolitan urban plans, key for the development of the country, and directed urban regeneration projects in vulnerable human settlements over the hills of Lima. Previously, she worked on urban design projects in various cities across Uk, Europe and Asia. 

Recently, Solangel held the position of Minister of Housing, Construction and Sanitation of Peru during the Transitional Government of President Sagasti. During her administration, as a historical milestone, the National Housing and Urbanism Policy and the Sustainable Urban Development Law were approved. She holds a Master’s degree in Urban Design from Oxford Brookes University and a Master’s degree in Land Economy from Cambridge University.

Martin Inthamoussú photo

Martin Inthamoussú

Martin Inthamoussú is President and CEO of SODRE in Uruguay, the oldest cultural institution in the country dedicated to culture and art promotion, arts education, and growth of traditions, taking its services to the whole country and beyond borders. Within the institution, Martín was commissioned to create the Contemporary Dance Department of the National Dance School, of which he is the founder. He has also developed different programs working on public policy towards access to culture for citizens in the whole country as a means of deep social change, including arts education to people with limited or no access. From 2015 – 2020 he was General Director of the National School of the Arts.

Martín has extensive experience in promoting cultural democracy as a human right. He is a university professor and is regularly invited to present at symposiums all over the globe. He sits as a member of the International Society for the Performing Arts Governance Committee and has published papers on arts management and cultural access. He is a regular columnist in Diario El País in Uruguay. 

Kyriacos Koupparis photo

Kyriacos Koupparis

Kyriacos Koupparis is Head of Frontier Innovations at the United Nations World Food Programme's Innovation Accelerator. In this role, he leads a team that explores how emerging technologies – such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and robotics – can be harnessed to catalyze impact within the context of humanitarian assistance and food security.

Previously, he worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as Senior Innovation Advisor where he designed and administered multi-million dollar programs to advance social and environmental prosperity across the globe. He spent the last 15 years working at the nexus between innovation and international development – first as a biomedical researcher working on drug discovery for neglected tropical diseases and further on in his career by managing programs to build better communities in emerging markets through science, technology, innovation and partnerships. He has worked in more than 20 countries throughout Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, and Asia through his various roles at the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and the United Nations.

Kyriacos is a native of Cyprus, was born in Johannesburg, and spent his adult years in the USA. He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, San Francisco. He is a graduate of the Management of Technology program at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Wayne State University.

Andrei Kureichik photo

Andrei Kureichik

Andrei Kureichik is a Belarusian playwright, director, publicist, and civil activist. As a writer and director prior to 2020, Andrei was especially beloved for his comedies and suspense thrillers. Following the contested presidential elections and brutal aftermath in Belarus in August 2020, Andrei gained an international following as a political playwright. Forced to flee the country as a member of the Coordination Council working with perceived winner Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s transition team, Andrei leveraged his creative energy to produce the documentary play “Insulted. Belarus(sia)” about the 2020 presidential elections, subsequent protests, and violent crackdown by Alexander Lukashenko’s regime in Belarus. The play has been translated into 29 languages and received 200 readings and performances across the globe. Articles about the play have been published in Plays International and Europe, Contemporary Theatre Review, the Boston Globe, Dialog, and Theatre Journal.

As a member of the Coordination Council of Belarus, he was awarded the 2020 Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament. In 2020 Andrei founded the YouTube civil rights channel “Alternative Blogovision” which in one year became one of the leaders of the Belarusian segment of YouTube with more than two million of views per month.

Vera D. Kwakofi photo

Vera D. Kwakofi

Vera D. Kwakofi is a Senior News Editor, Commissioning with the BBC World Service and is responsible for the BBC’s International TV Operations in Africa. She leads teams of journalists based across Africa and in the UK who produce the multi-award-winning Africa Eye Investigations, Business, Health, Sport, Women, News Analysis and Factual and Youth content for Africa in English, French, and Swahili. Vera has more than 20 years of experience in international journalism and commissioning content across multiple platforms with a particular focus on telling African Stories to global audiences. She created the BBC Women of Africa Series, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She actively participates in various discussion panels promoting and providing a better understanding of the Africa region.

Vera holds an MSc in Consultant Management and Organisational Change from the University of London, Birkbeck College, and a BA Hons in Politics from the London Guildhall University. She also has a Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communications from the Ghana Institute of Journalism. Vera is a Trustee for the Serious Trust, a UK Arts charity that supports development and access to music and support for its creators.

Jad Maalouf photo

Jad Maalouf

Jad Maalouf is a judicial inspector with the Lebanese Judicial Inspection Commission, which is tasked with monitoring the judiciary and investigating and prosecuting corruption and misconduct. Jad is dedicated to working with public institutions to initiate and implement sustainable reforms and to promote integrity and transparency. For the past decade, he has focused on anti-corruption work and participated in drafting some of the main laws that have been enacted to combat and prevent systemic corruption and to increase transparency and access to information. He also leads a team working on the Implementation Review Mechanism for the UNCAC and the corruption risk assessment of laws and regulations.

Jad’s work focuses on the enhancement of the rule of law and the advancement of human rights. In his previous positions as a civil judge, Jad issued many landmark decisions in cases pertaining to due process rights, domestic gender-based violence, freedom of speech, protection of migrant domestic workers, and illegal detention. Jad is a lecturer at the American University of Beirut. He also presides, pro bono, the internal dispute resolution commission of the Lebanese Red Cross Association.

Kopano Matlwa Mabaso photo

Kopano Matlwa Mabaso

Kopano Matlwa Mabaso is an award-winning novelist and public health physician, currently leading Grow Great, a campaign aimed at galvanizing South Africa towards a national commitment to zero stunting by 2030. Kopano’s work as the founding Executive Director of Grow Great has been celebrated by philanthropist Bill Gates and a mini documentary on Grow Great published in his personal blog, Gates Notes. From 2014 – 2018 Kopano served as one of the youngest elected board members to Health Systems Global, the world’s first international society dedicated to health systems strengthening and knowledge translation. 

Outside of her public health work, Kopano is an award-winning fiction writer and her novels, Coconut, Spilt Milk, and Period Pain have been translated into nearly a dozen international languages. Kopano’s latest novel, Period Pain (Evening Primrose in UK & USA markets) is currently being adapted into a feature film. 

Kopano is a Rhodes Scholar and an alumnus of the University of Oxford where she gained both her Masters in Global Health Science and DPhil in Population Health. Kopano has received numerous awards and honors for her work as a public health physician and social entrepreneur, including being selected as a ‘Young Mandela’, WEF Global Leader, IAMP Physician Leader, Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellow, and an Aspen New Voices Fellow.

Babatunde Omilola photo

Babatunde Omilola

Babatunde Omilola manages the African Development Bank’s multi-billion-dollar response to the COVID-19 pandemic to save lives and livelihoods throughout Africa and to help African countries strengthen their health systems, stabilize their economies, and alleviate the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. A global development leader, Babatunde served as Head of Development Planning with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in New York and led the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on the monitoring and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) globally. He also co-chaired the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Task Force on Global Food and Nutrition Security Technical Team. Babatunde was UNDP’s Regional Practice Leader for poverty reduction and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa and UNDP’s Chief Economist and Head of Policy and Strategy in South Africa. He was also the Africa-wide Coordinator with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). He handled the relationship of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the African Union Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. He has visited and delivered development assistance in over 80 countries worldwide in Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Babatunde was selected as a Fellow of Comparative Research Program for preventing and eradicating poverty by the International Social Science Council in 2014. He won the prestigious Ford Foundation International Fellowship in 2001 and the Graduate Research Fellowship of the International Development Research Centre in 2004 for his MPhil and PhD degrees in International Development and Development Economics from the University of Sussex. He is a writer and regular speaker on global development for international news agencies.

Kirsten Rulf photo

Kirsten Rulf

Kirsten Rulf has been working as a senior advisor for digital, technology, and innovation policy to former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and current Chancellor Olaf Scholz since 2019. She is Head of Division for General Digital Policy Issues and “Nerd-in-Chief” at the Federal Chancellery of Germany in Berlin. In her strategic leadership position, Kirsten is shaping Germany’s and Europe’s role in the geopolitics of tech. What does European digital sovereignty mean in a global context? How should Germany navigate the Great Power competition between USA and China? 

Kirsten first started to think about these issues during her decade-long career as an award-winning journalist: as current affairs correspondent for Germany’s flagship TV news program “Tagesschau”. She has published extensively on social, economic, and political ramifications of the Internet, social media, and specific technologies, like AI, including for the BBC. She has worked in London, Brussels, Tel Aviv, and Beijing. 

Prior to joining the Chancellery, Kirsten was a McCloy Fellow at Harvard University and graduated with a Master of Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School. She taught courses on cyberconflict, on digital policy, and on compliance and computation at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Law School. Her first degree is a Masters in Latin and Ancient Greek Literature from Oxford University.

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Manasi Subramaniam

Manasi Subramaniam is Associate Publisher and Head of Rights at Penguin Random House India. She has published some of the most exciting new voices across South Asia, several of whom have gone on to be nominated for international awards including the Booker, Folio, JCB, Andrew Carnegie Medal, Women’s Prize, Desmond Elliott, among others. At Penguin, Manasi heads the imprint Hamish Hamilton and oversees literary fiction and international rights. She also champions multidisciplinary nonfiction with the intention of shaping conversations between communities on pressing issues. 

Manasi has been recognized for her contributions to global publishing and has been invited to the Frankfurt Buchmesse fellowship, the Bureau International de l'Édition Française fellowship, the Australia Council for the Arts Visiting International Publishers program, and the Zev Birger fellowship. She is committed to making publishing more inclusive and accessible and bringing underrepresented voices into mainstream media, and has spoken on trends in publishing at world forums. 

Manasi has an MA in Renaissance Literature and has worked in amateur theatre and academic research on Shakespeare.

Minami Tsubouchi photo

Minami Tsubouchi

Minami Tsubouchi is an entrepreneur in the field of leadership development with a particular focus on youth under adversity. She founded BEYOND Tomorrow to support young victims of the devastating earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident that hit the northeast coast of Japan in 2011. Believing that great leaders can rise out of adversity, she has supported more than 700 young adults suffering from traumatic experiences to overcome hardship as budding leaders who can make a difference for society. 

Minami worked in Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attack, engaging in humanitarian assistance, and she worked in Bahrain during the Arab Spring as a member of the Kingdom’s Economic Development Board. Her time in Afghanistan and Bahrain convinced her of the importance of leadership development and opportunities for dialogue for youth, especially during times of national catastrophes. She has also served on the advisory boards of Hiroshima Global Academy and U.S.-Japan Leadership Program of the United States-Japan Foundation. She was awarded Nikkei Woman of the Year 2013 by Nikkei Woman Magazine and was selected as one of the AERA Leaders for 2020 by AERA Magazine, Asahi Shimbun.

Zhao Zhong photo

Zhao Zhong

Zhao Zhong is the founder and director of Green Camel Bell, a grass-root environmental NGO in Northwest China. At the local level, he conducts a range of programs and projects focusing on environmental education, water pollution monitoring, and community-based eco-agriculture and sustainable development. At the national level, he promotes and researches public participation in environmental decision-making and provides training and mentorship to grassroots partners. At the global level, he bridges Chinese overseas energy and forest investors and impacted communities of host countries promoting responsible green investment. 

From 2015-16, as a Hubert H. Humphrey fellow, Zhong completed a year of course work and professional affiliation at the University of California, Davis on Natural Resources Management and Climate Change. In 2009, he was named a “Hero of the Environment” by Time magazine, and in 2017, he was nominated as an Asia 21 Young Leader by Asia Society. Zhong received his Bachelor’s degree in Electronic and Information Engineering from the Hefei University of Technology and a Master degree of Laws from the University of Hong Kong.