Class of 2023 Bios

Bam Aquino photo

Bam Aquino

Bam Aquino started in public service as a youth leader, television host and multi-awarded social entrepreneur. In 2013, he was elected Senator of the Republic of the Philippines and was the youngest at that time. When Bam ended his term in 2019, he was the Philippine Senate’s Deputy Minority Leader. He has chaired various Senate committees such as Trade and Commerce, Youth, Science and Technology, and Education. He authored and sponsored several landmark laws including the Philippine Competition Act, the Innovative Start Up Act, and the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, which made college in all state universities free for millions of Filipino students. In May 2022, he led the presidential campaign of then Vice-President Leni Robredo as campaign manager. Though Vice-President Robredo would finish in 2nd place, she garnered 28% of the vote in a hotly contested and historic campaign. At present, Bam is the Chairperson of Kaya Natin, a nationwide non-profit that supports the capacity-building of local government leaders. He is a co-founder of PasaJob, a start-up that matches individuals to prospective jobs using a patented referral technology and is also a co-founder of MEE Games, another start-up that incubates Filipino video game developers.  

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Natalia Arboleda

Natalia Arboleda is an attorney and a diplomat specializing in human rights, humanitarian, and public international law. During her 15-year career, she has negotiated peace agreements with guerrilla groups, represented Colombia at the U.N. Security Council, and led reconciliation efforts in remote areas of Colombia. Natalia was a core member of Colombia’s peace negotiating team in Havana, where under the auspices of Cuba and Norway, Colombia and the FARC guerrilla group brought one of the longest armed conflicts in the world to an end. After the successful negotiation of the peace agreement, Natalia played an active role in the approval of the constitutional amendments required to implement the terms of the agreement and focused on executing critical measures to address the immediate needs of victims. Most recently, Natalia worked as a diplomat in the Colombian Mission to the United Nations in New York, where she led Colombia’s relationship with the Security Council on issues related to peace, security, and humanitarian affairs. Natalia holds a law degree and a post-graduate degree in social responsibility and development from Universidad de los Andes in Colombia and an LL.M from Columbia University in the City of New York.

Krzysztof F. Bocian photo

Krzysztof F. Bocian

Krzysztof F. Bocian is a renewable energy entrepreneur, an energy transition advocate, and a former international energy executive. He builds a change-driven green energy projects across Eastern Europe. His primary interests include solar, onshore wind, battery storage, and green hydrogen. Among other ventures, he has founded several large-scale renewable energy platforms. Previously, he spent 10 years with Chevron, where he held executive roles in San Francisco, Houston, London, and Warsaw offices and covered multibillion-dollar energy projects across 6 continents. Earlier in his career, he led strategy and development for Orlen, the largest energy company in Eastern Europe. He is an active social entrepreneur focused on education, civic engagement, and leadership development. Over the last 20 years, he has founded and advised several educational NGOs and EdTech ventures. He serves as a member of the Dean’s Council at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Krzysztof holds an MBA from Stanford and an MPA in International & Global Affairs with distinction from Harvard.

Abdouramane Diallo photo

Abdouramane Diallo

Abdouramane Diallo is Head of Targeted Interventions at the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), an affiliate of the Islamic Development Bank Group. He oversees ITFC’s efforts to strengthen intra-African exchanges, allowing 27 countries to expand trade with one another while affording vulnerable communities access to basic goods. In his role, he leads program delivery, manages cross-institutional expert teams, and forges alliances with key development partners. Devoted to reducing economic inequalities, he believes that entrepreneurial freedom allows for the greatest social impact. To this end, he co-founded Agrobiotech in 2016 and Paygas in 2017. Agrobiotech specializes in plant cloning in Mali and exports low-cost plantlets in Africa. Paygas utilizes proprietary technology to distribute clean cooking fuel to low-income families in South Africa. Abdouramane sits on the boards of both companies and supports their partnerships, strategy, and business growth.

A native of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire, he holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and a Master of Management from SKEMA Business School. He completed MIT’s Entrepreneurship Development Program and is a Stanford Draper Hills Fellow. He is a member of the Economic Commission for Africa Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts.

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Guy Disney

Guy Disney is a military veteran, disability advocate, explorer, and horse jockey. In command on his first tour in Afghanistan, an ambush resulted in the amputation of Guy’s right leg. This has given him a passion for challenging perceptions about disability. He skied to the North Pole as part of a team of war wounded veterans and led an expedition to the South Pole; both expeditions were world firsts. After completing his second and final tour in Afghanistan as an amputee, Guy now works in Africa dividing his time between conservation, veteran’s rehabilitation, and supporting marginalized youth. In each area he seeks to use his experience overcoming adversity to respectively protect the natural environment, restore human purpose, and improve life chances and livelihoods. In The Queen’s Birthday Honours, he was appointed MBE for services to veterans and polar travel. He is also the first jockey in the UK to be granted a license as an amputee and sits on the “diversity-in-racing” steering group for British Horseracing. Guy is a member of the Lord Lieutenant’s team that represents The Royal Family in the County of Gloucestershire. He is a trustee of veteran’s charity Walking With The Wounded.  

Federica Du Pasquier photo

Federica Du Pasquier

Federica Du Pasquier is a delegate at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), most recently coordinating its humanitarian diplomacy globally around the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Federica previously advised the ICRC President on digitalization, the institutional strategy, and roll-out of key diplomatic initiatives, with a focus on advancing the ICRC’s role as a neutral intermediary. In parallel, she spearheaded a partnership with the Swiss Polytechnic Schools to develop innovative solutions for more impactful humanitarian action. Prior to this, Federica contributed to ICRC’s protection activities and dialog with authorities in Ethiopia, Syria and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and to its legal and diplomatic outreach at the UN in New York. A former fellow of the Harvard Program on Negotiation and Harvard Law School affiliate, she conducted extensive research on humanitarian frontline negotiations, regulation of autonomous weapons, and counterterrorism. Federica holds degrees in Law and in International Relations and speaks English, French, Italian, Spanish, German and Arabic.

Naasu Genevieve Fofanah photo

Naasu Genevieve Fofanah

Naasu Genevieve Fofanah is an entrepreneur and author with extensive gender and global public policy experience. An award-winning women's and girls' rights activist, she has championed controversial issues globally. She launched Susue Women's Finance during the COVID-19 pandemic to influence government policy on women's business and access to finance. Susue Women's Finance and Sierra Leone Commercial Bank formed the Women's Bank Initiative to offer low-interest loans to female entrepreneurs. The Bank of Sierra Leone Financial Literacy Working Group elected Naasu Co-Chair in 2022. Naasu previously served as Sierra Leone's first Special Gender Adviser to ex-President Ernest Bai Koroma. She made gender equality and women's (GEWE) a priority in the National Strategy Document-Agenda for Prosperity (2013 -2018). GEWE was then expanded into a separate Policy and recently became landmark legislation (GEWE Act 2022) by the current President, Dr. Julius Maada Bio. Naasu became the first Sierra Leonean to represent West Africa at UNECA's Women and Development Bureau. She also served as Vice Chairperson and technical advisor on the Common African Position Post-2015 Development Agenda. Naasu holds an EMPA from NYU/UCL (Pentland Scholar 2018), an MA from Institute of Education-UCL, and a BSc (Hons) from Westminster.

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Shamil Ibragimov

Shamil Ibragimov is a highly experienced professional with over 17 years of expertise in the fields of social development, local governance, and media development. He previously served as the Executive Director of Soros Foundation Kyrgyzstan, an affiliated part of the Open Society Foundation, where he established himself as a prominent figure in civil society development, anti-corruption initiatives, community mobilization, and social accountability. In addition to his professional work, he is a co-founder of Ilim Educational Complex, the oldest private school in Kyrgyzstan, where he holds position of Director for International Programs and Development and founder of Ilim College, an innovative professional education institution that prepares students for the challenges of the modern job market. Ibragimov is also the author and initiator of the Civic City Dashboard, a virtual platform that visualizes urban data and promotes data-driven civic engagement. As a thought leader in the fields of governance and civic engagement, Shamil is a regular contributor to Project Syndicate and Medium, writing on topics such as political history, innovation, data-driven governance, urban development, and civic engagement. He is also the co-author of the acclaimed "Income Generation Handbook," published in 2010. Prior to his role at the Open Society Foundation, Ibragimov served as the Executive Director of the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia, a leading project management organization in the region. He holds an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he specialized in community mobilization, adaptive leadership, and problem-driven iterative adaptation in development. Shamil is also an Edward S. Mason Fellow, recipient of the Mary and David Boies scholarship, and a Fulbright Fellow. Shamil is Advisor to the Minister of Education of the Kyrgyz Republic and sits on the board of several organizations, including the Kyrgyz E-commerce Association, the Creative Industry Park, and the Teach for Kyrgyzstan Foundation.

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Ann Iyonu

Ann Iyonu is Executive Director of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation. At the heart of the Foundation’s mandate is the protection of democratic integrity, the prevention of violent conflicts, and the promotion of the peaceful resolution of disputes across Africa. In her role she is involved in high-level mediation and conflict resolution in democratic emergencies and political transitions. Ann is also the coordinator of the West African Elders Forum (WAEF), a platform of former heads of state that draws on the experience and standing of its members to bring non-partisan insights and skills for defusing tension and reconciling positions for the sake of the sustenance and advancement of democracy in West Africa. With her providing foundational ideas and strategic direction since its inception in March 2021, WAEF played an active role in mediating peaceful elections in The Gambia. Over the past decade, Ann has worked on various democracy promotion, peace and security, and governance initiatives in the sub-region, having worked and consulted for several national and international organizations including the Open Government Partnership. Ann holds a MA in Law and Diplomacy from the University of Jos in Nigeria.

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Hussain Nadim

Hussain Nadim is a renowned policy expert, innovator, and a published author. He pioneered the use of data analytics and digital technologies to transform the policy sector and assist policy leaders in Pakistan with evidence-based decisions that serve public good. Hussain has held key policy positions, including serving as Executive Director of the Islamabad Policy Research Institute at the Prime Minister’s Office of Pakistan and as Special Assistant to the Federal Minister for Planning & Development & Reforms. He was also a member of the Prime Minister’s Special Committee on Digital Media and Forensics and Chief Minister’s Committee on Web 3.0. Additionally, Hussain has served as a Senior Policy Expert at both the Woodrow Wilson Center and the United States Institute of Peace in Washington D.C. In 2020, he founded the G5 Internet Observatory, a digital research think tank that leverages AI to address disinformation and hate speech. The organization was later acquired by the Pakistani government. He is regularly invited to provide advice to policy leaders and governments around the world and has been published in leading media and policy outlets, including a recent book on the US-Pakistan relations. For his distinguished work in the policy sector, he has received numerous accolades, including being named in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and receiving alumni achievement awards from the British Council, the University of Sydney, and George Washington University. Hussain holds advanced degrees from George Washington University, University of Cambridge, and the University of Sydney.

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Janah Ncube

Janah Ncube is Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Crisis Action, a global organization working on the protection of civilians in conflict. Previously Janah was the Pan Africa Director at Oxfam. Her work as a global development strategist has informed systems and structural changes to multilateral institutions such as SADC, AU, AfDB and the UN on regional integration, governance, gender, peace and security, and has saved lives in the over 15 crisis situations across the world she has worked on. Janah serves as a board member and advisor of several local and international boards, governmental, and church bodies. She founded Inspiring Africa, a platform that mentors women and youth and inspires them to be change makers. Her activism on Zimbabwe’s struggles for democratic governance continues, and a true Pan Africanist, Janah also works towards a stronger African Union. In 2005, the University of Bradford awarded her for being outstanding in managing diversity. In 2011, Janah was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons in Zimbabwe by the Junior Chamber of Commerce and in 2020 one of the most influential women to come from her home city Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. She holds a masters’ degree from the University of Bradford.

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Ala Qasem

Ala Qasem is a public policy maker and member of the Economic Team advising the Presidential Leadership Council and senior cabinet members in the Republic of Yemen. Ala is also CEO of DeepRoot Consulting, a prominent social enterprise that is focused on Yemen’s development. He previously served as Managing Director of Yemen’s delivery bureau where he led government negotiation efforts to develop a rapid stabilization program for the interim capital Aden, secure debt relief from the IMF, and participate in the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative. In 2013, Yemen went through its largest ever political dialogue exercise which included 556 delegates from all political parties and factions. Ala served as the Technical Advisor for the Consensus Committee of the National Dialogue Conference where he helped members of the committee negotiate and reach agreements on disputed issues. Ala has founded and sits on the board of a number of civil society organizations in Yemen, including Resonate Yemen, the Civil Alliance for Peacebuilding, and Yemen Youth Observatory. He has an MPP from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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Smita Rakesh

Smita Rakesh is a Partner at Social Alpha, an initiative to drive economic growth, social justice, and climate action through the power of entrepreneurship and market-creating innovations. As the head of Climate and Sustainability practice, she is also responsible for building and deploying a portfolio of science and technology innovations across sectors in climate change mitigation, adaptation, and ecosystem restoration for a socially and ecologically just transition. Smita has been deeply engaged with the global climate and clean energy ecosystem for the last 15 years, designing and implementing institutional programs in public, private, and development sectors. Smita is passionate about catalyzing large-scale and inclusive social change through responsible investments and market-based solutions. She has conceptualized and built a full-stack innovation curation and venture development platform in India to accelerate the transition of high-impact innovations from lab-to-market-to-communities, redefining the investment playbook for early-stage start-ups. Smita has a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences and was a Rockefeller Foundation Global Fellow on Social Innovation in 2016. She also serves on the board of Sustain Plus Energy Foundation, a non-profit driving sustainable energy access and development programs in rural India.

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Tamim Saad

Tamim is a multifaceted executive with a strong focus on corporate and public finance expertise, capital market regulation, Business Strategy, and financial optimization. During his extensive and diverse positions, Tamim helped his organizations in driving transformative change in challenging environments and high uncertainty.

Starting his journey in the Israeli public sphere, he joined the Special Forces as a Naval Commander while graduating from the Israeli Naval Academy as one of the first Druze pioneers. Tamim served with distinction, culminating in an honorable discharge. In 2009, after completing the prestigious Cadets for Public Service program, he entered his second phase in civil service at the Ministry of Finance and rapidly rose through the ranks. He held senior positions, including Senior Deputy CFO at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and CFO of the Capital Market and Savings Authority.

While at the Ministry of Finance, in 2016, Tamim was appointed by the Minister of Finance to two prominent boards: Haifa Port Ltd., where he actively led the new strategic and business plan to compete in a highly competitive market and looming competition heading from SIPG, a strategically and financially superior Chinese State-owned Entity (SOE); and the Israel Securities Authority, where he played key roles in shaping financial regulations for disruptive FinTech and cryptocurrencies and the privatization of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).

Tamim's personal journey, born into a Druze family in Israel's socio-economic periphery, serves as a testament to his commitment to breaking down barriers and fostering an equitable and inclusive society. This commitment is deeply rooted in his belief that diversity and inclusion are not just values but fundamental to upholding democratic principles. Throughout his career, Tamim has consistently championed the cause of financial and social inclusiveness and equal opportunity. He has been a vocal advocate for a multifaceted and inclusive society, tirelessly working to ensure that underrepresented populations have access to equal opportunities and leveling the playing field.

An illustration of Tamim's dedication to this cause is the establishment of WamdaTec. This groundbreaking program, founded in 2017, is designed to nurture leadership and entrepreneurial skills in talented Arab youth. By empowering these young individuals with the tools and leadership skills they need to succeed in the modern job market, Tamim's initiative embodies his overarching commitment to inclusiveness, diversity, and equal opportunity.

Tamim holds a B.A. in Economics and Accounting (CPA) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School as a Wexner Fellow and a Diploma from Said Business School at Oxford University.

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Raphaela Schweiger

Raphaela Schweiger is the Director of the Migration Program at the Robert Bosch Stiftung, one of Europe’s largest philanthropies, where she spearheads initiatives related to global migration governance, climate mobility, the future of refugee and migrant protection, and the impact of technology on governance, particularly in the context of migration. She is also the Chair of the European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM), the largest philanthropic collaborative in Europe dedicated to migration. Raphaela serves as the chair and board member of the Doris Wuppermann Foundation, a philanthropy dedicated to supporting youth-led initiatives that promote democracy and civic participation in Germany. She continues to advise national governments, local policymakers, civil society leaders, and the UN, amongst other. She has developed numerous programs and partnerships across sectors on migration and beyond. Raphaela is the author of "Beyond States: The Global Compact for Migration and the Role of Non-State Actors and Cities" (Springer VS, 2023), a significant contribution to the discourse on migration and global governance. Her body of work further includes a range of topics such as global governance, migration, integration, conflict, and climate change, exploring their interconnectedness. She holds a doctorate (Dr. phil.) from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and pursued her studies in political science, law, international relations, and peace and conflict studies at the University of Munich, the Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, the Technical University Darmstadt, and the University Complutense de Madrid. Before joining the Robert Bosch Foundation in 2015, Raphaela gained experience with renowned organizations such as SOS Children’s Villages, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the Foundation of the German Development Bank (KfW Stiftung), and the Youth Council Munich (Kreisjugendring München-Stadt), amongst other. 

Binbin Wang photo

Binbin Wang

Binbin Wang is a climate activist and social scientist. A stubborn optimist, she has tracked the UNFCCC process since 2009 as a trusted witness, passionate advocate, creative expert, and multi-talented practitioner. She offers extensive expertise on global climate governance and policy, nature-based solutions, strategic communication, and multi-stakeholder cooperation between actors from different sectors and institutions. Binbin co-founded a local think tank to conduct national surveys investigating the public’s perception of the climate, the key findings of which were picked up by China’s National White Paper and the UNFCCC. Her monograph about China’s green transition was published by Springer Nature and received a nomination at the China New Development Awards in 2022. Because of her outstanding leadership in the field, Binbin was selected as a member of Homeward Bound, a worldwide female leadership training program, and she visited Antarctica in 2019 with 90 female scientists from 28 countries. She has devoted her career to female leadership directed toward achieving a sustainable planet. As a well-respected influencer and super connecter, she is now accelerating bottom-up actions and joint efforts between China and the world toward the global net-zero transition. She holds a BA and MA from Shandong University and is the first to earn PhD in climate communication in China from Renmin University.