Class of 2024 Bios

Babra Ontibile Bhebe photo

Babra Ontibile Bhebe

Babra Ontibile Bhebe is the Executive Director of the Election Resource Centre (ERC), a civil society organization that stands to promote electoral democracy in Zimbabwe and across the African continent. She has worked in the governance and human rights sector for more than 18 years. Since joining the organization in 2021, the ERC has under her leadership extended its influence to South Africa and Angola where it has been instrumental in building the capacity of political parties on various election related issues. Her reputation as an election expert is demonstrated by the multiple international election observation missions she has been invited to in various African nations, including Kenya, Nigeria, and Liberia. Prior to joining the ERC, she worked for Pactworld, where she led the implementation of two major USAID-funded civil society strategic awards in Zimbabwe and served as Deputy Chief of Party. In addition, she worked for a number of other organizations, including the Association of Evangelicals in Africa, Transparency International, and the Open Society Foundation, where she advised and supported them on matters pertaining to human rights and governance, civil society strengthening, electoral reform and anti-corruption advocacy.

Babra has a Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of Pretoria and a first-class master's degree in global development and international law from Coventry University. She also has a master's degree in disaster management from South Africa's University of the Free State.

Anna Biryukova photo

Anna Biryukova

Anna Biryukova is Head of Public Opinion Research at the Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF), Russia’s most significant opposition organization, founded by Alexey Navalny. Anna joined the team of the Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny in 2013 during Navalny’s election campaign for Mayor of Moscow. Since then, Anna has run independent and unbiased surveys, nationwide polls and focus groups, always under immense pressure from Putin’s regime. In 2019 she was forced to leave her home country. Russian authorities considered her work — political polling — to be a terrorist and extremist activity. Living in exile in Lithuania, Anna has never stopped doing her research work. As ACF’s head of polling, she manages a team of interviewers and runs dozens of nationwide polls in Russia annually. The reliable data she receives is essential to the ACF’s strategic planning of its fight against the Putin regime.

Roba El Husseini photo

Roba El Husseini

Roba El Husseini is a journalist, having spent the past decade working with the French news agency AFP in Beirut, covering war-torn Syria and crisis-hit Lebanon, relaying breaking news and resulting human tragedies. Roba has reported on numerous military operations launched by various actors in Syria—a country bursting with regional and global powers. She has also deployed multiple times to Syria and Iraq to cover battles against the Islamic State group in Mosul, Raqa, and the jihadists’ last stronghold of Baghouz.

In Lebanon, Roba covered the unprecedented 2019 protests against a corrupt ruling elite, the deadly Beirut port blast, and years of economic fallout that threaten to push the country into the abyss. She has published long-form, in-depth investigations into the extortion of property from those displaced by the Syrian war, primitive mortuaries known as “salt rooms” in a notorious Syrian regime-run prison, and Captagon – an amphetamine now taking the Middle East by storm. Roba has also reported in Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan and was recently appointed as AFP’s deputy bureau chief in Baghdad.

Roba received her BA and MA degrees in international relations from Saint Joseph University in Lebanon.

Soraya Hosni photo

Soraya Hosni

Soraya Hosni is an anthropologist, entrepreneur, sustainability expert, and Founder of Clever Harvest. Fluent in multiple languages, her journey from academia to executive roles has equipped her with a distinctive approach to tackling complex challenges, combining her expertise in social sciences with a fervent commitment to environmental conservation. Soraya has led organizations in both private and philanthropic sectors, prioritizing economic and environmental sustainability. 

At Clever Harvest, Soraya spearheads the digitization of essential farming commodities into an online inventory system, providing real-time visibility across multiple crops and countries. In addition to her corporate leadership, Soraya is deeply involved in social impact and philanthropy, holding roles such as MENA Director for NEXUS Global, BMW Foundation Responsible Leader, and founding partner of The New Medina, a heritage preservation initiative. Soraya's trajectory reflects her unwavering commitment to bridging cultural understanding, entrepreneurial innovation, and environmental preservation, positioning her as a catalyst for meaningful impact within both local and global communities.

Soraya holds a BA in social sciences from Université-Paris Sorbonne, a Masters in sociology from Université Sorbonne Nouvelle.

Leticia Jauregui Casanueva photo

Leticia Jauregui Casanueva

Leticia Jauregui Casanueva, a fervent advocate for gender equality and financial health, is exploring the intersection of capital markets, climate change, and critical minerals to drive a just transition. As an entrepreneur and investor, she is renowned for her expertise in exponential technologies, innovation, AI, and the metaverse. As Meta's Global Head of Education Partnerships, she has managed an immersive education fund focused on AI and the metaverse. She founded Crea, a non-profit social enterprise providing business development services to hundreds of thousands of women entrepreneurs in Mexico and Central America. 

As an independent board director and advisor across Latin America, the US, and Europe, Leticia currently serves on the Boards of Alsea and Coppel, amongst others. She holds Master degrees in Agricultural and Resource Economics and in Community Development from UC Davis as well as degrees from ITAM, with additional certificates from Singularity University and MIT. Recognized as a Kauffman Fellow, Echoing Green Fellow, and one of Mexico’s Most Powerful Women by Forbes, she also engages in crochet, contributing to exhibitions like Art Basel Miami and the German Woolinale with her knitting collective, TT Jaja.

Laura-Kristine Krause photo

Laura-Kristine Krause

Laura-Kristine Krause is Founding Director of More in Common Germany, an organization devoted to understanding the forces that are driving our democracies apart and to countering “us vs. them”-narratives. She also serves on the organization’s international executive team, alongside her colleagues from France, Poland, the UK, and the US.

Laura is a leading expert on polarization and social cohesion and an advisor to key civil society organizations, initiatives, and political institutions. She also applies this lens to her role on the oversight board of Germany’s largest public broadcaster ZDF and her board roles in German philanthropy and public administration.

She was a negotiator for the coalition treaty of the German government after the 2017 federal elections and served as co-chair of the grassroots organization D64 – Center for Digital Progress from 2016 till 2020. Laura initiated and co-authored several publications on democracy and German society, including the 2019 landmark study Fault Lines that introduced the concept of “the Invisibles” into the debate on polarization.

Laura was twice named one of the 40 under 40 of German society and science and is a 2023 participant of the Future Leaders Invitation Program of the French government. She holds a master’s degree in political science from the Free University Berlin and spent a year at the University of Washington as a Fulbright Fellow.

Leon McCarron photo

Leon McCarron

Leon McCarron is a writer, broadcaster and trail designer from the north of Ireland. In the past decade, he has travelled over 30,000 miles by human power, including walking across China, crossing the Empty Quarter desert on foot, and riding on horseback across Argentine Patagonia. Most recently he followed the river Tigris from source to sea.

Leon works at the intersection of journalism and exploration. The slowness and immersion of his projects – reporting at 3 miles per hour – emphasizes the interconnectedness of stories at a local level, and how together they speak to the big issues of our time. As a trail developer, he specializes in creating hiking and cycling routes that encourage economic development, environmental protection, and the celebration and connection of cultures. He has worked on trails from China to the United States, and he is the co-founder of the Zagros Mountain Trail in Iraq.

Leon is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Senior Fellow at the Abraham Path Initiative, and a Philadelphia Geographical Society Explorer of the Year. He is the author of three books and has presented shows for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and the BBC.

Gonzalo Moratorio photo

Gonzalo Moratorio

Gonzalo Moratorio is Head of the Experimental Evolution of Viruses Lab at the Institut Pasteur de Montevideo and Associate Professor at the University of the Republic, Uruguay. He has more than 15 years of experience in molecular and evolutionary virology, with postdoctoral training at the Institut Pasteur Paris. His research has resulted in seminal contributions to the fields of viral evolution and applied virology, using the mutational power of viruses against themselves. Co-author of more than 50 publications, in 2016 Gonzalo developed patents for RNA synthetic viruses as vaccines. 

Elected to the UNESCO International Basic Science Program Board in 2021, Gonzalo, a science enthusiast and activist, advocates for basic research to drive innovation in Latin America. He has been recognized by CNN and the BBC and actively contributes to podcasts, webinars, and interviews, and since 2024 has hosted a children's television show dedicated to science education.

Beyond research, Gonzalo led his country during the pandemic and received awards for community service in 2022. Importantly, the journal Nature recognized him as the only Latin-American among the 10 most important scientists in 2020, alongside Anthony Fauci, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom, and Pfizer's Head of Vaccine R&D Kathrin Jansen, highlighting his significant contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gonzalo has a BSc and MSc from the Faculty of Science University of the Republic, Uruguay and a PhD through PEDECIBA at the University of the Republic, Uruguay, with collaborative research conducted at UCSF, CA.

Tarek Mouganie photo

Tarek Mouganie

Tarek Mouganie is a Ghanaian entrepreneur and Founder and Group CEO of Affinity Africa, a digital bank that provides affordable and accessible services to micro and small and medium sized businesses. Since inception, Affinity's contribution has been profound, with nearly 90% of their customers previously unbanked, over 60% of whom are women operating in the informal sector.

Tarek was previously a Director at Man Group where he managed a portfolio of investments within the $160 billion global investment fund. He started his career as an academic at the University of Cambridge where he obtained his PhD in Physics at the age of 21 and is currently an MBA Entrepreneurship Tutor at the SaĂŻd Business School, University of Oxford.

Tarek is committed to entrepreneurship and the creative industries as a means of enabling social and economic development. He is the creator of Front/Back, a pan-African social venture that nurtures and promotes musicians and artists from Africa and its diaspora and he sits on the board of 1-54, the largest fair dedicated to contemporary African art. He is also the co-founder of the Ghana Triathlon Federation, having served as a national athlete and placing top 10 in a number of World Championships and a 2022 Archbishop Tutu Fellow.

Faridullah Mushfiq photo

Faridullah Mushfiq

Faridullah Mushfiq is a humanitarian, development, and human rights expert with more than a decade of experience advocating for and addressing children and women’s issues in Afghanistan. He has managed multi-million-dollar programs focusing on girls’ education, food security and livelihoods, health and nutrition, disability rights and gender equality. He currently serves as Director of Programme Operations – South and North Region with Save the Children, leading operations in five provinces in eastern Afghanistan. He is a tireless advocate for girls’ right to education and women’s access to humanitarian and development aid.

Mushfiq’s leadership has been recognized through various awards, including Outstanding Employee of the Year, for his work promoting gender equality among Save the Children’s 2500 Afghan workforce and effective local advocacy on children and women’s rights. Despite the ongoing ban on girls’ education in Afghanistan, Mushfiq successfully led strategic engagement dialogues with community and religious elders and parents to implement one of the only ongoing education programs for adult girls. 

Mushfiq earned his B.S. from Nangarhar University and completed his MBA, with a specialization in business leadership, from Khurasan University.

Nima Namdari photo

Nima Namdari

Nima Namdari is a social entrepreneur, technology professional, and a fighter to end poverty. He has played a key role in founding or growing eight startups with tens of millions of users, most of which empower low-income people. He is CEO of Karnameh, a platform for empowering low-income blue-collar freelancers in the auto industry. He is also Co-Founder of Baloot Saving, a fintech startup that helps families without pensions to save money. Nima has over two decades of experience in the technology industry, having worked in both the public and private sectors. He was the senior advisor of the Tehran City Council on transparency and smart city planning.

Nima also has an extensive background in civic activism. He was an active member of the Iran student movement and a blogger and is now a digital rights activist. He was elected board member of the ICT Guild Organization of Iran but resigned in protest of government-enforced Internet censorship. He is a public speaker and a passionate advocate of digital rights, financial inclusion, and technology against poverty. His editorials, articles, and interviews have frequently been published in prominent local and international media, such as the BBC, Financial Times, and DW.

Sokny Onn photo

Sokny Onn

Sokny Onn is a passionate advocate for disability inclusion, serving as Country Director of Epic Arts, a UK-registered NGO in Cambodia, and as an advisor to the Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In her Epic Arts role, she leads a program that empowers individuals with disabilities through arts, including inclusive education, community outreach, and social enterprise, with the aim to create an inclusive, valued, and discrimination-free environment for people with disabilities. Her experiences as a woman with disabilities drive her determination and passion as a leader in promoting social inclusion and serving the disabled community in Cambodia and beyond.

Sokny also serves as the 1st Vice-Chair of Creative Industries of Cambodia Association for Development and Advocacy and is an executive committee member of the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia. Her exceptional leadership skills and commitment to making a positive impact were reflected in her selection as an Obama Leader, Asia Pacific 2023. She also participated in the UNESCO training on ‘The Creative Economy’ at the City University of London in 2021 and the U.S. State Department International Visitor Leadership Program in 2017. 

Sokny has an BA in General Management from Build Bright University and an MBA from the National Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Priya Pillai photo

Priya Pillai

Priya Pillai is an international lawyer with over two decades of experience, globally recognized for deep legal expertise in international law and advocacy to effect change. Priya leads the Asia Justice Coalition, focused on international justice and accountability, helming it since inception. The coalition has been key to efforts to hold the Burmese military accountable by supporting legal proceedings in international and domestic courts. Under her leadership, a new multi-year program to enhance leadership of women in international law across Asian jurisdictions has commenced, intended to dismantle systemic barriers. Previously, Priya worked at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia on trials in the Balkans, and on global humanitarian issues at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva.

Priya has contributed expertise to The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response; as a judge at an international peoples’ tribunal for Ukraine on the crime of aggression; a keynote at the Ljubljana-The Hague treaty negotiations, and towards a new crimes against humanity treaty. Priya co-chaired the 2023 Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law and is a fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. Priya is a contributing editor at the leading international law blog Opinio Juris and has been quoted by the Washington Post, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and the BBC.

Priya holds a PhD in international law from the Graduate Institute, Geneva, an LL.M from NYU as a Global Public Service Scholar, and is a gold medalist from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. 

Gabriel Silva photo

Gabriel Silva

Gabriel Silva is a Panamanian politician and lawyer currently serving as a Congressman of Panama. As one of the youngest, most voted, and most productive (based on approved laws) members of Congress, he has focused on fighting corruption, educational reform, economic development, and promoting science and technology. In Congress, Gabriel has served as leader of the Independent Caucus and president of several subcommittees. He is the author of Panama’s Sexual Education Law, Mental Health Law, Conflict of Interest Law, Creative Economy Law and several others. He is currently the only Panamanian politician that has publicly supported the LGTBQ+ community.

Gabriel is also one of the founders and leaders of VAMOS, a national movement that has trained hundreds of independent candidates in evidence-based public policy making and leadership and prepares and supports them in their political campaigns. He is also de co-founder of Teach for Panama (a branch of Teach for America), United Youth For Dialogue, and other organizations and NGOs that focus on education and youth empowerment. Gabriel has worked in the private, public, nonprofit and academic sector and regularly writes on public policy and science and technology for national and international newspapers and magazines.

Gabriel has Bachelor and Master degrees from Universidad CatĂłlica Santa MarĂ­a la Antigua, an MPP from the University of Oxford, and a LLM from Columbia University.

Charlotte Wang photo

Charlotte Wang

Charlotte Wang is an expert in AI data-driven energy management and sustainability, with professional experience in clean energy and smart grid in China, the United States, Germany, and Russia. She is a serial entrepreneur and founded EQuota Energy in 2014. An AI-based data analytics SaaS company, EQuota provides grid management, energy optimization, and carbon management for energy intensive manufacturers and utilities to improve grid stability, reduce energy consumption, and carbon emission. EQuota serves  utility groups, steel, chemical, and coal mining in China and Middle East and was listed as a Technology Pioneer by DAVOS and named to the APAC 25 by Cleantech Group. Charlotte is also the senior advisor for the International Energy Agency and UN Energy Group.
Charlotte is an advocate of climate change, having spoken at the World Economic Forum, TEDx, UN Countdown, multiple UN conferences, and CWI. She was awarded the Cartier Women Initiative Fellow Winner, Preserving Planet Award, Ashden award for Sustainability and Asian New Energy Leader, and graduated from MIT.

Fausto Belo Ximenes photo

Fausto Belo Ximenes

Fausto “Nino” Belo Ximenes is Oxfam International Country Director for Timor-Leste where he leads an international country team and strives, alongside local civil society partner organizations and communities, to tackle challenges of climate justice, gender equality and gender justice, inclusive economic development, and civic participation. Before joining Oxfam, Fausto was a Development Economist and Senior Policy Advisor to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a Graduate Researcher with the University of Oxford’s Changing Character of War (CCW) Centre where he undertook research and developed a case report on the Philippines’ Moro conflict, a Senior Access to Justice Manager on a USAID project, as well as a Human Rights Officer with the United Nations.

Fausto holds a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government and Exeter College; an MA in Human Rights Practice from Roehampton University in London; and a BA in Political Science/International Relations from New York State University at Stony Brook. He is a recipient of the US State Department funded-East West Centre Degree Fellowship and a Transitional Justice Fellowship from the International Center for Transitional Justice.