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2018 Winter Youth Assembly


In alphabetical order

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Dan Abrams

Director, Campus Kitchens

Before joining The Campus Kitchens Project, Dan served as the Director of Earth Day where he was a lead organizer for the March for Science event in DC, drawing over 150,000 supporters taking a public stand for evidence-based policy-making. Prior to that, Dan worked in various roles at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Boston and Washington, D.C., where he helped lead the Agency’s response to the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan and the roll-out of the President’s Climate Action Plan and Clean Power Plan, the nation’s first regulations targeting carbon dioxide. Dan’s obsession with eliminating wasted food began during his time at EPA. In the summer of 2015, Dan successfully pitched John Oliver’s team to create a featured segment on the topic, earning millions of views and moving the problem of food waste to a national conversation.


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Dr. Shada Alsalamah

Visiting Assistant Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Shada Alsalamah is an Assistant Professor of Information Systems Security at the College of Computer and Information Science, King Saud University (KSU). She is currently a Visiting Scholar at MIT Media Lab Research Group, joining Prof. Alex “Sandy” Pentland's Human Dynamics Lab Research Group. With Sandy, she works on a number of projects that aim to apply Blockchain in the health sector. In 2015, she received a PhD degree in Healthcare Information Systems' Security and Privacy, and an MSc degree in 2010 in Strategic Information Systems with Information Assurance from the School of Computer Science & Informatics at Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK. Dr. Alsalamah is a member of the editorial review board of a number of international journals, including: The Journal of mHealth, International Journal of Reliable and Quality E-Healthcare, International Journal of Information Security and Privacy, Applied Clinical Informatics, International Saudi Health Informatics Conference, and the Journal of King Saud University - Computer and Information Sciences. She has also been a keynote speaker at a number of events, including, Blockchain in Healthcare in Boston, and Blockchain in Healthcare West in San Francisco, Saudi IoT, and Blockchain Symposium – Saudi Arabia. She was also a panelist at a number of events, including the 2018 Winter Youth Assembly “Blockchain Technologies and Healthcare” panel in New York, and the Science Collaboration Symposium on Cyber Security in Manchester. Finally, Dr. Alsalamah is experienced in conducting interdisciplinary research to address complex security and privacy issues in the healthcare, government, and industry sectors.


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Dr. Ebru Gencer Aspegren

Executive Director of CUDRR+R (Center for Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience)

Dr. Ebru Gencer is the Executive Director of the Center for Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience (CUDRR+R), a non-profit research center based in New York City. She is also an adjunct professor of Urban Planning at Columbia University and the Chair of the Urban Planning Advisory Group to the UN Office for DRR (UNISDR).

Dr. Gencer has over 15 years of experience on disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, and sustainable urban development and design projects in South-Eastern Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean regions. Currently, she is implementing a project titled, Participatory Planning for Climate Resilient Development in Latin America at 3 cities in El Salvador, Colombia and Argentina. 

Dr. Gencer is the author of many scholarly articles and books including A Handbook for Local Government Leaders: How to Make Cities Resilient (UNISDR 2017); Local Government Powers for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR 207); A Compendium of DRR Practices in Cities of the Western Balkans and Turkey (UNISDR and WMO 2014), and The Interplay between Urban Development, Vulnerability and Risk Management: A Case Study of the Istanbul Metropolitan Area (Springer 2013). 

Dr. Gencer holds a PhD (Urban Planning) and MPhil (Urban Planning/Architecture) from Columbia University, New York and MSc (Urban Preservation and Renewal) and Diploma (City and Regional Planning) from Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul.


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Elizabeth Avila

National Youth Leadership Council, Roots and Shoots

Elizabeth has been a member of the Dons Net Café Roots & Shoots group since 2012 and is currently a freshman attending Long Island University- Post Campus, NY. Elizabeth has been involved in the National Youth Leadership Council for Roots and Shoots, Jane Goodall Institutes since 2013. In 2015, Elizabeth became the CEO of the Dons Net Café, where she has learned how to run a non- profit. Elizabeth spends her time volunteering for events such as The Day of Caring, Alzheimer's Walk, MLK day, beach/street cleanups and various non-profits including Do Ubuntu and the Santa Barbara Zoo. She is also part of VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) that works with the United Way in order to help low income families do their taxes for FREE by High School Tax Prepares. Email: Elizabeth.avila94@gmail.com 

@EliAvilaRamirez and @RootsandShoots

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Sarah Awan

Manager, Digital Strategy and Technology at PwC

Sarah is a Manager in Digital Strategy at PwC and works across digital strategy, innovation and emerging technology to help her clients harness the full potential of digital to transform their organization. As a certified Design-Thinker, Sarah applies human-centered principles to solve user problems at the speed and scale of the modern digital enterprise. As a tech-enthusiast and girls’ rights advocate, Sarah is particularly interested in the role of technology to advance the rights of women and young girls. As a current 30% Club Scholar at the University of Cambridge and Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation, Sarah is researching gender diversity within social innovation and how gender parity can be achieved across industries. Sarah has worked with multiple girls’ rights organizations including Plan International and Girl Rising and currently sits on the Board of Australian not-for- profit, CARAD, with the ambition of providing access to an equal education for young girls from vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds.




Karim Babay

Chairman of the Board / YA Chair, Friendship Ambassadors Foundation

Mr. Babay is concurrently the Chairman and CEO of HealthSapiens, a decentralized Global digital healthcare ecosystem, and the CEO & Chief Investment Officer of Intrinsic Value Investment Partners, a hedge fund that is value focused. Mr. Babay has over 15 years of entrepreneurial and global investing and corporate finance experience allocating capital across the capital structure (credit and equity), angel investing, liquid and illiquid investments in securities. Mr. Babay started his Wall Street career at Lehman Brothers’ Mergers and Acquisition department. As a result of his stellar achievements, Mr. Babay was invited to join the Center of Excellence team of Principal Investing and, later joined the Capital Structure Arbitrage desk. A notable achievement at the global macro level was Mr. Babay’s call of the Housing Market Bubble in late 2005, which was mentioned in Larry McDonald’s book, “Colossal Failure of Common Sense.” Mr. Babay left Lehman Brothers in 2006 and joined Foxhill Capital, a distressed/ special situation hedge fund, as a partner and member of the investment committee.

Prior to his Wall Street experience, Mr. Babay implemented the global strategy for various international companies across the Middle East and Europe. Mr. Babay is proficient in three languages, English, French and Arabic, and possesses significant knowledge and understanding of global trends and their impact on current market conditions. Mr. Babay has published numerous studies and analysis while at Columbia University. Mr. Babay is member of the board of director and Chairman of the compensation committee of GLYECO, a publicly traded company, principally involved in processing of waste into high quality ethylene glycol. Mr Babay also is a member of the Board of Directors of the Arab Bankers Association of North America (ABANA), Overground Arts Alliance, and Chairman of the Board of the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, Inc. (FAF). Mr. Babay received a B.S. in finance and economics from HEC Institute and an MBA from Columbia Graduate School of Business.

Kehkashan Basu

Founder President, Green Hope Foundation

Winner of the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize, Kehkashan Basu, has been impacting the global fraternity for the past 8 years with her work on peace, children’s rights, education for sustainable development, gender equality and climate justice. s the founder of a youth organization, Green Hope Foundation, which seeks to educate and empower children and youth globally and engage them in the SDG2030 process through ground level community centric projects on climate justice, stopping land degradation, promoting sustainable consumption, biodiversity conservation and gender equality, promoting renewable energy and social justice. Green Hope now has over 1000 members across Canada, USA, the Middle East, India and Nepal and has engaged thousands of young people and adults through their workshops and conferences in the implementation of the sustainable development goals. In her role as the voice of children and youth, she has spoken at over 50 United Nations and other international summits, traveling to over 20 Countries. Her internationally acclaimed work on sustainability has resulted in her appointment as the Youth Ambassador of World Future Council, Honorary Advisor for the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development – NY, Global Advisory Council member of Young Men 4 Gender Equality -USA , a Climate Reality Leader and member of KidsRights Youngsters.She is also the former Global Coordinator of UNEP MGCY.


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Brennan Bennett

Founder, Editor in Chief, Blockchain Healthcare Review

Brennan is Co-founder & COO of QBRICS, Inc., an enterprise focused deep tech blockchain technology company as well as Founder & Editor in Chief of Blockchain Healthcare Review. He is a subject matter expert on blockchain implementation strategy in the healthcare sector with specialty expertise  bioinformatics and pharmacy operations. He actively consults on industry leading blockchain working groups such as the IEEE. Previous professional expertise include work as a Strategy Consultant for Humana Pharmacy and Analytics Consultant for Humana.


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Attila Bodnar

Executive Vice President, Co-Founder

Attila Bodnar, a serial entrepreneur and Architect is the Executive Vice President and Co-Founder of Organica Water. Mr. Bodnar co-founded Organica in 1998 with the goal to develop garden-like water treatment facilities that are seamlessly integrated – architecturally, technologically, and socially – into high density urban environments. Over the years Organica grew into an international cleantech company with offices on three continents while the technology became internationally recognized as a truly disruptive solution with positive environmental impact. Prior to co-founding Organica, Mr. Bodnar built two successful businesses in the United States. He was Managing Partner of Denker & Bodnar Architects, an architectural design and construction firm focused on residential, commercial and institutional projects.  Under his leadership the firm became a market leader in niche development categories in the NY metropolitan area, and received various awards in both New York and Hungary. Mr. Bodnar received his Master’s in Architecture from the Technical University of Budapest and regularly presents at international conferences. One of his latest at a TEDx event can be viewed here:http://www.tedxdanubia.com/tedx-videok/water-alchemy:-attila-bodnar-at-tedxdanubia-2013

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Angela Brisson

Director, Youth Engagement, The Nature Conservancy

Angela Brisson is the Director of Youth Engagement Programs at The Nature Conservancy. In this role, she oversees the Conservancy’s global strategy to grow and inspire the next generation of conservation leaders by helping youth learn about nature, take action to make positive change in their communities, and build career pathways into the conservation workforce. Prior to this role, Angela worked as the Program Manager for Nature Works Everywhere, the Conservancy’s initiative to bring nature into the classroom with digital lessons, videos, and interactive science learning tools. Prior to her employment at The Nature Conservancy, Angela taught environmental science and outdoor education at the Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Education Center in North Carolina. Angela has a BS in Environmental Management from the University of North Carolina – Asheville, and has worked in the field of environmental education for over 10 years. For more on The Nature Conservancy’s Youth Engagement initiatives, visit www.nature.org/youth


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Kate Amanna Demcsak

New York Lead, Foundation Center

Kate Amanna Demcsak is Foundation Center’s New York Lead. Kate provides strategic direction for Foundation Center’s local public services and programming, connecting nonprofit organizations and community members in the social sector to funding and knowledge resources in their communities, in-person, and online. Kate has over fifteen years of experience in the nonprofit sector in the areas of nonprofit management, fundraising, and program evaluation. Before joining Foundation Center, Kate was Program Director at Project Sunshine, providing services to 100,000 pediatric patients and their family members worldwide. Kate received her BA from Boston University and her MPA in Nonprofit and International Management from the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Email: kva@foundationcenter.org

@FCNewYork @fdncenter

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Yvette Cabrerra

Food Waste Analyst, Rockefeller Foundation

Yvette Cabrera joined The Rockefeller Foundation in 2016 as Food Waste Analyst. As part of the Foundation’s YieldWise initiative, she supports efforts to prevent and reduce wasted food in U.S. cities and industries, and to build more resilient and inclusive food systems.   

Prior to joining The Foundation, Ms. Cabrera was enrolled in the Food Studies graduate program at New York University, where she focused on international food systems and sustainability. Ms. Cabrera also served as a Peace Corps health volunteer in the Dominican Republic.

Ms. Cabrera holds an M.A. in Food Studies from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and a B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.



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Elena Crete

Manager, Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Elena Crete is a Manager for the SDSN, where she focuses on special initiatives for the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) and other climate and energy projects for SDSN. Elena serves as the central SDSN lead for the annual Low-Emissions Solutions Conference (LESC), launched at COP22 in Morocco. Elena also serves as the Secretariat point person for the Andean Network, the Indonesian Network, and the Southeast Asia Network.



Amanda Cronin

Media Coordinator, iMatter Youth

iMatter supports young people to step into their power to make meaningful impact toward ending the climate crisis and enabling a transition to a just, sustainable society. Their work has included diverse projects from grassroots activism, to youth leadership trainings, to federal lawsuits. iMatter’s is currently focused on working with young people to drive and shape aggressive climate policy in their cities. Amanda is on iMatter’s core leadership team, and as Media Coordinator is responsible for iMatter’s social media and communications activities. Currently a student at Cornell University, she is also active in campus environmental organizations and is a writer for the Cornell Daily Sun.


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Nathan Currier

Climate Leader at The Climate Reality Project

Nathan Currier has won such awards as the Rome Prize, Guggenheim, American Academy of Arts & Letters’ Academy Award, NEA, International Sackler, New York Foundation for the Arts, Fulbright, Fromm, Ives, and International Barlow prizes as a classical composer, and has also been deeply involved in climatology: Currier served as Senior Climate Advisor and methane specialist for Public Policy Virginia, published scientific work at MIT Press with Paul Lowman (founder of comparative planetology and first geologist hired by NASA) which was cited at the 40th anniversary celebration of NASA’s exobiology program, and initiated a methane-focused climate group, 1250 (www.1250now.org). Currier's interests in music and the Earth System converge in his oratorio Gaian Variations, which spent a year on display at one of the world's most prestigious museums, the London Science Museum. Following lengthy litigation in state and federal courts, parts of the work can now be heard online at www.gaianvariations.com.


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Adam Cutts

Manager of Research and Urban Innovation Programs, New Cities Foundation

Adam is the Manager of Research and Urban Innovation Programs at NewCities Foundation, and works to initiate and support the Foundation’s research and pilot projects at all scales. With a background in researching new approaches to community-based design and planning, his role at NewCities covers a wider scope of entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology-driven approaches to universal urban challenges. NewCities is a global non-profit organization with a mission to shape a better urban future for all, and for which new understandings and collaboration around technology, policy, and design are essential tools in this process.


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Amy Davidsen

Executive Director for North America, The Climate Group

Amy Davidsen leads the delivery of The Climate Group’s work in North America. She has over 20 years of banking experience and was the founder and first Director of the Office of Environmental Affairs at JPMorganChase, responsible for creating and implementing the firm's global environmental and social risk management policies; developing business opportunities for the low carbon economy; advancing the public policy dialogue on climate change; and managing the firm's environmental footprint.

Prior to The Climate Group and establishing the Office of Environmental Affairs, she advised global Private Banking clients on their philanthropic efforts specifically on the environment, micro-credit, human rights, and venture philanthropy.  In addition, Amyheld various positions at JPMorganChase advising not-for-profits, law firms, and individual clients on their financial needs; managing the banking relationships of domestic financial institutions; and, auditing the firm's international loan portfolio.

In 1997, Amy took a leave-of-absence to facilitate a USAID job-creation loan program in Sarajevo, Bosnia. From 1988-1990, she was the Finance Manager of Women's World Banking, an international microfinance not-for-profit dedicated to providing poor women access to credit.

Amy was a finalist for the 2009 Earth Awards and speaks frequently on the opportunities for a more prosperous and low-carbon world, most recently at TEDx in Michigan. Ms. Davidsen holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Brown University. She lives in New York City and is married with one son. 


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Isabel Pérez Dobarro

UN Focal Point, SDSN Youth

Isabel Pérez Dobarro is the UN-Focal Point and Arts Twenty Thirty Project Lead at SDSN-Youth, an organization that works globally to empower young people in the SDG´s implementation. Isabel has received a J.D. in Law in Spain (UNED), a Master´s Degree at New York University, and is currently completing her Ph.D. at New York University (where she started serving as an Adjunct Instructor at age 19) and an International Relations Certificate at Harvard University. She has also been accepted to the Harvard Business School HBX Core Program. Pérez Dobarro has been a speaker, panelist, and moderator at several high-level conferences related to sustainable development and arts, including the ECOSOC Youth Forum, Nobel Peace Prize Forum, the Winter and the Summer Youth Assembly at the United Nations, the Vatican Youth Symposium, the Conferencia Universidad y Cooperación al Desarrollo, and the European Arts Forum at the European Parliament, among others. She has given lectures at New York University, University of Michigan, Columbia University, and University of Vechta (Germany). In addition to her involvement in SDSN-Youth, Pérez Dobarro is the Western European Representative of the Fair Air Coalition organization and the President of the Kappa Delta Pi´s International Society of Education Beta Pi Chaptermari.


Laura Donnelly

Senior Associate, Markets Transformation, Rainforest Alliance

Laura Donnelly is a Senior Associate, Markets Transformation at the Rainforest Alliance, an organization that aims to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices, and consumer behavior. At the Rainforest Alliance, Laura supports consumer goods and retail companies in their sustainable sourcing strategies across various commodity supply chains including coffee, tea, and spices. Prior to joining the Rainforest Alliance, Laura worked in consumer product goods marketing and product development in the beauty industry. Laura holds a Master of Communication Management from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Boston University.


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Malaika Elias

Community Organizer, WEDO/Waterkeeper Alliance

Malaika is the North Atlantic and Chesapeake Organizer for Waterkeeper Alliance, assisting Waterkeeper organizations and affiliates in the global fight for clean water. She also serves as the Climate Justice and Advocacy Ambassador for WEDO, where she captures the personal narratives of climate resistors around the world who are working to address climate injustice within their respective communities. Coming from a diverse academic and professional background, Malaika has experience working on environmental, gender justice, and human rights campaigns and is most passionate about the intersection between human rights and the environment. Malaika began drawing the link between human rights and the environment after traveling to the Brazilian Amazon in 2014 to learn about rainforest conservation from Indigenous leaders. Here she witnessed rainforest destruction and hydroelectric dam-induced displacement provoked by profit-hungry extractive industries. Her experience led her to get involved in human rights work with Amnesty International and she has since involved herself in environmental justice campaigns domestically to empower communities into taking action for the protection of their environment and health. Malaika graduated from NYU’s International Affairs Master’s program with a concentration in Environmental Policy in 2017. Awarded with a Green Grant from NYU’s Office of Sustainability, she collaborated with a research capstone group of three to create a solar-powered atmospheric water condenser to provide a technological fix for water insecurity globally. With her spare time, Malaika runs a feminist community club and enjoys utilizing her second-degree black belt in Karate by teaching free self-defense classes.


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Gregory Donovan

Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies, Fordham University

Gregory Donovan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies as well as an affiliate faculty member of the New Media and Digital Design Program and Urban Law Center at Fordham University. His research explores the mutual shaping of people, place, and digital media, and how to reorient such shaping toward more just futures.



Kareem Elsirafy

Managing Partner, Modus Capital

Kareem Elsirafy is a seasoned entrepreneur and investor with extensive strategic and operating experience in early-stage tech. Having dedicated almost two decades of his career toward technological solutions for business and social complications, Kareem believes in the power of technology to drive positive returns for social impact and business initiatives.
Kareem is a United States Marine Corps veteran and holds multiple degrees from Columbia University including BA’s in Political Science, Economics and Middle Eastern Studies, and an Executive MBA in Technology Management from Columbia as well. 
Most recently, Kareem held executive roles at various NYC based companies providing strategic advisory and execution for various public institutions including U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense, and State, in addition to notable private corporations such as Google, MetLife, IMG, Ally Bank, Pepsi, and Citibank.
In 2011, Kareem co-founded and built Uniteus.com, a network care coordination SaaS platform that initially helped military veterans transition to civilian life and has since expanded to the entire U.S. Health and Human Services industry. Kareem also founded M1 Marketing Firm in 2007.
In his current role, Kareem serves as the managing partner at Modus Capital – a hybrid venture capital firm changing the narrative on how to engage entrepreneurs in the start-up ecosystem while driving positive returns for investors and social impact initiatives.


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Savannah Fox

Policy and Advocacy, CARE International 

Savannah is a skilled activist, organizer, facilitator, and educator with over a decade of experience working in international public-interest advocacy field. She is on the Policy and Advocacy team at CARE International where she works to defeat poverty and achieve social justice around the world. Savannah previously managed Amnesty International’s human rights campaigns, advocacy, and strategic planning throughout the United States and globally. Email: Savannah.Fox@care.org



Maria Gabriela Gonzalez R.

Co-founder, Architect at EPIC Placemaking

EPIC was founded in 2017 by Maria Gabriela Gonzalez and Alejandra Gomez. EPIC is a partnership in the hands of two architects and placemakers, driven by a desire to make positive social change in our cities through clever, inclusive design, a passion for service, effective research, and active civic participation. With SDG 11-" Sustainable Cities and Communities" in mind, our purpose is to share engagement tools and place-based strategies in a fun and accessible way, with a regional perspective from our experiences in Venezuela, Colombia, Costa Rica and the US. Alejandra is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Urban Placemaking and Management at Pratt Institute, and Maria Gabriela is an urban designer at Interface Studio in Philadelphia.


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Henry Gordon-Smith

Founder & Managing Director, Agritecture Consulting

Henry Gordon-Smith is a sustainability strategist focused on urban agriculture, water issues, and emerging technologies. Henry was born in Hong Kong and has lived in Japan, Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia, Canada, Spain, Austria, and the United States. Henry earned his BA in Political Science from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, a certificate in Food Security and Urban Agriculture from Ryerson University in Toronto, and an MSc in Sustainability Management from Columbia University. Henry is Founder of the popular blog Agritecture.com and a Co-Founder of the Association for Vertical Farming (AVF). Three years ago, Henry launched his company Agritecture Consulting, a boutique urban agriculture advising firm where he helps entrepreneurs with vertical farming feasibility studies, recruiting, and systems design.

@agri_tect @agritecture

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Regine Guevara

UN-Habitat Youth, Local Pathways Initiative

Regine Borja Guevara recently completed an MA in Coexistence and Conflict Resolution from Brandeis University, and the Harvard Law School's Programs on Negotiation and Mediation. As a policy advocate, Regine was the youth ambassador to the All for Peace Movement of ANAK Mindanao party list, where she co-designed youth leadership trainings, following the demise of the Bangsamoro Basic Law in the Philippines. On a grassroots level, Regine has been organizing inter-faith dialogues and youth leadership programs in conflict areas around the regions of her focus. She co-founded the pilot program on combatting human trafficking and extremism in the ASEAN region with Rohingya youth leaders in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, as a product of her work as a local pathways fellow for UN Habitat Youth.



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Benjamin Hay

Executive Director, The NewNow

Benjamin Hay is the Executive Director of The NewNow, an initiative incubated by Virgin Unite, to inspire, engage and support rising generations to shape a better world. 

Prior to joining The NewNow, Benjamin was  Director of Strategy at Virgin Unite for five years, where he led on developing ideas and implementing solutions to complex social and environmental problems. He is a Trustee of Big Change, a Director of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship and has been recognised by The Rockefeller Foundation as a Global Social Innovation Fellow for his efforts to positively transform the systems we live in.

Outside of work, Benjamin loves spending time with his family, travelling to far flung destinations and trying to stay fit. He’s also a firm believer in the power of napping but his young son remains to be convinced. 


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Marlen Hernandez

Founder, Liga por los ODS

Marlen Hernandez is an indigenous from Oaxaca, Mexico.  She is pursuing a postgraduate program in Human Rights and Public Policies of Development. When she was 16 years old she started to volunteer and advocate for women, indigenous and youth rights in Mexico showing her passion and commitment for diminishing inequalities. Marlen has represented her country in several events at the UN such as the CSW, ECOSOC, the General Assembly, the Permanent Forum of Indigenous People, the Youth Assembly, etc. In 2016, she had the opportunity to work closely with the youth ministries of the Ibero American countries and OIJ for building the Youth Agreement for the young people of the region that has been signed by all the presidents of Ibero America. Her position as national young leader has reinforced her work to foster leadership among young of her country by mobilizing, linking networks and mentoring. Her personal agenda is to create a sustainable world, thus she founded "Liga por los ODS" a network of young committed to promote and implement the SDGs in Latin America and the Caribbean, this NGO aims to weave alliances among academy, young, NGOs and government. She strongly believes that individual actions do the difference, but joint actions change the world and this is why she always generates bridges and alliances among people.

Marlen has participated since 2015 in the Youth Assembly at the UN (first as delegate and then as observer). She strongly believes that opportunities are important for inspiring the action, thus she has become Campus Ambassador of the 2018 Winter Youth Assembly at the UN in order to guide young for becoming delegates and enjoy the unique experience FAF offers.


Priyadarshani Joshi

Research Officer, UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report

Priyadarshani Joshi is a Research Officer at the Global Education Monitoring Report team. Some of her areas of interest and contribution in the team include education’s role in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda and urban development, gender, and the role of the private sector.

She has a PhD in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania. Her personal research agenda focuses on the consequences of private sector growth for the public sector, parental choice, and systemwide equity in lower income countries, building on her doctoral research in her home country of Nepal. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration (Economic Policy) from Princeton University, and an undergraduate degree in Economics and Chemistry from Amherst College. Her previous professional backgrounds included research positions at the IMF and consultancies at UNICEF and the World Bank. Priya also initiated, co-designed and was part of the board of an innovative mobile library project in Nepal, one of the World Bank Development Marketplace 2003 Education Sector Project winners.


Shafa Tasya Kamila

Project Officer - Twenty Thirty

Tasya Kamila is an Indonesian singer, actress, and presenter who has been active in the entertainment industry for over twenty years. Currently a graduate student in Public Administration at Columbia University, she serves as the Arts Twenty Thirty Ambassador and Ambassador of the Environment of Indonesia.


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Lina Karaoglanova

International Development Specialist, PwC

Lina is a specialist within PwC's International Development practice. Prior to this Lina has held positions with the United States Department of State, as well as the World Bank.

@lkaraoglanova @pwc

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Matt Kertman

Senior Communications Associate, BRAC USA

Matt Kertman is the Senior Communications Associate at BRAC USA, where he finds creative ways to tell the BRAC story to a North American audience. A returned Peace Corps volunteer (South Africa, ’10-’12), he brings a decade of experience in nonprofit outreach, development and communications to BRAC USA. Matt cut his teeth producing documentaries for veteran journalist Bill Moyers at New York’s WNET and today retains an interest in how we all tell our stories. Matt earned his bachelor’s from Wesleyan University. You can find him on the trail, most weekends, punishing his Nikes. Email: matt@bracusa.org


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Kahlil Kettering

Director, Urban Conservation, The Nature Conservancy

Kahlil Kettering is the Urban Conservation Director for the MD/DC Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. He has developed their new urban conservation strategy in DC that is centered on implementing projects that elevate the intersection of quality of life in urban communities and the benefits nature provides to people in cities. His work focuses on the ability to achieve environmental conservation outcomes through private equity investments via the new Stormwater Retention Credit market in DC, strategic tree canopy expansion and maintenance for the benefit of nature and human well-being, and engaging and training young people as environmental advocates for the future. Previously, Kahlil worked as an environmental analyst in Miami, Florida advocating for the protection and restoration of Everglades and Biscayne National Parks. He has a master’s degree in Global Environmental Policy from American University and a master’s degree in Public Management from the University of Maryland.

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Munira Khalif

U.S. Youth Observer, UNA-USA

Munira Khalif is the 2017-18 U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations, a role appointed annually by the U.S. Department of State and the United Nations Association of the USA to increase youth engagement in global affairs. Munira was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is currently an undergraduate student at Harvard University, majoring in Economics and minoring in Government. She is a dedicated advocate for universal access to education and women’s and girls’ rights. Her experience as a first-generation Somali-American raised her awareness of the sad reality that many children, especially girls, lack the opportunity to attend school and underscored the transformative power of education.

Munira previously served as an advocate and Teen Advisor for the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign and was invited to attend the first inaugural Malala Day at the UN Headquarters in New York as a youth delegate. Munira also served on a UN panel on behalf of Girl Up with representatives from UNESCO and the Global Partnership for Education to discuss ways to increase lawmakers’ involvement in youth issues. Munira, alongside other youth advocates, successfully lobbied Congress to ensure that girls in developing countries are registered at birth.

Munira is a co-founder and leader of Lighting the Way, a youth-run non-profit organization that works to make education more accessible and equitable for girls in East Africa by providing scholarships, building libraries, and sponsoring teachers. Munira was awarded the UN Special Envoy for Global Education’s Youth Courage Award, which honors young people fighting for universal education. She was one of nine recipients chosen from around the world to receive the honor. Munira was invited twice to attend the annual White House Iftar dinner, which celebrates Muslim-American trailblazers both in the public and private sector.

During her free time, Munira enjoys writing, performing spoken word poetry, and creating pottery in a ceramics studio.


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Gulandam Khan

Manager, Strategy and Innovation, PwC Australia

Gulandam is a Manager in PwC's Digital Services team, specialising in Strategy and Innovation, with a particular passion for Government, Social Sectors and International Development.

@gulandamkhan @pwc

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Sharon Khan

Recruiting Director, Waterkeeper Alliance

Sharon Khan, Recruiting Director at Waterkeeper Alliance, is responsible for growing the organization so that the local fight for clean water becomes a powerful coordinated global movement. From 2012-2017, Sharon served as International Director, supervising work around the world where local Waterkeeper organizations and Affiliates are fighting hard to keep our waters swimmable, drinkable, and fishable. From 2005 to 2008, Sharon served as staff economist, providing staff lawyers and local Waterkeeper organizations with the best defensible economic evidence for watershed protection.  From 2008-2012, Sharon consulted with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Geneva, including its Chemicals Branch. There she co-authored the Costs of Inaction Report on the global health and environmental costs of harmful chemicals, and authored a background report on The Costs and Benefits of Investing in Ecosystem Services for Water Supply and Flood Protection for the Water chapter of the Green Economy Report. Other notable publications include a global compilation on the economic values of coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrasses launched at the 2008 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress. Sharon has an MSc in Applied Environmental Economics from Imperial College, London and a BA in Economics from Carleton University in Ottawa. She was born in Guyana, grew up swimming and fishing in Ottawa, Canada, and has lived, studied, and worked in the United States, India, and Switzerland.


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Carolyn Kissane

Academic Director and Clinical Associate Professor, New York University Center for Global Affairs

Dr. Carolyn Kissane serves as the Academic Director of the graduate program in Global Affairs at the NYU Center for Global Affairs and is a Clinical Associate Professor where she teaches graduate level courses examining the geopolitics of energy, comparative energy politics, energy, environment, and resource security, and a regional course focusing on Central Asia. She leads the Energy and Environmental Policy concentration at the Center and is faculty adviser to the Energy Policy International Club. Dr. Kissane was awarded the esteemed NYU Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007, the SCPS Award for Teaching Excellence in 2009, and nominated for the NYU-wide Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008, 2015 and 2017. She was also named Breaking Energy’s Top Ten New York Women in Energy and Top Ten Energy Communicator. She has received fellowships and awards from the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs, the Fulbright Hays program, Boren Area and Language Studies Award, and IREX. In 2009 Dr. Kissane received a grant from the Canadian government to lead a group of students to the Canadian Oil Sands in Fort McMurray, Calgary, and in 2013 with a grant from the Quebec government, she led a group of students to Quebec and Ottawa to examine the politics and security of the Arctic. Her work with Canada continues with event partnerships and a special series on the Arctic with the Government of Quebec. In 2015 she helped launch the CGA/ACRE Clean Start Program, and co-lead a Global Field Intensive as part of a course, Revolutions in Sustainability: a US/German Perspective. She hosts Fueling our Future, an energy series she moderates which brings in energy and environment experts for conversation and debate. She serves on the boards of the New York Energy Forum, Civ-Lab, and the Clean Start Advisory Board.


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Josh Kurtz

Director of Policy Development, The Nature Conservancy

Josh Kurtz directs the policy analysis work for the Maryland/DC Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. He works on policy and funding initiatives in the Maryland General Assembly and DC Council that focus on climate resilience, clean water, and land conservation. He also supports advocacy with Maryland’s Federal Delegation. Josh works with the Urban Program to help train the next generation of environmental leaders. Josh received his Master’s in Public Policy from George Mason University, focused on governance structures to identify global problems and a B.S in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Delaware.


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Maura Leary

Communications Lead, World Bank Group's Poverty Global Practice

Maura K. Leary is the Communications Lead for the World Bank Group's Poverty and Equity Global Practice, managing strategic communications and outreach on poverty reduction, equity, and inequality. She previously worked as a partnerships and communications specialist on the Gender and Development team, and produced the short documentary film “Mind the Gap: Gender Equality and Trade in Africa” in 2013. Prior to joining the Bank in March 2011, she worked at George Washington University and Tufts University, managing academic programs in the United States and France for high school, university, graduate, and adult students. She holds an M.A. in International Affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University, and a B.A. in French from Connecticut College. Maura is an avid swimmer, traveler, and lover of the outdoors, and serves on the Board of Trustees of Camp Onaway, a residential girls' camp on Newfound Lake in New Hampshire.


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Felix Lipov

Lead Software Engineer, Enertiv

Felix has a background in software development and big data analytics at Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. He applies his experience from algorithmic trading to energy data and IoT devices to store, manage, and analyze the data feeds to save energy and optimize building operations. He has a Masters of Computer Science and a MBA, both from NYU.


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Adrienne Long

International Relations Officer, U.S. Department of Labor

Adrienne Long is an International Relations Officer in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking. Ms. Long conducts research for the Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor report; the List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor; and the List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor. Ms. Long has a MPH in Global Health from the University of Pittsburgh and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mozambique from 2011-2013.

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Susana Sakamoto Machado

Founder and Director of Write Your Future

Susana Sakamoto Machado was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. She advocates for Human Rights and Youth Leadership, highlighting how the environment affects children and young people's growth and development. She is the first Brazilian to be awarded the Resolution Fellowship, during the 19th Youth Assembly at the United Nations.
Susana is the Founder and President of Write Your Future, a non-profit organization that helps Brazilian orphans and at-risk youth to develop self-knowledge and the necessary skills for the today’s world, to move towards career-readiness and be better prepared for adult life. 

Susana is passionate about motivating and supporting teenagers to make a great impact on society and she firmly believes it starts when they have opportunities to develop their full potential. Then, she has also been a Campus Ambassador to bring young Brazilians to the Youth Assembly and she had experience with mentoring young people to develop social ventures in different countries, while serving as a Peer Mentor for the 20th Youth Assembly.

Susana is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in International Relations at São Paulo State University and she enjoys connecting people and organizations who work to implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. 

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Reese May

Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, SBP

Reese May, a two-time combat veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, has worked for SBP on major disaster recovery efforts in six states. As Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Reese oversees SBP’s operations across the country to shrink the time between disaster events and full community recoveries. In this capacity, Reese advises community and elected leaders at all levels, on how best to develop and implement and long-term disaster recovery programs that avoid common mistakes and barriers to a prompt, efficient and predictable recovery. Reese’s work and policy recommendations to high ranking government officials following severe flooding in South Carolina, West Virginia, Louisiana, and Texas have enabled these areas to realize a more efficient and effective recovery. Reese joined the SBP team as an AmeriCorps member in 2011. He later took on the responsibility of exporting SBP’s model to communities impacted by disasters more recent than Katrina, and helped to open SBP’s operations following the 2011 tornado in Joplin, MO. After Hurricane Sandy devastated the New York area, Reese permanently relocated to NYC, accepting the role of Director of East Coast Operations and leading SBP’s recovery efforts in NY and NJ. Following historical flood events in South Carolina and Texas in 2015, Reese took on the role of National Recovery Director and has continued lead and oversee SBP operations around the country including San Marcos, TX; Columbia, SC; White Sulphur Springs, WV and Hurricane Harvey affected areas of Southeast Texas. Reese’s work is driven by the mission to ensure that each new community recovery should be built upon lessons of the last. These hard earned lessons can and should improve how communities recover. May does not define ‘community’ by geographic proximity. Rather, he believes that community is defined by shared experience, and the collective wisdom of shared experience should inform better approaches to community resiliency and recovery wherever disaster strikes. May, a native of Mendenhall, Mississippi, holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern Mississippi and is a Truman National Security Fellow. Reese lives on the Upper West Side of New York City with his wife.

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Bradley Michelson

Director of Business Development, Idealist.org

Bradley Michelson is the Director of Business Development for Idealist, a nonprofit online platform where 125,000 nonprofits around the world post social good job, internship, and volunteer opportunities. There, he leads the development of the organization’s first mobile app as well as strategic partnerships to enhance the overall mission. He is also a Manhattan landlord and was recently elected to a four-year term on the Stamford, Connecticut, Board of Representatives, where he resides. Bradley currently is on the advisory board of Esusu, a social good financial technology start-up as well as TechWorks, a $6M federally funded program to promote technology education to City University of New York students. He was a founding member of the Meatpacking District Initiative and is currently an organizational member of MIT Solve, Civic Hall, TechNYC, as well as a NationSwell Council Member. Bradley spent 15 years in the for-profit apparel and consumer goods industries building and managing several brands. He was the Managing Director for Triple C, which designs lifestyle technology products, Vice President of DDCLAB, a designer of high technology apparel, and General Manager of a top grossing Michael Kors retail store. Bradley graduated summa cum laude from State University of New York, Fashion Institute of Technology, where he studied International Trade & Marketing.


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Sahar Moazami

UN Program Officer, OutRight Action International

Sahar Moazami is a recent graduate of Fordham University's School of Law. Born in London but raised in New York, she is a first generation Iranian-American. She attended Boston University for her undergraduate degree, majoring in Political Science and minoring in History. While attending BU, she became very involved with the Community Service Center and volunteered at organizations such as Project Trust and BU's afterschool program. Her volunteer work during her time at BU led her to volunteer with AmeriCorps FEMA Corps after graduation, traveling the country for 10 months aiding disaster survivors. Shortly after completing her 10 month volunteer position she returned to New York to begin law school. Sahar decided to attend Fordham Law School to pursue her interest in public service. At Fordham, she held leadership positions in a number of student groups such as the Coalition of Concerned Students, the National Lawyers Guild, Advocates for Sexual Health and Rights, and Fordham OUTLaws. She was also a member of the Stein Scholars for Public Interest Program and was a Crowley Scholar for International Human Rights during her second year. Sahar is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue her interests in international human rights advocating for the LGBTI community as the UN Program Officer at Outright.



Saje Molato

Founder of Siklab

Saje is currently pursuing his Juris Doctor Degree in the University of the Philippines College of Law. He is the Founder of Siklab, the Official Delegation Partner of the Youth Assembly in the Philippines; the first in the SEA region. He currently serves as the President of its Board of Directors. During his undergraduate years, he founded The Model City Council, a social venture dedicated to providing young people the opportunity to launch projects, small-to-medium enterprises, and propose legislative action with the support of their local governments in their communities. To date, it has assisted and surveyed over 3,000 youth from numerous communities all over the Philippines, with plans on expanding to major cities by the end of 2018.

He and his team are currently in the process of lobbying for the establishment of a UN Youth Delegate Program in the Philippines, with high hopes of seeing its implementation by August of this year.

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Edema Ojomo

Senior Program Associate, Safe Water Network

Edema Ojomo supports Safe Water Network's Market Development efforts, including consumer research and activation, market and policy assessments, sector engagement, and knowledge management. In addition, Edema coordinates the Market Development team’s strategic funding and communications efforts. Prior to joining Safe Water Network, Edema worked at the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina, focusing on improving planning and implementation water and climate change adaptation practices through the examination of health, policy, and cultural implications of WASH programs and on training water sector stakeholders on Water Safety Plans. Edema is an engineer with a PhD in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from the University of North Carolina, a BEng in Chemical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, and a BSc in Chemistry from Fisk University.



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Melissa Griffiths Parrott

Climate Leader at The Climate Reality Project; Director of Education and Outreach- Central Pine Barrens Commission Policy and Planning Commission

Melissa Parrott has been in the Environmental Education field for over 25 years.  After receiving her degree from California State University, Long Beach she focused her career in environmental education, attending Harvard University and Duke University.  Melissa became Director of Environmental Education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, working directly with the Governor, and the Education Commissioner to incorporate environmental education into the State standards and using the environment as an integrated context for learning throughout cross curricula. In 2015 Melissa was trained by former VP Al Gore and the Climate Reality Project (CRP) on climate science and communications and is now a Mentor, Chairperson of the CRP: Long Island Chapter, and an active Climate Reality Leader working with youth and climate action campaigns. Melissa is currently the Director of Education and Outreach for the Central Pine Barrens Commission and the Founder of the Suffolk Student Climate Action Committee. Email: Melissa_horak@yahoo.com

@suffolkclimate @CPB_Commission @ClimateReality

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Mariola Pogacnik

Director, United Nations and International Public Sector Lead, PwC

Mariola is a Director at PwC and lead for the United Nations & International Public Sector. Previously, Mariola has worked as a consultant at the World Bank, as well as with Deloitte focusing on Emerging Markets.


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Karl R. Rábago

Executive Director, Pace Energy and Climate Center

Karl R. Rábago is the Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center, at the Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law in White Plains, New York. Karl more than 25 years of experience in energy and climate policy markets, and is recognized as an innovator in electric utility regulatory issues relating to clean energy services and technologies. Karl serves as Chair of the Board of the Center for Resource Solutions, a San Francisco-based non-governmental organization that manages the highly successful Green-e Certification program for green power products, and on the Board of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Karl has been a Commissioner on the Texas Public Utility Commission; a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Energy; Vice President of Distributed Energy Services at Austin Energy; Director of Regulatory Affairs for the AES Corporation and AES Wind; and Managing Director & Principal of the Rocky Mountain Institute, and a few other things along the way. Karl is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Business Management, and he is an attorney with a law degree from the University of Texas and post-doctorate law degrees, in environmental and military law, from Pace Law School and the US Army Judge Advocate General's School. A veteran of more than 12 years in the US Army, he served as an Armored Cavalry officer and member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps, and is Airborne and Ranger qualified. He has been married to Pamela Houston Rábago for 36 years, has three grown children, and two amazing grandchildren-Avery Victoria Rábago and Jonathan Richard Pollack.


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Kenneth Reece

Co-Founder/Director of America Green Solar

Kenneth Reece was born in NYC and Raised in Mount Vernon NY. He has had various businesses as an entrepreneur before settling on his passion for the planet. At the age of 19 he started his quest in the mastery of entrepreneurship forgoing college, Today America Green Solar has partner network operations in all 50 States. He is also the Co Founder of Solareum, A blockchain based Marketplace to be the “Amazon of Renewable Energy”.


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Syed Shoaib Hasan Rizvi

Founder & Executive Director, ‘I Am An Entrepreneur’

Syed Shoaib Hasan Rizvi is an undergraduate student and a passionate advocate for women’s empowerment. As founder of the I Am An Entrepreneur, Rizvi is dedicated to advancing Pakistani women’s economic participation through microloans and training. He has previously interviewed widows affected by terrorism to produce the film Voices From Karachi. Rizvi’s work promoting gender equality was recognized with the Outstanding Youth Delegate Award. He is the Global Schools Ambassador at the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. In 2017, he addressed the Youth Assembly at the United Nations and now speaks to young leaders around the world.

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Juliette Rooney-Varga

Facilitator, Climate Interactive

Juliette N. Rooney-Varga directs the Climate Change Initiative at UMass Lowell and is an Associate Professor of environmental science.  She has more than 20 years’ experience as a research scientist, studying microbial ecology and biogeochemistry in diverse environments, including marine algal blooms, climate change-carbon cycle feedbacks in Arctic peatlands, and anaerobic microbial community dynamics and performance in microbial fuel cells.  Her recent work, funded by NASA and NSF, is focused on climate change education, communication, and decision support.  

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Ann Rosenberg

Senior Vice President, Global Head of SAP Next-Gen

Ann Rosenberg is Senior Vice President & Global Head of SAP Next-Gen, a Purpose Driven Innovation Community Empowered by SAP Leonardo.

Ann leads SAP Next-Gen, a purpose driven innovation community empowered by SAP Leonardo and an innovation platform for SAP’s 365,000+ customers across 25 industries in 180+ countries. The platform leverages 3,360+ educational institutions in 111 countries as well as startups, accelerators, purpose driven partners, futurists, and 70+ SAP Next-Gen labs/hubs at university campuses in the SAP Next-Gen innovation with purpose network. The platform also leverages SAP’s 100+ innovation and development centers and SAP’s network of 17,000+ partner companies.

SAP Next-Gen enables customers to connect with academic thought leaders and researchers, students, startups, tech community partners, venture firms, purpose driven partners, and SAP experts to reimagine the future of industries with SAP Leonardo, seed in disruptive innovation with startups, and build skills for digital futures. SAP Next-Gen drives innovation with purpose supporting SAP’s commitment to the 17 UN Global Goals for sustainable development.

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Nikita Scott

Chair, Surfrider Foundation NYC

Leaving Scotland to chase waves around the world, Nikita settled on New York City as her new home break. Having always believed that we should protect what we love, it was only a matter of time before she found her way to the Surfrider Foundation, an environmental non-profit that advocates for the protection and enjoyment of our ocean, waves and beaches. 

In 2016, Nikita was elected Chair of the NYC Chapter, a 100% volunteer run grassroots movement. Prior to that she lead Surfrider in a victorious campaign to defeat Port Ambrose, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) port proposed for off the coast of NY. Nikita is a recipient of the 2015 Wavemaker Award in Environmental Leadership and her activism efforts have been highlighted by VICE and the Soho House Impact Series. She has also been featured in "Whalebone" and profiled for the "Activist Spotlight" in the nationally distributed publication "The Drop".

Professionally, Nikita works in the social impact sector and is a graduate of the University of Glasgow, Scotland.


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Dristy Shrestha

Senior Associate, Ultra Poor Graduation Initiative, BRAC USA

As a Senior Associate with the Ultra Poor Graduation Initiative, Dristy promotes advocacy and supports communications and technical assistance delivery. Previously, Dristy was a Consultant at World Bank Nepal. She has extensive fieldwork and consulting experience, including with Pact on Sajhedari Bikaas, a project funded by USAID that aims to improve local governance in Nepal. She also supported AmeriCares on their emergency response efforts after two major earthquakes hit Nepal in April 2015. Dristy has worked as the technical officer at Root Change, where she supported the design and implementation of various development projects in Mexico, Nepal, and Nigeria.   Dristy holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy, with a certificate in International Development focusing on Social and Political Change, from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a bachelor’s in Psychology and Economics from Middlebury College. Email: dristy@bracusa.org


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Angelica Silvero

Head, Speakers Bureau, World Bank Group

Angelica Silvero, a Brazilian national, is the Head of the World Bank Group Speakers Bureau. Her role is to educate and inform audiences about the World Bank Group. She designs and delivers presentations about the World Bank Group to over 15,000 students, professionals, and government officials a year. Angelica co-leads World Bank End Poverty Campaign and is part of the Annual and Spring Meetings and TEDx teams. She has studied Communications and Business Administration and has postgraduate studies in Communications from Johns Hopkins University. Angelica is a triathlete for “Team in Training” raising money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

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Anita Teekah

Director of Advocacy and Training, Safe Horizon

Anita S. Teekah, Esq. is the Director of Training and Advocacy of the Anti-Trafficking Program at Safe Horizon. She represents ATP in several national anti-trafficking coalitions and is working on various policy initiatives at the local and state level. She also oversees the training component of ATP, which includes community presentations about human trafficking identification, vulnerability assessments and client care.

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Tamara Thomas

Oceans Policy Policy Advisor, The Nature Conservancy

Tamara is the Global Ocean Policy Advisor at TNC and collaborates with, internal and external stakeholders, including international institutions and government partners, to support and advance policy strategies, in particular for international policy change and to advance TNC’s work on ocean mapping, planning, protection and restoration, and on ocean and climate change. With more than 10 years’ experience in the marine arena, both professionally and academically, Tamara now integrates nature-based solutions and innovative finance approaches and position them as integral to global development agendas.

Tamara’s background also includes over 2 years of experience in storm water management in Washington DC, Connecticut and through her work with UNDP in the Caribbean.

Prior to joining TNC, Tamara was an advisor to the chair of the Preparatory Committee for UN General Assembly resolution 69/292, towards the development of an international, legally binding instrument under UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond National Jurisdiction.

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Karen Tingley

Director of Education, Zoos and Aquarium, Wildlife Conservation Society

Karen Tingley has worked in the field of informal science education for over 20 years. As the Director of Education at the WCS, she has developed a strong team of educators to create innovative programs and strategies that meet the education department’s mission of creating a diverse and inclusive movement of conservation advocates. Karen worked with her team to create the WCS STEM Career Lattice, a youth pathways program designed to support WCS youth on STEM career pathways through internships, training, and job placement. Karen is currently the PI on a National Science Foundation AISL grant focused on increasing diversity in STEM careers through a tiered mentoring science research program. Additionally, Karen’s dissertation work has focused on collective impact of a cultural consortium in meeting collective goals. Prior to coming to WCS, Karen was an Education Specialist at Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. She has a Master’s in Education from University of Pittsburgh and is a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England.



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Nicola Toffelmire

Student, London School of Economics

Nicola Toffelmire is currently completing a Master of Science in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and holds a Master of Public Health (Global Health) from Simon Fraser University. She was selected as the Canadian Youth Delegate to the 70th World Health Assembly and consulted youth across Canada on global health issues, including health emergencies. Nicola is currently on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research and active volunteer with the British Red Cross. She has interned at the World Health Organization Office at the United Nations and has work experience at Canada's International Development Research Centre, Canadian Institute for Health Information and the Department of Global Health at Queen's University.


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Amanda Weeks

CEO, Industrial/Organic

Amanda Weeks grew up a few miles from Staten Island's Fresh Kills landfill at the height of its operations in the 1980s. Five years ago, she became interested in sustainable food systems and naturally gravitated towards the waste problem. Years of research and experimentation led her to develop the technology behind Industrial/Organic.

Amanda has over ten years of experience in a variety of business roles, with a focus data-driven approaches to launch and grow new initiatives. Accomplishments include the introduction of global product manufacturing compliance programs at Marvel, and originating the analytics departments at two marketing agencies by selling services to Global Fortune 500 companies like Pfizer and Unilever.

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Jared Yarnall-Schane

Program Director, Thought For Food

Jared Yarnall-Schane is the Program Director of Thought For Food, a nonprofit organization that engages and empowers next generation leaders to feed 9+ billion people by the year 2050. TFF reaches around 3,000 youth from 120 countries every year, and has helped to launch 35 social ventures tackling food insecurity. Jared is the founder of a social enterprise in rural Kenya focused on food preservation, and one in the US focused on urban agriculture. He believes that youth empowerment and strong, intentional communities are the key towards creating a happier and healthier world. Jared earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State University.


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Rick Zultner

Director of Process and Product Development, TerraCycle

Rick is the Director of Process and Product Development at TerraCycle, an international leader in the collection and recycling of challenging waste streams. Rick is a senior member of the team that pioneers recycling solutions at TerraCycle. Rick has worked on the recycling solutions to some of the world’s most challenging waste materials including coffee capsules, cigarette butts, and beach plastics. 
Rick graduated from Rutgers with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and has a Masters from USC in Green Technology. Rick has an extensive knowledge of the waste management industry, the circular economy, closed loop materials, and life-cycle product analysis.
Rick has presented at universities and on various programs, including a web series about recycling and a reality television show about TerraCycle, “Human Resources”.