|Mr. Peter Ajak
Founder and Director, Centre for Strategic Analyses and Research
Juba, South Sudan
Peter is currently studying towards his PhD in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge. He is the Founder and Director of the Center for Strategic Analyses and Research (C-SAR), an independent policy think tank based in Juba, South Sudan, and the CEO of South Sudan Wrestling Entertainment (SSWE), a nonprofit that uses the South Sudanese indigenous sport of wrestling to promote peace and reconciliation among the tribes of South Sudan. Prior to founding the C-SAR and joining the International Growth Centre—a policy and research center based in the London School of Economics and Political Science—Peter was the World Bank Economist in South Sudan. In that position, Peter advised the Government of South Sudan on the development of the South Sudan Development Plan, the South Sudan Growth Strategy, and South Sudan Vision 2040, among other policies. Before starting the PhD program, he was the Coordinator of Policy and Strategy in the Office of the Minister of National Security in the Office of the President, where he served as a member of committees that drafted South Sudan’s White Paper on Intelligence & National Security, the National Security Act, and the National Security Policy and Strategy.
Peter is one of over 4,000 Sudanese “Lost Boys,” who came to the United States in 2001. After receiving his BA in Economics from LaSalle University, Peter returned to South Sudan to help the country transition to independence. He was a Public Service Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, where he earned an MPA in International Development. He regularly authors op-eds in the New York Times and Foreign Policy, and conducts regular interviews on the BBC, Al Jazeera, and CCTV, among other news sources. Peter’s organization, South Sudan Wrestling Entertainment, was profiled by CNN and can be found here: http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/08/16/south.sudan.wrestling.ajak/
|Mr. Gustav Borgefalk
Entrepreneur and Founder, Sqore
Gustav is the Cofounder and Head of Business Development of Sqore, a company that organizes large scale, global innovation, and recruitment competitions to identify talented people and match them with employers and scholarships. Gustav grew Sqore to thirty-five employees, with four million dollars in venture capital funding and 400,000 members worldwide. He advises global, corporate, university, and government clients on competition program design and has fostered relationships with clients such as The Economist and Google. Prior to founding Sqore, Gustav cofounded Filehill Media AB, Scandinavia’s largest marketplace for digital products, and various other startups such as EasyPR and Logotypia. Earlier, he also worked for the public relations agency Hill & Knowlton and with private equity firm Aronsson Group.
Gustav attended a graduate studies program in exponential technologies and future studies at Singularity University in Mountain View and received an MSc in Business Administration and Management from Stockholm School of Economics.
|Ms. Lauren Culver
Benchmark Fellow, Stanford University
Stanford, CA, United States
Lauren is pursuing a PhD in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. In her research, she is applying engineering techniques such as system modeling and decision analysis to improve energy policy design and decision making. Her current projects focus on global shale gas, liquid natural gas markets, and US energy assistance in Ukraine. Before pursuing her PhD, Lauren served as the Special Assistant to the Coordinator and Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs at the US Department of State, where she advised Ambassador Carlos Pascual on international energy security and governance, developed strategies for diplomatic engagement in energy, and advised US policymakers on energy markets and technologies. For example, Lauren joined an interagency US delegation to manage natural gas challenges in Ukraine and Central Europe. She developed a model to analyze the Ukrainian gas system after the 2014 revolution which was the basis of discussions with the National Security Council and European Union partners; the resulting action plan was later adopted by Secretary of State John Kerry and Former EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Catherine Ashton at the US-EU Energy Council. Prior to her work at the State Department, Lauren was an Energy Technology Specialist at the US Department of Energy as a Presidential Management Fellow, where she advised the Undersecretary for Energy on innovation and manufacturing.
Lauren received an MSc in Technology and Policy and an MSc in Civil and Environmental Engineering from MIT, and received a BS in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida.
|Mr. Kwame Leslie Dougan
Esq./Attorney, Shearman & Sterling LLP, iYA Ventures, Community Development Venutre Capital Alliance
New York City, NY, United States
Kwame Dougan connects North American investors with startups operating in Sub-Saharan Africa through his company iYa Ventures. He is drawn to technology-based solutions that create positive, practical, and profitable outcomes for communities and investors.
He is currently an adviser at Princeton University’s Keller Center for Entrepreneurship, and sits on the advisory boards of numerous early-stage technology companies. Kwame also volunteers as an attorney for the Community Development Venture Capital Alliance, which provides equity capital to businesses in underinvested markets and low-income communities around the world.
Kwame earned his law degree from Columbia University and received graduate degrees from the London School of Economics, attending as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, and from the University of Amsterdam. He also has degrees from York University and Tsinghua University, where he studied Mandarin Chinese. Previously, Kwame practiced securities litigation with Shearman & Sterling LLP.
|Mr. Steven Glickman
Cofounder and Executive Director, Economic Innovation Group
Washington, DC, United States
Steve Glickman is Cofounder of the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) and serves as EIG’s Executive Director. As Executive Director, Steve is responsible for the successful leadership, management, and strategic direction of EIG. Steve is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Georgetown University, where he teaches on economic diplomacy and international trade.
Steve previously served in the Obama Administration for four years, most recently as Director for International Economic Affairs at the White House National Security Council, where he managed trade and investment issues. He was also a Senior Policy Adviser on the National Economic Council, where he was responsible for manufacturing and small business programs.
Earlier in the Administration, Steve was Deputy Associate Counsel for the Executive Office of the President. He also served as a Presidential appointee in the Department of Commerce, including as Chief of Staff for the US and Foreign Commercial Service.
Prior to his service in the Administration, Steve worked on Capitol Hill as Counsel to Chairman Henry Waxman on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He began his legal career as a Federal criminal prosecutor at the US Department of Justice.
Steve received his BA, magna cum laude, and MA from Georgetown University, JD from the Columbia Law School, and LLM from the London School of Economics. He is a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member and Truman National Security Project Fellow.
Steve has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, National Journal, the New York Times, Politico, Roll Call, the San Francisco Chronicle, TechCrunch, and the Wall Street Journal. He lives with his wife in Washington, DC.
|Ms. Ashlee Godwin
Deputy Editor, RUSI Journal, Royal United Services Institute
London, United Kingdom
Ashlee is the Deputy Editor of the RUSI Journal, the flagship periodical of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), working with prominent authors including General McChrystal, General Petraeus, and Vice Admiral Hudson, among many others.
In 2014, Ashlee published a chapter on US-UK relations in Obama’s Washington: Political Leadership in a Partisan Era. A broadcast historian for local television and a journalist, Ashlee writes on matters of defense and international relations for the Huffington Post and Al Jazeera. She also volunteers for Centenary News, a website dedicated to events commemorating the First World War. Prior to joining RUSI, Ashlee worked at the international technology company the Symbian Foundation, first as an editor of print and web publications and then as the Head of the Global Communications and PR team.
Ashlee is a Fulbright Scholar and holds an MA in War Studies from King’s College London and a degree in Modern History from Oxford University, where her research focused on British military history and the conduct of international diplomacy.
|Ms. Brittany Heyd
Managing Director and General Counsel, 1776
Washington, DC, United States
Brittany Heyd is Managing Director and General Counsel at 1776. As part of 1776’s founding team, Brittany played a critical role in taking the organization from inception of idea to initial execution to scaling into the global brand it is today; currently, 1776 supports 275+ startups around the world. Brittany leads the incubator’s operations, media, events, and Challenge Cup teams, setting direction for the company’s main operational components and driving value for startups around the world. Before 1776, Brittany worked on business community initiatives and outreach at the White House, led event strategy for Startup DC, and held positions at Latham & Watkins, the US District Court for the District of Columbia, and Mark IV Capital.
Brittany received her JD and MPP from Georgetown University and her BA from the University of San Diego.
|Mr. Peter Kalotai
Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Hungary in Washington, DC
Washington, DC, United States
Peter is the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Hungary in Washington, DC where he manages the overall operations of the Hungarian Embassy, negotiates with US government entities, and analyses US foreign policy and US-Hungarian policy and strategy. His most recent assignments in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs include Deputy Director of the Department of the Americas and Deputy Director of the Department of Human Resources. From 2007 until 2011 he served at the Hungarian Embassy in London, United Kingdom where he was responsible for political, press, and public affairs. Peter entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary in 2004 and started his career in the Department for International and European Law. In 2005 he was seconded to the External Relations Directorate General of the European Commission in Brussels as a national expert. In 2006 he joined the cabinet of the State Secretary where he was working as a lawyer until his posting in London.
Peter is a graduate of the London School of Economics where he earned an MSc with merit in International Relations. He also holds a JD in Law and Political Sciences from Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Budapest. He spent a year at the European Institute of the University of Saarland in Saarbrücken, Germany specializing in European Law (2001-2002) and studied comparative law at the Université Robert Schuman in Strasbourg, France (2003). He speaks English, German, and Spanish.
|Mr. Jonathan Kirschner
Portfolio Manager, Development Innovation Ventures, US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Washington, DC, United States
Jonathan is a Portfolio Manager with Development Innovation Ventures (DIV), USAID’s internal venture capital fund. DIV has invested in 120 organizations across a dozen sectors and thirty-five countries. Jonathan manages DIV’s active portfolio of eighty for-profit and nonprofit enterprises, which are actively testing innovative solutions to international development. He is currently particularly focused on developing innovative financing structures to support the growth of off-grid energy companies in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
Prior to joining DIV, Jonathan worked in startups and early stage investing. He was Head of International Expansion for Brazilian IT services start-up CPM Braxis and worked in venture capital and private equity in Brazil and Colombia. Jonathan spent four years as a consultant at Bain & Co in New York and South Africa where he focused on private equity and strategic consulting. He was a contributing author of Success in Africa, a book on CEOs’ insights on doing business in Africa.
Jonathan has an MBA from the Stanford GSB, an MPA in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a BSFS from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.
|Ms. Kamila Lepkowska
Team Leader, European Court of Auditors
Kamila is a Team Leader at the European Court of Auditors, where she currently leads a report assessing the Intervention of the European Commission in the Greek Financial Crisis and analyses EU economic policy more generally. Kamila also designs methodology for audit programs to analyze the effectiveness of policy and policy execution across the European Union. Prior to working as a Team Leader, Kamila served as an auditor for the European Court of Auditors, carrying out performance audits at the level of Member States and the European Commission. Kamila also worked as a consultant for Deloitte Poland, helping companies optimize their investments and use of public funding. Earlier in her career, she was an Editor and Analyst at TVN CNBC, where she focused on finance and regulation.
Kamila holds a PhD in Economics, an MA in European Studies from the Warsaw School of Economics, and an MSc in Sociology from London School of Economics and Political Science. She was awarded the Chevening Scholarship and the Polish Prime Minister’s Scholarship. One of her research papers, Restoring competitiveness in the context of monetary union. The case of Greece, can be found on page 203.
|Ms. Lucy Luo
Program Director, Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy
Lucy is Program Director at the Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE). She directs A New Way to Eat, a JUCCCE initiative to educate China’s emerging middle class about sustainable food choices and consumption behavior, and runs the New Urbanization Council, which makes policy recommendations to build more livable, human centered cities in China. Before joining JUCCCE, Lucy was a researcher at Beyond Zero Emissions, where she researched how to move Australia towards a zero carbon future. In 2014, Lucy organized a TEDxShanghai event about China’s next phase of urbanization. It was so well received that Lucy and her team are now working to present policy recommendations to the Minister of Urbanization.
Lucy holds an MA in Environments from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia.
|Mr. Jeffrey McLean
Lieutenant Commander, US Navy
Alexandria, VA, United States
Lieutenant Commander Jeff McLean is a Navy Test Pilot and currently serves as Project Officer for the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System, which made history recently as the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to make an arrested landing on an aircraft carrier. He and the X-47B test team are presently working to achieve the first autonomous aerial refueling of a UAV from an airborne tanker. In addition to UAV testing, Jeff performs flight tests on cutting edge programs for F/A-18 aircraft and aircraft carrier systems.
Jeff has flown the F/A-18 “Super Hornet” strike fighter aircraft for the Navy since 2008 and completed two combat deployments aboard the aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower, supporting ground forces as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. LCDR McLean has logged over 1,500 flight hours as aircraft commander of Navy fighter aircraft, 275 carrier landings, and over fifty combat missions, including air support for the Battles of Marjah and Kandahar.
Jeff graduated with honors and distinction from the US Naval Academy and earned an MA from Oxford University, where he studied as a Truman Scholar and Fulbright Scholar. He currently spends his weekends pursuing an MBA at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
|Mr. Sean A. Misko
Director, Persian Gulf, Natrional Security Council, The White House
Washington, DC, United States
Sean is Director for the Persian Gulf on the National Security Council. Recently, he was a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff. In addition to advising Secretary of State John Kerry on South Asia and the Middle East, he led the staff’s work on several topics, including the Obama Administration’s 2015 National Security Strategy, US efforts to upgrade the international order, and an initiative to enhance US diplomatic leverage.
From 2009 to 2012, Sean served as Special Adviser to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP), where he coordinated negotiation of the United States-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement and was involved in efforts to facilitate a settlement of the Afghanistan conflict. Prior to joining Ambassador Richard Holbrooke’s team, Sean worked as a Policy Adviser to US Central Command, coauthoring an assessment of the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Sean began his government career as a Roberts Intelligence Fellow and Political Analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency. As a Presidential Management Fellow in the State Department’s Office of Iranian Affairs, he shaped US policy on Iran’s nuclear program and regional activities. He also served as Special Assistant in the Office of Management and Budget’s National Security Division.
Sean holds an MPP in International Security and Political Economy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, as well as BA degrees in International Politics and Media Studies from Penn State University. A Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he was named a 2011 Manfred Wörner Fellow by the German Marshall Fund and recognized as a 2014 Next Generation National Security Leader by the Center for a New American Security.
|Mr. Blazej Moder
Director, New Center of Lodz Authority
Blazej Moder is the Director of the New Center of Lodz Authority where he is responsible for coordination, implementation, and development of the largest urban development program in Central Europe – the New Center of Lodz. The main aim of the program is revitalization of one hundred hectares of downtown Lodz, Poland’s third largest city with a population of 720,000. The program portfolio consists of over fifty different projects worth over one billion Euro.
Prior to joining the New Center of Lodz Authority, Blazej served as a member of the Management Board for the Lodz Infrastructural Company, overseeing the company’s projects and funds. For three years, from 2008 to 2011, Blazej worked as the President of the Management Board for the Lodz Regional Development Agency, which provides financial support for local business initiatives; he was responsible for over 200 projects worth 200 million Euro.
Blazej is a PhD candidate in Economics at the Warsaw School of Economics and holds an MA in International Relations and Political Studies from the University of Lodz. He was featured as a European Young Leader in 2014.
Blazej is a member of the Board of Directors at Civil Development Forum – the largest libertarian think tank based in Poland which was established by Professor Leszek Balcerowicz, an author of free-market reforms in Poland in early 1990s. He is also a member of the Mont Pelerin Society and Society of Polish Economists.
|Ms. Naadiya Moosajee
Cofounder and CEO, WomEng
Cape Town, South Africa
Naadiya is a serial social entrepreneur by passion, a civil engineer by training, and is Cofounder and CEO at WomEng (Women in Engineering), an international nonprofit company developing the next generation of female engineers in Africa. WomEng currently works with over 3,000 girls and women in South Africa and Kenya and was awarded Top NGO in South Africa in 2013. Naadiya holds BSc Civil Engineering and MSc Engineering degrees and is currently completing her MBA. She serves as a Director at Pegasys, a niche management consultancy working in public transport, climate, and natural resources, and is a Board Director for the International Youth Foundation, providing skills building, leadership, and entrepreneurship training for youth globally. Naadiya is a YouthActionNet Global Leadership Fellow, an African Leadership Network Fellow, and an associate of the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance.
Naadiya has a variety of experiences from technical engineering to NGO development, management consulting, and entrepreneurship. She recently launched WomHub to house her work in developing gender parity in previously male dominated sectors such as engineering, technology, finance, investment banking, and leadership. She is a founding member of the Mentorship Institute, a leadership incubator developing leaders through mentorship. Naadiya is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and in 2014 was named as one of the “Top Twenty Young Power Women in Africa” by Forbes Magazine. She is passionate about fostering growth and prosperity in Africa, developing and mentoring the next generation of youth leaders, and engineering better societies. A story and video about WomEng can be accessed here.
|Mr. Amir Nayeri
Principal, Provence Capital, LLC
New York City, NY, United States
Amir is an emerging market entrepreneur, leading an international project development firm that incubates projects in developing and untapped markets. He is currently exploring a variety of investment opportunities in Mozambique, Gabon, Senegal, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Iran. Previously, Amir was the Director of Corporate Development at Richard Attias & Associates (RA&A) where he developed and implemented investment promotion strategies and platforms for governments in Africa and the Middle East, advised foreign investors, and counseled global leaders on how to build their global influence and catalyze innovation. Prior to joining RA&A, Amir worked as a Private Equity Associate with PHI Industrial Acquisitions in Madrid, Spain, and also served as the Head of Corporate Development at Healthscreen Solutions, a medical software and services startup in Canada. Amir started his career as an Analyst with Spinnaker Capital Markets in Toronto, Canada. Amir also led the Clinton Foundation’s Health Access Initiative in Lomé, Togo, helping the country’s Health Ministry allocate and measure the impact of its Global Fund’s Round 8 grant aimed at treatment and care for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Amir holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an HBA from The Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, and is a CFA Charterholder. He speaks English, French, Spanish, and Farsi.
|Ms. Aarya Nijat
Policy Analyst and Founding Partner, Duran Research & Analysis
Aarya is a Policy Analyst, currently researching the effectiveness of programs aimed at building women’s leadership in Afghanistan with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). With more than ten years of experience in the development sector in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Aarya previously served as the Director of Capacity and Institutional Development at the Government of Afghanistan’s Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), where she worked to develop Afghanistan’s first ever anti-harassment policy. She evaluated the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan and Swiss Development Cooperation’s governance portfolio, worked as Sub-National Governance Policy Specialist for the United Nations Development Program, and served as Acting Director of Policy for the IDLG, where she extensively contributed to the development of Afghanistan’s first Sub-National Governance Policy.
A Fulbright Scholar and a Mary Boies Fellow, Aarya received her MPA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, her MSc in International Relations from Quaid-i-Azam University, and both an LLB and a BA in Political Science from Punjab University. Her most recent publications offer an extensive overview of governance and a succinct look at women’s leadership in Afghanistan, and can be accessed here and here.
|Ms. Mira Patel
Senior Advisor, US Global Development Lab, US Agency for International Development
Washington, DC, United States
Mira Patel serves as the Senior Adviser for the US Global Development Lab at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as an appointee of the Obama administration. She is focused on furthering economic development and the advancement of human rights through technology, entrepreneurship, and innovative public-private partnerships. Most recently she served as the Senior Adviser for the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and worked for Google to bridge the digital divide in major US cities.
Patel was previously appointed in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2013 as a Special Adviser on Secretary Clinton’s Policy Planning Staff at the US Department of State developing policy, programming, and communications on international human rights. In this role, Patel launched multi-million dollar public-private partnerships including the Global Equality Fund and the Women in Public Service Project and defined US diplomatic policies and operations on gender integration and international LGBT rights. She previously worked for the US Senate, the Center for American Progress, and Lehman Brothers.
Patel received an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Political Science from Wellesley College. She has been recognized for her public service contributions by the Washington Post (italics), McKinsey & Company, American Association of University Women, Advocate Magazine (italics), and Go Magazine (italics). She is a Point Foundation Scholar, an Atlantic Council Millennium Fellow, and a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member.
|Ms. Simone Pflaum
Director of Sustainability Management, City of Freiburg
Simone Ariane Pflaum is the Director of Sustainability Management for the City of Freiburg, a city recognized as the most sustainable in Germany and a model for sustainability innovation globally. Simone leads the sustainability process for Freiburg and collaborates with local businesses, political bodies, and civil society. Prior to working for the City of Freiburg, Simone was an adviser for Edith Sitzmann, the Chairwoman of the Green Party in State Parliament. From 2009 to 2012, Simone served as the youngest member of the Freiburg City Council, representing youth interests and focusing on issues such as sustainability, urban development, inclusion, and migration.
Simone holds an MA in Political Sciences, Sociology, and Pedagogy from the Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat Freiburg and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and at the Universidad de Granada in Spain. As a member of ICLEI’s FutureCityLeader Initiative, Simone was a delegate to the United Nations Conference Rio+20 and in 2014 she was selected to participate in the US State Department’s International Visitor’s Leadership Program.
|Mr. James Sladden
Project Associate, RAND Corporation
London, United Kingdom
James works as a Project Associate for the RAND Corporation. From November 2014 until June 2015 James worked as an International Monitoring Officer in the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and served in the conflict areas in Eastern Ukraine. Prior to working for OSCE, James served for seven years as an officer in the Royal Marines. His service included deployments in Yemen, Afghanistan, and Sierra Leone and on counter piracy operations in the Indian Ocean. James received an MA with Distinction in Applied Security Strategy from the Strategy and Security Institute at the University of Exeter, where he was an Excellence Scholar.
|Mr. Jake Wood
Cofounder and CEO, Team Rubicon
Los Angeles, CA, United States
Jake cofounded Team Rubicon, a nonprofit disaster response organization, after he and another veteran responded to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and recognized the value of highly trained veterans in disaster response. Team Rubicon now has 25,000 members worldwide and an $8.5 million annual budget. Previously, Jake cofounded POS REP, the first mobile, proximity-based social network for active military and veterans, which currently has over 20,000 users. From 2005 to 2009, Jake honorably served four years in the US Marine Corps, deploying to Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan in 2008. He graduated Scout-Sniper School at the top of his class and in 2007 he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with “V’ for actions in Iraq. Jake serves on numerous national veteran committees and speaks around the country about veteran issues and social entrepreneurship.
Jake graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BA Business and Political Science. In October, 2014, Crown published Jake’s first book, Take Command.