Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum announced the names of 238 Young Global Leaders--a group of men and women age 40 and under selected from a pool of 8,000 candidates around the world. Those chosen will meet in June at an inaugural summit in Zermatt, Switzerland, to discuss the development of global strategies and concrete actions "in order to advance towards a better world in the year 2020," according to a WEF statement.
The nominated leaders were drawn from 68 countries: 71 from Europe, 63 from North America, 49 from Asia, 19 from the Middle East and North Africa, 19 from sub-Saharan Africa and 17 from Latin America. They include political leaders, business executives, intellectuals and cultural figures. Women make up 30 percent of the group.
The full list of leaders is at www.YoungGlobalLeaders.org. A selection:
Bandar Bin Khalid Al Faisal, Publisher and Chairman, AlWatan Newspaper, Saudi Arabia
Prince Bandar Bin Khalid Al Faisal is the publisher and chairman of the AlWatan newspaper, the youngest and one of the highest distribution papers in Saudi Arabia. He is also a member of The King Faisal Foundation, and a cofounder and trustee of the Arab Thought Foundation, which seeks to promote dialogue between the Arab and Western communities. Bandar Bin Khalid Al Faisal holds a B.Sc. in computer science and a master's from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy,Tufts University.
Barry Appleton, Managing Partner, Appleton and Associates International Lawyers, Canada
Barry Appleton is a managing partner at Appleton and Associates International Lawyers, the leading provider of peaceful international dispute-resolution services in Free Trade Law and for investors. He is specialized in commercial arbitration under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and is also a board member of the National Chamber Foundation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as the author of "Navigating NAFTA: A Concise Guide To The North American Free Trade Agreement." He is a frequent media commentator, and serves as an expert on international trade issues and agreements before parliamentary and legislative committees.
Maria Consuelo Araujo, Minister of Culture, Colombia
Maria Consuelo Araujo has been Colombia's minister of culture since 2002. She also serves as a member of the board of directors of several entities, including the Aqueduct and Sewer Enterprise in Bogota, the National Network of Botanical Gardens, the Recreational and Sportive Local Institution (IDRD), the Capital Channel and the Local Institute for Childhood Protection (IDIPRON). Previously, she worked as a foreign-trade adviser for the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry, and was communications and special manager of housing for the Agrarian, Industrial and Miner Credit Fund. She studied finance and international relations at the Externado University of Colombia, and later specialized in government, management and public affairs at Columbia University. She also studied international relations at the University of Milan and French at the Sorbonne University in Paris.
Violet E. Awotwi, Founder and Executive Director, Women's Initiative for Self Empowerment, Ghana
Violet Awotwi is the Founder and Executive Director of Women's Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE), a nonprofit organization based in Ghana, which seeks to empower women and provide counseling and social services to survivors of violence. She has extensive experience as a leader in both the nonprofit and for-profit business worlds, with particular areas of expertise in organizational development, strategic planning, community development and strategic partnership development and management. She has most recently used these skills to launch a new and innovative organization, The WIELD Foundation, which seeks to cultivate and promote the next generation of African women leaders. She graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with an M.B.A. in finance and strategy.
Rahul Gandhi, Congress Member, Parliament of India, India
Rahul Gandhi is a member of Parliament of India representing the Congress Party. The fifth-generation scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and son of Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi, he ran on a campaign promoting economic development, honest politics and the role of youth. Before his election, he worked abroad in various positions ranging from financial consulting, software engineering, and securities sales and distribution. He holds an M.Phil. in economics from Trinity College, Cambridge.
Isabelle Guichot, Chief Executive Officer, Van Cleef and Arpels, France
Isabelle Guichot is chief executive officer of Van Cleef & Arpels, a luxury goods company belonging to Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA, one of the world's leading luxury-goods groups. She is also chief executive of Lancel. Before assuming her current role as chief executive of Van Cleef & Arpels in 1999, she was made managing director of Cartier SA in France. Previously she worked in many areas of that company, which she joined immediately after her studies, and was appointed commercial/sales director in 1992. She holds an M.B.A. from the HEC School of Management in Paris.
Jae-Woong Lee, President and Chief Executive Officer, Daum Communications, Republic of Korea
As president and CEO of Daum Communications, South Korea's most-visited Internet portal, Lee introduced e-mail to the average Korean. His company now handles the mail accounts of more than 25 million people. He is also chief executive officer of the Daum Foundation and is a member of the Board of the Kids and Future Foundation. He holds a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. in computer science from Yonsei University, and prior to founding Daum in 1995, he spent several years conducting research in the area of cognitive science.
Steven Levitt, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Chicago, U.S.A.
Steven Levitt is a professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago. He is also an editor for the Journal of Political Economy and an associate editor for the Quarterly Journal of Economics. He is a MacArthur Foundation Fellow and has received numerous honors and awards, including the John Bates Clark Medal from the American Economic Association, and the National Science Foundation Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. He gained a B.A. in economics from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in economics from MIT.
Bjorn Lomborg, Associate Professor, University of Aarhus, Denmark
Bjorn Lomborg is associate professor at the University of Aarhus. He recently initiated the Copenhagen Consensus in May 2004, a project which prioritizes the best opportunities to the world's big challenges. Previously, he was the director of Denmark's National Environmental Assessment Institute. In 1998, he published four lengthy articles about the state of our environment in the leading Danish newspaper, which resulted in a firestorm debate spanning more than 400 articles in major metropolitan newspapers. The articles led to the publication of "The Skeptical Environmentalist" in 2001. He holds an M.A. in political science and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Copenhagen.
Lu Hao, Vice-Mayor of Beijing, People's Republic of China
Lu Hao was elected vice mayor of Beijing, where he supervises government work related to industrial economics. He was also CEO of the state-run Beijing Textile Company, president of the Zhongguancun Sci-Tech Industrial Area (which is known as China's Silicon Valley), and an assistant president of the state-owned multibillion-dollar China Sanxia Group. He joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1985. He currently serves as a member of the CPC Beijing Committee, as secretary of the CPC Beijing Committee's Industry Work Committee and as director-general of the Beijing Economic Commission. He bridged many Sino-foreign sci-tech joint ventures, and is one of the youngest Chinese economists working in a vice minister's position. He holds a master's in national economic planning and management from Beijing University.
Alejandro Ramirez, Chief Operating Officer, Organizaci on Ramirez, Mexico
Alejandro Ramirez is the chief operating officer of Organizacion Ramirez, the largest movie-theatre company in Latin America, which owns and operates 1,186 movie screens in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama. He has served as Mexico's Deputy Permanent Representative to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and as Technical Secretary of the Social Cabinet of the Government of Mexico. He has worked for the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Institute for Development Economic Research, in the areas of poverty and human development. He has published numerous articles on economic and social issues and is coauthor of the forthcoming book "Poverty, Human Development and Indigenous People in Latin America." He holds a B.A. in economics form Harvard University, an M.Sc. in development economics from Oxford University, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Marcel Reichart, Managing Director, Hubert Burda Media Marketing and Communications, Germany
Marcel Reichart is managing director of Hubert Burda Media Marketing and Communications GmbH, a privately held global media company. Previously, he was chief of staff and director of business development. Prior to joining Hubert Burda Media, he cofounded the pan-European media investment company Venturepark, a Pixelpark spin-off financed by Goldman Sachs, Telefonica and BertelsmannSpringer, and managed group holdings. Marcel Reichart also was personal associate to Otto Count Lambsdorff, the former German minister of economics. He is a founding member of the Federal New Media Council of the Free Democratic Party in Germany. He has a master's in corporate management from the Koblenz School of Corporate Management (WHU) and the Ecole de Management de Lyon as well as a Ph.D. from Stuttgart University.
Vladimir Ryzhkov, Member, State Duma, Russian Federation
Vladimir Ryzhkov has been a member of the State Duma since 1993 and a member of the Duma Federal Affairs and Regional Policy Committee since January 2000. Before that he was the head of the Nash Dom Rossija Parliamentary Faction and previously served as deputy head of the Altai Regional Administration. Before his political career he was a professor at the State University of Altai, from which he previously graduated.
Mabel van Oranje, Director, EU Affairs, Open Society Institute, United Kingdom
Mabel van Oranje is the director for European affairs of the Open Society Institute, which aims to promote open societies by shaping government policy and supporting education, media, public health, human and women's rights, as well as social, legal and economic reform. She is a cofounder and former board member of War Child, and the coauthor of "Building Donor Partnerships." She is also the founder and executive director of the European Action Council for Peace in the Balkans. She holds a master's in economics from the University of Amsterdam and a master's in political science.
Ken Wiwa, Writer and Social Justice Activist, Nigeria
Ken Wiwa is a social entrepreneur, writer and social-justice activist. He divides his time between Canada and Nigeria, where he is the managing director of Saros International, a company that is attempting to mobilize and utilize information and communications technologies for social and cultural development. He is a weekly columnist for Canada's The Globe and Mail, and his first book, "In the Shadow of a Saint," was published to critical acclaim in five territories and won the 2002 Hurston/Wright Non-Fiction Award. A mentor at the Trudeau Foundation in Canada and a Saul Rae Fellow at the Munk Centre for International Studies in the University of Toronto, Ken Wiwa is a senior resident at Massey College at the University of Toronto. He is the director and president of the Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation, which aims to promote human rights, sustainable development and education in Africa. Ken Wiwa was born in Nigeria and educated at the University of London.