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About Our Participants
About Our Participants

TN2020 is a network of outstanding young professionals from North America and Europe, drawn mostly from the 25 to 35 age range. Each of them - from a Los Angeles police officer who specializes in gang violence to a Portuguese immigration activist – has already demonstrated potential for leadership in their field.

In March 2008, the first 30 pioneers met in Berlin for three days to give life to the Transatlantic Network 2020 programme. Following this meeting, new members were identified through a nomination and application process for the program's inaugural summit in Northern Ireland and Ireland in October 2008. The now 130 members of this network bring diversity of ethnicity, nationality, language, profession and social and religious beliefs. United by their creativity, leadership and global awareness, they make the Transatlantic Network 2020 their own.

The Chicago Summit 2010 page will provide you with more information about the upcoming summit. If you are active on Facebook, you can join the members of the network and several hundred peers in discussion on the Transatlantic Network 2020 Facebook Page.

TN2020 members are drawn from twenty countries from across North America and Europe. You can find out more about them by clicking on the countries below.


Mualla Cirakli: Mualla is a Turkish Cypriot educated in the United States and Belgium. She is a keen student of conflict and peace studies, focusing on multi-track diplomacy and grassroots peace-building. Mualla was involved in the 2003-04 UN negotiation of the Cyprus problem and founded the Brussels office of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce in 2005.

Gamila Dahri: Gamila Dahri is Coordinator of Présence Musulmane, Belgium, a global network focused on engaging discourses around Muslim issues in French-speaking countries. She is co-founder of “Women from Minorities & the Media” project at the European Youth Council in Budapest. Gamila is a representative member of the Forum of European Muslim Youth & Students Organizations, through which she is involved in the annual “Week of Muslim-Christian Encounters.”

Sam Schatteman: An e-commerce campaign designer for eBay International AG and author of a pending publication on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Sam is a scholar in the EU programme “Future Capital” and, as president of the European Convention of Young Citizens Berlin, stimulated debates about the European Constitution.


Charmian Love: Charmian serves as chief operating officer of an organisation that helps corporations and social enterprises develop and scale market-based solutions to social and environmental challenges.  

Maggie MacDonald: A politically active author and international musician, Maggie served as a former candidate and election planner for the New Democratic Party and recently helped develop an online community to help Canadians reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Peter MacLeod: Peter’s innovative consulting firm works with governments and corporations to deepen and improve their public engagement. He also lectures at Denmark’s Kaospilots School of Business Design and Social Innovation.

Cheryl Matthew: A senior policy analyst with Canada’s federal government, Cheryl previously founded the Centre for Native Policy and Research and started a consulting company for Aboriginal research, policy analysis, facilitation and project management.  

Paolo Pietropaolo: Paolo is a documentary producer, broadcaster and writer based in Vancouver, Canada.  His radio productions have been broadcast across Canada, the USA, the UK and Australia and have received the highest accolades in broadcasting, including a Peabody Award and the Prix Italia.   In 2009, he participated in the Banff Centre Science Communications Program.  

Sheila Sampath: Sheila has worked as a counsellor, organizer, educator and advocate in the anti-violence movement, including serving as chair of the Board of Directors at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multi-cultural Women Against Rape. She is also the Editorial and Art Director of Shameless magazine, Canada’s feminist voice for teenage girls.

Romina Laouri: Romina co-founded a youth group bringing together young Greek and Turkish Cypriots to express views on the Cyprus conflict and design strategies for re-unification. Today, she works for Ashoka - a global association of social entrepreneurs.

Kyösti Hagert: A specialist supporting international youth and federalist organisations, Kyösti has served several NGOs, the Green League of Finland and the media. He currently studies speech communication in Finland.


Laetitia Adhémar: Laetitia is a French lobbyist from Colombian origins. After working for a public affairs consultancy firm, she entered Renault in-house lobbying team in Brussels and then worked at Paris headquarters. She likes politics but also enjoys going to the office riding her bike, nice food and contemporary painting exhibits. Laetitia is married and has a 17-month old son.

Karim Amellal: Karim is a French writer and teacher who spent several years living in Algeria. He is very involved in public debates about art and literature and cultural issues concerning minorities. Karim has written or contributed to three books and is currently working on several new projects.

Rabah Ghezali: Rabah came to the United States to work with a variety of international organizations, including the IMF and the French Mission to the United States, as well as the government of Ohio – while serving as an occasional lecturer in French at Ohio State University.

Gabriella Kessler: A French-American documentary filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York, Gabriella’s thesis film about the effects of the Argentine dictatorship in the 1970s on a single family living in Buenos Aires received a nomination for a Royal Television Society Award.

Olivier Laboulle: Olivier has taught German to foreign prisoners and has written for the Young European Federalists’ Webzine. Today he coordinates UNESCO’s contributions to the World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development.

Camille Solal: Actress, writer and communications adviser, Camille works with artists, businessmen, employees, lawyers and accountants on projects related to writing as well as stage and screen acting.


Annas Abedin: During his studies, Annas was a fellow of two German academic organisations. He has interned in a wide range of industries in different countries, including investment banking in Dubai, consulting in Germany and telecom in France, and is now pursuing doctoral studies in Islamic finance and Muslim consumer behaviour at RWTH Aachen University in Germany.

Michael Anthony: Michael is responsible for the microinsurance business of Allianz SE, the world’s largest insurer, and has contributed greatly to building their business in Asia and Africa and providing coverage for people living around the poverty line. Michael has also worked on climate change for Allianz and as a journalist in Berlin and Jerusalem.

Hamze Bytyci: Hamze Bytyci was born in Kosovo but grew up as a refugee in Germany and has worked as a theatre and film actor in both Germany and Switzerland. He now works as a freelance theatre pedagogue and social worker in Berlin schools and NGOs. Hamze founded the national Roma youth organisation Amaro Drom e.V. which strengthens the empowerment and mobilisation of Roma youth in Germany.

Herbert Grieshop: After working for the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and Berliner Festspiele, the city’s largest cultural festival, Herbert leads the British Council’s Competitive Europe Programme in Germany.

Boris Moshkovits: While serving as project director of the Russian Jewish Museum in Moscow, Boris concurrently publishes an international culture magazine, and remains active in youth counselling and cultural affairs within the Jewish community.

Victoria B. Robinson: A writer, poet, activist, blogger and founding member of the Black European Women's Council, Victoria conducts talks, lectures and seminars about the representation of Black people in German media.

Arn Sauer: An activist and artist in the Berlin and Montreal transgender and queer communities, Arn also serves as a research associate for a Montreal university, with current research comparing gender equality policy tools in Canada and Europe and exploring the potential for diversity analysis as part of gender impact assessment in (post)modern policy analysis.


Michael Arvanitis: Michael runs the Greek division of a pan-European association that promotes science and technology in Europe, serves as a Greek Ministry of Development expert and is a member of the Work Programme Committee at the EU for the FP7 thematic “Science in Society.”

Yasmine Abou Mansour: After working in Lebanon with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the Ministry of Information, and local NGOs, Yasmine now builds bridges between the transatlantic community and the Middle East on peace and security issues through her work at NATO Headquarters.  

Ioanna Fratzeskaki: In addition to ongoing public affairs consulting at Interel, Ioanna helped to develop the Halki International Conferences, a policy network for the promotion of political dialogue and stability in the Mediterranean region.

Evi Papatheodorou: In addition to developing media training methodologies, Evi works for an NGO where she has managed national and transnational projects for non-privileged people, including migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and those affected by child trafficking.


Catherine Cosgrave: Catherine is a human rights lawyer with the Immigrant Council of Ireland Independent Law Centre in Dublin. She currently teaches at the Dublin Institute of Technology. She is a member of the Board of Women’s Aid and the Public Interest Law Alliance Advisory Board and is the author of Family Matters: Experiences of Family Reunification in Ireland (2006, ICI).

Mary Fitzgerald: Currently specializing in issues pertaining to the Islamic world for the Irish Times, Mary is the first Irish journalist to be awarded the prestigious Lawrence Stern Fellowship at The Washington Post.

Kensika Monshengwo: A trainer and resource officer for the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI), Kensika’s interest in acting has led him to incorporate drama and role playing into his work.

Conor O’Brien: Conor is an Irish architect and urban strategist, currently working independently in the field of ecological architecture and urbanism. Conor is part of British Council’s ‘Climate Leaders’ programme and has been actively involved with the Asia Europe Foundation, contributing to the culture|futures seminar in Copenhagen during COP15.

Regina O'Connor: After spending time at the Middle East Desk of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for External Relations and as an Irish Delegate in the Enlargement Working Group during the EU’s Irish Presidency, Regina now serves as political and legal advisor in the European Parliament.

Maire O’Neill: The 2007 British Female Inventor of the Year and a recent recipient of the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Leadership Fellowship, Maire leads the cryptography research group at the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) at Queen’s University, Belfast.


Selene Biffi: Selene is the Founder and Executive Director of Youth Action for Change (YAC), a global, youth-led organization empowering young people in over 130 countries worldwide.  In the past, she served with the UN and Amnesty International, also drafting international policies and publishing several works on youth inclusion and participation.

Sara Callegari: A former Rotary Ambassadorial scholar and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs fellow, Sara has worked in the development sectors in Morocco, Switzerland, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. She currently coordinates development projects for Latin American countries.

Elena Donnari: Elena currently divides her time between Italy and Brussels, serving as consultant on EU funding and programmes for economic, social, educational and employment development public and private stakeholders. She has lived in Warsaw working on different transnational and cross-border projects in Central and Eastern Europe, emphasizing EU external relations, governance issues and the role of civil society.

Alessandro Fusacchia:  The ghost co-writer of Italian Prime Minster Romano Prodi’s book on his tenure as the European Commission president, Alessandro is now a member of  the G8 Sherpa Office working on the Italian Presidency of the G8 in 2009 and was previously a member of cabinet of Emma Bonino, former Italian Minister for European Affairs and International Trade.

Francesco Galtieri:  Francesco manages a global e-network on UN Reform and coordinates policy advisors implementing UN Reform in Africa. Also an author, he writes on chemical and biological disarmament in the Mediterranean region.

Emiliano Tornese: Fulbright Fellow Emiliano clerked for a European Court of Justice judge, worked in the President of the European Commission’s Cabinet and conducted research for the UN. He currently advises organisations on investing in the United States and in Europe.


Shemsedin Aliu: Shemsedin, one of the first Kosovars to receive a traineeship from the Directorate General for External Relations in the European Commission, actively participates in post-war civil society projects in Kosovo. He credits his upbringing in the divided city of Mitrovica as spurring his interest in dialogue as a tool to resolve inter-ethnic clashes.


Bernardo Altamirano Rodriquez: Bernardo has worked extensively on the relationship between government and civil society, in addition to serving at the office of Mexican Representation to the EU, the Chamber of Deputies and currently leading the Federal Network of Citizen Services at the Mexican President’s office.

Cristina Ballí: Cristina, a cultural manager in the Texas-Mexico border region at the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center, led efforts to develop a cultural tourism programme, worked as a radio producer for a public radio station and currently teaches audio production.  

Juan Esteban Gutiérrez: Following his role within the President of Mexico’s office, Juan now helps  NGOs play a more significant role in creating a new Mexican culture of social responsibility based on rights and obligations.  

Fernando de la Mora: After supporting youth engagement programmes and running the International Relations Students Association, Fernando serves as the youngest diplomat in the Mexican Foreign Service, and is currently posted on the U.S.-Mexico border as Consul in El Paso.

Raúl Ramírez Riba: Raul is a Communication and Film Direction senior student at Universidad Iberoamericana Campus Ciudad de Mexico and a self taught music player and song writer. He has directed 4 short films, one of which was selected for the International Film Festival of Huatulco, and is right now on preproduction for his thesis short film project. He  works every summer at Camp Wenonah in Ontario, Canada.


Samir Bantal: An architect currently working as a property director at Blauwhoed in Rotterdam, Samir previously was an architect and researcher for the Office for Metropolitan Architecture. He also serves as co-editor for the next four editions of the Dutch Annual Architecture Yearbook.

Marietje Schaake: With a specialization in diversity, integration and Islam in the West, Marietje has worked in the Netherlands with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights designing and organising meetings, conferences, and programmes, as well as advising on long-term strategies.

David van Veenendaal: After serving in the Royal Dutch Navy, David studied law and later interned in Washington, D.C., where he conducted research on (de-)radicalization in the West.  His recent studies focus on international security.

Alexander Vinnikov: At NATO Headquarters, Alexander enhances co-operation with Central Asian states bordering Afghanistan and oversees efforts to fight terrorism. For the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, he helped define and implement an approach to security in Central Asia by focusing on democratisation and human rights.

Marianne Vorthoren: Marianna lives and works in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where she is the senior policy and communication officer for SPIOR, the local Muslim umbrella organization. Locally, she led the ‘Joining Hands against Forced Marriages’ project that inspired the European Campaign against Forced Marriages. She volunteers for Multicoloured Religions Rotterdam, which organizes thousands of people to visit diverse houses of worship each year.

Nora Wellhausen: Nora has lived in Germany, France and Japan and now lives in the Netherlands, where she is working on her master’s thesis on fashion and materiality, craftsmanship and creativity. Her work with the Rio de Janeiro-based NGO Davida inspired her passion for the civil rights and cultural issues associated with prostitution.


Lyndsey Corrigan: Born in Canada to Scottish parents, Lyndsey now lives in Norway working for Statoil ASA, an international energy company. She is engaged in environmental solutions and climate change policy, and has previously worked for several non-profit environmental organizations and the Council of the European Environment Unit.


Aleksandra Plizga: Aleksandra aims to add value to integration and diversity issues through her work as a diversity trainer and her previous experiences as an event and conference coordinator for several migration and human rights institutions.


Zakir Karim: Co-founder of two organisations that promote dialogue between Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindus and others, Zakir also sits on the Lisbon Islamic Community’s board, serves as President of the Islamic Youth and is a member of “Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow.”

Annabel Knight: Currently based in London, Annabel has lived and worked in England, Spain, Portugal and Chile. She has recently pioneered a colleague exchange programme between the UK and Portugal and accompanied the launch of the first Social Stock Exchange in Europe. Annabel leads initiatives at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, including a program on Aging that seeks to reconnect isolated elderly people to their communities.

Virech Maugi: Born in Mozambique with Indian roots, Virech is currently working on a master’s degree in Lisbon, focusing on India’s economy and its regional and global security challenges. He co-founded “Youth for Intercultural Dialogue,” a group for intercultural dialogue between young people. Virech has worked on multilateral cooperation within the EU and Portuguese-speaking countries and on the empowerment of Hindu youth in Portugal.

Paulo Mendes: A writer/author, Paulo is a columnist for the daily Açoriano Oriental and in 2007 published The Atlantic Island Bridge, a book about the Cape Verde community in the Azores.

João Meneses: A former financial director of an NGO where training, animation and social intervention are linked through performing and modern circus arts, João also has been a columnist for a financial daily newspaper and founder of an NGO focused on social innovation.


Razvan Crisan: Working with the creative industries of architecture, advertising, cinema, design, music and research and development, Razvan aims to establish Romania as the regional centre for creativity and innovation.

Dragos Pislaru:  With expertise in regional development and regional/cohesion policy in Romania and the EU, Dragos is the General Manager for GEA Strategy & Consulting SA which aims to support research, development and innovation in Europe.

Smaranda Sandalescu: Hailing from Romania, Smaranda has studied in the UK and now serves as an adviser on European affairs in the Romanian Ministry of Development. Previously she has worked for an NGO consulting on children’s rights and working on development and educational projects. Smaranda is keenly interested in Lebanon and peace in the Middle East and is currently researching electoral law in Lebanon. She is passionate about photography.

Janina Trotea: A founding member of the International Advertising Association for Young Professionals in Romania, Janina is a specialist in communication for Coca-Cola HBC Romania. She is also the former vice president of Students’ International Forum, one of Europe’s largest interdisciplinary student associations.


Raquel Alvarez: Raquel C. Alvarez is a political analyst and international development expert, currently foreign affairs advisor at the Spanish Prime Minister´s office. Prior to this, Raquel worked for the European Commission in Brussels and West Africa. She has also worked at the UK-based think tank Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). Raquel is widely published in international media; most recent publication is “Budget Support: a False Panacea”. :

Elena Blanque: After studying law at the Universidad Autonoma in Madrid and working in the arts, Elena was elected the Denver University International Ambassador for Leadership and currently is an international tax consultant at Deloitte Tax LLP.  

Oscár Hernandez: Oscar is a Spanish physicist developing new processes for microelectronic devices. He is also the director, scriptwriter and host of Parallel Universe a weekly science-based radio show. Oscar spent three years in Munich, Germany working at the Siemens’s research and development department for Solar Energy.

Victoria Martín: A Spanish journalist and Fulbright Scholar, Victoria currently works for the press department of the Spanish Socialist Delegation to the European Parliament.

Angela Perez Brunete: An avid art fan who established an art association in 2005, Angela works on behalf of the Madrid City Council’s Department of International Strategy.

Álvaro Vermoet: Online columnist Álvaro chairs a nationwide conservative and libertarian association and belongs to the Spanish National Education Council, the Autonomous University’s Board and of the Conservative People’s Party youth organisation’s Board in Madrid.


Emmanuelle Ganne: Emmanuelle is advisor to the Director-General of the World Trade Organization on Europe, the United States, Canada, and Turkey, and issues related to services, intellectual property, and global governance.  She has previously worked with countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Vietnam, for which she was awarded Vietnam’s medal of friendship in 2007.

Laurent Haug: Laurent is an entrepreneur, event designer and researcher passionate about understanding how technological innovation is reshaping society and culture. He is the founder and CEO of the Lift Conference, which invites discussion of social implications of technology and co-founder and CEO of Lift Lab, conducting consulting and research. Laurent is also an active blogger, start-up adviser and public speaker. He has worked extensively in implementing technology to solve business problems.

Rebecca Stirnemann: An ecologist working with species ranging in size from forest snails to African elephants, Rebecca specializes in species interactions and ecosystem dynamics.  She has run biodiversity surveys and conservation education programmes and has researched optimal habitat restoration of mine sites and spatial use of large carnivores.


Yesim Akcollu: A senior energy expert actively involved in the liberalization and shaping of Turkey’s new energy policies and laws, Yesim has represented Turkey on energy and competition issues at the EU, WTO, OECD and UN Conference on Trade and Development. She previously worked at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., and OIES in Oxford, England.

Mustafa Akyol: A Turkish journalist and author who has written extensively on Islam and the modern world, Mustafa currently serves as an opinion editor and columnist for Turkish Daily News and the Turkish national daily, Star.

Suat Seyitoğlu: A deputy governor in Diyarbakır of Turkey, Suat received degrees in economics, political sciences, attended the War Academy and graduated from the UK’s University of Sheffield.


Samata Angel: Samata is a British-born Ghanaian award-winning fashion entrepreneur as an author, and designer of her own label, Muse. She was the first black British female to show during the Nolcha Fashion Week in New York. Samata recently published a guide book series assisting fashion designers in business startup featuring contributions from the likes of America’s Next Top Model Nigel Barker and Terry Mansfield and is an ambassador for Global Enterprise Week - Ghana.

Sophia Bokhari: As a writer, lecturer and research fellow at INLOGOV, School of Government and Society, University of Birmingham, Sophia focuses on child poverty, cultural identity and the socialisation processes of new communities.  

Stuart Brady: After serving as an international trade policy expert and working in the European Parliament and in the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, Stuart now helps the Confederation of British Industry encourage international businesses to act on climate change.

Terry Canning: Founder of an award-winning online herd management service, FarmWizard.com, Terry has also developed and led information technology projects for global businesses such as Nortel Networks and BT.

Anita Clark : With 16 years of dance development experience gathered while working in Scotland and England, Anita now serves as Head of Dance at the Scottish Arts Council, where she develops and delivers a strategy for dance in Scotland.  

Rajeeb Dey: Rajeeb is the founder and CEO of Enternships.com, a portal for entrepreneurial work placements. He founded the English Secondary Students’ Association, a national organisation that gives students aged 11-19 a voice in their education. Rajeeb is a trustee of UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs and Advisory Board Member for Channel 4 (Education) and the UK-India Business Council.

Alexander Evans: Alexander divides his time between Oxford and Pakistan, serving as a Gwilym Gibbon Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, and as a British diplomat in Pakistan. He grew up in Cyprus, Nigeria, Germany, Greece and Dorset, has worked in New Delhi, Washington, D.C, and Afghanistan, and has served as a commentator for BBC World and CNN.

Simon Fell: With an emphasis on good governance in London, transportation and community cohesion, Simon established a public affairs company and co-founded a London-focused think tank, both of which focus on cross-party solutions and bipartisanship.

Michelle Gallen: Michelle Gallen was born and raised in Northern Ireland. Following an early career in publishing, Michelle has worked in the digital learning sector for the 10 years which has included a stint at the BBC. She founded www.talkirish.com - an award-winning social network for learners, teachers and speakers of the endangered Irish language and she blogs at www.searchfindlearn.com.

Ryan Gawn : Currently managing international advocacy issues for Save the Children-UK, Ryan has worked with the Scottish Parliament, British Foreign Commonwealth Office, European Parliament, the UN and a Northern Irish public affairs consultancy. He was previously a Salzburg and Rotary World Peace Fellow.

Alison Goldsworthy : Working for one of the UK’s largest charities, Alison manages campaigns and has helped pioneer an innovative commitment to grassroots activism. Previously she worked in the National Assembly, the Houses of Parliament and for several non-profit organisations.

Roshni Hafeez : Following work for BBC Radio Scotland and various community radio stations throughout India and Pakistan, Roshni is now a development officer for Glasgow Equalities Partnership (GEP). She is also a management board member for “Sensing Change,” a project supporting sensory impaired people who have issues with drug and alcohol abuse.

Ben Hammersley: Ben is a British journalist and technologist who has lived previously in China, Sweden and Italy. He is founder of Dangerous Precedent Ltd, a digital-media design practice, and Editor at Large of WIRED magazine. Ben has been a broadcaster and journalist for the BBC, the Guardian, and The Times, reporting from Afghanistan, Iran and Beirut. He has written five books on web technologies, and is credited with the creation of the word "Podcast" by the Oxford English Dictionary.

Bethan Jenkins : As the youngest elected Assembly Member for South Wales, Bethan currently sits on the Equal Opportunities Committee and is the Plaid Cymru Spokesperson on Child Poverty, and brings a passion for international affairs, women’s rights, asylum matters and other social causes to the Assembly.

Christopher Johnston: Chris specialises in corporate communications in the private and public sector. He co-founded the Youth Empowerment Scheme, a charity for social inclusion among children, and founded Civic Leader, an accredited student leadership development program. Chris is currently working on the establishment of a Kennedy Memorial in Northern Ireland.

Steven Kidd: Steven manages communications and policy for the Scottish Youth Parliament and has helped establish the organisation as the premier route to engagement with young people in Scotland. He has facilitated events from Nigeria to Bangladesh and has been involved in several policy groups.

Sarah-Jane King: After working for the European Commission, the Regional Development Agency and as a not-for-profit employment law caseworker, Sarah-Jane currently directs the North East England Office in Brussels, where she represents her home region to EU institutions.

Andrew Kneale: After working in education, Andrew now serves as the Transatlantic Project Coordinator for the British Council in Washington, D.C., where he assists in the development of Transatlantic Network 2020 and coordinates the project in North America.

Laura McCrum: Laura McCrum was born in Scotland into an African-Scottish family, and spent her formative years between Kenya and Scotland. She currently works a development officer for a BME women’s organization called Saheliya. After working with the BBC, Laura co-founded Urbanscot, an organization committed to supporting and developing the Music of Black origin scene in Scotland.

Errol Lawson: Errol is operations manager and youth pastor at a pioneering and thriving Inner City Church in Birmingham, England, passionate about developing the next generation of leaders. He has launched the “World Changers” Youth Ministry which empowers and equips young leaders to engage with and transform their spheres of influence. He also speaks in local schools and in 2010 he will be publishing his first book entitled “Do Something! Success tips for Teens”.

Anisa Nawaz: As the diversity initiatives officer with Valleys Race Equality Council, Anisa works with people disenfranchised by their minority status, helping to empower them to influence public policy and participate in community affairs.

Jennifer Neff: Jennifer challenges companies to improve their impact on society and the environment. She supports female entrepreneurs in working with Women in Enterprise and oversees the youth development efforts of twenty-six credit unions.

Federico Podeschi: Federico was born in the Republic of San Marino and moved to the UK in 1997, where he is Chief Executive Officer of the LGBT Excellence Centre Wales, and president of LGBT San Marino. His work is focused on developing sustainable models for delivering equality and human rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.

Mark Pollock: Having become blind in a two week period, Mark rapidly learned how to adapt to changing circumstances. Now, he delivers lectures, pursues research into resilience, creativity and innovation and competes in extreme sports events.

Neil Simms: As director of finance for Clarendon Fund Managers Ltd., Neil oversees investments and represents the funds under management’s interests on the boards of four portfolio companies.

Anjula Singh: Initially a BBC studio manager, Anjula now serves as the operations manager for the Eurasia region of World Service, working on products like Production House of the Future and Persian TV.

Wil Stephens: Wil Stephens is a BAFTA award-winning digital producer and founder of the interactive production company Cube in 2006, which under his leadership has developed into one of the leading digital companies in the UK. Wil is a Trustee of the Welsh Broadcasting Trust and a Director of industry training company, Skillset.

Ushrat Sultana: Ushrat works on a wide range of issues including Honour Based Violence, Extremism, Human Rights and Disability. She is Executive Director of Silent Impact Ltd, a Social Enterprise committed to Social Justice.  Prior to this, Ushrat worked as a Strategic Manager for a Member of Parliament, and also in Community Development for a Local Authority.  

Simon Watson: Simon was born in England, but now lives in Scotland where he is the Head of Developments for a leading welfare charity. He is a fellow of the Royal Society for Arts and is the Vice Chairman of the Scottish Community Development Centre. Previously a management consultant and senior advisor, Simon has a specific interest in creative, pragmatic solutions to entrenched social problems.


Amar Bakshi: A documentary video and social theory enthusiast who spent a year exploring how people around the world view the United States, Amar’s work for The Washington Post and Newsweek has sent him around the world to India, Pakistan, Israel, Turkey, the Philippines and Venezuela.

Sentell Freday Barnes: Active in politics since 1998, Sentell served a U.S. Governor, U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative, in addition to volunteering for numerous Republican political campaigns, and currently is a policy analyst for the American Bankers Association’s Card Policy Council.  

Shane Belvin: Shane has worked as an investment banker, corporate strategy manager, and an entrepreneur developing a platform to trade weather derivatives.  While serving as a Captain in the Army, Shane was awarded the Bronze Star for direct fire engagements during Operation Iraqi Freedom and took part in the capture of Saddam Hussein in December 2003. Upon leaving the Army, Shane served as an engineer in aerospace industry, focusing primarily on human space exploration.

LaNitra Berger: LaNitra believes that global citizens are better local citizens, which is why she is passionate about getting more minority students to study abroad. She is the director of leadership and international programs at NAFEO, where she promotes the internationalization of historically black colleges and universities. LaNitra has studied or lived abroad in France, Germany, and South Africa.

Jose Castellanos: A 13-year veteran of the police force, Jose serves as Sergeant in the Los Angeles Police Department and aims to build racial tolerance, equality and understanding through gang violence prevention. He is a graduate of the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute and was recently accepted to the West Point Leadership School.

Marisa Catalina Casey: Marisa directs the Brooklyn-based arts & entrepreneurship center Starting Artists, Inc. Board Member of the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Council and Emerging Leaders of New York Arts, Marisa Marisa has held positions at the Hearst Foundations, CARE, Alliance for Children, and APERTURE. A 2008/9 YouthActionNet Global Fellow, Marisa attended the American Express Nonprofit Leadership Institute 2009 and has been chosen to attend the South Africa Lucca Leadership Institute 2010.

Marcia Chatelain: Currently a professor at the University of Oklahoma Honours College, Marcia has worked at an NGO committed to West African women living in the UK and was named a Harry S. Truman Scholar while completing a fellowship at the University of California-Santa Barbara’s Department of Black Studies.

Zadi Diaz: Producer, writer and host of EPIC-FU, an award-winning online Web series about pop culture on the Internet, and co-founder of Smashface Productions, Zadi is a pioneer in the new media community whose expertise has been sought after by NPR, SXSW and NAB.

Georgeta Dragoiu: Georgeta Dragoiu was born in Romania and grew up in Chicago. She has worked as a Junior Professional Associate at the World Bank and is currently working as an Economic and Policy Analyst at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. She has co-authored, “Crisis in Latin America: Infrastructure Investment, Employment and the Expectations of Stimulus” in response to the recent financial crisis and is also a published playwright, Collapsible Model, 2002.

Biagio Dull: Building on his eight years of aerospace and optical telecommunications experience, Biagio, a California native, aims to create opportunities to expand and develop green technology.  

Gwyn R. Fischer: Gwyn is the Executive Director of MPACT Memphis, a nationally recognized organization for young professionals. She is a former attorney and served as Law Clerk to a federal judge for four years.  She has published in legal journals and is currently a contributing author for Smart City Memphis.  Her research and writing focus on the role of young professionals as catalysts for effective city growth and economic development.  

Rebecca Fletcher: An author and activist for economic justice, Rebecca raises awareness about the economic disparities and injustice inherent in private land ownership through her work at a small, national non-profit, Equity Trust.

Blair Glencourse: Blair is an Associate at the Institute for State Effectiveness (ISE) providing practical policy advice to national leaders and the international community on institutional reform, economic development, coordination and program implementation issues in contexts such as Afghanistan, Nepal, Southern Sudan, Kosovo and Sierra Leone. Previously, Blair worked for the Fragile States Team at the World Bank.

Matthew Guilford: Matthew Guilford manages the City of Chicago’s Digital Excellence Initiative, a partnership that leverages digitally-engaged communities to advance key issues like healthcare, education and sustainability. He leads the City of Chicago’s innovation practice, which redesigns public services, strengthens the culture of creativity in government and engages residents in problem solving.

Kristopher Harrison: Kristopher is Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State’s Counsellor Eliot Cohen. He has advised the Secretary of State and Undersecretary of Defence and served as the Secretary of Defence's top policy aide for the Caucasus and Central Asia. He co-founded the Hamilton Group, an organisation promoting entrepreneurship in North Africa and Central Asia.  

Katie Hellerman: Katie’s life question is "What are the universal cultural practices that bring people into deeper positive relationship with the earth and with each other and what can they teach us?" She co-founded New Leaf Regenerative Design, a sustainability education and consulting company and is a founding member of the Fox Circle Regenerative Living Project (FCRLP), a collaborative ecovillage research project.

Molly Hellerman: After directing youth-based NGOs and working in financial services, Molly leads SportsChallenge Alliance, an NGO that uses athletics as a tool to develop and empower student leaders from diverse backgrounds to positively impact their teams, schools and communities.

Pauline Herrera: Named one of the Colorado Statesman's "50 for the Future," Pauline currently directs communications and marketing for the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs and previously held a similar position for the Museo de las Américas (Museum of the Americas).  

Noel A. Hidalgo : A self-described “international blender repairman,” Noel helps run two non-profits: Not An Alternative, Inc., a production company working with cultural producers, theorists, activists and adventure seekers; and RemixAmerica.org., a home for remix and mashup artists.

Joe Hurd: A start-up executive at VideoEgg, Inc., Joe also runs the Katama Group, advising consumer-facing internet and mobile content companies. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies.  

Nicholas Hu: Creator of De Novo Technologies, Inc., a start-up company focused on innovating and commercializing new medical technology, Nicholas also is an academic tutor for Blue Jay Academies, a company he co-founded.

Jeff Johnson: Named by Source Magazine as one of the hip-hop generation’s key political players, Jeff has travelled around the world to interview political figures and highlight social issues as a TV host and correspondent for Black Entertainment Television (BET). He now hosts “The Truth with Jeff Johnson,” a weekly BET show.

David Kirby : David serves as Executive Director of America’s Future Foundation, a networking organisation for young libertarian and conservative leaders, and as a researcher with the Cato Institute. A study he co-authored about the importance of the libertarian vote sparked coverage in leading U.S. press outlets.

Shawn Renee Lent: Shawn Renee is an arts manager, choreographer and dance educator committed to community-based dance and educational reform. A former youth worker and dance critic in London, Shawn Renee currently works for the Center for Community Arts Partnerships at Columbia College Chicago.  

Daryl Niemerow: In addition to serving 28,000 children every day in 180 public elementary schools in Los Angeles through LA’s BEST, an after-school enrichment programme, Daryl’s efforts to facilitate community partnerships are bringing local and national exposure to her organisation.

Arturo Ortega: As an instructional aide, teacher, assistant principal, principal and current assistant superintendent in a California school district, Arturo has worked in the educational field for the last seventeen years.

Zeenat Rahman: In partnership with national Muslim organisations, Zeenat has promoted civic engagement and healthy integration amongst Muslim youth. She currently works for an international non-profit to build mutual respect and pluralism among religiously diverse young people.

Azita Ranjbar: Azita, who currently works on criminal law and transitional justice issues in Afghanistan for the U.S. Institute of Peace, has conducted research in Afghanistan on international development as well as on women's peace-building initiatives in Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Maria Repnikova: With a passion for understanding migration patterns, Maria studies comparative government, human rights, global governance and international policy at Oxford University, with a focus on China and Russia.

Claire Rice: Claire Rice is the Interim Director of Education and Audience Development at UMS, a 131 year-old performing arts presenter in Ann Arbor, MI. She works to build context around and connection to the arts for a wide variety of audiences, through educational and community events. She has managed a Grammy Award-winning concert recording and a month-long residency with the Royal Shakespeare Company.  Rice also serves on various non-profit boards that advance youth and the arts in Southeast Michigan.

Andrew Robertson: Andrew is completing his law degree at the University of California, Berkeley, with an emphasis on intellectual property, science policy, and global health.  From 2005 to 2007, Andrew was a AAAS S&T Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of the Secretary, where he worked on policies concerning emerging and neglected disease threats.  

Roey Rosenblith: While Roey currently runs one of Sen. Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign offices, he previously helped design and disseminate innovative agro-processing devices for farmers in the developing world and founded a company in Uganda that will implement a Clean Development Mechanism project.

Reihan Salam : Co-author of “Grand New Party,” Associate Editor of The Atlantic and a fellow at the New America Foundation, Reihan previously worked for NBC News, The New York Times, the Council on Foreign Relations and The New Republic.

David Sasaki: David is the director of outreach for Global Voices Online and the research director of the Technology for Transparency Network. He manages a portfolio of small-scale projects around the developing world that use citizen media to effect social change. David speaks regularly at universities and conferences about the transition from broadcast to participatory media and has facilitated digital media training workshops in over 50 countries.

Stephanie Schierholz: A NASA public affairs specialist specifically assigned to NASA's efforts to return to the moon and travel to Mars and beyond, Stephanie also serves as secretary of Women in Aerospace.

Kimberly Shaw: Former Presidential Management Fellow, Kimberly is a newly commissioned Reserve Junior Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard working for the Commander of U.S. Southern Command. She managed a federally funded grant programme in national security studies at her alma mater and analyzed Chile and Argentina for the U.S. Southern Command.

David Travers: Recipient of the Secretary of Defence's Award for Outstanding Public Service, David served as executive assistant to the National Security Advisor in the White House and currently works as an associate at an early stage venture capital firm.  

Tricia Wang: Tricia is an ethnographer and sociologist whose work generates understanding about the everyday lives of new and under-served technology users. She is currently researching in urban China and rural Mexico and her work has been funded by several agencies, including the National Science Foundation. Tricia posts fieldnotes and analysis about technology usage on her blogs: Cultural Bytes, Digital Urbanisms, and YouMeiTI.

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