Zaw Tu Hkawng is a project coordinator for BBC Media Action in Myanmar, where he produces the nationally-broadcasted radio drama, “The Tea Cup Diaries,” which supports peace and social inclusion across Myanmar, particularly among its varied ethnic and religious communities. Additionally, Zaw has a history as a humanitarian aid worker, assisting Myanmar refugees, Malaysia and rehabilitating drug users. Zaw seeks to utilize mass media to give a voice to the different ethnic groups throughout Myanmar by conducting interviews to empower the groups to speak out.
Zaheer Abbas is a civil society activist who has gained new insights through his work on inner-city violence in the US for his project in Pakistan’s Federally Administrated Tribal Areas that engages men and boys on their perceptions of masculine behavior. Abbas advocates self-awareness and critical thinking and training on nonviolent, gender sensitive male role models.
Lainfiesta is a journalist and civil society activist specialized in neuroscience and cultural and creative industries. She currently works as a multimedia journalist where she focuses on fostering debate, critical thinking, and civic engagement.
She works to transform the economy and identity in Guatemala through the conservation of Mayan Bees and Mayan traditions as an economic model, selling a unique and one of a kind honey that empowers communities of women and children by providing a passive economic income.
Vimal Kumar is the founder of Movement for Scavenger Community (MSC), an organization committed to the eradication of manual scavenging in India and bringing education and awareness to the existing scavenger community. As one of the rare members of the scavenger community who was able to obtain higher education, Kumar provides the unique perspective needed to provide insight on the issues caused by India’s caste system. Kumar’s Leadership Action Plan seeks to eradicate caste violence and prejudiced attitudes towards the scavenger community through the establishment of leadership education centers.
To date, the five MSC centers have provided 10,000 people with free meals, working together with upper caste members through collective community action.
Goldmann-Kefalas has worked as a project manager for refugee labor market integration with the family support focused FROEBEL group in Berlin. She previously volunteered in refugee camps in Greece and takes part in the Turkey Europe Future fellowship by Mercator to find political solutions to refugee issues in Europe. Goldmann-Kefalas aims to address the issues surrounding refugee migration in Germany by equipping refugees with the tools to become productive and integrated members of society. She will tackle these issues by creating long-term solutions that allow for better refugee integration through education and language programs.
El Allam is an ecosystem builder in the Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Community Development space from Morocco. Known for trustworthiness and diplomacy as a community builder, she has a proven track record of engaging national and international stakeholders to lead successful initiatives.
El Allam seeks to bridge the gap between business communities by building a cross-sector collaboration and partnership platform, providing entrepreneurs with resources, knowledge and access to capital they need to scale their businesses.
Siham Mamand works in the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs. She is passionate about education for girls and women, especially in rural areas. Her ultimate goal is to motivate and empower women to assume leadership positions in the public and private sector in Kurdistan and to break cultural norms that assign lesser roles to women in her society. During her year working with the international business group Libra and their social outreach and leadership development activities, she examined how private sector stakeholders make major contributions to societal development.
Selamawit Girmay Birhane is a federal high court appellate judge and case flow management coordinator in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Prior to assuming this position, she served as the head of the Child Justice Project and the National Court Reform Program under the Federal Supreme Court of Ethiopia. Judge Birhane coordinated a referral system established by 34 governmental and non-governmental organizations to ensure child justice in Ethiopia and was the vice-chair of the technical committee for the National Coordinating Body for Multi-Sectoral and Integrated Response to Violence against Women and Children. She is a member of the Ethiopian Committee on the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Judge Birhane seeks to ensure an improved justice administration system and better promotion and protection of the rights of children in Ethiopia.
Sahana Mishra is a civil society activist from India. During her time in the United States, she worked with Lugar Strategies to further her understand of how private corporations participate in the promotion of women and girl’s leadership development. Since returning to India in September 2016, she has provided leadership and economic empowerment trainings to approximately 4,000 women. Her Leadership Action Plan seeks to empower young women and girls in the poorest regions of India to achieve economic independence through education, employment, and venture enterprises.
Rosie Gomez is a senior policy advisor on Trafficking Prevention in the Administration on Children, Youth and Families in the United States Department of Health and Human Services. She has over 10 years of experience in the field of child welfare serving as a child protection specialist prior to joining the Department of Health and Human Services. She aligns multiple anti-trafficking initiatives across the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, and partners with federal and non-federal entities to improve the creation and implementation of anti-trafficking programs and activities. Gomez seeks to develop a new U.S. government strategy to combat human trafficking among the child welfare system in the United States.