Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pakistan to have Two New Young Global Leaders

The World Economic Forum has announced its Young Global Leaders (YGLs) for 2011. The honour, bestowed each year by the Forum, recognizes up to 200 outstanding young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world.

Mir Ibrahim Rahman, CEO for GEO Television, MIR has been at the helm of affairs of Pakistan's fastest growing and most popular media brand for over 8 years. A former Goldman Sachs investment banker, specializing in media and telecom, Mir has overseen the launch and growth of GEO from a 5 member operation out of a hotel to a 2,500+ strong South-Asian content producer and broadcaster with 10 channels globally. GEO’s mission is to create an enabling platform for thinking and questioning in Pakistan. The New York Times confirms that “GEO has changed the media landscape” of the country. Mir graduated Suma Cum Laude with Honors from Babson College in Economics, Finance and Entrepreneurship in 2000 and co founded GEO when he was just 25. His alma mater has dubbed MIR the “Robin hood of Information” for Pakistan, helping bring ground-breaking consciousness to social political discourse. Mir is the youngest member of Young Presidents Organization in Pakistan, Charter member of The Indus Entrepreneur and Director of Mir Khalil ur Rahman Foundation. Mir, recently took a study leave together at Harvard for their Masters in Political Administration and Education respectively.
Mir Ibrahim Rahman, became the first Muslim (and second South Asian) to have won the most prestigious award from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. The 2010 Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Public Service is given to the graduating student who most exhibits a deep commitment to public service as well as shows signs for future potential leadership.
Mir, CEO of GEO TV, was recognized for his and his team’s contribution in the historical lawyers movement that brought independent judiciary to Pakistan, peace campaign between India and Pakistan and other ground breaking work that helps the overcoming of differences in religion, culture and ethnicity.
Mir was also given the Lucius N. Littauer Award, given to members of the graduating class that excelled in the classroom and made a significant positive contribution to the Kennedy School community. Mir was acknowledged for representing his class in the Kennedy Student Government, as well as organizing several key seminars and being on the Advisory Board for Harvard’s South Asia Initiative. Mir was the rare student to also serve in Harvard’s prestigious Admissions Committee, which is staffed usually by only senior most Professors. The Co-founder and CEO of GEO TV Network, and has been on a sabbatical for a year at Harvard to complete his Masters in Public Administration, where he has also researched and written a thesis on Pakistan’s potential, titled: Reason to Believe- Finding A New Public Narrative for Pakistan.

Saleem Ali, Professor  Professor of Environmental Planning and Asian Studies, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resource at University of Vermont.
Dr. Ali is also on the adjunct faculty of Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies. For the 2007-2008 academic years, he also served as the Associate Dean for Graduate Education in Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. For the 2008-2009 academic year, Dr. Ali was on sabbatical working on a book pertaining to mineral resources and the environment: Treasures of the Earth: Need, Greed and a Sustainable Future.
His research focuses on the causes and consequences of environmental conflicts and how ecological factors can promote peace. He is also on the visiting faculty for the United Nations mandated University for Peace (Costa Rica), where he teaches a course on Indigenous Environment and Development Conflicts. Much of his empirical research has focused on environmental conflicts in the mineral sector and he is the author of Mining, the Environment and Indigenous Development Conflicts (University of Arizona Press, 2004). His most recent edited volume (November 2008) is Earth Matters: Indigenous Peoples, The Extractive Industries and Corporate Social Resposibility (edited with Ciaran O'Fairchellaegh). He is also the editor of Peace Parks: Conservation and Conflict Resolution (MIT Press, September, 2007).
Dr. Ali is a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas and the IUCN Taskforce on Transboundary Conservation. He has also been involved in promoting environmental education in madrassahs (Islamic religious schools) and using techniques from environmental planning to study the rise of these institutions in his ethnic homeland -- Pakistan, leading to a book published in January 2009 by Oxford University Press titled Islam and Education: Conflict and Conformity in Pakistan's Madrassahs.
His research appointments include a Public Policy Fellowship at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, a Baker Foundation Research Fellowship at Harvard Business School, and a parliamentary internship at the U.K. House of Commons. Teaching experience includes courses on environmental planning, conflict resolution, industrial ecology, research methods and technical writing. 
For 2011, the Forum has selected 190 Young Global Leaders from 65 countries and all sectors of society (business, civil society, social entrepreneurs, politics and government, arts and culture, and opinion and media). The new class represents all regions: East Asia (50), South Asia (18), Europe (42), Middle East and North Africa (13), sub-Saharan Africa (14), North America (37) and Latin America (16). This year’s selection has more gender balance than ever, with 44% women.
“The challenges faced by the next generation of leaders are more daunting and intractable than ever and cannot be mastered with the current set of strategies, institutions, standards and attitudes. To address these challenges in a meaningful and sustainable way requires fresh thinking, multistakeholder engagement and dynamic new ways of collaborating to develop innovative solutions that are truly global. Recognizing this need, in 2004, I created the foremost platform for young leaders to engage in global affairs to shape a more positive, peaceful and prosperous society. Within the World Economic Forum community, the Young Global Leaders represent the voice for the future and the hopes of the next generation. I am particularly proud of this year's honourees, who make up the most diverse class of YGLs ever,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
Drawn from a pool of almost 5,000 candidates, the Young Global Leaders 2011 were chosen by a selection committee chaired by H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The Young Global Leaders 2011 reflect different kinds of leadership in different parts of the world and society. They include: Max Levchin, Vice-President of Engineering, Google (from Ukraine); Alexandra Cousteau, Founder and President, Blue Legacy International (from France); Funmi Iyanda, Blogger, Journalist and Columnist (from Nigeria); Ricardo TerĂ¡n, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Agora Partnerships (from Nicaragua); Kala Mulqueeny, Senior Counsel, Asian Development Bank (from Australia/Philippines); Naoko Yamazaki, Astronaut, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (from Japan); Naif Al Mutawa, Creator, THE 99 Comics (from Kuwait); Hala Gorani, Anchor, CNN International (from the United States); Zhou Xun, Actress (from People’s Republic of China);Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary (from Canada); and Chetan Maini, Deputy Chairman and Chief Technology Officer, Reva Electric Car Company (from India).
A recently selected YGL from Afghanistan, Dawood Azami, Bureau Chief, BBC World Service, reflected on his selection: “Life is a struggle and to be able to bring a positive change is very rewarding and a fulfilling thought. The YGL forum is one the best and effective platforms where ideas are shared, skills are refined and developed, and an action plan is made to bring change and make the world a better place. I am very glad to be part of such a forum, which strives to find the right solutions to the problems faced by the world today and positively impact the global agenda. I believe in a positive change, doesn't matter how small that be. I am reminded of a saying that if one leaf changes its colour, it means the tree is not the same anymore. I am sure the state of the world will be improved as a result of the sincere efforts of the YGL forum.”
Another recently selected YGL from the United States, April Rinne, Director, WaterCredit,, USA, explained her reaction: “Being named a YGL is an unparalleled opportunity to share ideas about how to improve the world with an incredibly broad, accomplished community. With this group, I hope to help amplify and disseminate things that really work – often blending for-profit and non-profit, public and private sectors – to do business and make policy in better ways.”
The 2011 honourees will become part of the broader Forum of Young Global Leaders community that currently comprises 668 outstanding individuals. The YGLs convene at an Annual Summit, which will be held this year in Dalian, People’s Republic of China on 12-16 September. Young Global Leaders are actively engaged in the community, integrating into events organized by the World Economic Forum and organizing events of their own, as well as launching and leading a number of innovative initiatives and task forces. See for a list of YGL initiatives. These activities enable YGLs to learn from and with each other; build knowledge and engender a better understanding of global challenges and trends, risks and opportunities; and further enhance their unique role as leaders within their own organizations, the World Economic Forum and the broader global community.
“We are very pleased to welcome the new cohort of Young Global Leaders into our community and encourage them to embrace the opportunity fully. The YGL community helps its members make the transition – as one YGL told me – ‘from success to significance’ and strives to move from a collection of successful individuals to a community of collective impact. YGLs hold each other accountable to a higher standard of global leadership in their professional and personal lives, so it really is about making the world a better place, one leader at a time,” said David Aikman, Head of the Forum of Young Global Leaders.
More information about the Forum of Young Global Leaders at
List of the YGL community
Visit our YGL YouTube channel at