McCain Global Leaders: Cohorts

2020

Zaw Tu Hkawng
Zaw Tu Hkawng

Myanmar

Zaw Tu Hkawng
Zaw Tu Hkawng

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.

Placement Organization: Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles

Esther Akafia
Esther Akafia

Ghana

Esther Akafia
Esther Akafia

Esther Akafia is an attorney and an experienced international development professional with over 20 years of experience working and leading teams globally. She is the founder and executive director of the Pioneers International Academy, an institute focused on providing quality and affordable elementary education in areas of need. Akafia seeks to implement Pioneers International Academy across Africa to provide quality education to those in need.

Placement Organization: BASIS Charter Schools

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Marija Dautartaite
Marija Dautartaite

Lithuania

Marija Dautartaite
Marija Dautartaite

Marija Dautartaitė previously served as an advisor to the president of the Republic of Lithuania on social and cultural affairs. In this position, she coordinated the national social campaign, “For a Safe Lithuania.” Dautartaitė is working to interrupt the cycle of poverty and social neglect that is passed down from one generation to the next through early intervention. She seeks to implement early intervention plans in the education system and prenatal support to break the cycle of poverty.

Placement Organization: Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected]aininstitute.org.

Vimal Kumar
Vimal Kumar

India

Vimal Kumar
Vimal Kumar

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. As a recipient of the COVID-19 In The Arena Grant, Kumar will be able to augment that work. Four community center leaders will identify the most vulnerable and needy members of the sweeper caste in their respective locations, providing PPE to sanitation workers and food to those who have lost their jobs.

Placement Organization: Cure Violence Global

Ximena Lainfiesta
Ximena Lainfiesta

Guatemala

Ximena Lainfiesta
Ximena Lainfiesta

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.

Placement Organization: Office of the Mayor of Compton

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Nthabiseng Letsie
Nthabiseng Letsie

Lesotho

Nthabiseng Letsie
Nthabiseng Letsie

Nthabiseng Letsie is currently working as a labor inspector in the Ministry of Labor and Employment of Lesotho. She is working towards the eradication of child labor and trafficking and the re- adaptation of the survivors. Letsie seeks to put place mechanisms to eliminate child labor, trafficking and forced marriage of children in Lesotho.

Placement Organization: ASU’s Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Jerlie Requerme
Jerlie Requerme

Philippines

Jerlie Requerme
Jerlie Requerme

Jerlie Requerme is a judge with more than 16 years of experience working in the Filipino legal community. She has dedicated over two decades to advocacy work spanning across sectors such as environmental, education, peace and more. Judge Requerme seeks to secure justice through technology by the digitization of records in order to preserve the integrity of court records and the entire judicial system as a whole.

Judge Requerme is a recipient of the COVID-19 In The Arena Grant. Using these micro-grant funds, Judge Requerme will ensure the safety of medical professionals at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center in her home city of Cagayan de Oro by supplying them with much-needed PPE.

Placement Organization: National Center for State Courts

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Ledyani Simarmata
Ledyani Simarmata

Indonesia

Ledyani Simarmata
Ledyani Simarmata

Ledyani Simarmata is a communications expert in Jakarta, with experience focusing on issues and crisis management. She currently serves as a superintendent in the corporate communications department in the mining company, PT Freeport Indonesia. Simarmata seeks to utilize technology and data visualization to improve the transparency around policy making and create more evidence-based policy.

Placement Organization: ASU's Decision Theater

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

2019

Modou Sowe
Modou Sowe

The Gambia

Modou Sowe
Modou Sowe

Modou Sowe is currently the National Youth Coordinator of the National Organization of Farmer Associations of The Gambia and volunteers as the Secretary General of the National Livestock Owners Association. As the National Youth Coordinator, Sowe leads youth advocacy, lobbying efforts, and policy dialogue to enhance youth participation in agricultural production. As Secretary General, he leads the coordination of various committee decisions, translating these decisions and policies into realities. Sowe seeks to build competent leadership and professional skills to support women and youth in the agricultural value chain for sustainable development while indirectly supporting the government’s efforts to address its challenges of food insecurity, high dependency ratio, and the unemployment of women and youth.

Cattle farmers and workers in the Gambia’s livestock markets are among some of the most at-risk individuals for contracting the virus. As a recipient of the COVID-19 In The Arena Grant, Sowe will be able to provide them with sanitation materials and clean drinking water.

Placement Organization: Community Alliance with Family Farmers

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Abdalaziz Alhamza
Abdalaziz Alhamza

Syria

Abdalaziz Alhamza
Abdalaziz Alhamza

Alhamza is an award-winning Syrian journalist and co-founder and spokesperson of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a non-partisan, independent organization that exposes the atrocities committed by ISIS and the Bashar Al-Assad regime in Syria. Prior to this position, Alhamza organized non-violent protests and demonstrations against the Syrian regime. After escaping to Turkey in 2014, he used smuggled video footage and images to show the reality of life in Raqqa under ISIS rule to the rest of the world. Alhamza was the subject of the documentary City Of Ghosts, which was on the 2018 Oscar Documentary Feature shortlist. Alhamza seeks to empower the next generation of Syrians to become compassionate and informed leaders in their own communities and to rebuild the country based on the principles of freedom, dignity, truth, justice, unity, and peace.

Placement Organization: East-West Institute

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Selamawit Girmay Birhane
Selamawit Girmay Birhane

Ethiopia

Selamawit Girmay Birhane
Selamawit Girmay Birhane

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.

Judge Birhane is a recipient of the COVID-19 In The Arena Grant. With this micro-grant, she will supply families in Addis Ababa with food, sanitation materials and personal protective equipment.

Placement Organization: Border Network for Human Rights

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Sokayna El Allam
Sokayna El Allam

Morocco

Sokayna El Allam
Sokayna El Allam

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.

Placement Organization: DigitalUndivided

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Ljubomir Filipović
Ljubomir Filipović

Montenegro

Ljubomir Filipović
Ljubomir Filipović

Ljubomir Filipović is an activist and publicist from Montenegro. He has served his community in a number of political and public positions including Deputy and Acting Mayor of Budva and Political Advisor to the Social-Democratic Party of Montenegro in the National Parliament. Filipović founded “Budva 2020,” a civic foundation that promotes transparent, sustainable, and socially-inclusive local development and that seeks to modernize public administration. He founded The Naiad Center, which is a Montenegrin think tank and knowledge center focused on the promotion of democracy, free trade, global dialogue, and peacebuilding. Through the education of young leaders in politics, business, civil society, and the media, Filipović seeks to advance an efficient and accountable political system and public administration in Montenegro through the establishment of a Western Balkans Leadership Initiative.

Filipović is a recipient of the COVID-19 In The Arena Grant. He will use this micro-grant to support Montenegro’s “Heroes from the Neighborhood” initiative, through which local community leaders self-organize to help those most affected by the public health and economic crisis. This includes delivering food and medicine for the elderly and the disabled and supporting those who have lost their source of income.

Placement Organization: Denver International Airport

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Liisa Past
Liisa Past

Estonia

Liisa Past
Liisa Past

Liisa Past (MA) is a Next Generation Leader at the McCain Institute for International Leadership at the Arizona State University and former Chief Research Officer at the Cyber Security Branch of the Estonian Information System Authority, where she designed, led and carried out analysis related to cyber security, including risk, threat and impact assessments. She has been a driving force behind the Estonian comprehensive risk assessment of elections and the Compendium on Cyber Security of Election Technology, published under the auspices of the Cooperation Group of the EU Network and Information Security Directive.

During her year as a Next Generation Leader she continues to work with government agencies and the election management bodies, focusing on operationalising cyber security of democratic processes. She will be working on developing practical tools for cyber security of elections, amongst other initiatives working on risk and cyber posture assessment methodologies, self assessment tools and vulnerability management.

Placement Organization: Cyr3Con at Arizona State University

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Aliz Pocsuvalszki
Aliz Pocsuvalszki

Hungary

Aliz Pocsuvalszki
Aliz Pocsuvalszki

Aliz Pocsuvalszki is an educator and activist of partly Roma origin from Budapest; she is also a member of the 2019 mccain-ngl cohort. During her mccain-ngl program year, she was placed at City Year in New Orleans, where she played an integral role in developing and delivering diversity, equity, and inclusion training to City Year staff, volunteers and teachers. Prior to the mccain-ngl Program, Pocsuvalszki worked with different Roma communities countrywide, and volunteered with MigSzol (Migrant Solidarity Group of Hungary), a grassroots independent group of immigrants, refugees and Hungarians. Pocsuvalszki’s LAP seeks to challenge the long-standing practice of school segregation and to work towards a more inclusive system which guarantees educational access to all marginalized groups in Hungary. Since returning to Hungary in July 2019, Pocsuvalszki became a co-founder of a non-profit association which utilizes mentorship and after-school programs to combat school dropout of Roma students in Hungary. This Catalyst Grant will allow Pocusvalszki to scale her pilot student mentoring program to more schools and to integrate social-emotional learning methodologies into the after-school curriculum.

Placement Organization: City Year – New Orleans

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Liubov Romanova
Liubov Romanova

Russia

Liubov Romanova
Liubov Romanova

Romanova is a Russian human rights and civil society activist. She has worked in non-governmental human rights organizations since 2006. Through her work, Romanova promotes the values of human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law. She has obtained two master’s degrees in Foreign Languages and Law. She has also studied International Human Rights Law at the International Institute of Human Rights in France. Romanova has completed “The German Chancellor Fellowship for Tomorrow’s Leaders”, supported by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany. Romanova seeks to defend the human rights of prisoners in Russian detention facilities.

Placement Organization: Center for Court Innovation

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Kateryna Smagliy
Kateryna Smagliy

Ukraine

Kateryna Smagliy
Kateryna Smagliy

Smagliy served as the Director of the Kennan Institute Kyiv Office. As director, she organized and built a partnership with the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine to promote the institutional development of Ukraine’s public and cultural diplomacy. She has served as a Kyiv-based consultant of the European Endowment for Democracy in Brussels, assisting in the development of a Ukraine-focused strategy and EuroMaidan democracy. Previously, Smagliy led the Anti-Crisis Humanitarian Program of the International Renaissance Foundation, constructing large-scale philanthropic initiatives in support of Ukraine’s educational and cultural institutions. She also worked for the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv as the principal liaison officer with Ukraine’s parliament. Smagliy seeks to focus on formulating and driving policy reforms that respond to the concerns of internally displaced citizens and educational institutions in Donbas.

Placement Organization: The Public Service Academy at Arizona State University

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Tyesha M. Wood
Tyesha M. Wood

United States

Tyesha M. Wood
Tyesha M. Wood

Wood is a detective assigned to the Sex Crimes Unit of Criminal Investigations with the Gila River Police Department.  She handles both sex crimes against adults and crimes against children.  Along with this position, she has over 15 years of law enforcement experience  in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and has served as the Executive Protection Agent for the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice-President.  Wood seeks to ensure that Indian Country receives centralized, locally specific data to develop culturally-appropriate policies and training for tribal communities to improve their capabilities to combat human trafficking and exploitation.

Placement Organization: Department of Health & Human Services

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

2018

Yaroslav Bekish
Yaroslav Bekish

Belarus

Yaroslav Bekish
Yaroslav Bekish

Bekish is a civil society leader from Minsk. He has worked in the public sector with NGOs and served in both developmental and leadership roles for the Green Network, Belarus’ association of environmental civil society organizations. Through the Green Network, Bekish plans to establish permanent sources of private funding for charitable organizations to establish their legitimacy and independence vis-à-vis the Belarussian government. Bekish seeks to establish a successful, independent civil society in Belarus.

Placement Organization: The Office of Kansas City Major Sly James

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Maryam Faghih Imani
Maryam Faghih Imani

Iran

Maryam Faghih Imani
Maryam Faghih Imani

Faghih Imani is the founder and president of the Center for Cultural Diplomacy and Development, a non-profit, non-partisan, public benefit organization that enables individuals to learn about the culture and society of several Middle Eastern nations. Faghih Imani serves as the host of a weekly London television show where she discusses Iranian culture, society and politics.  She believes in the power of people as change makers and in cultural diplomacy as a tool for building bridges among Middle Eastern nations and cultures. Faghih Imani seeks to promote democratic values, human rights and a culture of tolerance, as well as empower youth and women, through entrepreneurship and sustainable development in the Middle East.

Placement Organization: National Hispanic Cultural Center

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Edlira Gjoni
Edlira Gjoni

Albania

Edlira Gjoni
Edlira Gjoni

Edlira Gjoni is a communications professional and political activist in Albania. She is actively involved internationally as a communications expert, known for her advocacy for women’s rights and her respected presence in the media. In addition, Gjoni has conducted training and research in both communication and political participation in her country. As a political activist, Gjoni is the co-founder of a political party and was a member of Parliament-candidate in 2013. Gjoni’s professional focus is to strengthen both youth and women’s leadership potential in not only Albania, but in the rest of the Western Balkans region. She seeks to enhance women’s political participation in Albania and their active participation at all levels of government.

Gjoni was one of the four recipients of the 2019 McCain Institute Catalyst Grant, which she used to deliver four leadership training programs to locally elected officials in Albania. Two hundred Albanian women participated in these training, including 20 of the 51 women mentioned in Gjoni’s book “Women Can.”  Program participants attended weekly trainings in character-driven leadership, helping them to craft Leadership Action Plans. The program was awarded the distinction of “Gender Champion” by the Albanian Embassy of the Netherlands. Furthermore, many of the women Gjoni has trained have become a force for social change within Albania - some being elected to public office and others being profiled on major Albanian news networks.

Placement Organization: The Office of Nashville Mayor David Briley

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Talitha Goldmann-Kefalas
Talitha Goldmann-Kefalas

Germany

Talitha Goldmann-Kefalas
Talitha Goldmann-Kefalas

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.

Placement Organization: International Rescue Committee

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Erkaiym Mambetalieva
Erkaiym Mambetalieva

Kyrgyzstan

Erkaiym Mambetalieva
Erkaiym Mambetalieva

Dr. Erkaiym Mambetalieva is an anti-corruption specialist and founding director of the Anticorruption Center under the Bishkek Mayor’s Office on Corruption Prevention.  Dr. Mambetalieva received her Ph.D. from the High Attestation Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic and established her credibility in the field of anti-corruption through her work at the National Agency of the Kyrgyz Republic on Corruption Prevention. Dr. Mambetalieve seeks to create an independent anti-corruption institution that will implement preventative mechanisms within the public and private sectors to reduce corruption within the Kyrgyzstan.

Dr. Mambetalieva was one of the four recipients of the 2019 McCain Institute Catalyst Grant, which she received to assist her anti-corruption training initiatives in leading universities around the country. Using the grant, Dr. Mambetalieva formulated an Anti-Corruption Policy course with an emphasis on character-driven leadership which she used to train over 80 professors from nine universities in the Osh, Jalal-Abad, and Naryn State University regions. These trainings have allowed teachers to include anti-corruption modules within their given curriculums, helping to contribute to a culture of corruption awareness, especially in the youth of Kyrgyzstan.

Placement Organization: Human Rights First

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

 

Nathalie Mondésir
Nathalie Mondésir

Haiti

Nathalie Mondésir
Nathalie Mondésir

Mondésir is an activist from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Her professional focus is on gender equality, specifically assisting women to achieve equal access to leadership opportunities in the Haitian public sector. Mondésir aims to empower women to run for office and participate in political decisionmaking, as well as work to ensure that the Haitian Constitutional mandate of a 30% quota for women parliamentarians is fulfilled.  To achieve this, she will work to reform Haiti’s political system and address cultural attitudes towards women.

Placement Organization: The Office of Compton Mayor Aja Brown

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Gantuya Sainkhuu
Gantuya Sainkhuu

Mongolia

Gantuya Sainkhuu
Gantuya Sainkhuu

Gantuya Sainkhuu is a social activist, author, and co-founder of Sainkhuu Iveel San (SIS), a non-profit organization that promotes education to reduce poverty in Mongolia. Her Leadership Action Plan seeks to create more inclusive governance in Mongolia by empowering women at the grassroots level. Since returning to Mongolia in August of 2018, Sainkhuu has empowered 150 local women through training them in leadership and good governance thanks to the support of the Embassy of Lithuania in Mongolia. She has also trained 47 men and women in the principals of character-driven leadership using the Train the Trainer toolkit. Sainkhuu will use her Catalyst Grant to select, train and empower 50 women from marginalized communities across rural Mongolia to run for upcoming 2020 local elections.

Placement Organization: Partnership for Public Service

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Ilze Vinkele
Ilze Vinkele

Latvia

Ilze Vinkele
Ilze Vinkele

Vinkele is a former member of Parliament of the Republic of Latvia and the former Minister of Welfare. She is passionate about promoting democratic values and reducing inequality. Vinkele has implemented several significant public sector reforms, such as raising the retirement age, reforming mental-health institutions and defending the rights of LGBT individuals. She chairs the Education, Culture and Science Committee, where she works to amend higher education laws. With political participation low across Latvia, Vinkele seeks to engage more citizens in the nation’s political process.

Placement Organization: International Republican Institute

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

2017

Esra Assery
Esra Assery

Saudi Arabia

Esra Assery
Esra Assery

Esra Assery is an entrepreneur and innovative digital marketing strategist from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A business architect, digital marketing strategist and e-branding expert, she founded three successful companies: Temlan, eTree, and Yellow. Her work in empowerment and innovation began with different roles in government and private sector in Saudi Arabia where she strove to change the mindset regarding learning and education. She continues to work as a well-respected and internationally known business professional and advocate on women’s issues. Assery seeks to promote opportunities for female entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia.

Placement Organization: Wonder Women Tech

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Ezzeddine Ben Rhima
Ezzeddine Ben Rhima

Tunisia

Ezzeddine Ben Rhima
Ezzeddine Ben Rhima

Ezzeddine Ben Rhima is an e-marketing and communications professional, and co-founder of AM I ODD. AM I ODD is a mentorship platform designed to share leadership thoughts, entrepreneurship practices, and innovation stories with Tunisian youth to promote innovation and “start-up” culture in Tunisia. Convinced that the digital economy is the best way for nations to thrive, Ben Rhima Co-initiated the “Tunisian Knowledge Society: Social Innovation Initiative,” that aims to build IT apps for solving social problems and conduct pilot projects for a smarter society. Ben Rhima seeks to create opportunity for Tunisian youth in the field of entrepreneurship and technology to foster job creation.

Ben Rhima is a recipient of the COVID-19 In The Arena Grant. With this micro-grant, he will be able to support 50 families in need with food and hygiene products and to provide PPE to protect health care workers at four hospitals in Tunis.

Placement Organization: LearnLaunch

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Dael Dervishi
Dael Dervishi

Albania

Dael Dervishi
Dael Dervishi

Dael Dervishi is the former executive director of the National Agency of Natural Resources in Albania. In this role, Dervishi supervised the exploitation of Albania’s natural resources, including mining, hydropower, and petroleum. He oversees reform of the country’s mining sector, which has been largely informal. An attorney by training, he previously served as director of the Legal Department in Albania’s National Agency of Natural Resources and was general secretary for the Albanian Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Energy. Dervishi seeks to reform the Albanian natural resource sector in order to stimulate the economy and promote transparency in government.

Dervishi was one of the four recipients of the 2019 McCain Institute Catalyst Grant, which he received to develop a professional advertising strategy, publicizing his leadership training initiative in Albania. Through this strategy, he developed his program into one of Albania’s most influential, engaging over a thousand Albanian citizens, many of them young people. As part of his successful strategy, Albanian national news covered his leadership program and many prominent Albanian political leaders participated as guest speakers.

Dervishi is also a recipient of the COVID-19 In The Arena Grant. He will use this micro-grant to support the Global Albanian Foundation’s Facebook fundraising campaign to provide PPE to Albanian doctors and nurses on the front lines.

Placement Organization: The George W. Bush Institute

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Eman El-Abd
Eman El-Abd

Egypt

Eman El-Abd
Eman El-Abd

Eman El-Abd is an economist in the office of the Egyptian Minister of Finance. She studies and analyzes development and economic issues in order to provide policy recommendations to the Minister and his colleagues. El-Abd seeks to find solutions to the constraints facing the development of small and medium enterprises in Egypt that are hindering the movement of these enterprises from the informal sector to the formal.

El-Abd was one of the four recipients of the 2018 McCain Institute Catalyst Grant for her work in the growth of these small enterprises. She focused on the transition and growth of M/SMEs from the informal sector to the formal sector along with women’s involvement in the economy. El-Abd used her Catalyst Grant to establish micro tailored enterprises for women and provided necessary training programs to encourage employees to enter or return to the formal job market.

Placement Organization: Dallas Regional Chamber

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Rosie Gomez
Rosie Gomez

United States

Rosie Gomez
Rosie Gomez

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.

Placement Organization: Courtney's House

Leon Hernández
Leon Hernández

Venezuela

Leon Hernández
Leon Hernández

Leon Hernández is a communications professional in Venezuela. His career began in editing and broadcast journalism in RCTV, a major independent news network. In 2014, Hernández joined Universidad Central de Venezuela as a professor of broadcast journalism. Additionally, he managed the Democratic Unity political coalition press team. He and his team provided full coverage of the 2015 legislative elections. Hernández developed and executed the communications strategy that led to the Democracy Unity Roundtable, which achieved a majority in the National Assembly. Hernández seeks to promote democracy through uncensored and objective media outlets.

Hernández was one of the four recipients of the 2018 McCain Institute Catalyst Grant, which he used to found the Venezuelan onlineTV channel “Por Nuestra Tierra TV” (For Our Land TV), the first public service streaming news channel in his country. Hernández also used the grant to accelerate the production of news content for Por NuestraTierra and to create partnerships with other media organizations advocating for democratic values in Venezuela. By doing so, he helped to encourage social change through independent social communication and inspired a new generation of Venezuelan journalists.

Hernández is a recipient of the COVID-19 In The Arena Grant. With this micro-grant, he will fight the “infodemic” of disinformation in Venezuela through publications that promote scientific evidence and dismantle the fake news about COVID-19 circulating the country.

Placement Organization: The Miami Herald

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Mira Koroma Dumbaya
Mira Koroma Dumbaya

Sierra Leone

Mira Koroma Dumbaya
Mira Koroma Dumbaya

Mira Koroma Dumbaya is the National Head of the Family Support Police Unit in Sierra Leone. She is an international development expert providing support for international crises such as the Ebola outbreak throughout Sierra Leone in 2014-2015 and after the Haitian earthquake in 2013. She has been recognized for her police work and efforts in international peace building by the United Nations, UN Women, International Law Enforcement Academies, and Sierra Leone. Superintendent Dumbaya organized the Family Support Unit’s ‘Operation Dawn’ Outreach program geared towards addressing child labor, child trafficking, child prostitution, sexual exploitation and teenage pregnancy. She seeks to leverage policy and education to combat corruption in the Sierra Leone police force and local government.

Dumbaya was one of the four recipients of the 2018 McCain Institute Catalyst Grant for her work in founding the Next Generation Reformers-Sierra Leone, a nonprofit organization focused on training, mentoring and empowering youth to combat corruption in SierraLeone. Dumbaya used the grant towards constructing a Recreational and Empowerment Center for the youth of Sierra Leone.

Placement Organization: The Office of Mayor Michael B. Hancock and the Denver Police Department

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Diego Mora Bello
Diego Mora Bello

Colombia

Diego Mora Bello
Diego Mora Bello

Diego Mora Bello is a journalist and communications specialist from Bogota, Colombia. His professional focus is on human rights, specifically working on issues related to HIV/AIDs and the social stigma surrounding the issue. He works to create a national dialogue to reduce the stigma that surrounds HIV/AIDs in his country. In addition to his work with the HIV community, he has dedicated his time to fighting for LGBT rights in Latin America, and has traveled the world to various conferences focused on human rights as a Colombian representative. Mora Bello seeks to change the media depiction of the HIV/AIDS community in Colombia and Latin America more broadly to eliminate discrimination against the HIV/AIDS and LGBT communities.

Placement Organization: Human Rights Campaign and Tobacco Free Kids

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

2016

Peter Klotz
Dr. Peter Klotz

Hungary

Peter Klotz
Dr. Peter Klotz

Dr. Peter Klotz is a lawyer and anti-corruption expert involved in the planning and implementation of governmental anti-corruption policies in Hungary. He is committed to reducing corruption in both public and private sectors and advocating for the adoption of anti-corruption strategies. Dr. Klotz seeks to create a network of integrity builders in Hungary consisting of public officials and representatives of business and non-governmental organizations to develop and implement integrity projects.

Dr. Klotz was one of the four recipients of the 2018 McCain Institute Catalyst Grant, which he received due to his impactful work in leading the Integrity Network Association (INA). Dr. Klotz used his Catalyst Grant to both bolster an online and on-the-ground presence of the INA through organizing and supporting events and through developing a web page in both Hungarian and Emccain-nglish.

Placement Organization: Management Systems International

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Kimie Morishita
Kimie Morishita

Japan

Kimie Morishita
Kimie Morishita

Kimie Morishita is a business executive eager to generate positive social change in Japan and the world through partnerships with the private and nonprofit sectors. She has designed several multi-stakeholder initiatives that brought awareness to social and economic issues and raised substantial funds for the resolution of these issues. Morishita seeks to produce a platform that helps to deliver goods and services more affordably to communities in need, create sustainable societal improvements and bring technology to the last mile.

Placement Organization: Intel Corporation

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Branislav Nešović
Branislav Nešović

Kosovo

Branislav Nešović
Branislav Nešović

Branislav Nesovic is a civil society activist committed to building constructive and sustainable inter-community relations in Kosovo. He has extensive experience in the civil society sector and has worked on capacity building of the Kosovo-Serb community and conducted policy research, policy analysis, advocacy and lobbying. Nesovic seeks to foster positive and constructive inter-ethnic communication between Kosovo, Albanian and Serb young professionals in the field of policy research and policy analysis.

Placement Organization: International Rescue Committee

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Lida Noory
Lida Noory

United States

Lida Noory
Lida Noory

Lida Noory is the senior advisor for Afghanistan in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) at the U.S. Department of State. In this role, she works to advance the human rights of Afghan women and girls and support their full participation in Afghan society socially, politically, and economically. Noory is passionate about using foreign policy objectives and assistance efforts to ensure that women’s issues are seen as a priority. She seeks to strengthen support for girls in Afghanistan through education, community engagement and leadership opportunities.

Placement Organization: City Year

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Hafiz Rehmatullah
Hafiz Rehmatullah

Pakistan

Hafiz Rehmatullah
Hafiz Rehmatullah

Hafiz Rehmatullah is a human rights activist dedicated to the cessation of human trafficking in Balochistan. He is committed to the support and protection of children, having worked on raising awareness and providing support for victims of child trafficking in Quetta, Gawadar and Taftan Districts of Balochistan. In addition to raising awareness, Rehmatullah seeks to approve legislation that will criminalize all forms of human trafficking, increase the authority of law enforcement agencies, and establish an anti-trafficking alliance.

Placement Organization: Humanity United, ATEST

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Karambu Ringera
Dr. Karambu Ringera

Kenya

Karambu Ringera
Dr. Karambu Ringera

Dr. Karambu Ringera is the founder and president of International Peace Initiatives, an NGO that aims to create models of sustainable development and peace in Kenya. She also works to empower vulnerable community members by educating them on how to improve their situation. Dr. Ringera is passionate about reforming corrupt policies and practices in government. She seeks to build an advocacy agency for citizens and develop a leadership-training program that will educate and train current and future leaders of Kenya.

Dr. Ringera was one of the three recipients of the 2017 McCain Institute Catalyst Grant, which she used to create the New Generation Leadership Program, a  leadership training program that encourages Kenyan citizens to stay committed to their values by living them every day and teaches them leadership skills that empower them to revamp their communities. The grant enabled her to market her leadership program and host three different events, directly impacting 194 participants and indirectly impacting 600 people through the spreading of the program’s leadership message. In the future, Dr. Ringera hopes to expand the New Generation Leadership Program into five different Kenyan counties and two more African countries.

Placement Organization: The Office of Kansas City Mayor Sly James

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Sergiy Shtukarin
Sergiy Shtukarin

Ukraine

Sergiy Shtukarin
Sergiy Shtukarin

Sergiy Shtukarin is an educator and human rights professional committed to the revival of the Donbas region. A civil society activist, Shtukarin is passionate about the preservation of civil liberties and promotion of democracy in Ukraine. He plans to revive the Donbas through the establishment of sustainable and resilient communities that are appreciative of human rights and democratic governance. Shtukarin also seeks to foster communication and cooperation between the United States and Ukraine.

Placement Organization: The George W. Bush Institute

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Ife Smith
Ife Smith

Trinidad and Tobago

Ife Smith
Ife Smith

Ife Smith is a political activist dedicated to increasing youth political participation in decisionmaking processes through policy formation and integration programs. Smith is passionate about fostering youth leadership with a view to bringing about social change and inclusion towards equality. She also seeks to achieve policy reform that will target the social and economic disadvantages faced by youth in her country.

Placement Organization: The Libra Group

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Bashar Sorri
Bashar Sorri

Palestine

Bashar Sorri
Bashar Sorri

Bashar Sorri is a lawyer and youth activist dedicated to encouraging the youth to experience and understand differences between cultures and customs. He engages students in a democratic environment that fosters diversity, awareness and commitment to justice. Sorri seeks to develop a national action plan focused on the development, both socially and economically, of the youth, and facilitate the peace-building process between communities.

Placement Organization: Cure Violence

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

2015

Mohammed Al Tarawnh
Mohammed Al Tarawnh

Jordan

Mohammed Al Tarawnh
Mohammed Al Tarawnh

Mohammed Al Tarawnh, a member of the 2015 cohort, is the chairman and general manager of Blue Umbrella, a Jordanian NGO that focuses on community training and development. During program year, Al Tarawneh was placed at the National Youth Leadership Council. His LAP seeks to strengthen local communities and develop character-driven Jordanian youth. Al Tarawneh has achieved substantial success by incorporating the Train the Trainer program into Blue Umbrella’s mission. In the past year and a half, Blue Umbrella launched a leadership training project that has trained over 1,200 youth to date and has now become one of the most prominent leadership programs in Jordan. With this Catalyst Grant, Al Tarawneh will continue to expand and diversify his leadership development efforts to an even younger audience, establishing a “Leaders Club” in high schools across Jordan and a leadership training center for Jordan’s refugee population.

Placement Organization: The National Youth Leadership Council

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Veljko Culafic
Veljko Culafic

Serbia

Veljko Culafic
Veljko Culafic

Veljko Culafic is a mining and development specialist with experience working in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) in the mining, logistics, and transportation sectors. He is committed to promoting sustainable business development to benefit local economies and communities in his native Serbia, where he plans to develop mining projects and improve the industry’s legal framework. He spent his year at the mining firm Freeport- McMoRan in Arizona exploring relevant options on how to improve his country’s economic and political health.

Placement Organization: Freeport McMoRan

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Irina Gotisan
Irina Gotisan

Republic of Moldova

Irina Gotisan
Irina Gotisan

Irina Gotisan is an accomplished journalist dedicated to improving the quality of Moldova’s political environment by becoming a candidate for office. She has reported extensively on political topics, including political campaigns and elections in Moldova and the Czech Republic. Gotisan firmly believes in the critical role of accurate news and information delivery in a democratic society. She spent her year at the public relations firm Weber Shandwick investigating development of a political media strategy and how to present information accurately and responsibly in a modern democratic society.

Placement Organization: Weber Shandwick

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Urmo Kübar
Urmo Kübar

Estonia

Urmo Kübar
Urmo Kübar

Urmo Kübar is an experienced civil society leader from Estonia. He is dedicated to promoting more civic activism and public participation, and building a supportive environment for civil society organizations in his country. Kübar’s goal is to establish a venture philanthropy foundation in Estonia to support non-profit organizations that make a difference in people’s lives. He spent his year at the Smithsonian Institute gaining new insights into philanthropic culture and gathering experience in the management and governance of a major philanthropically supported institution.

Kübar was one of the three recipients of the 2017 McCain Institute Catalyst Grant, which he used to create better online tools to foster Estonian philanthropy. Using the grant, Kübar interviewed leading practitioners of philanthropy such as Peter Singer, David Rubenstein, and representatives from organizations such as the Smithsonian and #GivingTuesday. He has also worked to create visualizations of philanthropic data in Estonia to give potential philanthropists a better range of effective donor organizations and to create better policy outcomes surrounding private donations.

Placement Organization: The Smithsonian Institution

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Siham Mamand
Siham Mamand

Kurdistan Regional Government-Iraq

Siham Mamand
Siham Mamand

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.

Placement Organization: The Libra Group

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Sahana Mishra
Sahana Mishra

India

Sahana Mishra
Sahana Mishra

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.

Mishra is a recipient of the COVID-19 In The Arena Grant. With this micro-grant, Mishra will supply food and sanitation kits to 175 families in the hard-hit impoverished rural state of Bihar, where COVID-19 has particularly affected migrant laborers.

Placement Organization: The Lugar Series and Hathaway Strategies

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Berivan Orucoglu
Berivan Orucoglu

Turkey

Berivan Orucoglu
Berivan Orucoglu

Berivan Orucoglu is an award-winning journalist. She has worked for various media outlets in Turkey, Europe, and the U.S. covering major news stories of the last decade. She seeks to create an online news service designed to deliver objective information in the face of pressure by authoritarian regimes. Orucoglu plans to encourage her government to keep basic freedoms and human rights on the national agenda. During her time with Foreign Policy’s Democracy Lab, Berivan contributed important content and explored best practices for creating high impact online news.

Placement Organization: Foreign Policy - Democracy Lab

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Michael Petric
Michael Petric

Canada

Michael Petric
Michael Petric

Michael Petric has extensive experience in the defense and security sector as a civilian political advisor to two Canadian Ministers of National Defense and as a uniformed member of the Canadian Armed Forces. He is exploring how Canada and the U.S. can best demonstrate joint leadership in the fields of energy and sustainability to advance our common interests and values around the globe. During his time at Human Rights First, Petric worked on the important connection between human rights and global energy security.

Placement Organization: Human Rights First

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Konstantin Popkov
Konstantin Popkov

Russia

Konstantin Popkov
Konstantin Popkov

Konstantin Popkov has devoted himself to promoting and developing young leaders in Russia. He is active in democratic civil society, training young professionals in responsible and ethical business practices. Popkov plans to create an enhanced leadership program in Russia that focuses on ethics, values, and fighting corruption. He spent his mccain-ngl year at the Boys and Girls Club of America in Tampa, Florida, where he participated in its full training cycle for grass-roots character-driven youth leaders.

Popkov was one of the four recipients of the 2019 McCain Institute Catalyst Grant, which he used to secure a leadership training center in Moscow that fostered greater reach across Russia. While he was unable to find a physical location for his center due to recent world events, his leadership center is now fully operational online with a newly developed website offering public speaking and communication courses and his leadership club has 84 alumni members. He has also created partnerships with numerous leading universities in the area for his leadership development programs and was invited to deliver a two day leadership seminar by the Tarsatan government.

Placement Organization: Boys and Girls Club of America

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Sonam Tobgay
Sonam Tobgay

Kingdom of Bhutan

Sonam Tobgay
Sonam Tobgay

Sonam Tobgay has served in Bhutan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 18 years where he acquired extensive diplomatic skills in human rights, development, trade, and health and aid mobilization. He has been the focal point for the presentation of Bhutan’s reports to UN human rights organizations. Tobgay seeks to advance the democratic development of Bhutan and to grow public engagement on behalf of the country’s foreign policy. During his year at the Office of the Mayor of Kansas City, he was part of a team engaging in grassroots democracy.

Placement Organization: The Office of Kansas City Mayor Sly James

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

2014

Zaheer Abbas
Zaheer Abbas

Pakistan

Zaheer Abbas
Zaheer Abbas

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.

Placement Organization: Cure Violence

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Giorgi Akhmeteli
Giorgi Akhmeteli

Georgia

Giorgi Akhmeteli
Giorgi Akhmeteli

Giorgi Akhmeteli, who is wheel-chaired due to a spinal trauma, is the founder and chairman of the Georgian NGO, Accessible Environment for Everyone, an organization that advocates the interests of persons with disabilities. He seeks to improve treatment, advance quality of life and opportunities for the disabled in Georgia. In the U.S., he examined relevant legislative, regulatory and implementation processes.

Akhmeteli was one of the three recipients of the 2017 McCain Institute Catalyst grant for his work as he educated Georgian citizens on the rights of persons with disabilities through a series of informational meetings and seminars in conjunction with five different universities across Georgia. He was able to impact 160 students, lecturers, parents and children, encouraging them to become supporters of policies defending these rights.

Placement Organization: National Organization for Disabilities

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Thanh Long Kap
Thanh Long Kap

Vietnam

Thanh Long Kap
Thanh Long Kap

Thanh Long Kap is a creative, enthusiastic, passionate journalist in his country. Following his in-depth work width social media in the United States, he plans to contribute to the development of media in Vietnam and to the application of new information technology advances to convey information to the young generation readers.

Placement Organization: The Miami Herald

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Marzina Khan
Marzina Khan

Pakistan

Marzina Khan
Marzina Khan

With UNHCR and others, Marzina Khan has worked with programs aimed at compensating for the social, economic and environmental consequences for Pakistani communities caused by the presence of more than 3 million Afghan refugees working with her U.S. colleagues, she has joined new expertise in empowering women as actual actors in the development of Pakistan.

Placement Organization: Global Fund for Women

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Batu Kutelia
Batu Kutelia

Georgia

Batu Kutelia
Batu Kutelia

Ambassador Batu Kutelia is a former Georgian Ambassador to the United States and Deputy Secretary of Georgia’s National Security Council. Ambassador Kutelia seeks to build a political movement to promote democratic values and political professionalism in Georgia.

Placement Organization: The Office of Governor Martin O'Malley and the U.S. Army War College

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Cedrian Lopez-Bosch
Cedrian Lopez-Bosch

Mexico

Cedrian Lopez-Bosch
Cedrian Lopez-Bosch

Cedrian Lopez-Bosch is a former Director for Latin American and European Financial Issues in Mexico’s Ministry of Finance. His goal is to enhance Mexican participation in international organizations. In the United States, he examined how relevant stakeholders gain access to our government’s international policy-making processes.

Placement Organization: US Chamber of Commerce

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Carlos Mayorga
Carlos Mayorga

Colombia

Carlos Mayorga
Carlos Mayorga

Carlos Mayorga is a highly regarded innovator, businessman and entrepreneur who encourages the establishment of sustainable and high impact businesses. With experience in the expansion of innovative business models, Mayorga seeks to promote growth-oriented entrepreneurship, in Colombia, through targeted investment in new entrepreneurs and improving the governance in private and public organizations.

Mayorga received the inaugural McCain Institute Catalyst Grant in 2016 for his work in promoting Colombian entrepreneurship. Using the grant, Mayorga made a large impact, by helping to create 30 new small businesses and 85 new jobs in just one year and also by giving Colombian citizens access to educational programs in a secondary language, developing better communication skills for these future entrepreneurs.

Placement Organization: The Libra Group

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Soraya Aziz Souleymane
Soraya Aziz Souleymane

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Soraya Aziz Souleymane
Soraya Aziz Souleymane

Soraya Aziz Souleymane is a development specialist, working for a Congolese mining company in Kivu province. She wants to foster collaboration among NGOs and key stakeholders advocating for good governance and economic and human development projects in the Congo.

Placement Organization: Freeport McMoRan

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].

Travis Trammell
Travis Trammell

United States

Travis Trammell
Travis Trammell

Major Travis Trammell served as Troop Commander of Alpha Troop 3rd Squadron 1st Cavalry in Operation Iraqi Freedom and as an instructor in the Department of Systems Engineering at West Point. He is pursuing a project in system dynamics to evaluate and advance U.S. strategy to prevent the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Placement Organization: FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force

If you would like to be connected to a Next Generation Leader, please email [email protected].