Andrew Baird is the President & CEO of the global hub of the Education For Employment Network (EFE-Global). Previously, Andrew was the Program Area Director, Workforce and Economic Development Group for RTI International, where he led a team of 130 employees and a $150 million portfolio. There, he provided leadership, strategic direction and technical support in workforce development, livelihoods, entrepreneurship, youth, and other areas closely related to EFE's work. Andrew brings to EFE more than twenty-five years of experience in advancing private sector-led strategies to create inclusive employment and livelihoods around the world - including in several countries where EFE operates. He co-founded the Global Center for Youth Employment, a membership-based organization devoted to developing collective solutions to the challenges of youth employment. Andrew is a skillful business development expert and has managed a number of long-term donor-funded projects. He has held leadership positions in a range of organizations in the field and home offices of RTI International, Making Cents International, Chemonics International, and the Peace Corps. Andrew holds a BA from The College of Wooster and an MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Hassan Damluji is Head of Middle East Relations at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he is responsible for strategy and engagement across the 22 countries of the Arab League, as well as Turkey. He is also lead Middle East adviser to Bill and Melinda Gates. Previously, Hassan worked for the consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, where he led large-scale transformations for governments and philanthropy in the Middle East. He co-founded and sits on the Board of the Lives & Livelihoods Fund (LLF), a $2.5 billion fund based in the Islamic Development Bank. He is a lead expert on education, and is actively involved in many educational initiatives in the UK such as the New Schools Network, Free Schools in England, Achievement for All, and One Degree Academy. Hassan holds a double-first class BA from Oxford University and an MA from Harvard University, where he was awarded the Von Clemm Fellowship. He has been named by Arabian Business as one of the 100 Most Powerful Arabs Under 40.
Cristina Manzano is editor-in-chief of “esglobal”, the former Spanish edition of Foreign Policy magazine, the leading digital publication on global affairs in Spanish. She is also a regular contributor to other Spanish and international media, such as El Periódico de Cataluña, or Open Democracy. Ms. Manzano writes a blog for The Huffington Post and participates as speaker or lecturer in events and seminars on different topics related to international affairs, with a special focus on Spanish and EU foreign policy, communications, and philanthropy.
Cynthia is a partner at Haven Green Capital Partners in London, which is dedicated to allocating capital to best-of-breed sustainable and impact investment managers. Previously, from 2014 to 2021, Cynthia was a partner at Cheyne Capital, a leading European hedge fund platform. Cynthia has dedicated the major portion of her career to Wealth Management, at Morgan Stanley from 1997 to 2013 as a Managing Director and at JP Morgan from 1983 to 1996. Cynthia holds a BA from Cornell University and an MBA from the American Graduate School of International Management.
Mrs. Shawwa inherited a security firm in Jordan and assumed executive responsibility in 1996. In 2004, she was key in the merger of the firm with the multinational G4S. Today, G4S Jordan has over 1,500 employees. Mrs. Shawwa is now a partner and director on the board of G4S Jordan. She is also a board member of the International Women’s Forum in Spain and of the Arab Ladies Diplomatic Association in Madrid. She has been active in several fundraisers for charity and has also volunteered as a teacher at a UNRWA school in Amman Jordan. In 2012, Mrs. Shawwa earned an executive degree from the Owners and Entrepreneurs Management Program from Instituto Empresa business school in Madrid, Spain.
Mr. Olcese is member of the Royal Academy of Economics and Chairman of Fincorp Mediacion (Merchant Bankers). He is also board member of AC Hotels; independent director of Attijariwafa Bank Maroc; and senior advisor of N+1 Investment Bankers, McGraw Hill, world leader financial and industrial restructuring firm Alvarez & Marsal, and leading Spanish satellite and Wi-Fi communications company Eurona. He is also Chairman of Fundación Independiente, the oldest institution in Spain advocating for an open, participative and solidary Spanish civil society. He was awarded the Civil Merit Highest Cross by HRM the King of Spain for his contribution to good corporate governance and corporate social responsibility, having published over ten books on these subjects. He has received the Grande Ufficiale dell’Ordine del Mèrito by the Republic of Italy, the Commander of the Order of Wissam Al-Alaoui by the Royal Throne of Morocco, and the Commander of the Order of Civil Merit by the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. He received his doctorate, with honours, in Economics and Business from the Autonomous University of Madrid. Mr. Olcese sits on the EFE-Global Board of Directors.
Giuseppe Tringali is Vice-President of the International Advisory Board at IE Business School; President of the IE/EY Global Corporation Center; President of the Advisory Board of the IE/ FT “Top Board Program” Headspring; President of the CurArte Foundation; Senior Advisor at Pedersen & Partners, a leading international executive recruiting firm; and Board member of Vodafone Foundation Spain. He is also former advisor of the Board of Alkemy Iberia. Giuseppe Tringali has a long trajectory in the business and media industries, having been CEO (2004-2014) and later Vice-President (2014-2018) of Mediaset in Spain. He began his career at the Italian television company RAI and, over the years, has held several positions in the sector, including Managing Director and later member of the Board of Directors of PubliItalia; CEO of Publiespaña and Publimedia; and Director of Publieurope, among many others. He is author of the book "15 Casos de éxito probado" (Aguilar, 2013) on how companies’ attitudes help overcome moments of crisis, as well as several articles in renowned media outlets. He is a regular contributor of the Spanish daily ABC. In 2008, he was awarded the order of "Stella d’Italia” from the Italian Government.
Mr. Hidalgo is co-founder of the leading Spanish daily newspaper El País and for 30 years he served as a member of the Board. He is President of FRIDE and of DARA Evaluation. He is also President and founder of the Foundation Los Santos de Maimona, and founder of the Club of Madrid and of the Toledo International Center for Peace. He is advisor of the United Nations Commission on “Legal Empowerment of the Poor”, founding member and senior fellow of the Gorbachev Foundation of North America (GFNA), and fellow of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. He recently founded the European Council for Foreign Relations with George Soros. Mr. Hidalgo has an LLB from the University Complutense of Madrid and an MBA from Harvard University. In 2008 he received the Raymond Goris Prize for Best European Philanthropist and in 2011 the Commitment to Development Award from the Center for Global Development.
André Azoulay is advisor to King Mohammed VI of Morocco. He previously advised Mohammed’s father, King Hassan II. Mr. Azoulay is also President of the Foundation for the Three Cultures and the Three Religions (Seville) and of the Pierre Mendes France Institute (Paris). He is member of the Committee of Wise Men for the Alliance of Civilizations at the United Nations, member of the Royal Academy of Morocco and of the Spanish Royal Academy of Economy and Finance. Mr. Azoulay is a distinguished figure of the Islam-Judaism dialogue and the Israeli-Palestinian Dialogue in Europe, as well as in the Maghreb and the Middle East.
Mrs. Jiménez García-Herrera served as Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (2010-2011), Minister of Health and Social Policy and Equality (2009-2010) and State Secretary for Latin America (2006-2009). From 1996 to 2000, she was in charge of political relations with America at the International Relations Secretariat of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) and in 2000 she joined the party’s Federal Executive Committee as International Relations secretary, position to which she was re-elected in 2004.
Mr. Diez-Hochleitner is Honorary President of the Club of Rome and Executive Committee member, as well as Honorary President of its Spanish Chapter. He also serves as advisor to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance and is member of the boards of the Foundation for a Culture of Peace, the Bertelsmann Foundation Spain and the Foundation for the Future, as well as member of the Advisory Committee of FRIDE. He has been a university professor in Salamanca and Bogota, inspector general for Industrial Professional Education in Spain, general coordinator of the Ministry of Education in Colombia and principal education advisor for the OAS. He also served as director of the Department of Investments in Education at the World Bank and director of the Department of Educational Policies and Reforms at UNESCO. Mr. Diez-Hochleitner has been technical secretary-general, and later under-secretary of state for Education and Science in Spain, Vice-President of the Fundación Santillana and of the holding Timón, as well as board member of PRISA.
A German diplomat, and former Ambassador to Spain (1995-1999), Ambassador Wegener is Honorary President of Cremades & Calvo–Sotelo Abogados Advisory Board. He has been director general of the Spanish Association for Investor Protection (AEMEC) (2008-2016), long-time member of the Board of Directors of Euroshareholders (now Better Finance), and founding Chairman of the Permanent Observatory for Cybersecurity of the World Federation of Scientists (2001-2016). He is currently member of the Executive Committee of the World Federation of Investors and member of the Club of Rome. Since 2015, he is Chairman of the Board of the Stichting Volkswagen Investors Claim. A lawyer by profession and Doctor of Law, Ambassador Wegener holds distinctions from various countries, among others the Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic. He is author of numerous publications in the field of foreign and security policy, currently with an emphasis on cybersecurity.
1) Mr. Elfverson has devoted most of his career to the United Nations system, serving in a number of senior positions including that of Director in the Iraq Programme. In cooperation with the World Health Organization he established and managed the MENTOR Foundation, a private initiative working in the field of substance abuse prevention among young people in many countries of the world. He has also served in the Swedish Foreign Service and has held executive positions with the Axel Johnson Group in Sweden, Mexico and Australia, and the Nordic American Banking Corporation in New York. He has been Senior Diplomatic Advisor to the Club of Madrid, DARA, FRIDE and EFE.
Andrea Brentan is non-executive Chairman of FTI Consulting Spain (part of FTI Consulting, the global business advisory firm quoted on the NYSE), and Senior Advisor to Bain Capital Private Equity and to Bain Capital Credit. Between 2009 and 2014, he served as CEO of Endesa, the leading electrical utility in Spain and Latin America, part of the Enel group. Mr. Brentan had previously led Enel’s international expansion in Eastern Europe, Russia, Spain and Latin America as well as in other countries. He is a renowned expert in the management of large international companies in several fields, including energy and utilities, and engineering and contracting. He has a BA (with honors) in Mechanical Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Milan and an MSc in Applied Science from New York University. He served in numerous boards of directors including the Supervisory Board of Slovenske Electrarne (Chairman), Viesgo (Chairman), Enel North America (Chairman), Enel Latin America (Chairman), Enersis (Deputy Chairman), Enel Green Power and EUFER. He was appointed “Grand’Ufficiale dell’ordine della Stella della Solidarietà” by then Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. He served as Chairman of ANIDA, the Italian association of environment protection companies, and as Deputy Chairman of the Club Español de la Energia.
Ron Bruder is the Founder and Chair of Education For Employment (EFE), the leading nonprofit job placement Network in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). A social franchise of independent, locally-run Affiliates, EFE identifies critical skill gaps in the local economy, then develops and delivers targeted training programs for youth with limited opportunity. Graduates are linked to jobs through, with employers, civic and educational organizations. After graduating its first class in 2006, EFE expanded rapidly, and operates in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia with support hubs in the USA, Europe and UAE. Honored by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People for his non-profit work with EFE, Bruder began as a serial entrepreneur. In 1977, Mr. Bruder founded The Brookhill Group, which owns and manages properties throughout the US with a focus on creating investment partnerships to develop or redevelop shopping centres, office buildings and multi-family homes. A globally recognized philanthropist, Bruder has addressed youth employment issues at the World Economic Forum in Davos and the United Nations, as well as in the media including the Financial Times, Forbes, Bloomberg and Al Jazeera. At the World Economic Forum in Tianjin in 2012, he was named a Schwab Foundation Global Social Entrepreneur for his work in founding EFE. Mr. Bruder earned a Bachelor’s degree from Adelphi University, an MBA from New York University, and a Post Master's degree in Accounting & Taxation from Iona College.
Zahira is Head of Middle East Relations at the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. A Middle East and Africa enthusiast, Zahira has over a dozen years of experience in the field of development, advocating for policy change, cementing partnerships and leading investment projects. She started her career as a policy officer at the Quai d’Orsay (France’s Foreign Ministry) before working as a management and strategy consultant between France and Morocco. She later joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London, spearheading the Bank’s engagement efforts in the Gulf region. Zahira joined the Gates foundation a first time in 2015 before re-joining in 2021. She has co-launched the foundation’s largest partnership in the region, the Lives and Livelihoods Fund, and championed the foundation’s gender equality priorities in the Gulf. Zahira has spent time living in Kuwait where she authored Philanthropy in evolution: private foundations in Kuwait (Harvard Kennedy School) and advised her family business on strategic ventures with blue-chip companies and global philanthropic partners.