Meet Our 2017 Regional Fellows

By Acumen on January 20, 2017

RF Blog

We are excited to kick off the new year by introducing our 2017 Fellows from East Africa, India and Pakistan! This year’s diverse mix of more than 60 Fellows will join our global community of change agents committed to creating new solutions to the problems of poverty and building a world based on dignity.

The 2017 Fellows are shaking up the status quo in nearly every sector, from education to health care, and bringing new energy and ideas to tackle the multitude of challenges facing their communities. From terrorism to climate change, no problem is too big for these individuals! Please help us welcome the 2017 Fellows and learn more about the extraordinary work they do each and every day.

MEET OUR 2017 EAST AFRICA FELLOWS

GRACE ARACH
Grace is the Founder and Executive Director of the Foundation for Women Affected by Conflicts in Northern Uganda. The women-led foundation works to improve the lives of girls and women by providing social, economic and psychological support. Grace was featured in the documentary, Lost Children, which won a UNICEF award, for her work. She holds a master’s degree in Development from the University of New South Wales in Australia.

JOSHUA KIPSANG CHANGWONY
Joshua is the Deputy Executive Secretary and Programs Coordinator for the Constitution and Reform Education Consortium, a network of civil society organizations focused on human rights, governance and democracy based in Nairobi. A civic education and elections observer with more than 10 years of experience, Joshua creates and coordinates advocacy efforts across Kenya at a county and national level. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Makerere University and a certificate in Anti-Corruption and Good Governance from Marquette University’s Les Aspin Center for Government in the United States.

ELIGUARD DAWSON
Born and raised in the foothills of Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro, Eliguard serves as the Country Director of Digital Opportunity Trust, a social enterprise that transforms young people into leaders of change through technology, business and entrepreneurship. Eliguard is also the co-founder of Leadership Ladder Tanzania, an initiative that empowers and develops leaders. He holds a master’s degree in Education for Sustainability from London South Bank University.

HIWOT EMISHAW
Hiwot is a writer and author from Ethiopia. Her debut book, Barcho (The Dark-skinned), is a critical look at the Ethiopian identity from the social, cultural and political perspectives, which became a bestseller in 2015. She is currently working on her second book, Fqfaqi, a collection of stories she hopes will create an open dialogue on rape and other social issues. Hiwot holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Addis Ababa University and works for Save the Children in Ethiopia as Head of Communications.

ELIA TIMOTHEO
Elia is the Founder and CEO of East Africa Fruits Farm & Co., a social enterprise that trades and markets fresh produce from smallholder farmers to secure fair prices and processes and improve the livelihoods of rural communities. Elia and the company have gained recognition locally and internationally, participating in the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit created by U.S President Barack Obama and earning the African Entrepreneurship Award in 2015. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Accounting and Finance from Tanzania’s Mzumbe University.

MAHDER ZEWDIE GEBRETSADIK
Mahder is the head of customer insight and innovation at EthioChicken, an Acumen investee that works to reduce malnutrition and poverty in Ethiopia by bringing healthy and affordable chickens to every family. Originally from Addis Ababa, Mahder leverages the power of technology to collect data on the traits and trends of EthioChicken’s customers and create initiatives that ensure organizational growth and increase sales. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management from Admas University College.

CLARA IBIHYA
Clara is the Founder and Managing Director of Claphijo Enterprises, the creator of the solar energy dryer, which uses the sun to dehydrate fruits and vegetables and extend their shelf life. The low-cost technology improves the livelihoods of smallholder farmers by addressing post-harvest losses and providing a constant source of revenue. Clara has participated in and been recognized for her work, including being a SANKALP Africa finalist and a speaker at the Global Forum for Innovations in Africa. Clara holds an advanced certificate in Entrepreneurship and Business Management.

SYLVIA KAKYO
Sylvia is Founder and Project Coordinator of Kakyo Girls Initiative, a Ugandan  organization committed to harnessing girls’ potential for community development. A lawyer, Sylvia mentors young women and provides them with access to an education to help them become changemakers who will contribute positively to their communities. Sylvia is also a UN Global Youth Ambassador for A World At School, an organization that works to ensure children are given the best opportunities in life, and received a 2016 Africa Youth Award for her advocacy work.

JAMES KATUMBA
James is the Founder and Executive Director of Mentor Coach Empower Uganda, a social enterprise focused on youth entrepreneurship and employability. The company provides budding entrepreneurs with vocational training and assistance to start their businesses. James is also the founding President of the BDS Providers Network in Uganda, an association that brings together more than 300 certified enterprise development specialists. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from Makerere University and is currently pursuing a MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship at the Catholic University of Milan.

HENRY MAKUMBI
Henry is the Founder and Chairman of Rabboni Group Ltd, a regional transport, distribution and agricultural processing company in Uganda. Henry started the business to solve challenges that he and his family faced growing up on a farm. The company’s goal is create a more integrated supply chain, connecting the entire delivery cycle, in an effort to get rid of middleman who often leave smallholder farmers with modest margins. Henry’s background is in land survey and engineering survey. He holds a master’s degree in Land Administration from the University of Twente in Holland.

LEONIDAH NANJALA
Leonidah is the Founder of Tema Creations, an organization that employs the creative and performing arts to help orphaned and vulnerable children in Kenya heal from emotional trauma and build their self-esteem. A strong believer in the power of the arts, Leonidah published her first book, Mhenga Mchanga, a collection of 50 Swahili sayings she composed, in 2014. She is currently working on a collection of short stories that will be used as musical pieces for Tema’s art therapy workshops.

JOHN WILLS NJOROGE
John is the Founder of Lead Global Impact, an organization that helps children discover their identity and their potential to play a role in positively impacting their communities at a social, political and economic level. He is the author of Father to Son, a manual to help fathers better understand their sons and build stronger relationships with them. He is also working on two books, Jabali and Leader’s Edge, which aim to empower boys. John holds a diploma in Christian Ministries and Leadership from African International University and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Security Studies at Daystar University.

COSMAS OCHIENG
Cosmas is the Co-founder and Director of Operations at Eco Fuels Kenya Ltd., a social enterprise committed to pioneering a sustainable agribusiness industry through the production of high-value, renewable energy and organic agriculture inputs. Eco Fuels has taken the croton nut—an indigenous, inedible East African nut that otherwise has no commercial use—and turned it into clean biofuel, animal feed and organic fertilizer. At Eco Fuels, Cosmas focuses on supply, human resources and operations. He holds a diploma in Food Science and Technology from the Technical University of Kenya.

VAIDA ODONGO
Vaida is Co-Founder of Amazing Woman Dialogues, a mentorship program that empowers women to embrace leadership positions through training, photography and art. Alumni of the organization have spearheaded major campaigns in Kenya, started their own businesses and successfully launched careers in different sectors. The ripple effect that comes from empowering women is what fuels Vaida’s passion as a gender activist. She was awarded the Generation Change Fellowship by the United States Institute of Peace and holds a bachelor’s degree in Gender and Development Studies from Kenyatta University.

MARTHA OSIRO
Martha manages the Uganda branch of the Aga Khan University Hospital, which provides quality health care and medical education to East Africa. She has engaged with more than 17,000 Ugandans through outreach events that offer treatment, health education and referrals. She is passionate about improving healthcare systems, helping people better understand their health and how and where to access quality care, and creating a culture of prevention rather than cure where early interventions are made in an effort to save lives. She holds an MBA in Healthcare Management from the University of Phoenix.

JAY PATEL
Jay is the Co-founder and Vice President of Village Energy, a Ugandan startup increasing access, affordability and trust in solar by establishing a rural distribution and servicing network. The network of shops are staffed by young people from the rural areas and trained as technicians and managers. After five years at Google in San Francisco, Jay moved to Uganda in 2015 to create Village Energy because he believes that a sustainable solar-based economy can create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in rural communities. Jay holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

ALOYS RUKUNDO
Aloys is the Co-founder of Watotosmile Ltd, a social enterprise in Rwanda focused on literacy. The company engages children and teenagers in writing and reading as a means to express their thoughts on the social and economic challenges they face to improve their self-esteem, communication skills and interaction with their peers. Aloys holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the School of Finance and Banking in Kigali and is pursuing a Certificate in Impact Leadership from Haas School of Business at the Berkeley.

TESSEMA SEBESEBE MEKONNEN
Tessema is the Founder and General Manager of Able Disability Awareness and Support, a nonprofit focused on developing the personal and entrepreneurial skills of people with disabilities in Ethiopia. Tessema, who himself is disabled, founded the organization to foster positive psychological changes, raise self-esteem and build skills so they can become self-reliant and contribute to society. The author of three books, he holds a master’s degree in Public Management from Ethiopian Civil Service University.

BOLA TAFAWA
Dr. Bola is the Director of Equity Afia Limited, a social enterprise that aims to triple the number of Kenyans with access to health insurance, especially the working poor, through a franchised nationwide network of outpatient medical centers focused on preventative and primary health care. Dr. Bola has a Doctoral Degree in Social Epidemiology and Health Communications from Harvard School of Public Health and a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan. She is a Director at Kenya Healthcare Federation, an umbrella organization that connects private sector health organizations with the government and public sector.

MUTHONI WACHIRA
Muthoni is the Senior Investment Manager at Schooner Africa Fund, an impact investment fund that seeks to support early stage companies innovating and addressing inefficiencies within East Africa’s agricultural value chain. She is an avid believer in the transformative power of finance and entrepreneurship to create positive socio-economic change.  In the past decade, Muthoni has co-founded two fintech startups in Kenya that together have given more than 10,000 underserved individuals and small- and micro- enterprises their first loans. She holds a BSc. in Actuarial Science from Cass Business School in London.

BETHLEHEM NEGASH WOLDEYOHANNES
Bethlehem is the Co-founder of the Ethiopian Media Women Association, which  strives to create gender-sensitive media and improve women’s access and participation in community media. For more than 10 years, Bethlehem has participated in various endeavors with the association, playing the role of trainer, producer, project coordinator, writer and fundraiser. She holds a master’s degree in Politics and Mass Media from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom and also works at Save the Children in Ethiopia as Communications Manager.

MEET OUR 2017 INDIA FELLOWS

AKSHAI ABRAHAM
Akshai is the Founder and Director of Project KHEL, a nonprofit in Lucknow that uses the power of play and sports to improve the educational and leadership development of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. A management graduate and development professional with more than 10 years of experience, Akshai is dedicated to nurturing agents of change in the communities he works.

ANKIT AGARWAL
Ankit is the Founder of Helpusgreen, a social enterprise that preserves the Ganges River by upcycling flower waste dumped into the river into patented lifestyle products. In the process, Helpusgreen is creating jobs for rural women, who help transform the waste into organic fertilizer, incense and other products. An Asia 21 Fellow, Ankit has worked on sustainability projects across 26 countries and received mentions from India’s Prime Minister, Fortune and Forbes. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Pune University and a master’s in Innovation Management from the Symbiosis Institute of Management.

RAJA MUZAFFAR BHAT
Muzaffar is Head of Operations for BASIX Social Enterprise Group, which promotes sustainable livelihoods for India’s rural poor through the provision of financial services and technical assistance. In addition to his work at BASIX in Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffar has spent the last 12 years organizing community meetings, campaigns and lectures in marginalized communities of Kashmir to raise awareness for the Right to Information Act to help citizens hold the government accountable.

MAHESH CHANDRASEKAR
Mahesh is the Director of Research and Advocacy at Dream a Dream, an organization that equips young people from vulnerable backgrounds with the skills to overcome adversity and flourish. The organization has impacted more than 25,000 young people through its after-school skills, career and teacher development programs. In addition, Mahesh has led domestic and global initiatives that promote the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities in poverty and contributed to national and international policy amendments.

NISHI KANT DIXIT
Nishi is the Lead of Livelihoods at Uttar Pradesh State Rural Livelihood Mission, an organization providing financial security to rural women by helping them to build sustainable livelihoods. To date, the organization has created institutional platforms of more than one million low-income rural women. Over the last 14 years, Nishi has focused his efforts on providing access to markets and sustainable livelihoods for rural communities across India, including at previous roles with PRADAN and Reliance Foundation. He holds a master’s degree in Social Work from Jamia Millia Islamia.

SHARDA GAUTAM
Sharda is the Executive Director of The Handloom School, an initiative improving the livelihoods of handloom weavers from nine states across India. The school works with young weavers to transform them from daily-wage laborers to entrepreneurs through its incubation programs. Sharda has spent the last seven years working in remote parts of India promoting the livelihoods of rural women and youth. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology-Surat and a master’s from the Institute of Rural Management, Anand, where he received a gold medal for graduating at the top of his class.

SHANTANU GOTMARE
Shantanu is an Indian Administrative Services Officer and Private Secretary to the Union Minister for Power, Coal, Mines and Renewable Energy for India. He assists the Minister in routine coordination, policy formulation and scheme implementation while working provide round-the-clock energy access to every citizen of India through grid and off-grid solutions. Shantanu previously worked in Assam for the District Magistrate to Additional Secretary. He has a master’s degree in Public Policy from Princeton University.

PRABU GUTHI
Prabu is the Founder and CEO of Milky Way, a social enterprise improving the value chain for more than 400 dairy armers by providing them with tools, training, access to capital and markets, and infrastructure. Prabu has also worked across the social sector with Room to Read, Swades Foundation, Villagineer and Teach for India. He is an engineer by qualification.

GAYATRI JOLLY
Gayatri is the Founder of MasterG, a social enterprise dedicated to bringing dignity to India’s fashion industry. MasterG provides skills training, market access, and negotiating power to garment workers from marginalized communities across the value chain. Gayatri holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Babson College and an Associate’s degree in Fashion Design from Parsons.

MANJOT KAUR
Manjot is the Executive Director of Mentor Me India, a Bombay-based nonpofit that builds one-to-one mentoring relationships to empower children from low-income communities to achieve their highest potential. The organization currently supports more than 300 mentoring partnerships across the city. Previously she worked with the Clinton Health Access Initiative on Tuberculosis and HIV projects in India and Africa. A doctor, ex-naval officer, and public health professional, she holds an MBA in finance and strategy from the Indian School of Business.

SUDHISH KUMAR
Sudhish is the State Pedagogy Coordinator of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, an initiative that works to improve elementary education in Chhattisgrah. Sudhish develops capacity-building programs for teachers and leads the development of different initiatives and policies in education. Recently, he implemented a state initiative that will enable public representatives and senior officials to monitor and evaluate the quality of education in focus schools. Sudhish has more than 25 years of experience working in government schools in rural and tribal areas.

VAIBHAV LODHA
Vaibhav is the Co-founder of ftcash, a social enterprise supported by PayPal that brings financial inclusion to India’s underserved micro-merchants through cashless payments and loans. Previously, he was a Director at XPRIZE, leading the world’s first global prize targeting the problem of access to water. Vaibhav is a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum, an LGT Venture Philanthropy iCATs Fellow, and was awarded Apex Society’s Power 30 under 30. He is an engineer from the National Institute of Technology-Trichy and an alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Education Program.

ZUBIN MANAV
Zubin is the Co-founder of Project Potential, an alternative university for Bihar’s rural youth that enables them to explore themselves and learn about their community’s social and environmental issues. The program facilitates learning through workshops, internships and self-designed projects in place of standard content and curriculum. Project Potential is currently developing a campus based on completely sustainable principles like eco-architecture, alternative energy and zero waste.

SONALI MEHTA-RAO
Sonali is the Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer of Awaaz.De, a social enterprise providing last-mile mobile communication solutions to nonprofits, governments and businesses to enable social change in India’s underserved communities. Awaaz.De has helped clients deliver and collect critical information from nearly 700,000 unique users across 23 states in India and 12 countries globally. Sonali previously led India operations at Tala, a financial technology company providing credit scores to the underserved, and co-founded Mela Artisans, a social enterprise providing a global market for Indian artisans. Sonali holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from New York University.

SANDEEP NAPA
Sandeep leads product development at Universal Clinics, an initiative of The Institute for Transformative Technologies dedicated to solving issues of global technology by scaling innovations. Through the use of electronic medical records, telemedicine and point-of-care diagnostics, Universal Clinics is building a scalable model for affordable, high-quality primary healthcare delivery in Kenya, India and Pakistan. A former Harvard Medical School Research Fellow, Sandeep trained at Gandhi Medical College.

MIGUEL QUEAH
An activist specializing in child protection, Miguel is the Founder of the Universal Team for Social Action and Help, a child rights agency based in Assam. Founded in 2012, the nonprofit has developed a community-based child protection program and rescued more than 200 children from the slums of Guwahati from child labor. Miguel is the youngest member of the Kamrup Metropolitan Child Labor Task Force Committee and the Child Protection Committee of the Government of Assam. He holds a Bachelor’s of History from St. Stephen’s College.

JYOTHI RAVICHANDRAN
Jyothi is the Co-founder of Sishu Vikas Trust, which fosters social and emotional skills among children, teachers and parents in low-income schools in Chennai. Since 2014, the trust has worked with nearly 600 students, training them on critical life skills and effectively reducing their emotional distress and disruptive behaviors. Jyothi is a 2016 Young India Fellow and holds a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Christ University in Bangalore.

MAINAK ROY
Mainak is the Co-Founder and Director of Simple Education Foundation, a Delhi-based nonprofit that aims to strengthen India’s public education system by improving the quality of teaching and learning. The foundation has impacted more than 50,000 teachers through its intensive training programs. Mainak holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from SRM University and is a Teach for India alumnus.

GARIMA SAHAI
Garima is Co-founder and CEO of Svadha, a social venture providing high-quality sanitation solutions to rural customers in Odisha through a network of “sanipreneurs.” To date, Svadha has served more than 20,000 households and enhanced the livelihoods of 300 of its micro-entrepreneurs. Previously, Garima was a results measurement specialist at the World Bank. She holds a master’s degree in Development Economics from George Washington University.

SHIROI LILI SHAIZA
Shiroi is the Corporate Manager of Ganpati Stock Ltd., a finance company that promotes youth self-employment and entrepreneurship and stimulates job creation and economic growth by supporting micro-enterprises and providing entrepreneurs with access the formal credit market. Shiroi also serves as a board member of Ganpati’s parent organization, Entrepreneurs Associates, spearheading its financial inclusion and sustainable livelihoods programs. She is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and holds a management degree from Symbiosis University.

MATHANGI SWAMINATHAN
Mathangi co-directs Waste Ventures India, a Hyderabad-based social enterprise eliminating landfills through waste segregation, composting and recycling solutions. In the last 14 months, Waste Ventures has grown to service more than 18,000 households and 10 corporate campuses and built a zero-waste model village. Through these initiatives, the company has impacted more than 1000 ragpickers, who collect material from refuse to salvage, by providing them with access to markets, training and employment. Mathangi is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and holds an MBA from the Indian School of Business.

YUTIKA VORA
Yutika is Co-founder of Nagrika, a policy research organization that aims to cultivate a movement of local development where India’s small towns and cities can gain prominence. Nagrika provides innovative solutions for small-town India by conducting localized research, developing customized tools for data-based decision making, and building capacity. Previously Yutika worked as a consultant with the World Bank, assisting on projects to improve governance and social protection across Asia. Yutika holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from Columbia University and the National University of Singapore and a bachelor’s degree in International Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley.

MEET OUR 2017 PAKISTAN FELLOWS

GAUHER AFTAB
Gauher is a Co-Founder of CFx Comics, a content studio that uses visual storytelling to counter radical narratives and address issues like education, gender violence, media freedom, and psychological health, among others. He also runs the Lahore Students Union, a youth center that promotes community service and social impact, with more than 600 volunteers and a network of 50-plus nonprofits. Gauher holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Mathematical Finance from Knox College.

AYYAZ AHMAD
Ayyaz is the Director of Business Development for Sang-e-Meel Publications, a publishing house filling the gap in Pakistan’s literary sector by increasing access to valuable pieces of literature, ranging from historical accounts of the subcontinent to reprints of rare books. Sang-e-Meel’s aim is to create new, relevant and meaningful content for future generations so they can reconnect with their cultural history and identity and work towards building a better future. Ayyaz has a bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from Williams College, studied Social Policy at the London School of Economics and recently finished his MBA at the University of Cambridge.

ROOMI AZIZ
Roomi is Program Director at Nur Center for Research and Policy, where she leads and manages research, technical assistance and policy projects focused on health systems. For the majority of her career, Roomi has focused on the health and nutrition of adolescent girls, women and children, with a concentration on data presentation, collective knowledge creation and policy advocacy, working closely with provincial governments and development partners throughout Pakistan. Roomi holds an MBBS from the University of Health Sciences and an MBA from Lahore University of Management Sciences.

AZIZULLAH BANGASH
Azizullah is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Center for Awareness Training and Development, which assists people and organizations across industries in reaching their goals. As a trainer and consultant working with various organizations in Pakistan, Azizullah has impacted the lives of more than 25,000 individuals across academia, corporates and nonprofits. In 2015, he was invited by Turkey’s Office of Public Diplomacy to engage in policy dialogues with government officials and youth. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology and is currently pursuing an MBA in human resources from the National University of Modern Languages in Peshawar.

SHAD BEGUM
Shad is Founder and Executive Director of the Association for Behavior and Knowledge Transformation, an organization working toward the economic and political empowerment of Pakistan’s underserved communities. An Ashoka Lifetime Fellow and Regan-Fascell Democracy Fellow, Shad is also the recipient of the U.S. Department of State’s International Woman of Courage Award and the Prize for Creativity in Rural Life awarded by the Women’s World Summit Foundation, Geneva. Shad holds a bachelor’s and master’s in Urdu from the University of Malakand and an MBA in human resources management from Preston University.

SARAH FAROOQ
Sarah works as a Program Manager at Amal Academy, an education venture created by Acumen Fellow Benje Williams that works to empower Pakistani youth to realize their dreams. Amal offers a three-month career development program that helps youth to develop the business and leadership skills required to acquire and succeed in high-quality jobs. In addition, Sarah has represented the Pakistani youth at international forums, such as the Asian Development Bank’s Youth Forum and the St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Lahore University of Management Sciences and is a Fulbright Scholar with a master’s in International Political Economy and Development.

RAI AZHAR HUSSAIN
Rai Azhar is the Founder and Chairman of Victim Rights and Rehabilitation Foundation Trust, an organization working to counter violent extremism by working for the rights and rehabilitation of victims of terror. Since surviving a terrorist attack, Rai Azhar has made it his mission to protect the lives of others and received the Tamgha-e-Shujaat, or Medal of Bravery, by the Pakistan government as a result. He also works as Assistant Attorney General for Pakistan in the Islamabad High Court. He holds a Bachelor of Laws from Punjab University and an MBA from the Imperial Institute of Technologies in Islamabad.

FATIMA KARIM
Fatima is the Founder of Khwab, a nonprofit that uses theatre to educate people about Pakistan’s social issues. The organization offers free training and a platform for individuals from underprivileged areas who would like to pursue careers in the performing arts. It also builds the capacity of these individuals to engage in creative problem-solving in their communities. Fatima holds a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Karachi and is currently working with Aga Khan University as a researcher in neuroscience.

SANA KHALID
Sana is the Program Manager for Lincoln Corner, a cultural space for Lahore’s youth within the Information Technology University. She also works as a trainer and curriculum manager with The History Project, an initiative that introduces children to the concepts of identity, history, and critical thinking to foster understanding. Sana is also Director of Alumni Outreach for the Muslim Jewish Conference and a Vision Peace Fellow with Seeds of Peace, an international organization working on conflict resolution and leadership development. She holds a master’s degree in English Literature from Government College University.

NAUMAN KHOKHAR
Nauman is the Founder and CEO of Damascus Marks, a startup reviving an ancient craft of knife-making originally discovered by Alexander the Great to improve the lives and legacy of artisans. The company aims to empower the craftsmen of his hometown of Wazirabad by developing an e-commerce platform to market their goods globally. Damascus Marks has been incubated at Plan 9 and participated in Startup Istanbul. Nauman holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from COMSATS Institute of Information Technology.

ZOHAIB KARIM NOORANI
Zohaib is Co-founder and Lead Strategist at MentHub, an online community that aims to mobilize knowledge within different tiers of society through mentorship. MentHub focuses on establishing a space for expression, creating social inclusion, empowering change agents and monetizing the skills and talents of individuals. Zohaib previously worked as Program Manager for Amal Academy, where he focused on building the capacity of youth from underserved communities. He has represented Pakistan in the Euro-Asia Young Leaders Summit for Social Entrepreneurs in 2015 and holds a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from NED University of Engineering and Technology.

MUHAMMAD QASIM QAZI
Qasim is Founder and CEO of Amden, a social enterprise using agriculture to eradicate chronic hunger and poverty in Pakistan. The company’s model identifies chronically poor households and provides them with goats and poultry for farming and seeds for organic gardening. A portion of the products from farming and gardening are then given to the next chronically poor household, helping to secure a regular source of food and income for each household. Qasim is a 2016 Fellow of the Swedish Institute’s Young Connectors of the Future and has a MBA in Banking and Finance.

ATIQ RAJA
Atiq is Chairman of the Pakistan Youth Council, a program initiated to bring youth together to work for a better future. Atiq has worked as a youth leader and motivational speaker for seven years and delivered more than 3,000 training sessions on education, career counselling, life skills and peace. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s in English Literature with the top ranking at the University of Sindh.

FAHAD RAO
Fahad is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Clubinternet, a company that makes the internet productive for people at the base of the economic pyramid. Fahad has been on the founding teams of some of Pakistan’s biggest tech startups, including Convo and White Rabbit Studios. Fahad is a graduate in Computer Sciences, specializing in human-centered design and data-driven product and platform engineering, and a Rajeev Circle Fellow.

QUDRAT SHAH
Qudrat is the Founder of the Organization for the Development of Youth, which engages young people from Balochistan in leadership activities to uplift them educationally and culturally. Qudrat has volunteered with multiple organizations,  including the School of Leadership, the Citizens Foundation and Y-PEER Pakistan. He is a Jeanne Sauvé Fellow and a participant of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitors Leadership Program. He holds an MBA from the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences.

IBADULLAH SHAIKH
Ibadullah is Co-Founder of Taskeen, a mental health and wellness initiative. A strong believer in the benefits of wellness on a person’s body, mind and soul, Ibadullah conducts community workshops on mental health and engages people in self-care practices such as mindfulness meditation and healing through movement like Qi Gong. He is also works as a wellness coach at Kiran School in Lyari and a peer counselor at the Recovery House.

MUHAMMAD MUDDASAR SHARIF
Muddasar is the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors at H&O Services, a startup that provides blue-collar workers with employment opportunities to improve their lives and social mobility. The company leverages technology to connect qualified workers with employers to streamline the employment search. Muddasar holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering degree from Lahore University of Management Sciences.

MUHAMMAD SHEHRYAR
Shehryar is the Founder and Managing Director of Harness Energy, a social enterprise focused on providing sustainable solutions to Pakistan’s energy-starved population. An associate of the International Finance Corporation’s Lighting Pakistan program, Harness works to provide solar and bioenergy solutions and build distribution models to reach customers living off the grid. Shehryar oversees Harness’s business development, institutional partnerships and overall strategy. He has a master’s degree in Economics from Duke University through a Fulbright scholarship and has been a visiting lecturer at University College in Lahore.

HAROON YASIN
Haroon is Founder of Orenda, an organization that works to keep students enrolled in public and low-cost private schools using technology. Orenda makes education addictive and exciting by personalizing the learning process to ensure students reach graduation. Prior to founding Orenda, Haroon ran Akhuwat-e-Awam, a nonprofit providing high-quality, cost-effective education to children in the slums of Islamabad. Haroon holds a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

ZUBAIR TORWALI
Zubair is the Founder of Idara Baraye Taleem-o-Taraqi, an organization that fight for the rights and development of marginalized linguistic communities in north Pakistan. He is also Secretary of  the Forum for Language Initiatives, which also works to preserve these communities. Zubair is also a researcher and writer whose book, Muffled Voices, provides insight into Pakistan’s social, cultural and political issues. A Fellow with Leadership for Environment and Development Pakistan and with the Asia Leadership Fellows Program, Zubair is associated with a number of human rights organizations and has been awarded the 2012 Hellman-Hammett Grant by Human Rights Watch.

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