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Meet the 2018 Cohort of Acumen Fellows

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Acumen is excited to introduce our 2018 Fellows from East Africa, India and Pakistan.

Our Fellowship is equipping extraordinary leaders with the capacity to positively transform society. This year’s cohort of 64 Fellows are tackling some of their region’s greatest challenges and inspiring their communities to believe in a brighter future. They include an Ethiopian psychotherapist treating women who have experienced trauma and domestic abuse; a Pakistani comedian and screenwriter putting the spotlight on injustice; and the founder of an Indian social enterprise bridging the gap between citizens and government with technology.

Over the course of the year, they remain in their full-time jobs while taking part in five seminars designed to help them adapt to challenging environments and work collaboratively across lines of difference. After the year’s end, they join our global network of more than 400 leaders exchanging ideas and tools to make a greater impact in their communities.

The Acumen Fellows Program is generously supported by Brinson Foundation, Dr. Reddy’s Foundation, Futura Foundations, Giving Wings, JS Bank, KCB Bank Group, Mahvash & Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation, Midas Safety, Mitsubishi International Corporation Foundation, Nayara Energy, Safaricom, SAP, Segelman Trust, Tata Trusts, and Woodcock Foundation.

Get to know our 2018 Fellows cohort and their inspiring work.

Amnah is the Deputy Executive Director of the Zanzibar Fighting Against Youth Challenges Organization, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering youth by raising awareness, capacity building and networking programs. A social entrepreneur and youth empowerment advocate, Amnah is also the Co-Founder and Planning Administration Manager of Sure Steps Nursery School, a community-based kindergarten. She holds a bachelor’s in Business Administration from India’s Punjab College of Technical Education.

Benjamin is a Tanzanian award-winning speaker, TV personality and entrepreneur. He is passionate about financial inclusion and is building a digital bank for East Africa as the Co-Founder and CEO of NALA. Prior to creating NALA, Benjamin worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is the first Tanzanian to attend both the Stanford Graduate School of Business (MBA) and Harvard Kennedy School of Government for an executive education program.

Catherine is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Numida, a startup dedicated to developing digital tools that enable small African businesses to thrive. To date, Numida has developed a free financial management app that helps small businesses in Uganda keep good records, make better decisions and access unsecured credit, all on a smartphone. Catherine believes that small businesses are the drivers of job creation and economic development. Prior to Numida, Catherine graduated from Harvard with a master’s in Public Administration in International Development.

Doreen is Chief Operations Officer at Ubongo Learning, a social enterprise that creates edutainment content for primary school aged learners in Africa. Based in Tanzania, she leads the distribution of Ubongo’s content and finds innovative ways to continually deliver fun learning to more than 6.4 million families in East Africa. As an education activist, Doreen strives to ensure more children in Africa have access to quality education. She is also voice behind one of the Ubongo Kids characters, Ngedere, a playful monkey.

Ebrahim is an innovation and publication expert working in the Public and International Relations Directorate of Haramaya University in Ethiopia. He also founded the radio station HU-91.5FM to raise awareness about justice and gender-based violence. Prior to his current role, he was the Associate Director of the university’s HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Directorate, where he organized peer education, cultivated youth dialogue and facilitated voluntary counseling and testing. He is an MSc. Candidate of Agricultural Communication, Innovation and Development at Haramaya University.

Egide is a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Burundi and the Co-Founder and Senior Manager of Village Health Action, a health organization. Egide also participates in Our Views, Our Voices, an initiative of the Noncommunicable Disease Alliance that seeks to meaningfully involve people living with those illnesses in the policy-making process and amplify their voices to break down stigma and discrimination. Through this initiative, he has trained more than 3,500 students in vocational skills. Egide is a One Young World ambassador and global health advocate.

Ephrem is Communications Officer at Light for the World, an international nonprofit that provides accessible eye care services and education to empower people with disabilities to participate equally in society. Based in Ethiopia, Ephrem has over 10 years of nonprofit experience and throughout his career has focused on empowering those most in need, particularly marginalized communities such as women and persons with disabilities. His early experience as a radio program producer covering HIV/AIDS showed him that access to information affects not only one individual but also the community at large.

Eunice is the County Chief Officer at the Department of Education and Information & Communications Technology in the Homa Bay County Government in Kenya, where she manages a staff of 1,800. Passionate about women and girls, she leads mentorship programs for girls and performs trainings and sensitization meetings for women. She has also run the Ramula HIV Support Group that works to reduce the stigma of HIV in her community for the last 12 years.

Everlyne is Co-Founder and General Manager at Central Division Youth Committee in Trans-Nzoia, Kenya. Her organization empowers women and youth through financial literacy training and offers financial support to small businesses and startups. Determined to replace idleness in society with productivity, Everlyne left her job as a banker to pursue this vision. She holds a bachelor’s in Education from Kenyatta University.

Hakim is Deputy Director of Cabinet Resolutions in the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs in the Government of South Sudan. He provides technical support to the Council of Ministers in developing and disseminating legislation and policies and also monitors policy implementation. Hakim is the Co-Founder and Secretary General of Khorfulus Community Association, which works to eradicate poverty by providing social services and entrepreneurial activities. He holds a postgraduate diploma in Public Administration from the University of Juba.

Iregi, a mental health advocate who has lived with ADHD, is the Founder and CEO of Psychiatric Disability Organization of Kenya. From an early age, his life was impacted by mistreatment he endured at home and in school for behaving differently than his peers. Iregi left a successful 14-year career in environmental conservation to pursue his passion of mental health advocacy. He holds an Executive MBA and is an alumnus of the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program at the University of California, Berkeley.

Ivan is a social entrepreneur and finance professional with experience in financial management, corporate finance, venture capital and fundraising for startups. He is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Finance and Administration at Unreasonable East Africa, an organization that supports the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises in East Africa’s emerging markets. Based in Uganda, Ivan is responsible for supporting startups to raise and efficiently manage capital. He holds a bachelor’s in Business Administration with a major in Finance and is a level 11 candidate in the CFA program.

Joshwa is the Founding Director and Special Advisor to the Kibera Community Empowerment Organization, which has impacted more than 70,000 lives through innovative recycling, entrepreneurship and educational support to underserved students. To sustain the nonprofit’s activities, Joshwa co-founded Kshoes, a social enterprise that partners with skilled artisans in Nairobi’s informal settlements to produce customized footwear for local and international markets. He is also the Co-Founder of Venture Space, an entrepreneurial accelerator for persons living with disabilities in rural and urban Kenya. Joshwa is currently an economics student at Daystar University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.

Mohamed is Co-Founder and Director at Education and Health for All, a social enterprise based in Mwanza, Tanzania that provides free oral education and dental services to marginalized communities in Lake Zone. Mohamed serves as a dentist at Hope Dental Centre, a clinic run by the organization that provides affordable, high quality dentistry. Most of the profits generated by the clinic support the organization’s activities, and the plan is to expand its activities across Tanzania.

Noeline is a family therapist by training and a social entrepreneur by design. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Kyusa, a nonprofit that addresses youth unemployment in Uganda’s slums by empowering school dropouts to turn their passions into sustainable careers. Noeline is also the Director of the New Generation Mentoring Program, an intensive program that aims to develop young women into outstanding leaders. She is an author, motivational speaker, life and career coach and business development consultant. Her mission is to empower people to identify their purpose and turn their passions into skills for fruitful living.

Pauline is the Country Director for Nuru Kenya, an organization working to reduce poverty in remote communities. Nuru’s sustainable holistic model includes agriculture, healthcare, financial inclusion and education programs. Pauline is passionate about building resilience and has invested over 14 years in community development in Kenya. She believes in empowering the rural poor to make impactful choices and lives by the philosophy that people should not wait for others to create change but rather create change themselves.

Sam is CEO of First Aid Africa, a healthcare education program operating in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia. First Aid Africa partners with government, nonprofits and private organizations to increase access to emergency care through professional training, first aid equipment and disruptive technology. These partnerships have trained more than 40,000 new first responders across East and Southern Africa, making the program the fastest growing first aid movement on the continent.

Samwel is Founder and Program Director of Tumaini Innovation Center. A nonprofit based in Kenya, Tumaini engages vulnerable youth through an educational model that breaks down barriers and equips youth with the knowledge and skills they need to have successful careers. Samwel’s life goal is to utilize his full potential by teaching and training young people to become responsible citizens and improve their communities. He holds a bachelor’s in Education Arts from Moi University.

Solomon is the Country Director at Gardens for Health International, a nonprofit providing long-lasting solutions to childhood malnutrition by using agriculture as a key driver of better health. The organization partners with health clinics in rural and peri-urban Rwanda to help families facing malnutrition receive more than a clinical diagnosis and food supplements. To address the root causes of malnutrition, it works with families to provide a combination of seeds for crops, education and peer support. Solomon holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health Sciences and is studying to obtain a master’s in Public Health.

Sunday is Founder and Executive Director of Vision for Humanity, a nonprofit transforming the lives of underserved and marginalized groups in Uganda through community-led initiatives. For example, the organization supports South Sudanese refugees in building a peaceful coexistence with Ugandan host communities. Sunday also founded a nursing school to develop service-oriented health workers and Dream Mixed Farms, an enterprise supporting Ugandan and eastern Congolese farmers in agribusiness and organic agriculture. Sunday holds a nursing degree from Makerere University and a postgraduate diploma in International Primary Health Care from the University of London.

Yayeri is the Operations Manager at Bless a Child Foundation, which provides support services to children up to 17 years old suffering from cancer and related infections. Established in 2007, the organization was created to address Uganda’s need for adequate access to medical care and support for pediatric cancer patients. Yayeri, who developed her passion for working with pediatric cancer patients after visiting a children’s cancer home, is also part of the Patient Support Working Group, which helps spread awareness about cancer.

Zahara is a psychotherapist devoted to improving the lives of women and children. She provides psychotherapy and training on trauma, child protection and domestic violence for governmental and nongovernmental institutions. She is a radio guest speaker on self-care, parenting and relationships and had a monthly column,”Ask Zahara,” in the magazine, What’s Out Addis!, for five years. Zahara started her career in the United States and has spent the last decade in Ethiopia. She has a bachelor’s in Psychology and Human Services and Creative Arts in Therapy from Russell Sage College. She holds master’s degrees in Art Therapy from Marywood University and Social Work from Addis Ababa University.

Aakash is Director of Strauss Healthcare, where he is building patient engagement and telehealth technology to improve follow-up care for rural and underprivileged patients in India. He graduated with a medical degree from Baroda Medical College and has attended clinical training programs at Harvard, Yale and Oxford. Aakash is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and a Singularity University Global Impact Scholar.

Alex is an Indian Administrative Services officer of Chhattisgarh State Cadre. He is currently the Joint Secretary, Department of Electronics & Information Technology, and the CEO of Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society. As CEO, he leads Chhattisgarh’s adoption of technology to improve governance and the delivery of services to citizens. Alex has received national recognition for several of his initiatives, including a school management application now implemented in three states and a midday meal online monitoring system to improve the efficiency and accuracy of government-distributed meals to students.

Anand is Head of Impact at Tata Trusts, where he examines the impact of Tata Trusts’ portfolio of development work. He and his colleagues work closely with program teams to understand the impact of projects in the sectors of education, water, energy, health and nutrition, rural upliftment, urban poverty, and arts and culture. Anand transitioned into the social sector after two decades as a management consultant with Ernst & Young and Deloitte. He is an Industrial Engineer with an MBA in Finance.

Aniket is CEO and Co-Founder of Haqdarshak, a social enterprise that uses technology to bridge the gap between citizens, the government and private welfare schemes. Haqdarshak is present in 10 states and has reached more than 50,000 citizens in 2017. Previously, Aniket spent two years as a Teach for India Fellow working in marginalized communities in Maharashtra. He has over 10 years of experience in the development sector and is an alumnus of the Shri Ram College of Commerce.

Arnab is a founding member of the Atal Innovation Mission, the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote entrepreneurship and innovation. His projects include establishing more than 2,000 innovation labs for students and building the largest formal volunteer network in India. Before joining Atal, Arnab spent five years as an investment banker for Deutsche Bank, executing more than $30 billion in transactions. Arnab is an alumnus of Indian School of Business, Columbia Business School and Birla Institute of Technology Mesra.

Divas is the National Coordinator of New Initiatives and Parliamentary Advocacy at Safai Karmachari Andolan, a human rights movement working to eliminate manual scavenging. The organization works to put pressure on government institutions through democratic means to help restore the rights of the manual scavenging community. Born and raised in Uttar Pradesh, he studied English Literature at Delhi University. He is an experiential educator and has contributed to experiments on youth leadership.

Emarine is a Program Manager at Impulse NGO Network, an organization that addresses human trafficking in Northeast India and its porous borders. She engages key stakeholders from the public and private sectors to work together to combat cross-border human trafficking cases across Northeast India, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal. Prior to this, Emarine documented urgent appeals on human rights violations in India at the Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong.

Gaurang is India Country Manager for Tala, a mobile technology and data science startup helps underserved people achieve digital financial inclusion. To date, Tala has given four million loans for more than $190 million across five countries. Previously, Gaurang founded a financial technology startup, Instakash. He has experience in financial services, venture capital, business development and analysis. He has a bachelor’s with honors from St. Xavier’s College in Economics and Statistics, and a bachelor’s in Mathematics from Sri Venkateswara University.

Joy is Chairperson and Founder of Makkala Jagriti, a Karnataka nonprofit that facilitates the holistic development of underserved children by providing access to quality education and working closely with parents and teachers. The nonprofit partners with child-centric learning centers in public schools, urban slums and juvenile homes that reach more than 10,000 children daily. Joy coaches Makkala Jagriti’s executive management team in leadership to build the organization into a social movement for an equitable society.

Leena is a member of the Maharashtra State Civil Service with 18 years of experience in rural development. She has extensive experience in the design and implementation of large-scale livelihood and entrepreneurship development programs. She is currently the Joint Managing Director of Maharashtra Small Scale Industries Development Corporation and working to develop small- and medium-sized enterprises and handicrafts businesses.

Manak is a feminist queer activist and development professional with over a decade of experience. He is currently the Executive Director of The YP Foundation, an organization that develops young people’s leadership and ensures their participation in creating policies and advocating for the rights of women, girls and other marginalized youth. The YP Foundation focuses in the areas of gender, sexuality, education, health and civic participation. Manak is a documentary filmmaker and holds a master’s in Mass Communication from Jamia Milia Islamia University.

Mubeen is Founder and CEO of RISE, a social enterprise that equalizes educational opportunities for students in the conflict-torn region of Kashmir. Over the past five years, RISE has improved the quality of the area’s education by devising holistic solutions for students, schools and government. Mubeen is one of the Swedish Institutes’ Young Connectors of the Future and has a bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from IIT Bombay.

Natasha is Founder and Managing Director of the Civic Response Team, a nonprofit that builds evidence-driven solutions to civic and environmental challenges in Aurangabad and beyond with government and industry partners. The organization has successfully implemented solid waste management interventions in three cities across Maharashtra and will be working in 15 districts with the state government. Natasha also co-founded EcoSattva Environmental Solutions, which provides ecological sewage treatment coupled with eco-scaping, a process that combines landscape architecture and environmental science to create sustainable design. Natasha is an Ashoka University 2013 Young India Fellow.

Nitesh is Co-Founder of Coeo Labs, a medical device company solving problems in emergency and critical care. One of the products he developed, VAPCare, reduces the chances of contracting ventilator-associated pneumonia, a fatal lung infection that kills more than 250,000 Indians annually. His work has won awards including the MassChallenge Boston, Millennium Alliance, 3M Young Innovators Award and the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge.

Nupur leads business operations at the Institute for Transformative Technologies, whose  mission is to build and scale up game-changing technology innovations from across the world for developing economies. Prior to this, Nupur spent seven years in strategy consulting with Dalberg Global Development Advisors. Nupur holds a master’s in Economics and Finance from the University of Warwick and a bachelor’s in Economics from St. Xavier’s College.

Rafiul is a development consultant and the Founder of the Delhi University Queer Collective (DUQC), one of school’s first LGBTQI support groups. DUQC is a vibrant movement with students taking on community leadership and pushing the discourse on gender, sexuality and human rights. Rafiul is a regular speaker on diversity and inclusion for several national and regional platforms. He holds a master’s in English Literature from Delhi University.

Dr. Rouf is Co-Founder and Director of Koshish, an organization that works on issues ranging from education to child protection to community leadership development. Roughly 1,000 individuals benefit from Koshish’s programs every year. Previously, Dr. Rouf was a curator for the Srinagar hub of the World Economic Forum.

Samina is Founder and Director of Rightwalk Foundation, where she champions educational reform by impacting policy, system design and capacity within the government to ensure large-scale sustainable change. Overcoming complex political, social and legal hurdles, she has pushed for social inclusion in Uttar Pradesh classrooms by activating the Right to Education Act, which requires private schools to reserve 25 percent of seats for low-income children. Samina is an Ashoka Fellow, TEDX speaker, Kalam Award Winner, computer engineer and IIM-Bangalore graduate.

Shiva is Co-Founder of Jayalaxmi Agrotech, a social enterprise that provides crop-specific data to rural farmers through a series of mobile apps. Thousands of farmers across five of India’s states use these mobile apps, which provide crop advisory, market connections, and forward and backward integration across the agriculture value chain. They also provide an analytics platform that enables stakeholders including the government, agri-input companies and banks to serve farmers better.

Vamsee is an Associate Consultant at McKinsey & Company, specializing in the public and social sectors. He advises senior government officials and civil representatives on large public projects, and designs strategies for public institutions on their vision, growth and execution. Before McKinsey, he worked with Mother Earth for four years, consulting nonprofits and developing artisan self-help groups across India and connecting them to retail chains. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, and an MBA from Indian School of Business.

Yogesh is CEO and Founder of Even Cargo, a social enterprise that trains women from resource-poor communities for employment opportunities with major e-commerce companies. Even Cargo increases the participation of women in the labor market by overcoming barriers of unemployment through skill development. Yogesh is an engineering graduate with three years of experience as a production engineer and also has a master’s in Social Entrepreneurship from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

Aftab is Co-Founder and Program Director of Idara Baraye Taleem-o-Taraqi, which uses education to work for the rights and development of marginalized ethno-linguistic communities in northern Pakistan. He has written multiple course books for children in their native languages and compiled a trilingual Torwali-Urdu-English dictionary. Most recently, Aftab is working on a project on the empowerment of women through education. Aftab holds a master’s in Political Science from the University of Malakand.

Aly is Co-Founder and Head of Finance at Nari Microfinance, which works to empower women in Sindh’s marginalized communities through financial independence. The organization provides funding and vocational training to help women set up businesses in their homes. To date, Nari has provided financial services to 250 households. Aly is a Fulbright scholar with a master’s in Finance and Banking from Boston University.

Anusheh is Head of Insights at Invest2Innovate, an organization that works to support startup communities in growth markets. Anusheh seeks to democratize and gather data from Pakistan’s startup ecosystem to help entrepreneurs improve operations, attract more funding and increase their impact. Anusheh holds a master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University focused on economic and political development.

Ayesha is Chief Medical Officer of MILVIK Pakistan, a subsidiary of MILVIK AB, a global leader in micro-insurance and mobile health. Ayesha manages the organization’s health services which provide health care to more than 300,000 patients. She is also an Advisory Board member responsible for business development at Aas-e-Kauser Foundation, a nonprofit that empowers widows with vocational training so they can become financially and socially independent. Ayesha is a graduate of Army Medical College and a World Bank Women X Fellow.

Didar is the Culture Development Officer at Bulbulik Heritage Centre Gulmit, a music school aimed at preserving and promoting the Wakhi/Pamiri folk heritage of music. Didar oversees the school’s music training and works to connect the educated youth of Gojal to gainful employment. He is also responsible for the school’s cultural research and documentation. Didar holds an MBA from Karakoram International University and a diploma in Tourism Management from Salzburg, Austria.

Fahad is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Hand in Hand with Educated and Labour People, a youth-led nonprofit working on education, human rights and poverty and social injustice in Sindh. The organization currently runs four schools in remote areas of Sindh in collaboration with the Sindh Education Foundation. Fahad holds a bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Sindh Jamshoro.

Abass is Executive Director of Integrated Rural Awareness & Development Organization, an organization that provides quality education to underprivileged communities in the disaster-prone areas of Sindh. Abass is also a freelance columnist, writing on on social issues in various local newspapers, and a civil society activist. He holds a master’s in Social Sciences from the University of Sindh.

Granaz is Founder and CEO of UDaan, an organization that works to raise awareness about menstrual hygiene among girls and women in Gwadar and Turbat. UDaan encourages proper personal hygiene and a balanced diet to reduce school dropout among girls during menstruation. Granaz holds a bachelor’s in Inorganic Chemistry from Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University Quetta.

Hasan is Founder of EnMass Energy, a renewable energy startup that harnesses biomass from smallholder farmers to generate power for off-grid clients in Punjab. EnMass creates value for farmers while reducing emissions from crop-burning and fossil fuels. Hasan also operates a nonprofit, 501Carbon, that helps organizations providing grassroots energy solutions access carbon finance. Hasan is a Fulbright scholar with a master’s in Public Policy from Duke University.

Hassaan is a stand-up comedian and comedy writer. He is Chief Operations Officer at Qaumi Coup, a progressive new media platform. Hassaan develops sketches and short films while engaging the wider artistic community as writers and performers. Hassaan also trains the Auratnaak Movement, which focuses on breaking down the patriarchy one joke at a time. Hassaan holds an LLB from the University of London and a diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Law, Bloomsbury.

Haya is the CEO of HFI Productions, a storytelling organization that uses documentary film to build empathy for social justice and human rights issues. She also runs the Documentary Association of Pakistan, an initiative working to promote the culture of watching documentaries all over Pakistan. Haya is an Academy and Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker. She is a Fulbright scholar with a master’s in Documentary Journalism from New York University.

Hazer is Founder and Executive Director of Islampur Cottage Industries Association, which works to eliminate the system of bonded labor in Pakistan’s cottage industry, an informal industry consisting of small businesses run from people’s homes. Due to the lack of labor protection laws, many workers in the cottage industry are exploited by middlemen. Hazer’s organization develops mutually beneficial solutions among stakeholders in the weaving community to optimize the value chain and break through a traditionally exploitative system. He oversees culture, governance and rural development, and is an Ashoka Fellow.

Imran heads the Career Services Office at the Balochistan University of Information Technology Engineering & Management Sciences (BUITEMS), where he links unemployed youth in Balochistan to employment opportunities. He provides career counseling and engages industry experts in mentoring sessions to guide students towards professional career development. He is also a visiting faculty member and mentor at the university’s Entrepreneurship and Business Incubation Center. Imran holds an MBA from BUITEMS.

Mashal is Co-Founder of the Women’s Division at Karachi United Football Foundation, a nonprofit that leverages the power of football to create tangible community development. She designs and implements sport-specific social impact strategy, develops metrics and evaluates their success, oversees women’s programs, and manages strategic partnerships. She also captains Karachi United’s ladies football team. Mashal holds a bachelor’s in Kinesiology from McGill University, and dual master’s degrees from SZABIST (MBA) and Harvard University (MPA).

Rashed is Managing Director of Bera, an organization working with Peshawari artisans to promote their products and transform their economic well-being. Bera trains artisans in line with international standards and works to connect them and their products to the international market. Rashed is responsible for the planning and evaluation of operations and new products. He holds degrees in Computer Science from the University of Peshawar and Liverpool University.

Mustafa is Co-Founder of Mauqa.Online, which develops online tools to connect illiterate people with nearby employment opportunities. Currently operating out of Islamabad, the organization creates a market for on-demand domestic helpers and helps uneducated and unemployed men and women find work. Mustafa holds a master’s in Management from Stanford University.

Qassim is Director of Finance and Administration at Sindh Mass Transit Authority, a government department working on large-scale projects including the Karachi Circular Railway and the metro bus service. He previously worked with the government’s public private partnership unit on civil infrastructure, transportation, education and agriculture projects. Qassim has a master’s in Finance from China’s Zhongnan University of Economics and Law and is fluent in conversational Mandarin.

Rabia is Founder of Galaxy Sports Academy, which works to empower girls through sports and sports education. Galaxy encourages girls to apply the confidence and values they learn through sports education to their practical life challenges. Rabia is a professional field hockey player who has represented Pakistan in international tournaments, and was selected as an Emerging Leader in the U.S. State Department’s Global Sports Mentoring Program in 2016. Rabia holds dual master’s degrees in Mass Communication and Sports Sciences from the University of Punjab.

Sadaf is Founder and CEO of Her Ground, a women’s health startup that runs a monthly subscription model to deliver feminine hygiene products in Lahore and Okara. In Pakistani society, where talking about menstruation is a deeply rooted taboo, Her Ground is making it easier for women to shop for hygiene products while helping to remove the stigmatization of female menstruation. With three years of pharmaceutical industry experience in Lahore, Sadaf holds a bachelor’s in Pharmacy.

Sumera is Managing Director of Mechanism for Rational Change, an organization working for women’s empowerment through education and capacity building. The organization runs schools and women’s skill centers to provide educational and economic opportunities in an area of Balochistan where opportunities for women are limited. It works with the entire community to raise the status of women in society. Sumera holds a master’s in History from Balochistan University.