Director, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, The Netherlands
Defne Ayas is a curator, producer, and publisher in the field of contemporary visual art and its institutions. Ayas is currently the director of the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, where she oversees an exhibition and publication program devoted to the question of crisis; be it aesthetic, geographic, economic, communal, ecological, or even spiritual and of how artists and art world can be active co-creators of politics, institutions and representations, if at all.
Gabriela Cuevas Barron
Senator of the Republic; National Action Party, Mexico
Gabriela Cuevas is a Mexican politician and political activist. She currently serves as Senator from the PAN (the National Action Party) whose work is focused on foreign affairs, migration, and gender equality.
Among other assignments, she currently heads the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee; in that context, she travels widely as an active participant in defining Mexico’s evolving relationship with the United States as well as the rest of the world. Before her election to the Senate, Gaby served as a federal congress women and as the head of one of Mexico City’s regional governments.
As a member of the PAN for more than two decades, she has played an increasingly important role in improving constitutional governance in Mexico City. As a federal congress woman she was chair of the Federal District Commission, member of the Committees on Budget and Public Accounts and National Defense, and responsible for monitoring the use of federal resources in election processes. In her current role in the Senate, she chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee and sits on committees for the Federal District, Gender Equality and Radio, Television and Cinema.
Senator Cuevas writes regularly for various Mexican newspapers and is a founding member of Mexico Education Foundation. She is a graduate of Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM).
Founder, Leading Ventures and Board Member, Tällberg Foundation, The Netherlands
Tom Cummings has served as global head of Learning and Organisation Effectiveness for Unilever and ABN Amro Bank; project leader/adviser on planning and learning in companies such as Shell, Compass Group, Fortis, Marakon, BUPA and others. Tom has created and co-designed business transformation and learning vehicles such as Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Center for Strategy Research, Leading Ventures and Common Purpose Netherlands.
Tom has also led the Tällberg Leader Program since 2006 and is a Board Member of the Tällberg Foundation. He is also senior advisor to the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV).
Tom’s work has involved him as a designer and catalyst in hundreds of projects and board retreats across many cultures. He works with people who wish to engage with complexity and want to learn how to move between and across different perspectives. The approach helps to integrate experience and anticipate challenges. His work encourages leaders to be present and mindful of their personal impact while sustaining a perspective on their legacy in the wider world.
Tom served on the Tällberg Foundation Global Leadership Prize Jury 2015 and 2016.
Senior Advisor for Global Affairs to the President of Columbia University and Senior Research Scholar at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, USA
Dr. Vishakha N. Desai is Senior Advisor for Global Affairs to the President of Columbia University and Senior Research Scholar at its School of International and Public Affairs. From 2004 through 2012, Dr. Desai served as President and CEO of the Asia Society, a global organization dedicated to strengthening partnerships between Asia and the U.S.
In 2012, in recognition of Dr. Desai’s leadership in the museum field, President Barack Obama appointed her to serve on the National Museum and Library Services Board. She is an Advisory Trustee of the Brookings Institution, and serves as the chair of both the Board of Trustees of AFS Intercultural Programs, and the Advisory Board of the Asian Pacific American Center of the Smithsonian Institution. She is also a Trustee of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and serves on the Corporate Board of Mahindra & Mahindra, one of India’s largest global corporations.
She has published extensively on the role of culture in Asia and on Women’s leadership issues. Dr. Desai’s publications include: Asian Art History in the 21st century (March 2008), Gods Guardians and Lovers: Temple Sculpture of North India (November 1993), and Life at Court: Art for India’s Rulers (June 1985).
Dr. Desai holds a B.A. in Political Science from Bombay University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Asian Art History from the University of Michigan, and five honorary degrees from American colleges and universities.
NHK Senior Commentator, NHK World Senior Producer, Japan
Ms Aiko Doden is NHK Senior Commentator on International Affairs, and Senior Producer for “NEWSROOM Tokyo” on NHK World TV. She has expertise in reporting on a wide range of global issues from hard security to human security. As commentator she covers SE Asia with a focus on Myanmar and Thailand, US Japan relations and Japan’s Foreign Policy. Ms Doden comments on developmental affairs with a focus on sustainable growth, gender equality and education. She has anchored key news program as “NHK News at 9 PM” “NHK World Network” and “NHK Asian Voices”. She was a correspondent in based in Thailand covering ASEAN countries extensively.
Her interviewees include the Nobel Laureates Malala Yousafzai, Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Prof. Amartyr Sen, World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark , Mr. Ratan Tata, India and Mr. Bill Gates, USA.
She holds an MA in international affairs from Columbia University, New York, USA, and a BA in foreign studies from Sophia University, Japan. She has spent her childhood in London, UK.
Founding Dean, The School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, The American University in Cairo, Former Egyptian Foreign Minister (2013 – 2014), Diplomat, and Politician , Egypt
Nabil Fahmy was Foreign Minister of Egypt from July 2013-June 2014. He had previously served for over three decades in Egypt’s Foreign Service including as Egypt’s Ambassador to Japan from 1997-1999 and the United States from 1999-2008. After representing his country in the United States, he became the founding Dean, and Professor of Practice of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) at The American University in Cairo (AUC).
On returning to government as Foreign Minister, Fahmy steered the course of Egypt’s diplomacy during a time of immense challenge. As Minister, Nabil Fahmy formulated a strategy to reorient Egypt’s Foreign Policy, ensuring that his country had numerous foreign policy options both regionally and globally, while also restructuring the Egyptian Foreign Ministry in order to address the challenges of the future.
During his distinguished diplomatic career Fahmy served in numerous government and international positions focusing in his work on international and regional security, disarmament and non-proliferation, and Arab-Israeli diplomacy. He was a member of the Egyptian Delegation to the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference; the Review Conferences of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; United Nations Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. He attended the International Atomic Energy Agency Board and general conferences as well as numerous sessions of the United Nations General Assembly since 1977. He was elected Vice Chairman of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security Affairs) of the 44th Session of the General Assembly in 1989.
After concluding his service as Egypt’s Foreign Minister Fahmy, in December 2014, resumed his position as Dean of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. A prolific writer on regional and global affairs, Nabil Fahmy is the author of numerous publications in both Arabic and English. He is married with three children and currently lives in Cairo.
CEO, Core Strategy Group, USA
After graduating from Washington & Lee University, and a five-minute shot at the AFL, Scott Miller worked in advertising as Creative Director of McCann-Erickson, then founded Sawyer/Miller Group with David Sawyer. This strategic consulting group developed communications strategy for many political campaigns, corporations and institutions. Among Sawyer/Miller Group’s clients: Corazon Aquino, Vaclav Havel, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Miller Brewing, Boris Yeltsin, Drexel Burnham Lambert, Kim Dae Jung, Goldman-Sachs, Apple Computer, Virgilio Barco, USA for Africa/Hands Across America, Lech Walesa and The Better World Foundation. Sawyer/Miller also advised over 40 U.S. candidates for Governor or Senator and several Presidential campaigns.
In 2012 Scott founded RealLeader.com with Pat Caddell and Bob Perkins, and in 2013 with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Partnership for a Healthier America” initiative. During the 2014 elections, he founded “WeNeedSmith.com” and “A Promise to America” with Pat Caddell and Bob Perkins. In the 2016 campaign, they provided message strategy support to President Donald Trump.
He wrote Building Brandwidth with Sergio Zyman, The Underdog Advantage with David Morey and One More Customer with Fran Tarkenton. Former Editor of the Times of London James Harding’s book Alpha Dogs is based on Miller’s work in politics. Scott is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the Emory Winship Cancer Institute advisory board.
Vice President of Art, Brooklyn Public Library System and Former Director, PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, USA
Before he arrived to New York Laszlo Jakab Orsos had a carrier in Hungary and in Europe as a writer/scriptwriter and creative writing instructor. Besides his writing he has founded Hungary`s leading contemporary literary journal and produced and hosted cultural programs and talk shows for television.
The feature film, The District what he co-wrote has won the main prize at the Annecy International Animation festival in 2005 and has been distributed in numerous countries, including Japan, Russia, Poland, Romania and in the United States. New York Times wrote a very favorable review of it.
Orsos has arrived to the US in 2005 as a diplomat/curator overseeing Hungary`s cultural presence in New York and Washington DC. He has conceived and executed Hungary`s year-long art festival with 150 events in 2009. The Extremely Hungary Festival featured shows, exhibitions and concerts in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Museum of Modern Art, The National Gallery and Lincoln Center.
He joined to PEN American Center in the fall of 2010 as the director of PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature. The annual Festival, chaired by Salman Rushdie, is one of the world`s largest literary gatherings presenting more than 100 writers in 60 events in New York City. Orsos is the curator of the Festival responsible for content and artistic approach as well as marketing and PR. PEN World Voices Festival`s unique agenda, which incorporates literature, human rights and freedom of expression, has helped to propel the event into the international arena of literature working with writers such as Toni Morrison, Umberto Eco, Margaret Atwood, Orhan Pamuk, Herta Muller and Wole Soyinka.
Orsos is currently the Vice President of Art at the Brooklyn Public Library system. Besides his curatorial work Orsos served as board member in Goerge Soros` Open Society Foundations. Currently he is an advisory board member at Human Rights Watch and Creative Time, a New York based public art organization.
Senior Advisor, Kissinger Associates; President, Zemi Communications; Chairman, Tällberg Foundation, USA
Alan Stoga is a strategist and entrepreneur with extensive experience in communications and public relations, corporate consulting, digital media, geopolitics, banking and government. Currently, he serves as Senior Adviser at Kissinger Associates, the international consulting firm chaired by Dr. Henry Kissinger, as well as president of Zemi Communications, L.L.C., a New York based firm that provides communication counsel.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Stoga founded a private equity firm; was managing director of Kissinger Associates; served as chief economist for the Bipartisan National Commission on Central America, created by President Reagan; established and managed the country risk management activities for the First National Bank of Chicago; and served as an international economist in the U.S. Treasury (1975-77).
Mr. Stoga is Chairman of the board of the Tällberg Foundation (based in Sweden), Vice Chairman of the boards of the Americas Society and Chairman of the board of the Tinker Foundation. He also served as Secretary of the multimedia awards jury for World Press Photo, based in Amsterdam. Mr. Stoga has economics and international relations degrees from Michigan State and Yale University, respectively.
Carole Wamuyu Wainaina
COO, Africa 50 Infrastructure Fund, Casablanca, Morocco
Carole Wainaina is the Chief Operating Officer of Africa 50, a newly formed, innovative public/private financial institution, based in Casablanca, whose purpose is to invest in infrastructure throughout Africa. She brings to her new position more than two decades of corporate, government and NGO leadership experience, including having served as the United Nation’s Assistant Secretary General for Human Resources from 2014 to 2017.
Ms. Wainaina was the Chief Human Resources Officer and member of the Executive Committee at Royal Phillips in the Netherlands from 2011 to 2014.
Previously she worked at the Coca-Cola Company as Group Human Resources Director, Europe, as well as in management positions in Turkey, United States, United Kingdom and Kenya as well as President of the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation. She started her career as a management consultant at Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the Kenya Wildlife Service.
A native of Kenya, Ms. Wainaina earned a Bachelor of Business from the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.
Former Ambassador of Costa Rica to the United States and Board Member, Tällberg Foundation
Muni Figueres has recently completed her tour of duty as ambassador from Costa Rica to the United States. During her tenure, President Barack Obama attended a summit of presidents from Central America and the Dominican Republic held in Costa Rica in June of 2012 to reinforce cooperation in economic and social develpment and in regional security.
She has served on for-profit (IDT – telecommunications) and not-for-profit boards, the latter dealing with SME’s (IESC – International Services Executive Corps in Washington, DC), education (chairing the board of LASPAU-Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., and member of the board of Zamorano Agriculture College in Honduras), and support to underprivileged public schoools (Fundacion Desarrollo Guanacaste, Costa Rica), as well as social work (International Social Services, in Baltimore, Md.).
Muni ran the External Relations Department of the Inter American Development Bank in Washington, dealing with the change initiated by all the multilateral institutions during the 1990’s towards greater transparency and public accountability with respect to policies and loan operations.
As Special Presidential Trade Representative for her country in Washington during the 1980’s, she became familiar with the US political system and the workings of Congress and the Executive Branch as well as the organized private sector.
Before running for Vice President of Costa Rica in 1990, she was Minister of Foreign Trade and as such designed and implemented the institutional and policy matrix underpinning the transition from a debt ridden, commodity exporter to the high-tech, high-value added international investment and export player that Costa Rica is today.
Muni holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, and a BA in Comparative Literature from City College of New York, and lives between Washington DC and Costa Rica.