Yale University President Announces 2008 Yale World Fellows

Yale University President Richard C. Levin has announced the 2008 Yale World Fellows.

The Yale World Fellows Program represents a unique initiative among U.S. universities and a core element of Yale’s commitment to be a leading global university.  Aiming to build a worldwide network of emerging leaders and to broaden international understanding, the program selects 18 highly accomplished early to mid-career men and women from government, business, the media and civil society organizations representing countries across the globe for a four-month leadership program at Yale.

“I am delighted to welcome this extraordinary group of men and women to the Yale community,” said Levin. “Yale will benefit greatly from their presence on campus, and we anticipate that the World Fellows will gain new perspectives on their own roles as future leaders.”

This year’s World Fellows include a Pakistani journalist reporting from the frontline of the war on terror, a groundbreaking Chinese public interest lawyer, a Zimbabwean epidemiologist working to develop methods for prevention of HIV infection in women and the founding Secretary General of Nicaragua’s Ministry of Defense. A complete list of 2008 World Fellows follows this release.

“The 2008 Yale World Fellows, while diverse in background, share both an outstanding record of accomplishment and unlimited potential for future success,” said the program’s director Michael Cappello, Professor of Pediatrics, Microbial Pathogenesis and Epidemiology & Public Health. “We are confident that this unique Yale experience will broaden their perspective and enhance their capacity to contribute as members of the growing network of global leaders trained at Yale.”

The 18 World Fellows for 2008 were selected from a pool of nearly 1,100 applicants. Four represent countries new to the program’s network. Since its inception in 2002, the program has welcomed 125 World Fellows from 69 countries to New Haven.

“This is a tremendous opportunity,” said Sandra Breka, a 2008 World Fellow who heads the Berlin office of the Robert Bosch Foundation. “I look forward to sharing my experiences with the other World Fellows and with the Yale community, and to learning how to become a more effective leader at home.”

From August to December, the 2008 World Fellows will engage in a specially designed seminar taught by some of Yale’s most eminent faculty; take any of the 3,000 courses offered at the University; participate in weekly dinners with distinguished guest speakers; receive individualized skill-building training; and meet with U.S. and foreign leaders. Past World Fellows have met with then-U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy, economist Jeffrey Sachs, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, among others.

The Yale World Fellows Program has at its core three main goals: to provide advanced global leadership training to emerging leaders from diverse disciplines and countries, to link this network of world leaders to each other and to Yale in a tangible way and to expand and deepen international understanding at Yale.

The Yale World Fellows Program also launches a new website on May 1 and begins accepting nominations for the 2009 Program that day, at: www.yale.edu/worldfellows.

2008 Yale World Fellows

Imtiaz Ali – Pakistan
Special Correspondent, Washington Post and Geo TV
Age 31
Reporting on the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Islamism in the volatile tribal region along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and in Pakistan’s conservative Frontier Province, Imtiaz Ali’s dangerous work brings to light events unfolding on the frontline of the war on terror.

Marwah Al-Khalifa – Bahrain
Director, The Crown Prince Training Program for Youth
Age 33
From her platform in the Court of the Crown Prince, Marwah Al-Khalifa spearheads youth leadership programs that aim to equip young people with education and training for Bahrain’s increasingly diverse economy. By rigorously upholding criteria based on merit, rather than religious affiliation, she also helps bridge the Sunni-Shi’a divide among Bahrain’s youth population.

Orzala Ashraf Nemat – Afghanistan
Founder & Chair, Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan
Age 30
As the founder of a leading Afghan NGO, Orzala Ashraf Nemat has devoted 10 years to establishing and delivering training programs to Afghan women and children in refugee communities in Pakistan and in Afghanistan proper. Often putting herself directly at risk, she has launched literacy and health education programs for women and girls, and she is increasingly involved in political advocacy and development at the national level.

Emmanuel Asiedu – Ghana
Head, Stanbic Investment Management Services Ltd.
Age 36
With almost a decade of experience in an emerging economy’s financial markets, Emmanuel Asiedu works to boost Ghana’s economic development through strategic asset management and investment initiatives.

Sandra Breka – Germany
Head, Berlin Office, Robert Bosch Foundation
Age 36
Sandra Breka manages a range of international programs for the Robert Bosch Foundation, focusing on Southeast Europe, India, and other regions and transatlantic relations. She combines research and policy analysis with strategic program development, and has greatly widened the foundation’s geographic scope and impact.

Gilbert Doumit – Lebanon
Senior Partner, Beyond Consulting and Training
Age 31
As a management consultant, Gilbert Doumit designs and facilitates the organizational development of local and multinational companies, civil society groups and international organizations throughout Lebanon and the Middle East. He also applies his skills to social initiatives and is active in a range of civic initiatives that aim to build democracy and end the political crisis in Lebanon.

John Haffner – Canada
Senior Advisor, Strategic Planning, Ontario Power Generation
Age 36
An energy specialist with experience in industry, government and academia, John Haffner helps develop a strategy for Ontario Power Generation to shape the province’s 20-year energy plan. Haffner is also the lead author of a forthcoming book on global energy policy.

Nicola Harrington – United Kingdom
Deputy Director, Policy & Communications, United Nations, Brussels
Age 45
Nicola Harrington brings a broad knowledge of developing countries and on-the-ground experience to her work for 21 United Nations agencies in Brussels, where she influences the policies and practices of the European Union in support of sustainable human development. Her efforts have turned the U.N. into a key source of guidance for the European Parliament in its decision-making on international development issues.

Gavin Hood – United Kingdom
Senior Advisor, .UK. Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Age 34
Gavin Hood provides legal and policy advice to the U.K. foreign secretary on counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Previously, he was senior international cooperation advisor to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, having worked on investigations in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Darfur.

James Kondo – Japan
Vice Chairman & President, Health Policy Institute
Age 40
As co-founder of the Health Policy Institute, the first independent think tank on health policy in Japan, James Kondo has helped bring about major reforms in Japan’s health care system. He also founded and is chair of the board of Table for Two, a global social enterprise addressing hunger in developing countries and obesity and lifestyle-related diseases in developed countries.

Precious Lunga – Zimbabwe
Epidemiologist, U.K. Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit
Age 33
Precious Lunga manages the world’s largest public-private clinical trial initiative aimed at developing HIV prevention drugs for women. While coordinating the participation of 10,000 African women, she has played a major leadership role in establishing research capacity in East and Southern Africa.

Felix Maradiaga – Nicaragua
Founding Executive Director, Civil Society Leadership Institute
Age 31
After co-founding Nicaragua’s Ministry of Defense and serving as the youngest secretary general of the Ministry of Defense, Felix Maradiaga co-founded FIBRAS, one of the largest advocacy organizations in Central America and the Caribbean. He is dedicated to fostering civic engagement and strengthening democracy and the rule of law in Nicaragua.

Ibidapo Oyewole – Nigeria
Executive Director, Centre for African Policy & Peace Strategy
Age 31
As founder of the Centre for African Policy & Peace Strategy—an independent policy think tank that provides information and analysis on African governance, security and development issues— Ibidapo Oyewole promotes policy strategies that enhance human security, socio-economic development and good governance in Africa.

Adi Pundak-Mintz – Israel
Partner, Gemini Israel Venture Capital Funds
Age 43
Adi Pundak-Mintz helps direct one of the first and most successful venture capital funds in Israel, the world’s third largest venture capital market. An expert in seed investment and entrepreneurship, he has been a leader in transactions totaling over $1 billion.

Jesús Franco Gamboa-Rocabado – Bolivia
Special Policy Advisor, High Court of Electoral Affairs
Age 38
Jesús Franco Gamboa-Rocabado has dedicated himself to the democratization of Bolivia’s political system through positions with the Ministry of the Presidency, as the mayor of La Paz and as a member of Bolivia’s Constitutional Assembly and, currently, the High Court of Electoral Affairs. An author, lecturer, columnist and public policy professional, Gamboa-Rocabado works to lay the foundations for good governance and the development of civil society in Bolivia.

Andriy Shevchenko – Ukraine
Member of Parliament
Age 31
As the majority leader in the Free Speech Committee of the Ukrainian parliament, Andriy Shevchenko is working to create a system of public broadcasting in Ukraine. A seasoned television journalist, he helped establish the first 24-hour television station in his country and became the “face” of the 2004 Orange Revolution for television viewers.

Oya Ünlü Kizil – Turkey
Director, Corporate Communications, Koç Holding
Age 38
As a top executive of Koç Holding, the largest conglomerate in Turkey and a flagship of the Turkish economy, Oya Ünlü Kizil takes an entrepreneurial approach to positioning the Koç brand vis-à-vis changing local and international trends. Previously, she served as the first woman and the youngest chief of staff to Turkish Minister of Economy Kemal Dervis.

Jingjing Zhang – China
Director of Litigation, Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims
Age 38
Committed to justice and strengthening the rule of law, Jingjing Zhang is one of China’s leading public interest lawyers. An outspoken environmental advocate, she represents pollution victims in litigation cases and promotes public participation by helping communities organize public hearings on environmental rights and licensing processes.



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Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345