Meet Our Leadership
International Council Of Advisors
The Council is made up of individuals who support Global Dignity in a number of important ways, from helping with our overall strategy, sharpening our ability to make an impact with the work we do, to developing social media campaigns to engage more people with Global Dignity.
Other members are helping us secure the initial financial support we need to achieve our goals, and to strengthen our curriculum and learning resources. Others are helping us engage artists, musicians and creativity in our work at both the global and the local level.
Finally, a number of Council Members are key to helping Global Dignity recruit the next generation of Country Chairs and Partner Organizations, as we expand our network from 70 countries to 100 between now and 2020.
We are grateful for many ideas and connections that each member of our International Council of Advisors brings to Global Dignity, and for the time and the spirit in which they support our collective efforts.
Mina Al Oraibi
Special Advisor on Media | Abu Dhabi, UAE
Mina Al-Oraibi is the Editor in Chief of The National newspaper, a daily English language regional newspaper based in Abu Dhabi. An Iraqi-British journalist, Mina has over 14 years of experience covering Middle Eastern, European and American politics and current affairs. Mina is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for State Effectiveness (ISE) and a Yale World Fellow. At ISE, Mina is working on developing policy recommendations for improved governance in the Middle East and North African regions, with a focus on Iraq and Syria.
Before her current role at The National, Mina was the Assistant Editor-in-Chief of Asharq Alawsat, the international Arab-language daily newspaper, from 2011 to 2015. Prior to that role, Mina was the newspaper’s Washington Bureau Chief. Mina has conducted several high-profile interviews, including with US President Barack Obama, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi. A contributor to numerous publications, Mina is a frequent guest on television and radio news programs, including the BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera English.
Mina was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2009 and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the American University in Iraq – Sulaimani. She completed her Bachelors of Arts (Honours) and Masters of Arts in Modern History from University College London.
Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
Co-Founder, International Council of Advisors & Country Chair | Norway
Crown Prince Haakon is heir to the Norwegian throne and son of His Majesty King Harald and Her Majesty Queen Sonja. The Crown Prince served in the Royal Norwegian Navy and graduated from the Norwegian Naval Academy in 1995.
He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters in Development Studies from the London School of Economics. He also attended the Foreign Ministry’s one-year trainee program for diplomats.
The Crown Prince has an extensive number of official engagements in Norway and is a patron of various Norwegian associations. The Crown Prince is Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme, where he particularly focuses on promoting the Sustainable Development Goals. Crown Prince Haakon served for a number of years as a member of the Board of Young Global Leaders, a forum under the auspices of the World Economic Forum, his term ending in 2017.
Photo Journalist and Human Rights Activist | Paris, France
A philanthropist, idealist and humanist, Reza’s career began with studies in architecture. He has gone on to become a renowned photojournalist who has worked all over the world, notably for National Geographic. His work is featured in the international media (National Geographic, Time Magazine, Stern, Newsweek, El País, Paris Match), as well as a series of books, exhibitions and documentaries made for the National Geographic Channel.
Along with his work as a photographer, since 1983 Reza has been a volunteer committed to training young people and women from conflict-ridden societies in the language of images, to help them to believe that they can help create a better world.
After his work, Mémoires d’Exil (“Memories of Exile”) shown at the Louvre Carrousel in
1998, Reza has shared his humanitarian vision through a series of monumental installations: Crossing Destinies; One World, One Tribe; War + Peace;Windows of the Soul; Soul of Coffee; Land ofAzerbaijan: the Elegance of Fire, and A Dream of Humanity.
Author of thirty books, and a recipient of many awards over the course of his career, Reza is a Fellow (2006-2012) and now Explorer of the National Geographic Society (2013 on), and a Senior Fellow of the Ashoka Foundation. Reza’s work has been recognized by World Press Photo; the Infinity Award, the Lucy Award, an honorary medal from the University of Missouri and the honorary degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the American University of Paris. France has also appointed him a Chevalier of the National Order of Merit.
The Angelica Fuentes Foundation | New York City
Angélica Fuentes is a Latin American businesswoman and impact investor, who has been recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of Mexico’s most influential women.
Ms. Fuentes was appointed CEO of Grupo Imperial in 1992 and quickly positioned the company as a top player in Northern Mexico’s energy sector. Under her leadership, Grupo Imperial’s annual growth rate increased from 5% in 1992 to 9.5% in 2005. Ms. Fuentes served as President of the Business Energy Network of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Agreement (APEC) from 2002 to 2004, and as President of the Mexican Natural Gas Association from 1996 to 2000. From 2007 to 2015, she served as CEO of Grupo Omnilife-Angelissima-Chivas. Under her leadership, the company became one of the top 100 corporations in Mexico.
Throughout her career, Ms. Fuentes has dedicated significant time and resources to NGOs, international organizations and professional groups that support the cause of women. She participated in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Parity Programme, and led the Mexican Gender Parity Taskforce. She currently serves on Secretary Clinton’s International Council on Women’s Business Leadership; is member of the Private Sector Leadership Advisory Council of UN Women; is a Global Advocate for the Girl Up Campaign, a United Nations Foundation program; co-chairs the PVBLIC LATAM regional platform; is member of the Latin American Program Advisory Board of the Woodrow Wilson International Center; and is member of the Global Dignity's International Council of Advisors.
Her work in this field has been recognized by numerous honors and awards. In 2015, UN Women gave her the Women’s Empowerment Principles CEO Leadership Award; she was the first female CEO to receive this award for championing gender equality in the private sector. In 2016, PVBLIC Foundation, Ismael Cala Foundation, and the United Nations gave her the award for Latin Woman Empowerment. In 2017, she received the Corporate Social Responsibility Award from The Maestro Cares Foundation.
Gender equality, women empowerment and the eradication of poverty have always been a priority in all her endeavors. In 2014, she established the Angelica Fuentes Foundation. In 2016, she founded A Complete and The Imperative Fund. In 2017, she founded Equal Invest, The Beauty Station and A Complete Journey.
Founder and CEO, Institute for State Effectiveness | Washington DC
Clare Lockhart is the Co-Founder and Director of the Institute for State Effectiveness (ISE) which focuses on enhancing the compact between citizens and the state. At ISE, Clare and her colleagues advise leaders of nations and cities in the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia on building policy platforms and reform of functions, from public finance to digitalization, to infrastructure management. Clare is the Co-Author of “Fixing Failed States” (OUP, 2008) and the author of several articles on development, institution-building and citizenship.
Ms. Lockhart is a Senior Fellow of the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University where she teaches courses on the state and citizenship. She has lectured widely at universities, think tanks and public debates and issues of accountability and development. She is a member of the Bar of both Wales and England, and has degrees from Oxford University and Harvard University. Ms. Lockhart served as a lawyer on the Bonn Agreement for Afghanistan in 2001 and then served in Afghanistan for several years.
Clare Lockhart was name as among the 100 most influential global thinkers of 2009 and 2010 by Foreign Policy Magazine for her work on fragile states. She was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011 and serves on a number of Boards, including the Alliance for Peacebuilding, the Asia Foundation, SOLA Afghanistan and Equality for Peace and Democracy.
The Varkey Foundation, CEO | London, England
Vikas Pota is Chief Executive of the Varkey Foundation, a corporate foundation seeking to improving global teacher capacity and promoting universal access to quality education. He has embarked on a programme to train 250,000 teachers in classroom pedagogy and is responsible for the development of a Global Teacher Status Index.
Pota serves on a number of global education panels, including the Girls & Female Education Panel, the Teacher’sTask Force and the Global Alliance of Corporate Partners for Education – all for UNESCO.
New York City
Khadija Rejto, an internationally recognized expert on development, philanthropy, sustainability and community empowerment, has spent the last 17 years working in foundations, corporates, academic institutions, NGOs, and United Nation agencies where she developed and managed innovative cross-sectoral programs and partnerships to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Khadija is Currently the Chief Executive Officer of Solutions International Advisors, a philanthropic advisory service that provides strategic planning, management and monitoring to help support the efforts of individual, family, institutional and corporate clients. Previously, Khadija held the distinction of being the first Vice President of Sustainability and Social Responsibility in Lands End’s 53-year-old history where she oversaw the company’s sustainability and compliance efforts as well its corporate giving portfolio and employee engagement.
She was the inaugural Pinkerton Foundation visiting fellow, studying the changing face of immigrant communities in New York City and identifying programs serving young people in those areas. She designed and developed the foundation’s strategy to create an incubator program for NYC community based immigration services to obtain support and visibility through collaborative funding.Previously, Khadija spent a considerable amount of her career at the United Nations (UN) where she was a Program Officer with the Health Action in Crises Unit at WHO. During her tenure at the UN, she helped develop a coalition of non-governmental organizations and UN agencies to provide funding for humanitarian missions as well as humanitarian partnerships with global organizations including the World Economic Forum and the Helsinki Process on Globalization and Democracy.
Khadija is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Council’s Committee on Programs and is on the Board of Directors of Mission: Restore. From 2012-2014, she was the Chairman of the Board for FXB USA, the US branch of the Association François-Xavier Bagnoud, a leading global poverty alleviation foundation founded by Countess Albina Du Boisrouvray.
Senior Director of Special Projects, Teach For All (TFA) | New York City
As the Senior Director of Special Projects at Teach For All, Diane works closely with CEO Wendy Kopp, the senior leadership team and partners in TFA’s global network to develop the collective leadership needed to ensure all children can fulfill their potential.
Diane is currently working to build support for Teach For All by supporting the leadership development of partners in the Africa region and leading the effort to define what it means to create student visions that are both locally rooted and globally informed.
Diane began her career in education as a first-grade bilingual teacher through the Teach For America program in Los Angeles in 1994. She went on to teach for four years before assuming the role of Executive Director at Teach For America in Los Angeles and then Hawaii. During her time as an Executive Director in both communities, Diane raised over $10 million dollars, started new partnerships with those School Districts, built a university partnership with Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and the University of Hawaii and helped to pilot many of the initiatives that would then be scaled in other Teach For America regions. Diane also held national leadership roles at Teach For America, the KIPP Foundation and has consulted with leading US and global education groups like Global Nomads Group.
Diane has spent over 20 years at the forefront of education change in the United States and globally and is committed to seeing more students achieve their full potential through her work at Teach For All. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Vassar College, a Master of Arts in multicultural education from California State University and a Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
SY Partners, Principal | New York City
Dickie has over two decades of experience in corporate, nonprofit, foundation strategy and organizational consulting. At SYPartners, he has led work across IBM globally, partnering with senior leaders to establish new strategies and tools to transform the way they work.
Previously, as a partner at Marakon Associates, Dickie advised clients across the consumer goods, media, and financial services sectors. As a senior partner and head of the New York office at The Bridgespan Group, he worked in the social sector, tackling problems relating to education, technology, and global development for The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Omidyar Network, and The United Nations Foundation, among others.
Dickie has written extensively on strategic management for publications including Harvard Business Review. He also teaches a course on leadership at The School of International & Public Affairs, Columbia University and serves on the boards of The Atlantic Council, College Spring, and The DO School, a disruptive higher education start-up. He studied at Durham University and has an MBA with distinction from INSEAD.
He lives in New York and is married to neuroscientist Sarah Stanley, with whom he has two children, Evie and Felix.
Mara Foundation & the Mara Group, Founder and CEO | Dubai, UAE
Ashish Thakkar is the Founder and Managing Director of the Mara Group of companies. In 15 years he has taken Mara from the humble beginnings selling computers to friends to the global firm that exists today in 18 African countries employing over 4,500 people. Thakkar is passionate about the growth and development of Africa and focuses most of his energy on commercial and philanthropic initiatives across the continent.
In 2010, the Mara Group was identified by the World Economic Forum as a dynamic high-growth company with the potential to be a driving force for economic and social change. Thakkar has been appointed on the advisory panels to several heads of state in sub-Saharan Africa and is also a team member of the Commonwealth Business Council and COMESA. He will be representing East Africa on Virgin Galactic’s first mission into space, making him Africa’s second astronaut.
Deputy Regional Director for Africa International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) | Geneva, Switzerland
Patrick Youssef joined the ICRC in 2005 and has completed different missions in Sudan, Chad, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. Between 2010 and 2013, he was the deputy head of operations for the Near and Middle East covering Yemen, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the GCC. Prior to his current assignment which began in January 2016, Mr. Youssef was the head of the Iraq delegation for more than 2 years. In his role of deputy regional director for Africa, Mr Youssef manages ICRC operations in the Maghreb, the Sahel region, the Lake Chad basin and West Africa.
In addition to his field experience, Mr. Youssef worked on specific topics related to the
respect of International Humanitarian Law such as the treatment and judicial guarantees of persons deprived of freedom, the recruitment of children in armed forces and Transitional Justice.
In January 2016, he was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global
Leader. He was chosen as an ‘Innovation ambassador’ by the United Nations in April 2016 to the 10th anniversary of the World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (WSIE). Patrick Youssef has a degree in law and a master’s degree in diplomacy and strategic negotiations from Paris Sud XI and an LLM in International Law in armed conflicts from Geneva University.