Francesca Martonffy


Director, Global Changemakers Programme, British Council, United Kingdom

Francesca holds an MPP in International Security and Political Economy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government where she was a Kennedy Fellow, and a BA in Political Science from the University of Chicago. Francesca served as National Program Director of the World Affairs Councils of America, focusing on student outreach and curriculum building for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and as a contributor to several political campaigns in the United States. From 2005 to 2008, she took part in the World Economic Forum’s GLF programme where she was Associate Director of The Forum of Young Global Leaders.

Since 2009, Francesca has been the Director of Global Changemakers, a global network of young social entrepreneurs and community activists from 126 countries, principally funded by the British Council. The mission of the network is to empower youth to catalyse positive social change, something which it accomplishes through learning and teaching events worldwide, projects (to date it has funded 220 youth-led projects) and advocacy (individual changemakers are invited to share best practices at various high-level gatherings). She also serves as an Adviser to UNESCO and to the World Bank Institute in youth engagement and anti-corruption issues, as well as on the board of All Special Kids, a Geneva-based NGO for children with developmental disabilities in Switzerland.

For me, the GLF programme was an invaluable experience. Not only did I have the opportunity to observe and learn first-hand from some of the key individuals whose policies and decisions shape our world, but perhaps more importantly, I had the opportunity to do so in a community of peers unlike any I’ve experienced before or since. The fellowship (and the Forum) is a PhD in human nature, in the many and various ways leadership can be applied, and an incomparable lesson in what it takes to get things done.”'

Back to Where do Fellows go? page