Print Download PDF Embed

News Release

World Economic Forum Announces Young Global Leaders 2011 (Middle East/North Africa)


Yann Zopf, Associate Director, Tel.: +41 (0)79 329 3500 – Email:

  • 190 young leaders from 65 countries are honoured for their outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments and commitment to society
  • Of the selected young leaders, 13 hail from the Middle East/North Africa
  • Young Global Leaders are selected from a variety of sectors such as business, government, academia, media, non-profit organizations and arts and culture from all regions of the world
  • Young Global Leaders engage in task forces that address specific challenges of public interest with the objective of shaping a better future


Geneva, Switzerland – The World Economic Forum has announced its Young Global Leaders (YGLs) for 2011. The honour, bestowed each year by the Forum, recognizes and acknowledges up to 200 outstanding young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world.

For 2011, the Forum has selected 190 Young Global Leaders from 65 countries and all stakeholders of society (business, civil society, social entrepreneurs, politics and government, arts and culture, and opinion and media). The new class represents all regions: East Asia (50), South Asia (18), Europe (42), Middle East and North Africa (13), sub-Saharan Africa (14), North America (37) and Latin America (16). This year’s selection has more gender parity than ever, with 44% women.

"The challenges faced by the next generation of leaders are more daunting and intractable than ever and cannot be mastered with the current set of strategies, institutions, standards and attitudes. To address these challenges in a meaningful and sustainable way requires fresh thinking, multistakeholder engagement and dynamic new ways of collaborating to develop innovative solutions that are truly global. Recognizing this need, in 2004, I created the foremost platform for young leaders to engage in global affairs to shape a more positive, peaceful and prosperous society. Within the World Economic Forum community, the Young Global Leaders represent the voice for the future and the hopes of the next generation. I am particularly proud of this year's honourees who make up the most diverse class of YGLs ever," said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

Drawn from a pool of almost 5,000 candidates, the Young Global Leaders 2011 were chosen by a selection committee, chaired by H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The Young Global Leaders 2011 reflect different kinds of leadership in different parts of the world and different parts of society. Those from the Middle East/North Africa region include, among others, Ofra Anne Eshed, Adviser to the President of Israel (from Israel); Naif Al Mutawa, Co-founder, THE 99 Comics (from Kuwait); Georges Harik, Co-Founder, (from Lebanon); Loulwa M. Bakr, Director – Head of Saudi Arabia Investment Banking; May Al Dabbagh, Director, Gender and Public Policy Programme, Dubai School of Government, United Arab Emirates (from Saudi Arabia); Badr Jafar, Executive Director, Crescent Petroleum (from United Arab Emirates); and Sultan S. Al Qassemi, Chairman, Barjeel Geojit Securities LLC (from United Arab Emirates).

A recently selected YGL, Fahd Al Rasheed, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Emaar The Economic City (from Saudi Arabia), explains his reaction to becoming a Young Global Leader, “Today, more than ever, the global community needs its young leaders to help it come up with new innovative solutions for many of its old challenges, and The Forum for Young Global Leaders is perfectly positioned to help it do so. The Forum is an incredibly diverse community of exceptional leaders that have excelled professionally and that are contributing significantly to the betterment of their communities. I am humbled and honoured to be recognized by the World Economic Forum community among such an accomplished group of global leaders.”

The 2011 honourees will become part of the broader Forum of Young Global Leaders community that currently comprises 668 outstanding individuals. The YGLs convene at an annual summit which this year will be held in Dalian, People’s Republic of China, on 12-16 September 2011. Young Global Leaders are actively engaged in the community, integrating into events organized by the World Economic Forum, holding events of their own as well as launching and leading a number of innovative initiatives and impactful task forces. See for the latest list of YGL initiatives. These activities enable YGLs to learn from each other, and with each other, to build knowledge and engender a better understanding of global challenges and trends, risks and opportunities, as well as to further enhance their unique role as leaders within their own organizations, the World Economic Forum and the broader global community. 

“I am proud to be part of the YGL community. It’s a community like the universe – each YGL is like a star and their experience  and skills contribute to the evolution of this universe,” says Moroccan Merieme Chadid (YGL 2008), Explorer and Astronomer, Antarctica Research Station, France.

"We are very pleased to welcome the new cohort of Young Global Leaders into our community and encourage them to embrace the opportunity fully. The YGL community helps its members make the transition (as one YGL told me) ‘from success to significance’ and strives to move from a collection of successful individuals to a community of collective impact. YGLs hold each other accountable to a higher standard of global leadership in their professional and personal lives, so it really is about making the world a better place, one leader at a time," said David Aikman, Head of The Forum of Young Global Leaders.

Notes to editors
More information about The Forum of Young Global Leaders at
List of YGLs honoured in 2011
List of the YGL community
Visit our YGL YouTube channel at
Follow us on Twitter at
Nominate a potential Young Global Leader through our website


About the Forum of Young Global Leaders
Established in 2004 by Professor Klaus Schwab, The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a unique, multistakeholder community of the world’s most extraordinary young leaders who dedicate a part of their time to jointly address global challenges and who are committed to devote part of their knowledge and energy to collectively work towards a better future. Together, the Young Global Leaders work to discover innovative solutions to today’s most pressing problems through various initiatives and workstreams, as well as catalysing the next generation of leaders.


The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971, and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is tied to no political, partisan or national interests. (


The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (