Carne Ross founded Independent Diplomat in 2004 to address the “diplomatic deficit” created by a diplomatic system that all too often excludes or marginalises many governments and groups most affected by the decisions made within it, and usually those who are suffering the most. As Executive Director of ID, he plays an integral role in each client project and in guiding the organization. He has over fifteen years of diplomatic experience in the British Foreign Office and United Nations, working on a wide range of issues and regions including Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the global environment, terrorism and post-conflict reconstruction. He is experienced in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy and familiar with major international institutions, in particular the United Nations.
Lois Mitchell has helmed the Orfalea Foundation since its inception in the year 2000, and directs a team of 20 passionately engaged people. The Foundation works through collaborative initiatives and entrepreneurial partnerships to strengthen communities by empowering individuals. The Orfalea Foundation recently announced a two-year plan to strengthen local systemic efforts while documenting philanthropic progress in focus areas such as: early childhood development, school food reform, educational investments, community disaster readiness and youth development. Mitchell has 30 years of marketing experience in international licensing, product development, promotion, publishing, media placement, strategic partnerships, and philanthropy. She serves as chair of the regional Foundation Roundtable, is on University California Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures Council, a board member of the Good Night Foundation and the Kreitzberg Foundation, and the National Charity League.
Pediatrician and Executive Director
Grassroot Soccer, Inc.
Dr. Thomas S. Clark, Pediatrician and Executive Director of Grassroot Soccer, Inc., conceived the idea for Grassroot Soccer after living in Zimbabwe. Clark completed his medical training at Dartmouth Medical School, graduating in 2002. He went on to get advanced training in HIV prevention research at UCSF, using his background in medicine to give Grassroot Soccer a firm foundation in curriculum and evaluation. Dr Clark has conducted research in HIV prevention under a National Institute of Health Fellowship at the University of California at San Francisco. He is currently a Draper Richards Foundation Fellow, given to a select group of social entrepreneurs each year. With start up support from both Ethan Zohn’s winnings from the tv programme Survivor Africa and a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Grassroot Soccer conducted its first research and program in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Today, Grassroot Soccer conducts HIV/AIDS prevention programs in eight countries. Most recently, it has been announced that one of the first five of the 20 Football for Hope Centers to be built by FIFA in South Africa will be turned over to Grassroot Soccer to administer.
Managing Director, BRAC Enterprises and Investments
Prior to joining BRAC in 2007, Muhammad A. Rumee Ali served as Deputy Governor, Bangladesh Bank. He was the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank and ANZ Grindlays Bank, Bangladesh. His more than 30 years in banking includes stints in India, UK and Australia. At present he is also the Chairman of BRAC Bank Limited. He was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers, Bangladesh in 2001. He is a member of the Global Steering Committee of PBGI of IFC and is the Vice Chairman of Bangladesh Association of Bankers and Employers Federation of Bangladesh.
Founder & Vice Chairman of Aramex. Co-Founder & Managing Partner of MENA Venture Investments, a seed capital investment company investing in early stage tech companies in the MENA region. A member of the Board of Abraaj Capital, and Chairman of WAMDA, an entrepreneurship support platform for the MENA region. He is a Member of the Board of Trustees at the American University of Beirut. He is also a Member of the Board of Yemeksepeti a leading Turkish ecommerce company & Founding Investor in Maktoob.com sold to Yahoo in 2009. He is the Founder & Chairman of Ruwwad for Development, a regional private sector-led community empowerment initiative that helps disadvantaged communities overcome marginalization through youth activism, civic engagement, and education. He is also the founder and Chairman of Ruwwad Micro Venture Fund, an equity based fund that provides seed capital for microbusinesses in marginalized communities as well as training, business support services and mentorship.
GSMA Mobile for Development
Fiona Smith is the Director of the GSMA mobile and agriculture programme and mFarmer initiative. She launched the programme to support mobile operators and agricultural partners to develop mobile services that can benefit millions of farmers. Fiona joined the GSMA in 2007 and has managed rural telecommunication projects across Bangladesh, India and East and Southern Africa. Prior to joining the GSMA, Fiona worked with Accenture and community based education organisations.
Chief Impact Officer
Fair Trade USA
Partnering with 800 U.S. companies, Fair Trade USA is rapidly expanding in both food and manufactured products, building sustainable supply chains that create shared value for industry, farmers and workers. With 38% consumer awareness, Fair Trade USA and its partners have helped return over $300 million in additional income to farming families in 70 countries across the globe. As Chief Impact Officer, Mary Jo ensures Fair Trade works from origin to shelf by providing producers the services they need to access markets and become better business partners; helping businesses understand the role Fair Trade can play in their sustainability strategies; and engaging consumers so they understand the difference their everyday purchases can make. Prior to FTUSA, Mary Jo was the VP of Innovation and Sustainability at the Clorox Company. She was honored by Progressive Grocers as a 2012 Top Women in Grocery; and in 2006 was named by BusinessWeek as one of the top 25 “Innovation Champions."
World Literacy Foundation
I am founder & CEO for a global programme to address the high rates of illiteracy.The World Literacy Foundation is a not-for-profit body committed to harnessing new digital technologies to reach the unreachable with new education tools. We acknowledge education as a basic human right, and believe that literacy unlocks the door to a life of learning. The ability to read & write can enable people to overcome the barriers of poverty. We started using the mobile phone tablets, and computers to help young people to access literacy and educational resources. We are witnessing a radical change in the education landscape, whereby new ways to learn to read and write are available to the most poor and isolated communities. I have 25 years experience in the NGO sector with experience in marketing and business development.