Global Problems Can be Solved

United Nations Foundation Announces New Global Entrepreneurs Council Members

October 24, 2015

The United Nations Foundation today announced five new members of the third class of its Global Entrepreneurs Council (GEC). This third iteration of the GEC brings together the most diverse coalition yet of some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, in an effort to incorporate innovation to create sustainable economic growth and support the newly adopted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Joining the recently appointed Chair of the GEC , Ashish J. Thakkar, Executive Chairman of Mara Sokoni and Founder of the Mara Foundation, the new members of the GEC announced today are:

  • Ohood Khalfan Al-Roumi – Director General, Prime Minister’s Office, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Georgie Benardete – Co-Founder and Head of Strategy, Orchard Mile (USA)
  • James Irungu Mwangi – Executive Director, Dalberg Group (Kenya)
  • Alberto Chang-Rajii – President and Founder, Grupo Arcano (Chile)
  • Anna Ryott – Managing Director and CEO, Swedfund (Sweden)

“A multi-sector, integrated approach is necessary to drive sustainable development outcomes over the next 15 years,” said Rick Parnell, COO of the UN Foundation. “These GEC members will bring a wealth of experience, accomplishments and global reach to help the UN Foundation support the UN as it tackles that challenge. In the coming weeks we will announce the remaining members of the GEC, and together the group will give the UN Foundation invaluable expertise, enabling us to develop innovative solutions to help create positive change on a global scale.”

Today’s announcement took place at an event in Dubai hosted by GEC chair Thakkar that coincided with the annual United Nations Day. The event celebrated the launch of Mara Mentor – Arab World, which aims to connect up-and-coming entrepreneurs with experienced business leaders through an online platform. Thakkar also stated: “Young entrepreneurs of the Arab World are a key driving force for change in the region. Business and political leaders can learn a great deal from them, but should also enable them in the form of mentorship and support.”

The UN Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council is a strategic advisory council designed to bring together successful, high-profile, entrepreneurs and thought leaders who are committed to finding innovative solutions to global problems. Created in 2011, the GEC is comprised of audacious leaders from various industries and designed to help the UN and the UN Foundation – and its campaigns, partnerships, and programs – reach new audiences and enhance public-private partnerships. Under Thakkar’s leadership, the GEC will focus on supporting UN Foundation campaigns and initiatives, helping the UN Foundation support the UN’s sustainable development agenda, and finding innovative solutions to global problems through entrepreneurism. By encouraging entrepreneurship on a global level, we can achieve social and economic impact, helping to lift millions out of poverty.


About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. Learn more at