Who We Are:

Global Entrepreneurs Council

Innovation in Action

Global Entrepreneurs Council

The United Nations Foundation has brought together some of the brightest entrepreneurs under 45 through the Global Entrepreneurs Council to take the UN and the UN Foundation – and our campaigns, partnerships, and programs – to the next level of innovation and impact. 

Council members represent various industries including, corporate, creative community, and media and have a proven track record of entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and advocacy on global issues.


Elizabeth Gore

Emeritus Chair
Elizabeth Gore is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Dell, where Gore drives initiatives that support Dell’s goals around helping small and medium businesses scale and prosper, fueling the expansion of global entrepreneurship, thereby creating jobs that will drive the world economy. Gore is extending Dell’s global advocacy efforts to raise entrepreneurship to the public policy agenda, encouraging policies and practices that support and enable entrepreneurial growth globally.

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Devon M. Kuehne

Devon M. Kuehne is the Director of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council, The GEC consists of ten philanthropic-minded entrepreneurs, dedicated to working with the UN Foundation and the United Nations to elevate their efforts to create a healthier, safer and more sustainable world.

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Ashish J. Thakkar

Ashish J. Thakkar is the Chairman of the Global Entrepreneurs Council. Ashish founded his first business in 1996 at the age of 15 with a $5,000 loan. Since then, he has established and driven the growth of Mara Group from a small IT business in Uganda to the globally recognised multi-sector investment group that exists today. Through its investments and operations, Mara Group now employs over 11,000 people across 22 African countries in sectors spanning financial services, infrastructure, real estate and technology (incl. e-commerce and social media).

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2013 – 2014 Global Entrepreneurs Council Members


Troy Carter

CEO and Founder, Atom Factory
Troy Carter is an artist manager and the CEO and founder of Atom Factory, a multidimensional management company. His expanding roster of musical innovators includes Lady Gaga, John Legend, Mindless Behavior, Greyson Chance, and Priyanka Chopra.

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Tina Wells

CEO and Founder, Buzz Marketing Group
Tina Wells, CEO and founder of Buzz Marketing Group, earned her B.A. in Communication Arts graduating with honors from Hood College in 2002. Currently a Wharton School of Business student for marketing management, Tina continues to create innovative marketing strategies for numerous clients within the beauty, entertainment, fashion, financial, and lifestyle sectors.

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Ruma Bose

Consultant, Serial Entrepreneur, Investor, Philanthropist and Author
Ruma Bose is a consultant, serial entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist and author. Ruma has advised several early stage businesses including Sprayology, an innovative wellness company selling vitamin and homeopathic oral sprays, Kopali, a fair trade chocolate company, Vincent Longo, an international cosmetics company and co-founder at Finish Line Floors, a national floor care company.

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Neil Blumenthal

Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Warby Parker
Neil Blumenthal loves helping people see. Determined to radically transform the eyewear industry, Neil and three friends launched Warby Parker in February of 2010. Warby Parker is a transformative fashion brand offering designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially-conscious businesses.

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Narry Singh

Head of Digital Business (Europe, Latin America and Africa), Accenture
Narry Singh is a successful entrepreneur, advisor and investor with over 18 years of experience in mobile, digital media, software, and electronic commerce industries.

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Julie Smolyansky

President, CEO, and Director, Lifeway Foods Inc.
Julie Smolyansky became the youngest female CEO of a publicly held firm when she took over her father's kefir business, in 2002 at the age of 27. Since being named CEO and director of Lifeway Foods (NASDAQ: LWAY) Julie has continued the company's growth trajectory with creative product development and marketing, bringing a Russian product into the U.S. mainstream and boosting annual company revenues to nearly $80 million by 2012.

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Ingrid Vanderveldt

Chairman / CEO, Empowering a Billion Women by 2020 (EBW2020)
Ingrid Vanderveldt (iV) is the Chairman and CEO of Empowering a Billion Women by 2020 (EBW2020). Previously, she was the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence (“EIR”) for Dell Inc. where she oversaw entrepreneurial initiatives worldwide helping to build a $250 million business segment and founded the $125M Dell Innovators Credit Fund, Dell Founders Club, and the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs during her 3-year term.

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Ido Leffler

“Chief Carrot Lover” and Co-Founder, Yes To Inc.
Ido Leffler is co-founder and “Chief Carrot Lover” of San Francisco based Yes To Inc. (the makers of Yes To Carrots, Yes To Cucumbers, Yes To Tomatoes, and Yes To Blueberries). In just 4 short years, Leffler and his team have built Yes To into one of the leading natural beauty brands in the world, achieving distribution in over 28,000 stores in over 25 countries (including Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Whole Foods Market, Sephora Europe, etc).

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Haroon Mokhtarzada

CEO and Co-Founder, Webs; Vice President of Digital Products, VistaPrint
Haroon Mokhtarzada is a technology entrepreneur, originally from Afghanistan and raised in the Washington D.C. area. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics in 2001 from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Barbara Bush

CEO and Co-Founder, Global Health Corps
Barbara Bush is CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps. Before joining Global Health Corps’ founding team in 2008, Barbara worked in Educational Programming at the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, where she supported design thinking programs for high school students and faculty in Louisiana, Texas, Minnesota, and New York.

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2011-2012 Global Entrepreneurs Council Members