The NEXUS Team

Based in New York City, The NEXUS HQ team is dedicated to supporting the work of our members globally. The team is in charge of hosting our USA and Global Summits, hosting Salons, connecting members, and promoting collaboration and supporting our incredible initiatives.


CEO & Co-Founder

Rachel Gerrol

Rachel Gerrol is Co-Founder & CEO of NEXUS. She is widely recognized for her work on millennial philanthropy & community building and has been featured in The NY Times, The Financial Times, The Atlantic, Forbes, Vanity Fair and more.

Rachel helped organize the “White House Conference on Next Gen Philanthropy & Impact Investing” for the Obama Administration and worked closely with Vice President Biden to develop the “It’s On Us” campaign to address sexual assault on campus, which she continues to be an Advisor to today.

Rachel received the “Beacon Award” from the Ellis Island Honors society in 2019, was honored with the Jewish Women’s Archive “Making Change/Making History” Award, and was named in the “Top 99 Foreign Policy Leader Under 33” by the Diplomatic Courier.

Rachel Co-Chaired the G8 Young Summit in 2013, Co-Founded the IMPACTHAUS program at the Sundance Film Festival and was Founding Executive Director of PVBLIC Foundation, where she organized the “Media for Social Impact Summit” at the UN for several years.

Rachel previously spent eight years as Special Assistant to Ambassador Nancy Rubin, U.S. Representative to the U.N. Human Rights Commission and was Director of Young Adult Initiatives for the Schusterman Foundation. In 2012 Rachel founded The Survivor Initiative, to raise awareness, funds and government aid for US Holocaust survivors living in poverty, which has now catalyzed over $15 million dollars for the cause.

Rachel has testified before the Israeli Knesset and sits on the Board of Directors of the Birthright Israel Foundation and of Abrahamic House. She also serves on the Next Gen Council of the USC Shoah Foundation, on the Governing Committee of Lifestyles Magazine and the Advisory Council of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day.

She previously served as a judge for Bloomberg’s Genesis Generation Challenge, and as an official Advisor to Invisible Children, Girl Up (UN Foundation), Charity Miles, the Classy Awards, Semester at Sea and BeeSpace.

Rachel is an alumna of the National Young Leadership Cabinet of the Jewish Federations of North America and of the Wexner Heritage Fellowship. She is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Chief Operating Officer

Liza Heavener

Liza Heavener has wide-ranging experience working nearly ten years in federal politics, grassroots and campaign strategy and with the United States Congress. Liza was a healthcare lobbyist for a large membership organization, running their national advocacy program to engage hundreds of thousands of advocates across the country. She was also a founding member of an organization dedicated to stopping deforestation in Borneo, Indonesia and assisted in building an orangutan rehabilitation center in the rainforests of Borneo.

She serves on the Board of Coalition for Impact, Eastern Mennonite University and Mercy for Animals. Liza had a feature role in the internationally-acclaimed documentary and tv series, “Rise of the Eco-Warrior,” and has spoken on stages across the globe.

Director of Impact Initiatives

David Dietz

David serves as NEXUS Ambassador to New York City. David founded Modavanti in 2013 out of a desire to fuse social good and fashion. Since launching, Modavanti has been named a top Ethical Fashion site by Instyle Magazine, one of the coolest fashion startups of 2016 by the Huffington Post, and Honoree for Best for NYC by B Corp and the City.

David serves as a board member of Georgetown University’s Entrepreneurship Alliance and previously served as co-chair of the NEXUS Global Ethical Fashion Lab. Additionally, David is a contributing blogger for the Huffington Post. Prior to Modavanti, David served as a conflict journalist in the Middle East where he reported on the Arab Spring. During his two years in the region, David contributed to, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and Al Jazeera.

He Holds degree in Arabic studies with minors in Government and Economics from Georgetown University. In his free time you can find him on the tennis courts, the ski slopes or watching the Premiere League on Saturday mornings.

Director of Global Community Strategy

Lana Fern

Lana Fern has over a decade of experience in social entrepreneurship, philanthropic advising, and community building. Lana founded White Light Strategies, a philanthropic advising practice that worked with the most innovative philanthropists to accelerate change. She helped clients develop, implement, and evaluate their giving strategies. Prior to WLS, Lana was Executive Director of Giving Circles Fund, an organization that inspires a lifelong habit of philanthropy by empowering communities to give together.

Lana has been involved with her family’s foundation for 12 years and has been a NEXUS member and speaker since the inaugural summit in 2011. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors of Slingshot and The Unfunded List, sits on the Issues Committee for the National Center for Family Philanthropy, and is a member of World Economic Forum Global Shapers, Summit Series, Reboot, Thousand Network, and the ROI Community. Lana also takes her work on the road, speaking at conferences, events, and universities about Millennial giving.

Chief of Staff

Carlina Conrad

Carlina Conrad grew up in Duesseldorf, Germany and moved to New York 5 years ago. After finishing her B.Sc in Neuroscience, she went on to do her Masters specializing in Social Neuroscience at NYU. There she studied the neural correlates underlying racial and gender bias. She then gained extensive consumer behavior knowledge within industry through her work at Chanel, SuperPhone and SPARK Neuro. Simultaneously she co-founded OneWonder a non-profit focussing on middle school education and career development specifically for underserviced communities. This fall she will start her PhD in Organizational Behavior.

Global Events Director

Eboné Holloway

Eboné Holloway is a “Catalyst at Large”, working at the intersection of community building and social entrepreneurship on a global scale. At NEXUS she oversees production for summits at the United Nations, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and across the world.

Eboné has over a decade of experience in education, corporate partnerships, fundraising initiatives and community service. She served in a key role organizing the G8 Young Summit and has facilitated multiple community service trips in the US and abroad. Eboné has long served as a mentor and has a deep commitment to the fields of mental health and gender equity.

Community Strategist

Allison Trowbridge

Allison Trowbridge is a community strategist at NEXUS and leads speaker curation for the annual summit. She is the founder & CEO of Copper, a platform connecting authors and readers in community around books. Allison published her own book, “Twenty-Two” with HarperCollins while completing her MBA at the University of Oxford. She became passionate about publishing after witnessing a handful of books ignite the global anti-slavery movement, where she worked for nearly a decade leading marketing, fundraising, and international campaigns—at The Freedom Fund, Not For Sale, and as a partner at an impact investment fund, Just Business.

Global Events Manager

Olivia Stoker

Olivia Stoker began her career in theater and film as a producer, writer, and actor. She has worked on films that have screened at the prestigious SXSW Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Palm Beach International Film Festival, among others. Her theater work in New York includes Drama Desk nominated Flea Theater and Obie Award winning Ensemble Studio Theatre, among others. Olivia graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Italian plus minors in music and theater. She currently splits her time between Brooklyn and LA.

Chair of NEXUS Coaching

Glen Stewart

Glen Stewart is an accomplished executive coach, speaker and business leader with extensive experience in multiple industries including healthcare, retail, finance, hospitality, telecommunications, technology, media, and consulting.

Glen is on a mission to help accelerate what people do to make a difference in the world. He has a long history of guiding leaders to make their potential possible and supporting teams to successfully deliver around a collective purpose.

As a compelling storyteller and master facilitator, Glen helps to ignite the spark that inspires innovation, strategy and critical skills development. As an experienced coach and organizational consultant, he helps to create awareness, the plan, and the action necessary for achieving what matters most—using tools and insight he has acquired over twenty years of working with people and organizations around the world.

Glen lives in Seattle with his wife Marilyn and enjoys tennis and riding his Peloton!

Scholar in Residence for Conscious Leadership

Jen Smorgon

Jennifer Smorgon lives in San Francisco along with her husband and their five children. Jennifer is a Vedic meditation teacher, speaker, and mentor for the Nexus Global Summit community. She is passionate about innovative approaches to health, the mind, and the role of technology in humanity. In the United States, she is a founding member of The Chopra Foundation’s Self-Directed Biological Transformation Initiative (SBTI) testing whether a radical wellbeing program can reverse biological markers of ageing. She is also the past Vice Chair of the Chopra Foundation Board and a current advisor. In Israel, Jennifer serves on the board of the Mem Foundation supporting an array of social impact and community projects. Jennifer holds a BA in Art History from Brandeis University and attended the Post Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program at Columbia University. She is currently a part-time student at the California Institute of Integral Studies studying for her doctorate in clinical psychology.

Program Manager, NEXUS Impact Accelerator

Adam Schlenger

Adam Schlenger (PhD) is an oceanographer and marine ecologist who studies ecosystem resiliency to climate change. His work aims to bridge the gap between science, economics, and policy to create global environmental solutions. By linking the structure and function of ecosystems to economic drivers, Adam’s work identifies the major feedbacks between human and natural systems to quantify ecosystem services and improve the conservation and management of natural resources. Adam has conducted research at five major universities, worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a Natural Resource Specialist, is Co-chair of the NEXUS Futurism Working Group designed to highlight and drive social impact in emerging technologies, and has worked with a variety of non-profits focused on the application of technological innovation to ocean health issues. Adam is currently the Science Director of Oceans Funders, a nonprofit created to enable a more aligned and informed systems-based approach to funding ocean health solutions, while driving innovation and building markets for those solutions.

Program Manager, NEXUS Impact Accelerator

Nathan Walworth

Dr. Nathan Walworth (PhD) is an entrepreneurial climate scientist and futurist whose work lies at the intersection of exponential tech, carbon removal, regeneration, culture prediction, DNA sequencing, and the marine microbiome. His environmental research has taken him from the Tropics to Antarctica. He has previously co-founded several startups across diverse industries from sustainable fashion to cannabis. He is Co-founder and VP of Science at Project Vesta where he leads the science teams to scale nature-based strategies in gigaton carbon removal. He is Co-founder of the NEXUS Futurism Group: a platform designed to convene leaders across industry to guide the ethical advancement in rapidly emerging technologies. He is also Co-founder of the NEXUS Impact Accelerator where he accelerates companies across tackling the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He is an Adjunct Professor of Regenerative Studies and an expert in the Marine Microbiome. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the AI-driven culture prediction company, sparks & honey, where he blends cultural signals with his business and scientific background to advise companies on future cultural trends.

President & Co-Founder

Jonah Wittkamper

Jonah Wittkamper has organized global networks of young philanthropists for nearly a decade, inspiring new charitable activity from many wealthy families. Prior to co-founding NEXUS, Jonah served as the US Director of Search for Common Ground and was part of Distributive Networks Inc., where he helped to build the text messaging technology used by the Obama campaign.

In 2000, Jonah co-founded the Global Youth Action Network (GYAN) to strengthen youth participation in global decision-making. He ran the South American Regional Office from Sao Paulo until 2006. As the organization grew it merged with TakingITGlobal ( to form the largest site on the Internet dedicated to empowering young leaders. It receives nearly 2 million hits per day.

Earlier in his career, Jonah led an award winning student computing organization, founded two internet startups, and created a corporate social responsibility initiative in one of the world’s largest corporations. He has served as a co-founder, board member, or advisor to a number of organizations including Pioneers of Change, the ManyOne Foundation, the L. A. Jonas Foundation, the Shift Foundation, WISE (Wealthy Individuals – Social Entrepreneurs), and many others.

In 2015 he served on the Emerging Forms of Philanthropy Advisory Committee of the Council on Foundations. An alumnus of Williams College and Camp Rising Sun, he lives in the Washington, DC area.

Technical Strategy Manager

Dominick DeFazio

As a developer and technical architect, I am in constant pursuance of order and intelligence in the face of the unending chaos and challenges that underlie the adoption of business technology. I leverage an education in Business and Political Economy and experience in sales and customer service to provide results that allow companies like NEXUS to continue and improve the great work they do. It is my dream to utilize data and technology to aid humanity in our current and future struggles. To further this goal, much of my free time is spent teaching coding to anyone willing to learn. When not teaching, I enjoy rock climbing, running, cycling, playing my flute, and exploring the vastness of NYC.

Technical Strategist

Ramila Tipaeva

Ramila grew up in Uzbekistan and moved to the USA 7 years ago. She was always passionate about numbers and analyzing data which led her to get her BA in Accounting at Baruch College. With her careful analytical mind as well as her high attention to details, Ramila oversees the development of the company’s technical structures to ensure efficient workflow. When she isn’t working, you’ll find her dancing at the concerts, discovering new restaurants, and spending time with her family and friends.

Executive Assistant

Michelle Tabares

Michelle brings 20+ years of administrative experience. She is a highly motivated and organized professional that strives to bring peace of mind, ease of operations and positive reinforcement to all teams and projects she participates in. Michelle has spent a majority of her career working for purpose-driven start-ups such as Hive Global and Magic Agency which are aligned with both her professional and personal values and passion help make earth a world where all people, creatures and nature can co-exist.

Chief Financial Officer

Jeremy Sziklay

Jeremy Sziklay spent the last ten years guiding and restructuring small
businesses to overcome operational and financial challenges. With a background in finance and
accounting from Syracuse University and a law degree from Brooklyn Law, Jeremy finds himself
in a unique position to bring a depth of understanding to how a small business should run,
covering all aspects of financial functioning and management.

In 2004 Jeremy started his first investment portfolio/private wealth fund where he earned the
attention of independent backers and small businesses. Since then, Jeremy has spent his time focusing on acquiring and consulting with countless small businesses and putting them on a path to success.

Regional Leaders

NEXUS africa leadership


Funke Shonekan

Funke Shonekan is the Founder of Young Adult Professionals and Entrepreneurs (YAP&E), FunKey Events and FunKey Events Training Academy (FETA). She is also a Certified International Social Etiquette Consultant and a Graduate from the University of Surrey, UK and has a degree in (Bsc) International Hospitality & Tourism Management.

NEXUS Tanzania Outreach Ambassador

Mariam Ndabagenga

Mariam Ndabagenga is a civil servant with 7 years’ experience in Marketing and Events. Currently working at UONGOZI Institute as an Event Coordinator, Mariam oversees organization and management of platforms for leadership development through Trainings, Policy Forums and Dialogues.

Moreover, she is a Social Entrepreneur who uses Fashion and Entertainment for realizing Social Change, specifically on Girls’ Education. Among successful projects are Girls’ Dormitories initiative with Tanzania Education Authority (Ambassador), TAI Tanzania Sanitary pads for Girls students (Mentor and Fundraiser), A Desk for Every Child with the Hassan Maajar Trust Fund (Digital Influencer), Dada2Dada Mentorship programme (Initiator).

Currently, Mariam works with the Ndaba Family as a co-Founder of the Ndaba Foundation which aims at providing financial and moral support to underprivileged children to attain their Primary, Secondary and University education in Tanzania.

As a personal challenge, Mariam is working with the Tanzanian local authorities to find ways of building Girls’ dormitories in each Village, for both Primary and Secondary school girls. This project is in the initial stage and every idea, suggestion and partnership is welcome and appreciated.

Regional Director of NEXUS Africa


Rakgadi Doris “Didi” Mogashoa 

I am passionate about the transformation of human beings. I believe we were all put on this earth to serve and / or bring about a particular change in the world. It is my belief that my life’s purpose is to be of service to others by positively impacting their lives through varied forms of personal transformation. 

Over the past 15 years I have enjoyed working as an entrepreneur in diverse industries including the fashion industry. My journey of self discovery has led me to the phenomenal world of philanthropy. I have as a result dedicated the past 12 years of my life giving back through “Didi and Friends Foundation ” a Non Profit Company I founded in 2008.

I serve as a director of the foundation. Our key focus is on education and the empowerment of those less fortunate. Our work has seen us interact with various impoverished communities, orphanages and community centers in and around Gauteng and Western Cape.

I believe in education and the power it wields in impacting and transforming lives in a manner that is not only tangible but also sustainable. 

Life coaching and qualifying as a Mindfulness practitioner has been a natural progression for me in learning the skills, processes and techniques I needed to assist individuals, groups and businesses alike. 

BA Industrial Psych 
Life and Business Coach
Enneagram Coach
Cert in Mindfulness Based Interventions 

Nigeria Ambassador

Tutu Balogun

Tutu Balogun works in the Africa Finance Corporation a development bank with a mandate to bridge the infrastructure gap on the Continent. 

With a particular dedication to youth empowerment programs, she is the Founder of KIA Foundation, focused on the rehabilitation of young Internally Displaced Persons’ into the Nigerian society through education primarily and healthcare and mentorship.
She holds a BA in International Relations with an MSc in Development at School of Oriental and African Studies and has previous experience working at the African Union. She hopes to be an agent of change by becoming more involved in how wealth owners can invest strategically in social development but also doing further research and work in international

Ghana Ambassador

Natasha Wilson

Over 5 years of work experience in human resources, clinical psychology, and event planning / management. She worked with the UNSDG Health Partnership, where they organized a series of events focusing on Universal Health Care Coverage in Africa. Natasha has consulted for a few mental health charities in Ghana to find innovative ways to promote mental health through a variety of social media platforms, as well as finding solutions for individuals in rural areas to have access to psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and counsellors in Accra or in their neighboring city. She has key competencies in project management, mental health advisory, and connecting people. Natasha has a great passion for mental health in Africa and has started a small initiative to battle and conquer the stigma surrounding it. Additionally, to educate the population, to reshape, change and normalize narrative pertaining to mental health and its access in Africa.

NEXUS Asia Leadership

Regional Director of NEXUS Asia

Abbie Jung-Harada

Abbie Jung is the co-founder of Synergy Social Ventures, a nonprofit that supports social entrepreneurship in Asia through financial and non-financial support. She also advises individuals and institutions on philanthropic investment in Asia and promotes philanthropic engagement in young people. Her perspective on social entrepreneurship as a means to sustainable development is shaped by her experiences living and working in under-served parts of Asia, Europe and North America with organizations such as Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders, PSI, Save the Children, World Bank and World Health Organization.

In 2009, as one of the early key staff at a Hong Kong-based venture philanthropy foundation, Abbie was at the forefront of the budding social entrepreneurship and social investment sectors in Asia.

She co-founded Synergy in 2011 to address critical capacity building and financing gaps for early stage social ventures in the region. Abbie serves as advisor or director to many social initiatives/organizations such as the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans, iBoP Asia, iOnPoverty, Philanthropy in Asia Summit and Asian Social Entrepreneurs Summit.

She is passionate about developing the culture and practice of innovative and strategic philanthropy in Asia to support both traditional and new social change models (like social entrepreneurship) as a means to creating a more just and sustainable world.

NEXUS Philippines Outreach Ambassador

Carlo Delantar

Carlo Delantar is an award-winning social entrepreneur working at the nexus of environmental opportunities and challenges in the Philippines. As Co-Founder of Altum, a sustainable manufacturer of furniture and interior decor built on circular economy principles, Carlo collaborates with hotels, retailers and brands to bring designs from concept to form. Carlo is also the Country Director of Waves For Water (W4W), a global non-profit providing access to clean water.

The aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan inspired Carlo to become involved in humanitarian efforts and through W4W, Carlo has helped 80,000 individuals in remote communities across the Philippines set up rainwater storage and filtration systems.

Awarded with the Development Award (second highest distinction for civilians) and the Bayanihan Award from President Duterte, Carlo is also recognized as a Top 30 under 30 innovator by publications including Scout, and Meg Magazine. Carlo was named a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum and attended the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in 2017 as the youngest male attendee. Carlo is a free-diver, passionate about using art and storytelling to highlight nature.

NEXUS China Country Director

Cat Wang

Cat Wang has been interested social issues and has wanted to help others since childhood but only took her first independent steps in philanthropy after joining NEXUS China in 2014. She started by visiting rural areas of Henan Province and bringing supplies to local communities. She then donated winter clothing to a Tibetan primary school with more than 300 students. She is now exploring ways to develop a sustainable initiative to provide free eye exams and free prescription eyeglasses to students in low-income communities in China. Since 2014, she has been deeply involved in building the NEXUS China community and has served as NEXUS China Country Director since 2015.

NEXUS Korea Outreach Ambassador

Kyungsun Chung

Kyungsun Chung is Founder & CEO of Root Impact as well as founding member and co-representative of HubandCompany. Root Impact is non-profit organization focused on philanthropic advisory services and building the capacity of the social innovation sector in Korea. Kyungsun focuses on persuading various stake-holders among different sectors to actively participate and lead collaborative efforts for the public good. Root Impact helped to launch Ashoka Korea, a leading global organization of changemakers.

In addition, Root Impact established a partnership with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. Prior to founding Root Impact, Kyungsun was director of the Non-Profit Business Team at the Asan Nanum Foundation, a private foundation in Korea founded by the 2nd generation of the Hyundai conglomerate family.

Kyungsun’s main role was designing capacity building systems for non-profit professionals and organizations in Korea. During college, Kyungsun founded Creative Share, a nonprofit organization that empowered college students and young professionals to share their abilities and create value. One major outcome was support for a public advertising campaign with Innocean Worldwide, one of the largest advertising companies in Korea. In 2012 Kyungsun received a B.A. from Korean University, where he studied business administration.

NEXUS Indonesia Co-Country Director

Michella Irawan

Michella has always been passionate in doing social work but only knew the traditional way of donation & volunteering.Only when she was introduced to NEXUS Singapore Summit did she learn about different social change tools, especially related to sustainability, and committed to start her own social impact journey. She studied in Singapore and the UK before going back to Indonesia in 2009 to manage her family’s fishing business, PT Etmieco Sarana Laut.

She has a joint venture for her katsuobushi manufacturing plant with Yamaki Co.,Ltd, the biggest katsuobushi manufacturer in Japan. Presently, she is trying to convert her family business to adapt the sustainable practices. She is also working on building a green space dedicated to marine conservation in Manado, North Sulawesi. She hopes to create an ecosystem for all marine & ocean lovers while bridging her family business with her love for the ocean.

Using her resources and network, she is mapping out the stakeholders and work on sustainable fisheries, sustainable tourism, waste solutions, restructuring mindset through awareness, coral reef restoration & conservation programmes. In Dec 2014, Michella became a part of the NEXUS Indonesia leadership team and has been working to bring together likeminded young leaders in Indonesia who has intentions & resources to bring positive change and social impact.

NEXUS Thailand Co-Director

Nophol Techaphangam (Naps)

Naps is currently the Vice Managing Director of Somphol Bedding and Mattress Industry Co., Ltd. (SPB), his family’s mattress and bedding firm based in Bangkok, Thailand. Carrying on the legacy of his grandfather, who founded the modern mattress and bedding industry in Thailand over 50 years ago, he has since 2005 led the company’s expansion into the AEC and beyond. He has also made sure the company makes a positive impact on every community in which it operates. For example, SPB regularly donates its products to those in need and provides relief to the unfortunate during times of natural disasters.

In addition to his main responsibility, Naps is also the Sponsorship Manager of the Bangkok Charity Orchestra (BCO), Thailand’s first and only orchestra dedicated to raising funds for charities; a Director of the Thai Young Philanthropist Network (TYPN), a group of over 2,300 young, highly educated professionals in Thailand whose aim is to be a key development agent for the country; and the Secretary of the Boss Association, a group of over 3,000 leading Thai executives whose objective is to make a positive impact on Thailand.

Naps, a Cambridge-Thai Foundation Scholar, holds a Post Dip in Economics from Downing College, the University of Cambridge, and a BSc (Hons) in Physics with Theoretical Physics from the University of Manchester. He was given the Model Business Person of the Year Award (Household and Office Goods Sector) from the Foundation of Science and Technology Council of Thailand in 2012.

NEXUS Singapore Advisor

Rebekah Lin

Rebekah is Co-Founder of The Social Co., and since 2014, has successfully launched the 50 For 50 SG, Pledge It Forward Singapore and Samsung’s #PowerToProgress campaigns. The team brought together more than 100 individuals, 90 corporations and more than 250 partners to raise awareness and $5 million for more than 80 lesser-known charities in Singapore. The Social Co. has since decided to focus on serving

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the ageing sector in Singapore.

In February 2018, Rebekah hosted and interviewed several practitioners and experts in the healthcare space in a documentary on the state of healthcare in Singapore, screened on Channel News Asia.

Rebekah was on the committee of the Yellow Ribbon Fund from 2011-2015 and served as a main committee member of Community Chest of Singapore for 2 years before moving to London where she has now taken on an ambassadorial role. She has also been running her family foundation, Jia Foundation since 2013. She was selected to be a Leader of Tomorrow at the 2015 St. Gallen Symposium and was also recently selected as 1 of 18 Young Societal Leaders by the SMU Institute for Societal Leadership and Temasek Connects for the Singapore Summit.

Rebekah graduated from Nanyang Technological University with an honours degree in Business Administration and has completed an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck College, University of London. She is currently pursuing her MSc in Gerontology at King’s College London, has been nominated as an Ambassador for the King’s Global Health Institute and was a speaker at the TedX KCL conference in November 2018. She has also completed the Executive Education program at Singularity University in November 2017. 

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NEXUS Singapore Advisor

Sumitra Aswani

Sumitra Aswani is a fourth generation family business member who recently assumed the role of executive director at her family foundation, the Ishk Tolaram Foundation. The newly incorporated foundation focuses on issues related to education, skills training and financial independence in vulnerable groups in Indonesia and Nigeria. Prior to her current appointment, Sumitra trained as a medical doctor in Singapore, where she held both clinical and policy-related positions with an interest in family and community medicine.

Nexus Thailand Co-Country Director

Viria Vichit-Vadakan

Viria Vichit-Vadakan serves as the Director of New Business Development for Learn Education—a leading Education Technology social enterprise in Asia. She leads the company’s new business unit—serving as a research and innovation arm to create learning products for K-12 students in all types of schools throughout Thailand and the region. Prior to Learn Education, Viria help established the Bachelor of Arts program in Global Studies and Social Entrepreneurship (GSSE) and a social innovation lab “G-Lab” at the School of Global Studies, Thammasat University, Thailand (

As a founder of G-Lab, she managed social impact projects including: working with an EdTech startup to scale its technology to reach 20,000 students and implemented an accelerator for 100 emerging social entrepreneurs to scale their social enterprises in areas of education, health, agriculture, and community based tourism in partnership with JP Morgan Global Philanthropy. Prior to G-Lab, she worked at Ashoka and Viria received graduate training in human-centered design from the Stanford Design Institute (

At Stanford she was a teaching assistant for 2 years for the social entrepreneurship course. Viria was named Global Shapers by the World Economic Forum in 2015, selected as a Curator in 2016, and in 2017 represented the global shapers community as a speaker on the topic of Social Entrepreneurs: Agents of Systems Change at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

In addition to her work, she is an Advisory Board Member for the Arts and Humanities Research Council for Service Design & Social Innovation, Asia-Pacific and a Program Advisor, Designing for Social Innovation and Leadership program for the UN University of Peace, Faculty Council at School of Global Studies, Thammasat University, and Co-Country Director of Nexus Thailand. She is interested in working with organizations, both public and private, to greater their social impact/ innovation, and improving the quality of education in Thailand and the region at large. \


Hiroyoshi Koizumi

Hiroyoshi Koizumi is a fourth generation of his family business, a conglomerate consisting of retails, apparel, restaurants, security guard agency as well as safari parks. After having a few experiences in start-ups during his university, he begun his career as a venture capitalist. After several years, he moved to a global pharmaceutical company as a new business development manager in Shanghai.

Since 2014, Hiro works as Director of his family businesses firm. Hiro has been been a passionate incubator of the social entrepreneurs in Japan for over a decade. He has been a partner of Social Venture Partners Tokyo since 2008, and appointed as a board member for 2011-2012. Utilizing the knowledge and experiences in business as well as the social sectors, he is now transforming his businesses to generate social impact throughout.

NEXUS Japan Outreach Ambassador and Co-Chair, NEXUS Lab on Sports for Good

Yohei Fujimoto

Yohei Fujimoto is a student at Keio University in Tokyo where he is majoring in sports and business. Fluent in Japanese and English he is dedicated to uniting cultures and communities. As a student he spearheaded a project to bring his baseball team from Tokyo to Bradenton, Florida, United States to visit and train at the IMG Academy, a world-renowned academic and athletic training facility. He also helped to convene a summit for top athletes. At a personal level Yohei is focused on the meaning of the word “love” and its role in developing different communities and cultures around the world. Finally, Yohei is proud to serve as an Outreach Ambassador for the emerging program of NEXUS Japan to help bridge communities of wealth and social entrepreneurship. He also serves as a Co-Chair of the NNEXUS Lab on Sports for Good.

NEXUS Indonesia Co-Country Director

Jeffry Taniwan

Jeffry is a passionate young social entrepreneur dedicated to creating meaningful change. From an early age, he immersed himself in social impact, channeling his energy into charity work and helping others. He thrives on connecting with like-minded individuals and fostering a community of change-makers. He is a driven individual committed to enhancing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices within his family’s company. His tireless efforts are geared towards making a positive impact on sustainability and responsible business practices, shaping a brighter future. Jeffry is a dedicated advocate for climate change awareness and environmental preservation. Within NEXUS Indonesia, he plays a pivotal role in fostering a green ethos, emphasizing the importance of Earth’s care and supporting ecosystems. Jeffry passionately believes that collective efforts are essential for a sustainable future.

NEXUS Singapore Country Director

Sandhya Aswani

With a background in inclusive education and learning intervention, Sandhya is passionate about creating systems in which children and youth of all backgrounds and abilities can thrive. She is currently a Program Director at Ishk Tolaram Foundation, supporting communities in Indonesia, Nigeria, and Singapore with access to quality education, healthcare and skills training. She is also a trained counsellor and mental health advocate.

NEXUS Australia Leadership

NEXUS Australia Regional Director Chair

Lucy Steggles

Lucy is passionate about philanthropy and social change, contributing her time and skills in various capacities. Lucy has been an active member of Philanthropy Australia’s Next Generation of Giving Program since 2014, and is also involved in her families philanthropic giving. For several years, Lucy headed up the charitable giving arm of a prominent law firm in Australia, however has recently moved in to the not-for-profit sector now working in partnerships and fundraising for a preventative youth mental health charity, batyr. Lucy has been on the NEXUS Australia Steering Committee since 2015, and in 2019 has been elected in to the Co-Chair role.


Chairman of NEXUS Europe

Stef van Dongen

Stef van Dongen is Founder/President of the Rotterdam based social enterprise Enviu. He started the company in 2002 from the belief that entrepreneurs can play a major role in solving the world’s biggest challenges. Over the years Stef co-founded more than a dozen social enterprises and innovation programs in the domains of Financial and Economic Inclusion, Food Systems and Circular Economy.

Next to Enviu, Stef engages with organisations (e.g. The Vatican) and families to build partnerships that leverage private and public assets to realise societal impact. Stef was awarded the lifetime achievement award “Radical Innovators” from Vrij Nederland Magazine. He is a distinguished alumni of the Rotterdam School of Management, where he did his MBA with a focus on Global Business Society Management. Stef is a passionate board member and advisor of several social companies, philanthropists and innovation networks.

NEXUS United Kingdom Outreach Ambassador

Lorraine Grace

Lorraine is a Consumer Goods Equity Analyst at Close Brothers Asset Management in London, and currently a 2017 Level III candidate in the CFA Program. Lorraine was born and raised in New York and graduated from the University of Southern California with undergraduate degrees in Fine Arts, Business and Entrepreneurship. Lorraine’s main interests in philanthropy are focused on children’s education, women in conflict areas, the arts, and entrepreneurship.

In 2008, she founded a charity called the My World Project. The My World Project has connected and taught peaceful conflict resolution techniques and photography skills to children around the world, in the Middle East, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Switzerland, New York and Los Angeles.

Lorraine is a member of the Wise Foundation NewGen Council, YPO Next Generation, Women for Women International Junior Leadership Circle, and a board member of the USC Alumni Association of London. Lorraine is also a junior board member of the Middle East Children’s Institute. Her other areas of interest are art, photography, yoga and music including the guitar and song writing. Lorraine’s family’s philanthropies are focused on education for refugee women and children victims of war in the Middle East, and genetics and cancer research.

NEXUS Switzerland Outreach Ambassador

Keyvan Ghavami

Keyvan Ghavami earned his BA in Political Science from the University of Lausanne and his MSc in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. He has a background in project management, philanthropy and HNW investor relations. He has worked both within the non-profit and for-profit sectors, with a particular interest in emerging markets and youth engagement. His former professional experience includes positions with Human Rights Watch and the impact investment fund Impact Finance.

He currently, serves as the President and Co-Founder of Act On Your Future, a non-profit foundation that works to strengthen and foster civic engagement among the next generation of socially active youth. He is a member of the Human Rights Watch Geneva Youth Committee and a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum.

NEXUS Netherlands Outreach Ambassador

Tamar Guttmann

Tamar Guttmann has been actively involved in the impact investing space as a social impact advisor to family offices, foundations, and social enterprises. She graduated summa cum laude from New York University, where she studied Social Entrepreneurship (Stern School of Business) and Entertainment Producing (Tisch School of the Arts). While in New York, Tamar was the Co-Chair of Friends of Yunus Social Business NY. Tamar is passionate about bridging the arts and impact (investing) and has produced several films that all touched upon social issues, the last of which was Thin Ice, a short film addressing the increasing fear of terrorism in the Netherlands. Thin Ice won a number of awards and screened at international festivals around the globe, including the Oscar-qualifying Atlanta Film Festival, The Hamptons Film Festival, and the Netherlands Film Festival. She is currently working to help set up a Dutch foundation focused on supporting innovative talent in film, theater, and music. She also serves as the Netherlands Outreach Ambassador for NEXUS, a global network connecting social entrepreneurs and changemakers to next-gen philanthropists and impact investors. Tamar is an Advisory Board member of Proof of Impact, a global marketplace that enables impact investors and funders to support the causes they care about most by linking financial investment directly to proven results, and a Senior Fellow of Humanity in Action.

NEXUS Monaco Outreach Ambassador

Michael Pellman Rowland

Michael is a partner and head of impact investments at Alpenrose Wealth Management International. He is a frequent public speaker (Milken, NEXUS, etc) and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Financial Times, and Institutional Investor. He was selected for the Investment News 40 Under 40 top wealth advisors list and included in Forbes’ inaugural listing of America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors. Recently, he was named as a founding member of the Forbes Impact Investing Community. He also had a column in Forbes covering food sustainability.

NEXUS Germany Ambassador

Carlina Conrad

Carlina Conrad grew up in Duesseldorf, Germany and moved to New York 5 years ago. After finishing her B.Sc in Neuroscience, she went on to do her Masters specializing in Social Neuroscience at NYU. There she studied the neural correlates underlying racial and gender bias. She then gained extensive consumer behavior knowledge within industry through her work at Chanel, SuperPhone and SPARK Neuro. Simultaneously she co-founded OneWonder a non-profit focussing on middle school education and career development specifically for underserviced communities. This fall she will start her PhD in Organizational Behavior.


Founding Chair of NEXUS India, Founding Chair of NEXUS New Zealand & Pasifika

Tara Singh

A lifelong advocate for sustainability leadership in business, Tara actively supports local, grassroots and social entrepreneurs and visionaries. She has a MBA in Finance (Derivatives) and has worked in financial risk management for the FDIC, as well as in Healthcare Administration dealing with Marketing and Quality strategies. She holds a post-graduate degree in Environmental Policy, specializing in Sustainable Business Development. T

ara’s work and research with respect to India include partnering with organizations including Nike, Inc., Gokaldas Exports, Asia Society and The Henry Luce Foundation. She has worked to educate and empower underprivileged women and children in both rural and urban locations, teach environmental education and foster environmental stewardship, as well as facilitate a global corporate and governmental conference aiming to increase US corporate investment in India.

A longtime student of both medical botany and ethno pharmacy, she is honored to have been granted entrée to both H.H. Dalai Lama’s Tibetan Medical and Astro. Institute and its archives and the global Ayurveda authority, The Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, in order to conduct research on Traditional Tibetan Medicine and Ayurveda.

Tara is Founder and CEO of Terra Tara Organics (TTO) Inc., in Napa, California. Tara is deeply honored to serve our returning and long returned veteran heroes’ during reintegration into civilian society as President of the Board of Oakland, California’s Operation Dignity, a non profit homeless veteran organization directly addressing issues including housing, job skills, PTS, addiction, and sexual trauma to provide wrap-around healing programs.

Tara also serves on the Board of the Ik Onkar Peace Foundation, a United Religions Initiative Cooperation Circle, aiming to promote peaceful conflict resolution without the use of unnecessary violence, encourage economic and social justice while preserving planetary beauty and resources. Board Member and the Auckland Representative for UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand National Committee.

NEXUS Israel Leadership

Director, Israel

Narkis Alon

Narkis Alon is a mother, writer, educator and a leading social entrepreneur from Israel, that has spent the last decade building educational platforms as a tool for bridging socio-economic gaps. In her social enterprises, she is exploring questions such as; What kind of workplace culture is needed for female leadership to thrive? What is the role of women leaders in creating our next civilization? And how can people from all socio-economical backgrounds make a decent living and fulfill themselves?

She co founded Double You, an international network of female leaders, Elevation academy-one of israels leading tech academies, and ze-ze- a platform that creates social businesses led by youth.
Her work has received global recognition: She was named as one of the 100 Visionary Leaders by Real Leaders magazine, one of Israel’s leading change makers by Calcalist and by Forbes under 30. She was invited to share her work forums such as :the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos, the Israel summit in Harvard University and the Board Member Institute in Kellogg University. !

NEXUS Latin America leadership

Director Emeritus of NEXUS Latin America

Michelle Arévalo-Carpenter

Michelle is a social entrepreneur and human rights lawyer. After working as a refugee adjudicator, she founded the Ecuadorian offices of Asylum Access, a non-profit legal aid clinic focused on ensuring the rights of refugees from neighbouring Colombia. She later became the first global director of Asylum Access and managed its three international offices from Geneva as it provided services to refugees in Asia, Africa and Latin America. 

As a consultant, she has focused on increasing the impact of grassroots organizations, including an association of families of disappeared children in El Salvador and communities at risk of development-induced displacement in Thailand, Cambodia and India. She was manager for TECHO Ecuador, Latin America’s largest housing-focused NGO, and Latin America-lead for HURIDOCS, a human rights and technology NGO.

She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and the World Economic Forum Agenda and cares about human rights, entrepreneurship and the role of the private sector in creating a better world. She is currently the CEO of IMPAQTO, a coworking space and business incubator in Ecuador with a mission to create a vibrant impact entrepreneurship ecosystem in Latin America.

NEXUS Brazil Outreach Ambassador

Duda Alcântara

Activist, entrepreneur, architect and urban planner. Coming from a family that has been on the real estate and construction business for more than four decades, Duda understands how the housing business works and how it could be a little better. Her greatest desire is to develop social transformation through urban planning and affordable housing for those who need the most.

Having such goal in mind, she got involved with politics, especially youth movements for change in the Brazilian political system, where Duda is having the chance to feel up close the strength of Democracy and to confirm something she has always known deep inside of her: we are the power for change and transformation, it’s up to us to do something… the time is now!


Ana Marina de Castro

Ana Marina de Castro is a specialist in democracy, policy and advocacy. Her family comes from the healthcare sector but she had no contact with that – she went into the area of public policy, her passion. Over the past 10 years, Ana Marina has worked to advance political change in Brazil, launching projects from scratch in the face of uncertainties and challenging government crises. She conducted policy research and advocacy efforts on issues including electoral reform, competitiveness, basic education, public security, and social security reform. She was awarded a Commendation by the US Governor of Oklahoma. She believes in the connection between individual interest and orientation to the collective. And that each of us can do something about it for the common good. Her goal is to give light and make a difference to issues that move her soul.

NEXUS LATAM Co-Regional Director

Daniela Peralvo Lupera

Co-founder of IMPAQTO, the 1st B-corp in Ecuador, an ecosystem developer that welcomes and supports agents of change to turn their ideas into scalable and triple impact companies. Director of IMPAQTO Labs, impact startup accelerator part of the Google for Startups network. Member of the UNLEASH+ Innovation Advisory Board. Catalyst for the League of Intrapreneurs. Builder of the ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation in the region.

NEXUS LATAM Curation Director

Justin Schwartz

Justin is Managing Partner of IMPAQTO Capital, an impact investment fund that provides flexible capital to early-stage startups in the Andean region. He has over 8 years of experience working on investment and entrepreneurship issues on 3 continents.

NEXUS Middle East North Africa

(MENA) Leadership

Director of NEXUS MENA

Soraya Hosni

Soraya Hosni is an anthropologist and serial entrepreneur. Her polyglotism combined with a journey from Parisian suburbs, to remote pacific islands or conflict zones allows a unique societal understanding that she brings into the most innovative problem solving. After an active executive and academic career she decided to repatriate to Tunisia, and work from within to preserve culture and advance impact in Business.
Her latest ventures include The New Medina, an initiative to build heritage centered models for urban development, starting with her ancestral home and the UNESCO World Heritage Medina of Sousse in Tunisia.

Director Emeritus of NEXUS MENA & Arab Diasporas

Lynn Zovighian

Lynn serves as the Director of Middle East North Africa (MENA) and Arab Diasporas at NEXUS. She is a businesswoman by trade and a philanthropist at heart, using her learnings from the corporate and investments world to drive her problem-solving style in human emergencies and social dysfunctionalities. Co-founder of The Zovighian Partnership alongside her father, Lynn has built up a team of social innovation architects that design, incubate, and manage meaningful philanthropic interests of emerging next-generation leaders in the Middle East. The firm also services the Zovighian family’s philanthropic ambitions, through its in-house lab, focused on deploying early-stage philanthropic action in conflict zones in the Middle East and building data in high-risk environments in the region. Lynn is gearing up to formally launch her family’s foundation, the Peace Collection.

It will house all prototypes that achieve proof of concept in the firm’s in-house lab, and will help expand Lynn’s personal inter-faith and minority group activism in the region. Lynn also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Ibtissam, a philanthropic commitment under the patronage of the KSA royal family to dismantle slavery marketplaces in the region. She is the Regional Ambassador for Youth of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, an initiative of the UN Foundation. She serves as an advisory board member of the Global Family Office Community in the UK. She has just completed a ten-year term on the Board of Governors at the American Community School in Beirut, Lebanon.

Prior to founding The Zovighian Partnership, Lynn spent her career in financial services and management consulting, working at Barclays Wealth & Investment Management in Saudi Arabia, Pictet & Cie in Geneva, and The Boston Consulting Group in the GCC. Throughout this time, she worked closely with her father in his construction trading business, Sehnaoui Plant Group of Companies. During her free time, Lynn enjoys spending quality time with her loved ones, painting, reading, and jogging long distances. She is a former soprano lyrical opera singer and soloist. Lynn holds an MBA in Finance from London Business School and a BA and double minor in Political Studies, American Studies, and Islamic History.

NEXUS Jordan Ambassador

Mohammad Asfour

As a green global citizen; Mohammad, served as the Regional Head for the WorldGBC’s MENA & Africa Network. He was also a board member and chaired Jordan Green Building Council. He served as a Senior Adviser at the USAID Energy Sector Capacity Building Program and as the Environment, Water and Energy Sector Lead at the USAID Jordan Economic Development Program. Mohammad, was appointed as an adviser to the Board of Trustees at the Princess Sumaya University for Technology, founded the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship and worked on developing the concept behind El Hassan Science City. He also worked at the Jordan Investment Board and served as a consultant for the UNDP, UNIDO, and USAID ‘s AMIR Program. He was appointed as a regional advisor to OECD’ s MENA Investment Program, chaired UNEP – SBCI’s Advocacy Committee and is currently the Chair of WADI NGO and a board member at the Jordan Trail Association.

He also co-founded Ahel Al Balad, which is a non-political grassroots’ movement that aims at spreading positivity in the community through volunteering.

Mohammad received his BA in Business from the University of Jordan and his Masters in Positive Leadership and Strategy from the IE Business School in Madrid and has continuously maintained a presence in the business world through a fourth generation diversified family business.

NEXUS North America City Ambassadors

Atlanta City Ambassador

Savannah Seydel

Savannah Seydel is the Program Strategist for Exposure Labs, helping design organizing models where film can accelerate local climate action.
Prior, Savannah worked with the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Sustainability to help build their urban agriculture brand strategy and associated community outreach campaigns. Savannah holds an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University’s Earth Institute and School of International and Public Affairs.

Los Angeles City Ambassador

Clint Misamore

Clinton Misamore is the Co-Founder & Director of Partnerships for GoGood, a social impact venture that’s creating the best way to give. Previously, Misamore worked for Global Giving and the Milken Institute–where he was responsible for establishing and executing key initiatives in emerging markets, most notably the Access to Global Capital Initiative and Africa Programs. Misamore has co-founded and advised three successful international NGOs, including: Y-Generation Against Poverty, Sanejo, and Entrepreneur Impact Day.

Throughout his career, Misamore has advised and cultivated deep global relationships with senior executives from multinational corporations; financial service, institutional investment, private equity, and venture capital firms; nonprofit organizations; high net worth individuals; multilateral agencies; and government officials.

Misamore holds extensive international qualifications having worked, studied, and lived in over twenty-five countries. He holds a B.S. from Purdue University and M.A in International Relations from The Maxwell School at Syracuse University where he focused on global development, international markets, and Africa.

Los Angeles City Ambassador

Katie LaFleur

Katie LaFleur is a social impact investor, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. Harnessing the impact that capital can have in reversing climate change, Katie has used her 15 years of experience to invest along ESG metrics into companies, funds, and financial institutions that work to protect the planet and rebalance the carbon cycle.

She leads Investor Relations with FullCycle, where she is committed to scaling commercially-viable technologies that have the largest climate impact per dollar invested. Prior to joining FullCycle, Katie was a successful serial entrepreneur focused on strategy, growth, and team building for companies now operating in 21 countries. She worked with Helios AMC performing diligence for commercial real estate debt and equity refinancing. She served as the Vice President of Pencil of Promise’s Leadership Council, contributing to the development of over 500 schools in Africa, Central America, and Asia ensuring access to quality education for over 100,000 students a year globally.

Raised in Southern California, Katie graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Entrepreneurial Management and Business Marketing. Her ability to convene and connect those looking to drive large scale positive impact has led to a global dinner series in partnership with the Templeton Foundation, and most proudly, is an ambassador and Los Angeles Co-Chair for Nexus Global. Serving on the board for Mongabay and as co-chair for Rainforest Action Network’s REVEL, Katie strives to inspire others to value and actively protect the environment.


Lana Fern

Lana Fern has over a decade of experience in social entrepreneurship, philanthropic advising, and community building. Lana founded White Light Strategies, a philanthropic advising practice that worked with the most innovative philanthropists to accelerate change. She helped clients develop, implement, and evaluate their giving strategies. Prior to WLS, Lana was Executive Director of Giving Circles Fund, an organization that inspires a lifelong habit of philanthropy by empowering communities to give together.

Lana has been involved with her family’s foundation for 12 years and has been a NEXUS member and speaker since the inaugural summit in 2011. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors of Slingshot and The Unfunded List, sits on the Issues Committee for the National Center for Family Philanthropy, and is a member of World Economic Forum Global Shapers, Summit Series, Reboot, Thousand Network, and the ROI Community. Lana also takes her work on the road, speaking at conferences, events, and universities about Millennial giving.

DC City Ambassador

Lindsey R. Marcus

Lindsey is passionate about compassionate prosecution. As a career prosecutor at the state and federal level, Lindsey believes in protecting communities and justly punishing individuals for the crimes they have committed, without giving up on them.

Since joining NEXUS in 2015, Lindsey has had the opportunity to work with amazing community members on Equal Justice and Juvenile Justice Reform. During law school, Lindsey clerked for the Honorable Judge Fausto Pocar of Italy in the appellate division of the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague. Following law school, Lindsey worked as an Assistant State Attorney in Palm Beach County serving her last two years in felony major crimes as the Special Assigned Arson and Bomb prosecutor. Lindsey joined the United States Attorney’s Office in Washington D.C. in August of 2015, where she focused on violent crimes prosecutions. Lindsey is currently a trial attorney for The United States Department of Justice.

Miami City Ambassador

Blayne Ross

Blayne Ross is CEO of ShoreLock, an early-stage company working to proactively prevent beach erosion and combat sea level rise. An entrepreneur, experience designer, and producer known for award-winning content, Blayne is currently following his passion for the oceans and environment with the launch of ShoreLock.



Chief Operating Officer

Liza Heavener

Liza Heavener has wide-ranging experience working nearly ten years in federal politics, grassroots and campaign strategy and with the United States Congress. Liza was a healthcare lobbyist for a large membership organization, running their national advocacy program to engage hundreds of thousands of advocates across the country. She was also a founding member of an organization dedicated to stopping deforestation in Borneo, Indonesia and assisted in building an orangutan rehabilitation center in the rainforests of Borneo.

She serves on the Board of Coalition for Impact, Eastern Mennonite University and Mercy for Animals. Liza had a feature role in the internationally-acclaimed documentary and tv series, “Rise of the Eco-Warrior,” and has spoken on stages across the globe.

Energy, Innovation and the Environment Ambassador

Aaron Berger

Aaron Berger is a research scientist specializing in pattern recognition, domestic and foreign current events, and technology trends under the lens of existential risk. His work chiefly revolves around strategy, geopolitical forecasting, and government relations; primarily on the climate crisis and AI. He serves as a strategic advisor to individuals and organizations interested in finding important solutions to their difficult problems. In his effort to help others see a more systemic perspective, his research methods break down problems into their foundational elements; analysis of which yields new angles and novel solutions.

Equal Justice Ambassador

Christina Hollenback

Christina spent the first 13 years of her career in politics building the unprecedented coalitions to win on the DREAM Act, healthcare and higher education access, expanding workforce development programs, and women’s health issues. Winner of the prestigious POLLY award at just 27 from her work at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Christina then became one of the youngest Executive Directors in US national politics organizing her generation from the Capitol to the Whitehouse to the streetcorner.

In 2014, she transitioned into Impact Investing and began working with those same frontline communities to build sustainable solutions as a core part of their strategies organizing for justice from Baltimore to Standing Rock. She currently is helping lead Solve at MIT’s inaugural work with the Oceti Sakowin to build sovereign energy, food, and water systems and launching, VIGILINT Ventures, a first of it’s kind Investment Fund that grows visionary alternatives to the Criminal Justice system.

Christina is a featured speaker and presenter from conferences to classrooms and is the Founding Chair of the NEXUS Network’s Working Group Toward Equal Justice, where she works with their 4,000 global network of young philanthropists, impact investors, and social entrepreneurs to align their full breadth of Capital—social, political, and economic/business and investments— toward Equal Justice.

Christina is from Syracuse thru and thru and is a classicly trained vocalist who has traveled the world as a performer. In 2014, she began directing, most recently with the US Premiere of Apple itune’s first issue based album for the People’s Climate March, The album HOME, featuring NE-YO, Common, Elle Varner, and produced by 6 time Grammy Award winner Malik Yusef. Her debut album drops in 2019.

Equal Justice Ambassador

Dayo Okewale

Dayo Okewale works in the UK government at the House of Lords and is also part of the UNESCO Human Rights Global Integration forum alumni and leadership program, having published articles and essays on children’s human rights and child poverty and an international sports trainer working with the International Sports and Culture Association and hosting international sports training projects for the British Council and EU.

He is the Founder and Managing Director of Who’s Got Game Basketball, the organisation specialises in using sport as a tool for social change and development. Former professional basketball player, Dayo believe is an underused medium for teaching and instilling life and social skills, he is passionate with the in promoting the use of sport as a tool for education and change.

Film, Media and Story Ambassador

Farhoud Meybodi

Founder of Cadre, and Co-Owner of Wayfarer Entertainment, Farhoud Meybodi is a writer, director, and executive producer focused on “disruptively inspirational” storytelling content across scripted, unscripted, and branded distribution channels.

Unlike many creatives in the entertainment business, Farhoud started his career in law, and spent his mid-twenties climbing up the corporate ladder as a sales and marketing Executive for a global luxury brand. This non-traditional background gave Farhoud a marketers mindset — something he draws upon frequently when helping brands, TV networks, non-profits, studios and NGO’s connect with audiences through the magic of empathy and human connection. Farhoud is also a firm believer in the power of “anti-branded content,” a term he coined that represents innovative branded integration’s rooted in universal brand values rather than forced sales conversations. At his core, Farhoud is passionate about creative content that entertains, educates and inspires.

Mostly recently, Farhoud directed and executive produced Season Four of My Last Days, an award-winning documentary series about life told by courageous people living with a terminal illness, for the CW Network. He developed, and executive produced Chefs Without Borders, a documentary series featuring celebrity Chef, Curtis Stone, and Actress/Model, Lindsay Price, as they journey from Los Angeles to Tanzania to live with, and learn from three Indigenous tribes, each representing a unique perspective on food insecurity.

Farhoud also developed, executive produced and wrote Man Enough, a dinner conversation series featuring Scooter Braun, Anderson Silva, Justin Baldoni, Matt McGorry, Javier Munoz, Prince EA, Derek Hough, Tony Porter, Aydian Dowling and Jamey Heath that explores the heart of traditional masculinity in America. Farhoud created, developed and executive produced Project Upgrade, an unscripted series for Google featuring YouTube stars, The Merrell Twins, as they set out to design and build a new consumer product with the help of successful, female mentors from Google, Space X, NASA, and Disney.

Farhoud has also developed and directed national campaigns for Subaru, Kellogg’s, MetroPCS, and The Ad Council, and sold several scripted pitches to major studios and television networks.

Film, Media and Story Ambassador

Will Jenkins

Will Jenkins has more than a decade of communications and policy experience at the White House, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Congress and international nonprofit organizations. Over the years, he has also worked with many filmmakers and other media makers on stories that engage public policy and social issues. During his time in the federal government, Will served as a spokesperson to news outlets on a wide range of issues, including criminal justice reform, drug policy, immigration, public health, national security and education.

At the White House, he helped plan interviews and events with President Obama and senior officials for documentaries airing on PBS/Frontline, MTV, Showtime and other outlets. He has overseen high profile events and policy announcements featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA TODAY and The Washington Post, including a successful year-long campaign for $1 billion in new funding for addiction treatment. He has managed appearances for government officials on Meet the Press, Morning Joe, 60 Minutes and The Colbert Report. As a legislative aide in Congress, he guided from introduction to enactment the first legislation to protect American military members from the health effects of toxic burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has been called this generation’s Agent Orange.

Will has trained or advised hundreds of filmmakers and other media makers on impact strategies through the Sundance Institute, South by Southwest, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Fledgling Fund, Good Pitch, Picture Motion, and other organizations. He was Policy Director for the Impact Film Festival at the 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions, where he coordinated screening discussions with politicians, filmmakers, celebrities and reporters. In 2013, he developed the American Film Institute’s first Political Bootcamp for Filmmakers. He is co-author of a report series on films and policymaking published through American University (

Impact Investing Ambassador

Julia Paino

Julia Paino is an investor and entrepreneur focused on supporting solutions that promote a more sustainable and equitable food system. Julia is currently a Founding Partner at Trofi Holdings and a Strategic Advisor to Desert Bloom Foods. Previously, Julia co-founded Branch Venture Group, a Boston-based syndicate that provides capital to early-stage companies in the food, beverage, and agtech space. Prior to co-founding Branch Venture Group, Julia joined as a Founding Venture Partner at NextGen Ventures, the first network- driven venture firm investing in innovative technology solutions. In addition to her work in venture capital, Julia founded Swoffle, a nationwide organic food company where she now serves on the board of directors. Through various philanthropic partnerships at Swoffle, the company provides over 8k healthy meals per month to those in need.

Julia has also been a part of several philanthropic initiatives including MIT Solve, Feeding America, MIT Enterprise Forum, and the Northeast Clean Energy Council. In addition to her philanthropic experience, Julia has been a mentor and judge for MassChallenge, CleanTech Open, and MIT. Julia has also been a featured speaker at The Federal Reserve Bank, Harvard University, Nexus Global Summit at the United Nations, among others

Impact Investing Ambassador

Josh Tanenbaum

Josh has been investing in early stage companies since 2014 upon exiting his early stage social enterprise, LOCAL VIBES, where he first discovered the concept of scalable social DNA. The company was a tech-enhanced artist scouting, development, and cause marketing platform that supported quality emerging live bands. Post-the exit from LOCAL VIBES, Josh joined Korn Ferry’s Global Asset Management & Alternatives Practice, where he participated in the founding of the Impact Investing practice and Transactions & Transformations (M&A) solution in addition to supporting searches and team lift outs of Asset Management CEOs and senior investors. Josh transitioned to investment banking at Citi in its Financial Institutions Group, supporting Mergers & Acquisitions of Asset Managers, Insurance firms, and Marketplace Lenders. Josh then launched Clearstone’s decentralized venture fund in an effort to redress inequality for low and middle income communities.

Josh is a Board Trustee and Investment Committee Chair of the Polonsky Foundation, a Young World Fellow of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award and a member of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business’s Erb Institute External Advisory Board. Josh previously judged the President Clinton-backed Hult Prize and was a Environmental Finance & Impact Investing Fellow at Partners Group Impact Investing. He has received the FiNext Award as a “Leader of Excellence in Financial Services” and The Forward’s “Take the Lead Award” for Transformational Impact Investing.

Josh holds an MBA from Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management and a dual-BA in Politics & International Studies and Sociology from University of Melbourne, Australia.

Ethical Fashion Ambassador

Christian Birky

Christian Birky is the founder of Lazlo, a luxury menswear brand that fuses sustainable innovation with traditional skills and materials. Christian started Lazlo after graduating from Princeton in 2013, where a stint tutoring at a prison led to a thesis on prison policy. Based in Detroit, he is working to create training programs and employment opportunities for returning citizens. Christian has a background in social innovation spanning from youth-led grantmaking to a pony-powered, emissions-free lawn service he started at age 11. Christian is a co-chair of the NEXUS Ethical Fashion Lab.

Music Ambassador

Christen Lien

Christen Lien’s provocative compositions, hypnotic performance style, and entrepreneurial business approach all reflect her passion for challenging the status quo. Through her art she seeks to support her fans to process the complex and oftentimes dark emotions that oppress individual potential and hold back collective power. Entertainers, activists, scholars and entrepreneurial leaders have responded enthusiastically to Christen’s work and she is often invited to present her music, story and ideas to events and productions looking to compliment narratives of determination and fortitude.

In 2016 she will released ELPIS, a 12-track instrumental album with accompanying visual artwork and written storytelling that explores the dark side of Hope. Lien incorporates the use of guitar effect processors and looping pedals with her instruments (which also include viola, bass guitar, harmonica, Moog synthesizer, drums and kalimba), creating hybrid, melodic music and haunting, evocative performance art.

Music Ambassador

Abby O’Neill

Abby O’Neill has worked in the music business for over 20 years in LA, NY, and now D.C, where she oversees strategy for NPR Music and is a key member of the Senior Leadership committee. She graduated from Emerson College with a BA Music Production & Business, worked in the hip-hop community, and executed marketing campaigns for prominent indie and major labels. Post-college, she had positions at various labels including Dreamworks, Rawkus Records, JCOR Records, and subsequently ran a management company specializing in producer and writer representation. During those years, she cultivated relationships with artists and executives, furnished a co-publishing venture with EA Sports, was an A&R on over 20 of their titles, and secured hundreds of deals for her clients in music, film, television, advertising and video games.

She developed and managed producer duo, The Outfit, who have composed over 600 episodes of television, won 8 BMI Awards, and have worked on myriad blockbuster films. Abby was an Account Executive in Music for Film/TV at Universal Music Publishing, helped establish the Guild of Music Supervisors and was also a SVP of Business Development & A&R for Format Entertainment (Avengers, Pitch Perfect, Straight Outta Compton, Empire, etc).

Regenerative Culture Ambassador

Brian Weinberg

Brian believes we are dynamic human processes whose value is too often reduced to a list of achievements or the size of one’s rolodex. During university, Brian was exposed to extreme poverty for the first time while backpacking 3,000+ miles across South America on a mission to learn Spanish. Troubled by the images he had seen (most particularly a trip into the shanty towns of Lima, Peru), he came home to Texas with a sense of responsibility to take action. There he immersed himself in the concepts of microfinance; writing an honors thesis and partnering with his university president and Dallas business leaders to create the Recycle to Eradicate Poverty program (recycling used cell phones to fund microfinance loans to the poor).

He knew impact at scale would mean finding ways to leverage the capital market for good and so he joined the investment team at a commercial impact investing private equity fund called MicroVest; investing about $100 million in debt/equity transactions into microfinance banks throughout South America (some in those same shanty towns in Peru). To complement the due diligence rigor and investment chops, Brian launched The GAMECHANGERS podcast series showcased cutting edge conversations on “growing the good economy” with thought leaders for all to learn and a resource center that mapped the emerging industry. It supported the questions he was hearing (with lists of job boards, accelerators, conferences, etc) while scaling VC Sean Foote’s MBA Berkeley simulcast to 75 universities around the world. During his travels, he began to see how the working class in these emerging markets began to follow the footsteps of US consumption habits. The planet could not sustain this. Now passionate about conscious consumption, he launched (a “mary kay for social good” marketplace for socially conscious products). This work lasted several years but somehow never felt right. Selling millions of sustainable headphones wouldn’t actually solve the problem he set out to work on. Conscious consumption is really about behavior change. It is really about leadership to change a flawed system. These questions led him to become NEXUS Global Operations Director, positioning the organization for sustained growth by developing infrastructure on several fronts; new governance operating system, core financial footing, and harnessing member led impact with the creation of working groups, labs, and city ambassador programs. Today, Brian’s focus is at the intersection personal/spiritual growth and global regeneration. More @Weinberg or Awards & Honors: Stagen Integral Leadership Program Black Belt, Summa Cum Laude honors in Finance (BBA) and Spanish (BA) from University of North Texas, Ashoka Youth Venture Ambassadorship, Clinton Global Initiative U Grantee, Starting Bloc Fellowship (Boston 2010), Sandbox Fellowship, Opportunity Collaboration Cordes Fellowship, UNT’s Rhodes Scholarship nomination, and Finance Student of the Year.