Meet the Nexus Staff and Regional Coordinators
Abbie Jung, Coordinator of Nexus China
Abbie Jung is the Coordinator of Nexus China and a 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.
Ada Chirapaisarnkul, Co-Coordinator of Nexus Thailand
Ada Chirapaisarnkul is the Co-Coordinator of Nexus Thailand. She is also currently Assistant Vice President at Government Housing Bank in Thailand. She previously worked at the Prime Minister’s Office, first as a senior policy analyst in the Economic Advisory team, and later a team leader of the Social Innovation and Partnership Unit. In this role, she led a multi-stakeholder team to develop the first National Master Plan for social enterprises in Thailand, and also served as a Vice-Secretariat of Social Finance Sub Committee under National Commission on Social Enterprise. In addition, Ada founded the Thai Young Philanthropist Network (TYPN) in 2008, mobilizing resources –skills, expertise, network and funding – from young professionals in Thailand to build capacity for key development agents in the country. TYPN presently has over 1,900 members with the notable projects including Brain Exchange Initiative (http://brain-exchange.org), Social Enterprise Business Plan Competition (SEBP) and Social Entrepreneur Mentorship Program. She was named a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum in April 2012. She received scholarship and bursary from SOCAP to attend SOCAP/Europe and OxfordJam in 2011, and awarded British Chevening Scholarship from British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2010. She holds a MSc in Environment and Sustainable Development from University College London, a MIA in International Finance and Economic Policy from Columbia University, and a BA in Economics from Thammasat University.
Alessandra Gregg, Coordinator of Nexus Switzerland
Alessandra Gregg is the Coordinator of Nexus Salons in Zurich, Switzerland. She is also a student focusing on business and human rights. She works on projects with the Open Society Justice Initiative, the Essex Business and Human Rights Project, the Biovision Foundation, and in July of 2013 with UN Women. Previously she was Adviser on human rights, gender, women’s empowerment, and development issues at the Mission of Liechtenstein to the United Nations in New York. She also served as a member of the Liechtenstein delegation to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) as well as to other high level UN summits on youth, health and women. A longtime environmentalist, she is a supporter of the Nature Conservancy and has worked at the Center for Climate Change Law and The Earth Institute. Her work in the arts includes roles with an experimental circus project, Bidoun magazine, the documentary Project Rebirth, Christies, various galleries, and Columbia University. As a student activist, Alessandra coordinated an award winning campaign on socially responsible investment that served as a model for divestment campaigns at other universities. She has also been involved in a variety of tutoring and mentoring programs since high school. Alessandra is currently completing an LL.M. in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the University of Essex. She holds a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University in Art History and Environmental Sciences.
Amanda Cole, Strategic Media Coordinator of Nexus
Amanda Cole is the Strategic Media Coordinator of Nexus. As a member of the Brown University class of 2013, Amanda has a passion for conversation and performance that informs, engages and inspires. In the context of today’s technology/information age, media infiltrates most aspects of life. Amanda works to demonstrate how to use media for good. She has studied acting, singing and dancing since she was a toddler. After filming her first movie role at 14 in “Across The Universe,” Amanda served as host of the Sports New York Network’s half-hour, weekly show “Kid’s Clubhouse,” a kids program all about The New York Mets for two seasons. For three seasons, Amanda was a contributing correspondent on social issues for Fox’s nationally broadcast news program “Teen Kids News.” During her time at Brown, Amanda served as a mentor/student teacher with Generation Citizen, a non-profit aimed at bridging the civic engagement gap among urban youth. She also helped organize the Brown University chapter of the Mentoring Rhode Island Partnership. During the Spring of 2012, Amanda acted in a race related, mockumentary style, web-series “Spicy Wit,” which uses satire to situate the audience carefully between that place where you are laughing and simultaneously wondering if maybe you shouldn’t be laughing. In realizing Spicy Wit’s potential as a vehicle to promote productive conversation on racial issues, Amanda began working as a Co-Producer and as the Director of Outreach in an effort to situate Spicy Wit as a platform that helps redefine racial representation and story telling in the media. Amanda also developed a digital TV show for genConnect.com which gives millennial social entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their ventures to a panel of established social entrepreneurs in order to win mentorship and funding. Her work with Nexus and the social service-centered value system her family have inspired Amanda to believe that sustainable change is possible through the growing field of social entrepreneurship.
Doctor Aron Ping D’Souza, Coordinator of Nexus Australia
Doctor Aron Ping D’Souza is the Coordinator of Nexus Australia as well as a company director and investor based in Melbourne, where he maintains an active consulting practice advising major companies on technical, strategic and legal matters, particularly in relation to copyright and patent law. He is the senior diplomatic representative of the Republic of Moldova in Australia and is Honorary Consul and Head of Mission at the Moldovan Consulate. He was educated at the University of Oxford, where he was awarded a law degree. In 2012, he endowed a prize for the best performance in the Second BA in Jurisprudence. Aron wrote his Ph.D. on the jurisprudence of intellectual property law at the University of Melbourne, where he taught in the economics and political science programs between 2007 and 2010. In terms of scholarly output, Dr D’Souza is the foundation editor of The Journal Jurisprudence and is associate editor of The Journal of Applied Economy. Additionally, he is the author of three books: The Art of Time (2007), Special Protections: The Ethics of Copyright and Aboriginal Iconography (2009) and A General Theory of Property (2011). He was a varsity cyclist at Oxford and played rugby for Wadham College, where he wore the number 14 jersey.
Benjamin Cart, Social Media Coordinator of Nexus
Benjamin Cart is the Social Media Coordinator for Nexus. Graduating from Davidson College in May of 2013 as a double major in Political Science and Anthropology, Ben has focused his studies on sociocultural issues and their intersection with technology and the environment. Ben’s most recent social networking experience stems from running an international fundraiser for cancer research that targeted a niche online community and drew small donations from participants in 20 different countries. He has also worked as an intern for Madeira Global and in the business development department of Forbes Media, where he won an employee award for writing and editing a video on the future of Forbes. Ben loves music and spends much of his free time practicing an acrobatic sport called Martial Arts Tricking. He is excited to be a part of the Nexus team, and to play a role in encouraging the next generation of wealth holders to change the world for the better.
HRH Prince Cedza Dlamini, Regional Director of Nexus Africa
HRH Prince Cedza Dlamini is the Regional Director of Nexus Africa. He is an impassioned humanitarian, social entrepreneur and visionary. He founded the Ubuntu Institute for Young Social Entrepreneurs, which arms young African leaders with the leadership and professional skills they need to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in their communities. Since June 2004, he has also served as a youth activist and spokesperson for the MDGs, the UN‘s eight-point strategy for eradicating poverty, hunger and disease in Africa and around the world within the next two decades. As a spokesman, he addresses audiences of all ages, especially youth on how they can be involved in the fight against poverty, HIV/AIDS, and illiteracy. In October 2003, Cedza was also appointed Co-chair for the World Youth Peace Summit (WYPS) in Africa, which aims to assemble youth leaders from across the globe to further this goal. In addition Cedza serves on the strategic development team of the Global Action Youth Network (GYAN) in New York City, which is an international collaboration of youth and youth serving organizations in almost 200 countries facilitating intergenerational partnership in global decision-making. Cedza‘s vision is to create a unified global order by establishing global networks of empowered young leaders who can work collectively to address current world problems, such as HIV/ AIDS, poverty and hunger, environmental decay, and illiteracy. Since 2001, Cedza has conducted a speaking circuit throughout the U.S. that promotes global forgiveness, compassion, and the use of dialogue -instead of violence- as a powerful tool for conflict resolution. Drawing on the powerful, historical example of the transition of South Africa in the early 1990s, Cedza relates how South African leaders such Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela (his grandfather), and many others turned to the African concept of “ubuntu” when negotiating the peaceful transition of South Africa from apartheid to democracy in 1994, avoiding what was predicted to be a “bloodbath”. Cedza was born in the Kingdom of Swaziland, where he was raised and completed his primary and high school education. Recently, he completed his bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts and is looking forward to graduate studies.
Dorjee Sun, Coordinator of Nexus Singapore
Dorjee Sun is the Coordinator of Nexus Singapore. He is also the CEO of Carbon Conservation and passionate about forests, carbon, community development, conservation and climate change. Carbon Conservation’s work covers energy efficiency, renewable energy, plantations and projects that incentivize the preservation of tropical rainforests by helping forest owners and local communities generate alternative revenues through the carbon finance market. Since establishment, CC has been engaging in ongoing projects to protect global rainforests and biodiversity. One such project in Aceh, Indonesia, won the Carbon Finance Deal of the Year award in 2008. It was the subject of an award winning documentary, “The Burning Season”, which explained how orangutan conservation and forest preservation could be tied in order to generate alternative monetary incentives. Recently Time Magazine awarded Dorjee as a TIME Magazine Environmental Hero and the African Rainforest Conservancy named a newly discovered Tanzanian chameleon after him ”kinyongia dorjeesuni”. Prior to Carbon Conservation, Dorjee was the founder of a recruitment software company with offices in Melbourne and London, and an award winning education company which mentored over 25,000 students in 2004 (later acquired by an ASX listed company). He graduated from UNSW with Law and Commerce degrees, studied for 2 years on scholarship at Peking University in China, and earned a diploma in Asian Studies. Dorjee serves as a University of Melbourne Asialink Asia-Australia Leader, a Youth Chair of the Ethnic Communities Council, a University Law Society President, an Education Technology Advisory Board member and more. He has also served as a speaker at many conferences including the Future Summit, AsiaConnect, The World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Australian Davos Leadership retreat and more. Finally, Dorjee was the youngest speaker at the APEC CEO Summit of Singapore in 2009.
Elaine Smith, Co-Cordinator of Nexus Brazil
Elaine Smith is the Co-Coordinator of Nexus Brazil. In 2011, she shifted her career in financial markets to Instituto Geração (Generation Institute), a non-profit organization. She stepped out of corporate life after having worked internationally for Banco Patrimonio, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley as a Managing Director of equity research for sales and trades of institutional investors. During the past two years, she has applied her business skills to the goals of: 1) encouraging economically privileged youth to help build a better future; 2) advocating for Impact Investing to be a new asset class in Brazil; and 3) working to develop civil society organizations that address diverse causes, including financial literacy. Elaine has a BA in Business Administration from Mackenzie University and a MBA in Finance from the FEA University of Sao Paulo. She currently works at Instituto Geração, is a volunteer at ICE – Instituto de Cidadania Empresarial (Institute of Business for Citizenship) and consults for AEF-Brasil – Associação de Educação Financeira do Brasil (Brazilian Association for Financial Education). She is a member or serveral networks, including Nexus, Rede de Transformação Pública (Network for Public Transformation), Muda Mundo (Change World), and RedeGeração (GenerationNet).
Fikile Nkambule, Regional Operations Coordinator of Nexus Africa
Fikile Nkambule is the Regional Operations Coordinator of Nexus Africa. She is an accomplished communication specialist and highly regarded project manager. She has held numerous roles in the corporate and civic organizations sector. A former Public Relations Officer for Metro fm and founder member of an events and public relations consultancy, Fikile has extensive project management experience and has overseen the development and implementation of a diverse number of projects including communication strategy development and implementation for the South African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX), the launch phase of the Swaziland Lottery, research for Botswana’s youngest cellular brand, Be Mobile brand and events management of the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Conference Against Racism. Her passion for community development and improved social cohesion has been ignited and nothing drives her more than seeing a positive impact made within a community or the life of a young African. Her need to make a meaningful difference in the development of communities and young Africans has led her to work for the Soul City Institute for Health Development Communication. Having consulted for the institutes OneLove campaign on media advocacy she then joined them as a campaign coordinator for a violence prevention through alcohol reduction campaign, Phuza Wize, Drink Safe Live Safe. The campaign was aimed at reducing levels of violence and contributing to reduced levels of new HIV infections and interpersonal deaths amongst young men as well as advocating for tougher legislation to curb easy access to alcohol by young people. The team has thus far succeeded in placing the issue on the National agenda by forming a partnership with government with vocal support from the Presidency, Minister of Police and Minister of Social Development. A number of Provinces have updated their liquor laws, The Minister of Health is currently investigating raising the drinking age to 21 and stricter liquor advertising laws may be passed in due course. With her roots in Swaziland, Fikile has worked within the SADC region for over 10 years and has extensive on-the-job experience. She is corporate player and a team leader who is non negotiable in delivery of her targets and goals.
Hazami Barmada, Regional Director of Nexus Middle East
Hazami Barmada is the Regional Director of Nexus Middle East. She is a social entrepreneur and international strategy and business development professional. Barmada consults with public and private institutions providing technical assistance on strategy, management, public relations, partnerships, and institutional affairs. Most recent projects have included managing El-Ekhbariya (Saudi State TV) 2011 US Election Coverage, assisting the launch and opening of the Royal Opera House Muscat Oman under the patronage of H.M. Sultan Qaboos, and managing DirecTV channel launch in the US under Object Design and Communication. Barmada is the co-Founder, president and CEO of Al-Mubadarah: Arab Empowerment Initiative, an international NGO headquartered in Washington DC, harnessing expertise of global Arab expatriates for economic and social development in the Arab World. Al-Mubadarah works with institutions and professional diaspora networks to develop strategies for professional technical assistance and knowledge transfer programs. Programs include a Global Arab Talent Bank™, youth and business mentorship programs and professional travel fellowships. Barmada serves as an advisor and board member of several international non-profit organizations including the steering committee for the Refugees International Young Humanitarian Circle and Peace x Peace. She plays an active in community and civil-society development both nationally and internationally and leads several initiatives working on youth and women’s empowerment. Her initiatives and events have received recognition in major media outlets nationally and internationally. She is a frequent international public speaker and commentator on current affairs appearing on/in CNN international, New York Times, BBC, BBC Arabic, Alhurra, AlJazeera and VOA. A fluent Arabic speaker, Barmada has a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology from Rhodes College and has done graduate work in Public and Social Policy at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She was the recipient of the 2010 Breaking Barriers through Travel Fellowship working with woman and youth centers in Thailand, India and Nepal.
James Hurrell, Regional Director of Nexus Europe
James Hurrell is the Regional Director of Nexus Europe, coordinating the annual European Youth Summit and all activities on the continent. He is a social entrepreneur and impresario passionate about youth culture, social change and ethnomusicology. In 1998 James co-founded Tolerance in Diversity, an entirely youth-led non-profit in London aimed at addressing issues of racism and intolerance and pioneering peer education methods for conflict resolution. Up to 2003 James worked as an advisor to the UK government, developing public policy related to social inclusion strategies for young people, and founded the London Youth Forum to include more young people in mainstream decision making. During this same period, as part of United Religions Initiative UK, he developed several intergenerational interfaith projects across the UK. James was recognized as a prominent young social change leader for this work, received various awards and was invited to speak at conferences internationally. In 2004, James founded Chrysalis Academy to connect, educate and celebrate young social change leaders in the UK, spending three years researching and designing cutting-edge action-learning programs in innovation and leadership for social justice and environmental sustainability. Passionate about supporting youth-led social change, James has served on the Boards of several London-based charitable organizations, has worked in various capacities for youth-oriented NGOs, and has worked freelance as a consultant and coach to entrepreneurs, start-up social enterprises and arts organizations. More recently James has focused on another passion – music. In 2003, after participating in a tour for young philanthropists of youth-led social movements in Brazil, James developed an interest in the cultural and social development issues in the country and decided to help expose Europe to the new musical art forms that he observed emerging from the favelas, shantytowns and ghettos around the world. He started promoting live music events in 2007 and in 2009 co-founded Club Popozuda, a club night, record label and artist booking agency that specializes in global bass music, working with international recording artists. James lives mostly in London and in his spare time enjoys capoeira, hiking and watching football (which he refuses to call ‘soccer’).
Jonah Wittkamper, Co-Founder and Global Director of Nexus
Jonah Wittkamper is the Co-Founder and Global Director of Nexus. He has organized global networks of young philanthropists for nearly a decade, inspiring new charitable activity from many wealthy families. While co-founding Nexus, Jonah worked as the USA Director of Search for Common Ground, a global conflict resolution and collaborative problem-solving non-profit. Prior, Jonah was part of Distributive Networks, where he helped build the text messaging technology used by the 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign. In 2000, Jonah co-founded the Global Youth Action Network (GYAN) to strengthen youth participation in global decision-making. As the organization grew it merged with TakingITGlobal (www.tigweb.org) 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, and advisor to a number of organizations including Global Youth Connect, Pioneers of Change, the ManyOne Foundation, the L. A. Jonas Foundation, the Shift Foundation, WISE Philanthropy Advisors and many others.
Jonathan Swerdlin, New York Partnerships Coordinator of Nexus
Jonathan Swerdlin is the New York Partnerships Coordinator of Nexus. He is a serial entrepreneur with experience in consulting clients on public health & crisis management. Jonathan has worked directly with the CDC, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other key federal agencies to help ensure they possess the proper equipment and plan of action for maintaining public health and operational continuity in the event of a pandemic illness. He also works to provide underserved and developing nations with infection control supplies for airborne disease. Jonathan currently serves as co-founder and chief strategist for feedback technology company, Fdbk, whose mission is to improve the world by creating open, purposeful lines of mobile communication.
Justin Kidong Kim, Co-Coordinator of Nexus Korea
Justin Kidong Kim is Co-Coordinator of Nexus Korea and the Founder and Honorary President of “The Philanthropists”, a social innovation and strategic philanthropy organization. His life in Social Innovation started with an audacious dream to bring about a world in which “no one dies for a no good reason”. The Philanthropists is comprised of 80+ Korean Internationals from around the globe who work to introduce leading Social Innovation practices to Korean society. The Philanthropists hosts The Philanthropic Conference on Social Innovation, delivers vaccination to developing countries through The Philanthropic Concert, publishes The Philanthropic Magazine, and experiments with various grassroots “guerilla” social innovation strategies. In addition, as an Associate to the SK Group, Kidong Kim manages the communication with global social innovation groups including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Schwab Foundation and others. In March of 2013, he joined the Global Shapers Community of the World Economic Forum in Seoul, Korea. Kidong Kim majored in Economics and Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University. Finally, he believes in the power of love and that love is the cure for all the problems of the world.
Kalu Ugwuomo, North American Regional Coordinator of Nexus Africa
Kalu Ugwuomo is the North American Regional Coordinator of Nexus Africa. He is also a co-founder and an original member of the Hip Hop Caucus, a US national non-profit organization which aims to foster civic engagement among young people of color on various issues. Recently, Kalu helped launch “Green the Block” as part of the White House’ Green Jobs initiative with the Hip Hop Caucus and partner Green For ALL. He takes great pride in his ethnic heritage as an Igbo from Eastern Nigeria, and has recently launched The Aku Foundation, which is working on mechanisms to promote and execute sustainable industrial development in the Niger delta region.
Kara M. Filipp, Global Operations Coordinator of Nexus
Kara M. Filipp is the Global Operations Coordinator of Nexus. An American, and a recent college graduate, she has spent much of her life living abroad in different European and Middle Eastern countries. She appreciates diverse communities, tackles the social divides among them, and works to bring them together. In this vein, as a student in a segregated, multicultural community, she co-founded the Social Committee of the American School of Milan to unite disconnected people and organize events for philanthropy. She is also an animal lover with a soft spot for Chocolate Labs! As a graduate of Rollins College and a new member of the Nexus team, Kara is enthusiastic about helping the millennial generation make its mark on the world stage.
Kyungsun Chung, Co-Coordinator of Nexus Korea
Kyungsun Chung is the Co-Coordinator of Nexus Korea and the Founder/CEO of Root Impact. He is also a founding member and co-representative of HubandCompany. Root Impact is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing philanthropic advisory services and building the capacity of the social innovation sector in Korea. Kyungsun focuses on persuading stake-holders from different sectors to collaborate and form partnerships among organizations for public good. Root Impact helped to launch Ashoka Korea, the leading global institute for social entrepreneurs. Root Impact also established a partnership with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, one of the largest philanthropy advisory service organization in the world. Prior to founding Root Impact, Kyungsun served as the director of the Non-Profit Business Team at the Asan Nanum Foundation, a leading privately endowmed foundation in Korea that was founded by the 2nd generation of the Hyundai conglomerate family. Kyungsun’s main role was designing a capacity building system for non-profit professionals and organizations in Korea. As a student at college, Kyungsun founded Creative Share, a nonprofit organization that empowers college students and young professionals to offer their skills for social causes. Creative Share’s main project was 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.
Laisha T. Dougherty, Public Outreach Coordinator of Nexus
Laisha T. Dougherty is a leading Public Outreach Coordinator of Nexus. Born and raised in Washington, D.C.,
she has always found it rewarding to give back to her community whether through community service
activities or small donations. A graduate of Hampton University earning her Bachelors of Arts in Political
Science with a minor in Spanish, Laisha gained the opportunity to study abroad in Barcelona, Spain
and travel to Morocco which expanded her interests to include a global audience. Her senior thesis
focused on the emerging Feminist movement in the Middle East and North Africa. Believing that the
voices of women should be heard and understood in our global society, Laisha entered the Masters of
Public Policy program at George Mason University with an emphasis in International Studies. It was a
fellowship with the National Capital Area United Nations Association that pointed her in the direction of
Nexus. As a new member of the Nexus team, Laisha is very passionate about helping and encouraging
others to make a positive impact on our growing society, starting with our youth.
Lorena Guillé-Laris, Co-Coordinator of Nexus Mexico
Lorena Guillé-Laris is the Co-Coordinator of Nexus Mexico. She was born in Monterrey, Mexico in 1979 and at the age of 18 started to seriously pursue positive global change. She participated in the coordination of several global conferences including the State of the World Forum (SWF) for Emerging Leaders – Monterrey, Mexico ´99 and the SWF for Peace and Reconciliation – Belfast, Ireland ´99; the UN Conference on “Financing for Development”- Monterrey, ´02; the Youth Employment Summit – Veracruz, Mexico ´04; and the VI World Meeting of Families – Mexico ´09. Convinced of the contributions that responsible companies can make to build equitable and fair environments and to strengthen civil society, Lorena committed herself professionally to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). From PepsiCo Mexico to Cinépolis (the largest movie theater company in Latin America), Lorena has built a career in philanthropy and CSR. As Intrapreneur and Executive Director of Fundacion Cinepolis since 2006, she has been responsible for a program that recovered the sight of over 16,000 people in need who suffered from cataracts. In 2008, she founded the International Film Festival on Human Rights. Now in its 5th edition, the Festival has screened over 100 documentaries on Human Rights to +8,000 people in Mexico City. In 2010, Lorena helped launch Ruta Cinépolis, a sustainable social program that brings outdoor screenings with edutainment content to rural communities all over Mexico, reaching more than 185,000 people in poverty. Lorena has been a member of the Global Philanthropist Circle and Synergos since 2006. She was also a co-founder of Más Ciudadanía, an NGO committed to political advocacy, volunteerism and civic participation with +1000 active members (2010). Finally, Lorena serves as a Professor for Mexico´s first Masters Program on CSR at a leading university, as a Weekly columnist on CSR for the daily newspaper “El Nuevo Mexicano” (2012), and as an advisor to other foundations. Lorena is happily married to Santiago Kuribreña and their first baby in on his way!
Perry Bindelglass, Chief Photographer for Nexus
Perry Bindelglass, Owner of Bindelglass Photography, has been involved in the philanthropic and humanitarian world since he was a kid. In grade school he orchestrated one of the largest food drives in the area, which is still going strong today. Perry has been involved with many organizations over the years giving back in different ways. He recently spent a year volunteering in Israel, doing everything from teaching English in schools to working with the pediatric oncology department of one of the largest hospitals in the north. In 2012 Perry was the lead photographer for the Annual Report of one of he founding agencies of the State of Israel. Perry is passionate about his photography and in addition to using it as a means of support; he has chosen to use his photography to help others by raising awareness and funding for causes he believes in. Check out photos from upcoming nexus events at www.BindelglassPhoto.smugmug.com.
Rachel Cohen Gerrol, Co-Founder and Curator of Nexus
Rachel Cohen Gerrol is the Co-Founder and Curator of Nexus. She is a catalyst and a connector, working at the intersection of social entrepreneurship, impact investing, community building and philanthropy. She was recently named Executive Director of PVBLIC Foundation, an innovative in-kind grantmaking organization that harnesses the power of unused media assets to drive social change. In 2012, Rachel was a featured speaker to the UN “Youth 21″ Summit in Nairobi and was honored as one of the “Top 99 Foreign Policy Leaders Under 33″ by the Diplomatic Courier. Rachel previously served as Director of Young Adult Initiatives for the Schusterman Family Foundation and spent nine years as Special Assistant to Ambassador Nancy Rubin, US Representative to the UN Human Rights Commission. In this role Rachel worked on campaigns for The United Nations Association of the USA, Adopt-A-Minefield, Women for Women International, The National Democratic Institute and the US Campaign to Ratify CEDAW (Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). A firm believer in green technologies, Rachel is also a shareholder of CODA Automotive, a California based electric car and battery company. A successful entrepreneur and investor, Rachel is also a committed philanthropist and board member who speaks internationally about all of the above. Rachel is on the Speaker’s Bureau of the Jewish Federations of North America and she has testified before the Israeli Knesset and spoken alongside Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and human rights activist Natan Sharansky. She Chairs the Boards of Directors of Jumpstart, providing strategic guidance to young philanthropists and innovators and is a member of the Leadership Council of the New Israel Fund, advancing equality and democracy for all people living in Israel. Rachel is also on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, where she Chairs their Young Leadership Board. She was the founding Chair of the Birthright Israel NEXT Advisory Committee and was named 2011 “Jewish Girl of the Year” by gatherthejews.com.
G. Ryan Ansin, Thematic Issues Coordinator of Nexus
G. Ryan Ansin is a Thematic Issues Coordinator of Nexus, a role that leverages geographic and thematic Nexus sub-groups to facilitate and track tangible outcomes for more effective partnerships. Ansin is a social entrepreneur dedicated to facilitating interconnectivity, scalability, and transparency. He founded Every Person Has a Story (EPHAS), an organization dedicated to creating and curating authentic content and storytelling from previously underexposed areas and situations around the world. He recently made EPHAS’ methodology open-source for all organizations and “for-purpose” initiatives to implement. In 2013, Ansin founded Kiburi Mining (Pride Mining) to bring UHNW individuals to Sierra Leone to mine for their own diamonds and introduce capable groups to philanthropic and investment opportunities in the Kono region. Ultimately, this model may help form sustainable mines by collaborating with the most socially and environmentally conscious mining agencies on a global scale. Ansin, a Massachusetts native, began his life in philanthropy at a young age, joining his first Board of Directors before high school. Today, through EPHAS, Kiburi Mining, Nexus, and consulting/advisory services, his life revolves around notions of enabling individuals, family foundations, and corporations alike to maximize their positive impact on communities.
Sebastian Carducci, Co-Coordinator of Nexus Mexico
Sebastian Carducci is the Co-Coordinator of Nexus Mexico. He is a founding member of the Giordano Bruno University, where he serves as a Member of the Board and Executive Vice-President of Business Development. With a rich cross-cultural background, he has developed a solid expertise in international development as an executive, consultant and serial entrepreneur, in diverse industries such as hospitality, advertising, finance, equipment, education and services. In the past he has managed distributors and subsidiaries for an innovation-driven multinational, negotiated several distribution agreements for consulting clients in Mexico, developed successful sales strategies for equipment companies, designed and researched investment strategies for an international private banking firm, and restored a healthy working environment and re-engineered operations while optimizing the bottom line of the largest hostel in Latin America. He has been involved in distinct business ventures as a founder, co-founder or investor, including a hotel, an event and lighting company, and a governmental and business consulting company. One of his favorite early experiences was becoming -by serendipity- part of a team that produced an award winning series about the Mexican Caribbean aired on Discovery Networks. Sebastian has a BA in Languages and International Business from the University of Savoie and a Master’s Degree in International Business from the Grenoble Graduate School of Business, where he actively participated as VP of the Alumni Association, helping create the foundations of a global network for trans-cultural alumni cooperation. A great passion for innovation has pushed him to constantly study creative and disruptive ideas and apply them towards new ventures. He is passionate about understanding the relationships that can be established between education, impact investing and social enterprise to build a more sustainable and humane world.
Tara Singh, Coordinator of Nexus India
Tara Singh is the Coordinator of Nexus India. A Nexus alum and volunteer, and advocate for sustainability leadership in business, Tara actively supports local, grass roots 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. Tara’s work and research with respect to India includes 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 long time 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.
Victor Bogachev, Co-Coordinator of Nexus Russia
Victor Bogachev is the Coordinator of Nexus Russia. He was born in Moscow and is the son of Nikolai Bogachev, an oil entrepreneur of the newly developing market economy of Russia. Victor grew up learning the traits of the energy business, as well as politics. In 2002, along with his twin sister, at his father‘s request Victor chose to attend a New England boarding school in United States. Observing from afar the political and economic state centralization in Russia, Victor found political beliefs develop and change to align with the US Republican party. Since then Victor has advocated for personal social responsibility among the wealthy, small government, free market and civil as well as human rights. Victor is a recent graduate of George Washington University where he was the Director of Political Affairs for the College Republicans. He has worked with PFC Energy, Blue Crab Financial Partners, and his father on various investment projects. Finally, Victor‘s mother is an author, wellness & spa consultant and a philanthropist.