BOARD OF ADVISORS
The MCN Board of Advisors consists of visionary global leaders who lend their support to our global student network advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. By engaging our Millennium Fellows, speaking at our global conference, posting on social media about our biggest advances, making introductions and sharing time, talent, and resources, these distinguished leaders have given MCN profile and credibility at the global level.
DR. PAUL FARMER
Medical anthropologist and physician Dr. Paul Farmer has dedicated his life to treating some of the world’s poorest populations, in the process helping to raise the standard of health care in underdeveloped areas of the world. A founding director of Partners In Health, an international charity organization that provides direct health care services and undertakes research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty.
Ten-time Grammy® Award winner and Academy Award winner John Legend is a multi-talented artist whose distinctive voice and songwriting style have earned him legions of fans worldwide, along with a string of Top 10 platinum-selling albums.
From a young age, Legend aspired to use his position in the entertainment industry as a platform for social change. In an essay competition he won at age 15, he wrote of his dream to become a star recording artist and to use his influence and resources to give back to his community—and that is exactly what he has done throughout his career. Drawing inspiration from Dr. Martin Luther King and his contemporaries, Legend believes that all children deserve a quality education, and with that, we will be closer to achieving equality. In 2007, he launched the Show Me Campaign, an organization committed to investing in solutions that have been proven to improve people’s lives and to give them the opportunities to survive, thrive, and succeed. The Show Me Campaign works to give every child access to a quality education as well as address systemic issues in the US criminal justice system that disproportionately impact the poor, minorities, and the disadvantaged.
DR. SAKENA YACOOBI
Dr. Yacoobi is Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), an Afghan women-led NGO she founded in 1995. AIL was the first organization to offer human rights and leadership training to Afghan women. AIL supported 80 underground home schools for 3,000 girls in Afghanistan after the Taliban closed girls’ schools in the 1990s. AIL was the first organization that opened Learning Centers for Afghan women—a concept now copied by many organizations throughout Afghanistan.
DR. HELENE D. GAYLE
Helene D. Gayle is president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust. Before assuming leadership of the Trust in October 2017, Dr. Gayle was CEO of McKinsey Social Initiative, a nonprofit that brings together varied stakeholders to address complex global social challenges.
From 2006 to 2015, she was president and CEO of CARE USA, a leading international humanitarian organization. An expert on global development, humanitarian and health issues, Dr. Gayle spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control, working primarily on HIV/AIDS. She also worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, directing programs on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues.
Dr. Gayle serves on public company and nonprofit boards including The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company, the Rockefeller Foundation, Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, New America and the ONE Campaign. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Public Health Association, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Named one of Forbes’ “100 Most Powerful Women,” she has authored numerous articles on global and domestic public health issues, poverty alleviation, gender equality and social justice.
Dr. Gayle was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. She earned a B.A. in psychology at Barnard College, an M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.P.H. at Johns Hopkins University. She has received 13 honorary degrees and holds faculty appointments at the University of Washington and Emory University.
JEFFREY D. SACHS
Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development and University Professor at Columbia University. He is also Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on the Sustainable Development Goals. Dr. Sachs previously advised UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on both the Sustainable Development Goals and Millennium Development Goals and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals.
Steve Radelet has extensive experience as a policy maker in the U.S. Government; as an adviser to developing country leaders; and as a researcher, teacher and writer. He previously served as Chief Economist for USAID, Senior Adviser for Development to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Africa, the Middle East and Asia. He currently serves as an economic adviser to the Presidents of Liberia and Malawi. He spent four years as and adviser to the Ministry of Finance in Jakarta, Indonesia, and two years as adviser in the Ministry of Finance in The Gambia.He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Western Samoa. From 2002 to 2009, Dr. Radelet was Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development. From 1990 to 2000, he was on the faculty of Harvard University, where he was a Fellow at the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID) and a Lecturer on Economics and Public Policy.
Abby is the founder and CEO of Global Citizen Year and an award-winning social entrepreneur. A recognized expert on social innovation and the changing landscape of education, Falik has been featured in Forbes, NPR, The Washington Post and The New York Times. In 2017 she was named one of America's Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers by The Business of Giving, one of Goldman Sachs' 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs, and in 2016 Fast Company named her one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. For her achievements as a social entrepreneur, she has been recognized as an Ashoka Fellow and a Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur, and she's been a recent speaker at forums including the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Obama Foundation Summit and the Fast Company Innovation Festival. She currently serves on the advisory boards of World Learning, Teach for All, and the Harvard Business School. She received a B.A. in international relations and an M.A. in international comparative education from Stanford University and her MBA from Harvard Business School.
ROBERT A MAGINN, JR.
As Chairman and CEO, Bob led Jenzabar’s transformation from a dot-com start-up to an industry-leading enterprise solution provider. Prior to joining Jenzabar, Bob held the positions of Senior Partner and Director at Bain & Company, a leading global business and strategy consulting firm. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, a Master of Liberal Arts in government from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Dayton.
AMBASSADOR (RET.) SCOTT H. DELISI
Scott DeLisi served the government of the United States for 34 years as a diplomat, capping his distinguished career representing President Barack Obama as American Ambassador to the Republic of Uganda from 2012 - 2015. Currently, he is serving as the Executive Director of Soarway, a charitable foundation dedicated to helping the people of Nepal recover from the devastating earthquakes of 2015 and build a stronger, safer, and more resilient future.
Ambassador DeLisi also represented President Obama as Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, from March 2010 to July 2012, and he was President George W. Bush’s Ambassador to the State of Eritrea from 2004-2007. Earlier in his career, Ambassador DeLisi was also the Deputy Ambassador at the American Embassy in Gaborone, Botswana. In Washington, Ambassador DeLisi served as the Director of Career Development and Assignments in the State Department’s Bureau of Human Resources and as the Director for Entry-Level Programs in the same bureau. Among his other domestic assignments he has served as Director for Southern African Affairs, and also in the Bureau of Intelligence & Research, and the Bureau of South and Central Asia Affairs. Overseas, he has had additional postings in India, Madagascar, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Ambassador DeLisi has been the recipient of two Presidential Rank Awards, the Charles E. Cobb Award for Initiative and Success in Trade Development, the James Clement Dunn Award for Excellence, the CIA Director’s Award, the DIA Director’s Award, and multiple Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor Awards from the Department of State. His foreign languages include French and Urdu. Ambassador DeLisi is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, earned the degree of Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota Law School, and also attended the Hubert H Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Ambassador DeLisi is married and has 3 children and 3 grandchildren.
DR. VANESSA KERRY
Vanessa Kerry, MD, MSc, is the founder and CEO of Seed Global Health, a non-profit working in 22 sites in five countries and growing to help sustainably change health outcomes through leadership development, having helped train over 8,300 health professionals in Africa in its first three 3 years. Dr. Kerry is also the Associate Director of Partnerships and Global Initiatives at Mass General Global Health and Director of the program in Global Public Policy and Social Change in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kerry is a Draper Richards Kaplan Social Entrepreneur, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and has been published in numerous academic journals and media outlets including the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, The New York Times, and Huffington Post, highlighting the power of partnerships between medicine, public and foreign policy, and diplomacy.
NUSEIR "NAS" YASSIN
Nuseir "Nas" Yassin is the maker of Nas Daily, one of the most popular storytelling platforms on Facebook.
At 25 years old (as he says, 32% of his life complete), Nas left his job to travel and tell stories. Each day, Nas produces a fun new minute long video, inviting his community from around the world to dive into cultures, places, and experiences (check out one of the MCN community's favorites, "Day 361").
With a year of making daily videos, Nas has amassed a following of over 5,000,000 followers and over 1,000,000,000 views of his videos. While producing fun content, Nas has also been able to create social impact, spotlighting civic leaders like Kyaw Moe Tun in his videos and helping to raise millions for food aid to Somalia.
Follow Nas' journey at Nas Daily.
Anita Sharma is the Senior Director of Millennium Development Goals Initiatives at the United Nations Foundation. She currently oversees communications and advocacy around Every Women Every Child, an effort launched by the UN Secretary-General to improve the health and well-being of women and children in the developing world.
Previously, Anita was the North American Coordinator for the United Nations Millennium Campaign where she led advocacy and outreach efforts to end poverty by 2015 and supporting the Millennium Development Goals. Her career has spanned a range of development, humanitarian response and conflict prevention positions in Washington, DC and around the world, including Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, and Kosovo with organizations including the Center for American Progress, International Crisis Group, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the United Nations. Anita holds a bachelor's degree with honors from Syracuse University and a master's degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
She was a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and served on the boards of Citizens for Global Solutions and the Millennium Campus Network. She has appeared on numerous media outlets including BBC, CNN, Fox Business News, Voice of America, and Al Jazeera, and has published in Open Democracy, Democracy Arsenal, and UN Dispatch, among others.
JOHN W. MCARTHUR
John W. McArthur is an economist and Senior Fellow with the UN Foundation. His work focuses on interrelated issues of economic growth, poverty reduction, sustainability, technological advance, and global collaboration. He is also a Visiting Fellow with the Brookings Institution and a Senior Fellow with the Fung Global Institute. He was previously the CEO of Millennium Promise, the leading international non-governmental organization solely committed to supporting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He was also a faculty member at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and Policy Director at the University’s Earth Institute.
From 2002 to 2006 John served as Manager and Deputy Director of the UN Millennium Project, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s independent advisory body mandated to recommend an action plan for achieving the MDGs. Prior to that he was a Research Fellow at the Center for International Development at Harvard University, where he supported the World Health Organization’s Commission on Macroeconomics and Health and co-authored the Global Competitiveness Report. John currently chairs the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Post-2015 Sustainable Development and has been recognized as a Young Global Leader. He completed a DPhil (PhD) and MPhil in Economics at Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar; an MPP at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at the University of British Columbia. He grew up in Vancouver and is a Canadian citizen.