About

Bold leadership, ground-breaking ideas, unparalleled passion …

For almost a decade the European Young Leaders (EYL40) programme has brought together the brightest minds and outside the box leaders to put their innovative thinking to work at building a more forward-thinking Europe that is a global champion for a better world. The European Young Leaders represent a new generation of leaders, able to tackle the increasing disconnects between citizens and political elites, to rebuild the trust that is vital to democracies.

These promising and established leaders come from a variety of backgrounds including politics, business, civil society, arts, science and the media.

The 2020-2021 Class of European Young Leaders:


Tune in to the EYLs on Friends of Europe’s Leading Views podcast

Joss Garman on the climate crisis: how bad is it (bad!) and can we get out of it (yes!)?

Leading view

Joss Garman on the climate crisis: how bad is it (bad!) and can we get out of it (yes!)?

Joss Garman

Start playback
Negar Mortazavi on Europe's role in the US-Iran dispute, the Trump factor and the role of media

Leading view

Negar Mortazavi on Europe's role in the US-Iran dispute, the Trump factor and the role of media

Negar Mortazavi

Start playback
Una Mullally on abortion rights, marriage equality and galvanising a generation for change

Leading view

Una Mullally on abortion rights, marriage equality and galvanising a generation for change

Una Mullally

Start playback
Continue to Meet the EYL

Meet the EYL40

Photo of Samir Abdelkrim
Samir Abdelkrim

Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Emerging Valley and 2020-2021 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Samir Abdelkrim

Samir Abdelkrim  is not only a French entrepreneur but also an author and a tech reporter. Passionate about all things digital, he founded EMERGING Valley as an international summit on African innovation to connect tech start-ups with investors, thinkers and decision-makers across continents. He also leads StartupBRICS, a company that provides insights on entrepreneurship in emerging economies. Abdelkrim is a former chronicler on African tech entrepreneurs for Le Monde and has also featured in the Huffington Post, Le Point and Les Echos. His book, “Startup Lions”, chronicles his experience travelling the African continent in search of the most interesting and innovative tech start-ups. With French President Emmanuel Macron’s initiative “Summit of the Two Shores of the Mediterranean”, Abdelkrim was amongst 10 selected to make proposals to relaunch European and Mediterranean cooperation.

Marguerite Berard-Andrieu
Marguerite Berard-Andrieu

Head of Retail Banking at BNP Paribas and 2017 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Marguerite Berard-Andrieu

A graduate of the Paris Institute of Political Science and the University of Princeton, Marguerite began her career in 2004 as an auditor at France’s General Inspectorate of Finance, where she was responsible for auditing public bodies. She then served as an adviser to the French President on questions related to employment and social protection before heading the private office of the French Minister of Labour, Employment and Health. In 2012, Marguerite joined Groupe BPCE, the second-largest banking group in France. Four years later, she became a member of its Management Board and was appointed as Chief Executive Officer for Finance, Legal Affairs and Strategy. She has been a member of the French High Council of Public Finances since 2013.

Diane Binder
Diane Binder

Founding Partner and CEO of Regenopolis and 2018 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Diane Binder

Diane Binder is a business executive and social entrepreneur, with extensive experience in developing public-private alliances which promote urban resilience, climate adaptation and mitigation. She is a Founding Partner and CEO of Regenopolis, an initiative for regenerative cities in Africa. In addition to serving as a member of the French Presidential Council for Africa, Diane is also the President and Co-Founder of Action Emploi Réfugiés. She previously worked at SUEZ, a leader in water supply and waste management services.

Xavier Duportet
Xavier Duportet

CEO and Chairman, Eligo Bioscience and 2017 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Xavier Duportet

Xavier is a synthetic biologist and entrepreneur who was named French Innovator of the Year by MIT Technology Review in 2015. He co-founded Eligo Bioscience, where he has developed a system that uses genetic editing techniques and nanotechnology and designs new types of medicine to eliminate specific bacteria and leave the others intact. After winning several start-up competitions, the company has recently raised €2.4m in seed funding. Xavier also co-founded Hello Tomorrow, a global non-profit organisation that aims to accelerate science and tech innovation by empowering start-ups and offering cash prizes and connections with industrials and investors. Xavier is a senior adviser to the French government on emerging technologies and their impact on industry.

Rabah Ghezali
Rabah Ghezali

Head of Regulatory and Government Relations France & Benelux at VISA and 2013 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Rabah Ghezali

Rabah is the Head of Regulatory and Government Relations for France and Benelux at VISA and an Adjunct Professor of Economics at Sciences Po Paris. Prior to this, he was group director of public policy and regulatory affairs at VEON and director of European legislative affairs, European government affairs and public advocacy at NYSE Euronext. Rabah has had a successful diplomatic and legal career having worked as a counsellor for major corporations and states. Rabah is a founding member of the Transatlantic Network 2020, which brings innovative perspectives on transatlantic relations by connecting rising North American and European leaders of tomorrow. He has also been awarded the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Fellowship and selected as a member of the Young Atlanticists Group by the Atlantic Council.

Christel Heydemann
Christel Heydemann

Executive Vice-President of Human Resources and Transformation, Alcatel-Lucent and 2014 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Christel Heydemann

Christel is Executive Vice-President of Human Resources and Transformation at Alcatel-Lucent and Member of the Executive Management Committee. Christel began her career at The Boston Consulting Group in Paris and joined Alcatel in 1999 on the Project Finance team of the Chief Financial Officer and has made her way up the ladder progressively and successfully ever since. She is also President of Fondation Azaria, created in 1940 to support employees facing personal difficulties. Christel was selected in 2012 as Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and as a Rising Talent by the Women’s forum. Christel is a graduate of the French Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées.

Axelle Lemaire
Axelle Lemaire

Global Head, Terra Numerata and 2013 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Axelle Lemaire

Axelle’s current position at Terra Numerata. sees her heading the growth of this unique, open platform aiming to bring together notable digital players. With more than 70 partners including startups and established technology companies, Terra Numerata is a unique, open platform aiming to bring together notable digital players. Previously a Socialist Party Member of the French Parliament, she was elected in 2012 as a Member of the European Affairs Committee and Secretary for the Bills Committee. After working as a lawyer and law researcher at University, her keen interest in politics brought her to the House of Commons, where she spent several years working for a Labour MP.

Guillaume Liegey
Guillaume Liegey

CEO of eXplain and 2014 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Guillaume Liegey

Guillaume is an expert in electoral strategy. He began his career in Beijing before joining the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. for 4 years in France and in the United States. In 2012, he joined the French presidential campaign team of François Hollande, in which he oversaw the field campaign strategy to reach out to 5 million households, led the rollout of the campaign in 30 departments and coordinated the communication strategy. He then co-founded a political strategy firm Liegey Muller Pons to help other European political parties improve the way they run their election campaigns and engage with citizens before and after the polls. Guillaume is the co-author of Porte-à-porte, Reconquérir la démocratie sur le terrain (2013). He is also a lecturer at Sciences Po Paris, where he teaches a course on electoral campaigns. Guillaume is a graduate of HEC and Harvard, holding a Master in Public Administration and a MSc in Management.

Photo of André Loesekrug-Pietri
André Loesekrug-Pietri

Chairman and Scientific Director of the Joint European Disruptive Initiative (JEDI) and 2013 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on André Loesekrug-Pietri

André Loesekrug-Pietri is an entrepreneur and has held leadership positions in private equity, government and industry. He is currently the Chairman of JEDI, which aims to accelerate Europe’s leadership by financing and nurturing the development of breakthrough technologies. He previously served as a special advisor to the French Minister of Defence, where he was responsible for European defence policy, as well as technology and innovation, prior to which he has 15 years of experience in private equity and venture capital. Loesekrug-Pietri is a lecturer at Sciences Po and a regular columnist at several international media outlets. Having studied aerospace engineering, he is also a private pilot and Colonel with the French Air Force People’s Reserve.

Frédéric Mazzella
Frédéric Mazzella

Founder and President of BlaBlaCar and 2015-2016 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Frédéric Mazzella

Frédéric is the Founder and President of BlaBlaCar, the leading European ridesharing community that connects drivers with empty seats and people travelling in the same direction, with the aim of making road travel social, cost effective and sustainable. The carpooling platform became the first French unicorn and has grown into a global community, with over 20 million members in 22 countries. Frédéric also currently serves as the Co-President Entrepreneur of France Digitale, the largest start-up association in Europe, where is work largely focuses on talent, impact and European tech sovereignty. Prior to founding BlaBlaCar, Frédéric was a scientific research at the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) in Japan. Frédéric is a regular speaker at international conferences and in the media, including CNN, Bloomberg and CNBC, on the themes of sustainable development, entrepreneurship, global marketplaces and building trust in online communities. He is also an accomplished classical pianist.

Lara Rouyres
Lara Rouyres

Founder and CEO of Levia.ai and Selectionnist and 2017 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Lara Rouyres

A serial entrepreneur, Lara is the Founder and CEO of Levia.ai, a unique virtual vender which creates highly-personalised, one-to-one shopping experiences through the use of AI technologies. She is also the Founder of Selectionnist, a mobile app which seeks to bridge the gap between offline content and the online experience by allowing users to find any item featured in French fashion magazines. Working with top magazines in France, including Elle and Marie Claire, Selectionnist has become a high-performance analytics tool for brands, retailers, advertisers and publishers. Her first entrepreneurial venture was Dealissime, a website that provides buyer groups with daily offers related to products and services for women, which was acquired by LivingSocial, a part of the Amazon group. Lara is also a member of the French Digital Council and part of the French Movement for a Benevolent Economy (MEB).

Aziz Senni
Aziz Senni

Founder and President, Alliance Transport et Accompagnement and 2012 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Aziz Senni

Aziz is a young French entrepreneur, Founder and President of Alliance Transport et Accompagnement, a ‘collective taxi’ company for the region of Paris, and Founder and President of Business Angel des Cités, a social investment fund for the development of Parisian suburban areas. Aziz has published two books in France, the first on the ‘social glass ceiling’ entitled L’ascenseur social est en panne… j’ai pris l’escalier (The social elevator is broken, I took the stairs), and the second, Monte ton BIZ (Create your own business: 10 commandments of the entrepreneur coming from suburbs) on how to become a successful entrepreneur when coming from a under-privileged neighbourhood. He has received several awards from the French government including the Médaille de l’Assemblée nationale (the National Assembly Medal).

Mathieu Vedrenne
Mathieu Vedrenne

Chief Executive Officer at Société Générale Private Banking France and 2012 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Mathieu Vedrenne

Mathieu is Chief Executive Officer of Société Générale Private Banking France, prior to which he was Deputy CEO at the company’s Swiss branch. Before taking on these positions, he was Chief of Staff to the CEO of Société Générale, one of the major banking services companies in Europe. He joined the company in 2001, after having worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers for 3 years, and quickly climbed the professional ladder within the company. He was selected for the company’s Executive Programme for the top performing employees. He is a sponsor of the 2010-2012 HEC Entrepreneur Diversity Programme and is a Member of the Executive Committee of the Fondation Croissance Responsable (Responsible Growth Foundation).

Charles-Edouard Vincent
Charles-Edouard Vincent

Founder, Lulu dans ma rue, 2013 European Young Leader

Show more information on Charles-Edouard Vincent

Charles Edouard is Founder and Head of Emmaüs Défi, a branch of Emmaüs France, which functions as a non-discriminating company providing jobs to all those who cannot find work in today’s market. He has an atypical background having previously worked in the IT sector at companies such as Netscape, Escalate and SAP France. Only later did he decide to dedicate his career to social entrepreneurship. Charles Edouard also teaches a Social Business and Poverty Entrepreneurship class at the HEC School in Paris. He has attended several universities such as Ecole Polytechnique, ParisTech and Stanford, from which he received a Master’s degree in Engineering Management.

Continue to Events

Events

Continue to Selection process

Selection process

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE APPLICATION DEADLINE WAS MARCH 15. THE APPLICATION PROCESS IS NOW CLOSED

The European Young Leaders programme is a unique, inventive, and multi-stakeholder programme that aims to promote a European identity by engaging the continent’s most promising talents in initiatives that will shape Europe’s future.

The European Young Leaders represent the most promising European leadership from all over the continent and with a wide variety of backgrounds including: politics, business, civil society, academia, arts, science and the media.

The programme acts as a forum for those who have already established themselves at the forefront of their professions to meet, discuss and collaborate with their counterparts from other fields of expertise. Previous candidates include: government ministers, CEOs, Michelin-starred chefs, international film directors, and high profile journalists.

Since the launch of the programme, we have gradually taken steps to ensure the diversity and exceptional quality of its selection process. We have made sure that its comprehensive and competitive nature ensures the identification and selection of remarkable individuals.

We aim to select 40 European Young Leaders of diverse backgrounds in order to enable a broad exchange of ideas, creating the basis for a new generation of engaged European leaders.

SELECTION CRITERIA

  • Candidates must be between 30 and 40 years of age (born on or after 1 January 1982);
  • Candidates must be a national of an EU member state, the UK or of one of the 6 Balkan states currently on the path towards EU integration (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia);
  • Candidates should have established themselves at the highest levels of their chosen profession, or be on track to do so;
  • Candidates must be committed to serve society at large through noteworthy contributions and have demonstrated a record of significant achievements and outstanding professional experience;
  • Candidates are also evaluated based on their ability to contribute to the enrichment of the programme as a whole;
  • Candidates are required to be fluent in English as it is the working language of the programme.
  • Candidates must commit to participating in at least one seminar during the programme year.

To be considered for the 2022 selection process, all applications and nominations must be sent to: eyl40@friendsofeurope.org

Application deadline: Monday, 15 March 2021

To read in detail about the selection process, please click here

Continue to Partners

Videos

view more
Track title

Category

00:0000:00
Stop playback
Video title

Category

Close

We use cookies to improve your online experience.
For more information, visit our privacy policy

Africa initiative logo

Dismiss