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.


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 Wajahat Ali
Wajahat Ali

Journalist, Author and Playwright, 2017 North American Young Leader

Show more information on Wajahat Ali

Wajahat is an award-winning playwright and TV host of Pakistani descent. At Affinis Labs, he works to create social entrepreneurship initiatives that have a positive impact for marginalised communities and to empower social entrepreneurs and communities to come up with innovative solutions to tackle the world problems. Wajahat is the author of The domestic Crusaders, which was the first major play about Muslim Americans published after 9/11. He is also the lead author of the investigative report about anti-Muslim discrimination Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America from the Center for American Progress. He also previously worked as the co-host of the Al Jazeera American Network.

Alex Budak
Alex Budak

Executive Director of the University of California, Berkeley, 2017 North American Young Leader

Show more information on Alex Budak

Alex Budak is a serial social entrepreneur, Executive Director of the UC Berkeley Center for Reinventing Leadership, and a firm believer that anyone can be a changemaker. Alex co-founded, and now advises, StartSomeGood.com which has helped 700+ social impact organizations in 50+ countries raise $7M+. He is a mentor, coach and adviser to social entrepreneurs around the world, most recently running Scandinavia’s leading social impact incubator, Reach for Change, in Stockholm, Sweden. Alex has given talks on the topics of leadership and social innovation in venues ranging from Ukraine to Cambodia; LA to the Arctic Circle; and at both the World Bank and White House. His writing has been published in FastCompany, The Guardian and Huffington Post.

Victoria Herrmann
Victoria Herrmann

President & Managing Director of The Arctic Institute, 2017 North American Young Leader

Show more information on Victoria Herrmann

“Victoria Herrmann is the President and Managing Director of the Arctic Institute. Her
research and writing focus on climate change, community adaptation, human
development, and resource economies, with a particular focus on Arctic oil and gas.
Herrmann previously worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s
Energy and Climate Program. She was awarded a Eureka! Prize from the Baker
Institute for Entrepreneurship in 2012 and a Fulbright Scholarship to Canada to
pursue Arctic research in 2013. She is the author of Arctic Melt: Turning Resource
Extraction into Human Development (2015). She has been published in many peerreview
journals and appeared on BBC and CNN, among others. In 2016, Herrmann
travelled across the United States for the National Geographic-funded book on
climate change stories America’s Eroding Edges. She is a Gates Scholar at the
Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, where she is pursuing
a PhD in Political Geography of the Arctic.”

Sabrina Hersi Issa
Sabrina Hersi Issa

Chief Executive Officer Be Bold Media, 2017 North American Young Leader

Show more information on Sabrina Hersi Issa

Sabrina Hersi Issa is the CEO of Be Bold Media, a digital agency for global advocacy that notably produces a hackathon series to build and improve technology tools used for humanitarian relief and refugee services. She is the co-founder of End Famine, a campaign dedicated to developing sustainable solutions to hunger, food security and humanitarian assistance. Hersi Issa organises Rights x Tech, a gathering for technologists and activists, and runs Survivor Fund, a political fund dedicated to supporting the rights of survivors of sexualised violence. She currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, where she leads research on journalism ecosystems and how philanthropy can support efforts to build diverse, inclusive media ecosystems. In addition, she curates New/s Disruptors, a project working to re-frame the narrative of digital disruption in journalism to champion the experiences and contributions of diverse voices. Sabrina is a former fellow of the Roosevelt Institute where she worked on issues related to technology, human rights and humanitarian disasters. She has also worked for Afghans for Civil Society, Oxfam America, NBC News and National Public Radio.

Derek Johnson
Derek Johnson

Executive Director Global Zero, 2017 North American Young Leader

Show more information on Derek Johnson

Derek Johnson is the Executive Director of the Global Zero, the international movement for a world without nuclear weapons. As a creative strategist working on the front lines of catalytic advocacy, foreign policy and social change, Derek has spent the last seven years positioning Global Zero as a highly credible source of policy analysis and thought leadership, a trusted intermediary among nuclear-armed states, and a provocative advocacy operation in key regions. He has a knack for identifying strategic opportunities and the right tactics that can push the message into the mainstream in order to shine a spotlight or apply pressure. In addition to developing organizational strategy, overseeing day-to-day operations, and leading fundraising efforts, Derek also spearheads special projects — from coordinating sensitive track-1.5 initiatives to producing viral and award-winning digital content.

Before taking the helm at Global Zero, Derek worked to advance interfaith dialogue and cooperation on social issues at the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions and helped organize its flagship convening in Melbourne, Australia. He also worked to enhance access to justice, human rights and rule of law at JUSTICE, the British section of the International Commission of Jurists in London, and worked as an attorney for several years in Boston.

Derek is a graduate of Cornell College and Boston College Law School, with an academic background in English literature, philosophy and international law. He is also a member of the Munich Young Leaders group of rising experts in foreign and security policy, jointly organized by Körber Foundation and the Munich Security Conference, as well as the European Young Leaders group organized by Friends of Europe.”

Sarah Jones
Sarah Jones

Journalist & Producer, 2017 North American Young Leader

Show more information on Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones is an award-winning all platform journalist with a passion for attracting
young audiences to hard news. Over 67,000 people are supporters of her Sarah
Jones Reports on social media. In 2013, she moved to New York for a full-time
news gathering position with Al Jazeera America. She left her job two years later to
pursue a fellowship with the International Reporting Project where she was given
the opportunity to report on health and development in the Philippines. In 2016, she
was selected as one of the top one thousand most influential Twitter profiles from
across the worlds of marketing, advertising, digital and media. Prior to joining Al
Jazeera America, Jones was freelancing as an International Assignment Editor for
CNN at its headquarters in Atlanta; as an online and print journalist for Gulf News
(Dubai); and as an online journalist for ITN’s Channel 4 (UK).”

Adele Luta
Adele Luta

Scientist, Eleda International, 2017 North American Young Leader

Show more information on Adele Luta

Adele is an expert in strategic cognitive skills, advanced theory of mind, and applied physics. Her research focuses on operators in time-limited, life-critical, restricted communication environments and how they employ Theory of Mind (ToM) in their mission. Adele’s previous experience includes working as a NASA Flight Controller/Astronaut Instructor, in which role she provided support for over 90 US Space Shuttle, International Space Station (ISS), and Russian spacewalks, and trained five Shuttle crews and two ISS increments in Extra Vehicle Activity (EVA). In addition to her current work as a Research Affiliate at MIT, she has also recently been appointed by the United States of America as a technical team member to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Science and Technology Organization through its Collaborative Support Office.

Photo of Meghan Milloy
Meghan Milloy

Co-Founder Republican Women for Progress, 2017 North American Young Leader

Show more information on Meghan Milloy

Meghan Milloy is the co-founder of Republican Women for Progress (RWFP) and was previously the Chair of Republican Women for Hillary (RWFH). She is currently a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow where she is working in both the German public and private sectors focusing on trade issues. Before that she was the Director of Financial Services Policy at the American Action Forum (AAF), a think tank where she managed the entirety of AAF’s activity in its financial services and housing finance policy portfolios. Previously she was a Presidential Management Fellow working at the Small Business Administration and later at the House Committee on Small Business. She was an intern at the National Republican Senatorial Committee and in the George W. Bush White House. She also worked in the office of Majority Leader Trent Lott and has volunteered on the campaigns of Haley Barbour, George W. Bush, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton.

Negar Mortazavi
Negar Mortazavi

Iranian-American Journalist, 2017 MENA Young Leader

Show more information on Negar Mortazavi

Negar is an Iranian-American journalist covering Iran in English and Persian. She writes, reports and tweets on Iran extensively and is a frequent commentator on Iran at MSNBC, BBC, PRI, New York Times, Aljazeera, Huffington Post, and international outlets across the world in Lebanon, Iraq, Israel, Turkey, Switzerland, and Japan. She worked as a TV presenter at Voice of America Persian where she hosted a daily hour-long interactive show that discussed current affairs with Iranians across the world.

Ilhan Omar
Ilhan Omar

U.S. Representative for Minnesota's 5th congressional district, 2017 North American Young Leader

Show more information on Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Omar the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district. She is first Somali-American, first African-born American, and one of the first two Muslim American women elected to serve in the US Congress. Prior to her election to the US Congress, she was the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives for the 60B district.  Omar was also the Director of Policy Initiatives at Women Organizing Women, where she empowered East African women to take civic leadership roles in their community. Born in Somalia, Omar and her family fled the country’s civil war when she was eight. The family spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to the United States in 1990s.

Kira Radinsky
Kira Radinsky

Director of Data Science, IL Chief Scientist, eBay, 2017 MENA Young Leader

Show more information on Kira Radinsky

Kira Randinsky is director of data science of eBay, responsible for the next generation predictive data mining, deep learning and natural language processing solutions that will transform eCommerce. Before this, Kira co-founded SalesPredict, working in the field of predictive marketing by building solutions leveraging large-scale data mining to predict sales conversions. As well as this, Kira is involved in research activities, gives workshops and tutorials, and is visiting Professor at Techiunion. In 2013, she was on MIT’s 35 Innovators Under 35 list.

Sam Rasoul
Sam Rasoul

Delegate for the 11th District Virginia House of Delegates, 2017 North American Young Leader

Show more information on Sam Rasoul

Sam Rasoul is the Democratic Party Member of the Virginia House of Delegates for the 11th district. He was born in Ohio to a Palestinian immigrant family. After college, he became the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of a non-profit healthcare firm. He channelled his passion for healthcare reform into finding more compassionate ways to care for seniors and helping with maternal and child health in East Africa. Rasoul currently has his own small business which helps organisations become more successful through developing better business plans and through investing in their employees. He was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2014. He is the only Muslim member of the Virginia General Assembly.

Continue to Events

Events

Continue to Insights

Selection process

The EYL40 programme is a unique, multi-stakeholder programme which aims to promote a sense of European identity by bringing together forty of the brightest European leaders every year and engaging them in initiatives that will shape Europe’s future. 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. Additionally, in 2020, the programme will include 6 Young Leaders from the Western Balkan region. In doing so, we aim to promote structural dialogue across the continent that will foster better mutual understanding.

Since the launch of the programme in 2012, 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. Candidates can either apply or be nominated for the selection process of the programme.

Selection criteria:

  •  Candidates must be between 30 and 40 years of age;
  • Candidates must be a national of an EU member state or of one of the 6 Balkan states currently on the path towards EU integration (Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro);
  • Candidates should have established themselves 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.

The deadline for nominations and applications for the 2020 European Young Leaders class has passed. We are currently reviewing the candidates and aim to announce the 2020 class before the end of 2019. We will open the application and nomination period for the class of 2021 in the spring of 2020.

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