Select region
Close filter

The Class of 2016

Rising Talents – Class of 2016

From an advisor to the US Government to a leading CEO, and from a highly regarded artist to a physicist and would-be astronaut, the Rising Talents Class of 2016 contains a cross-section of remarkable women from around the world. While the sheer range of their activities defies easy categorization, certain themes come through loud and clear: a strong interest in sustainability; a passion for social justice and above all, a desire to help other women succeed as they have. Their example acts as inspiration for the next generation.

Angela Baker

Angela oversees Qualcomm® Wireless Reach, a strategic initiative that brings wireless technology to underserved communities with the aim of fostering entrepreneurship, enhancing health care delivery and improving environmental sustainability. She served as an advisor to Secretary Hillary Clinton in the US Department of State and is a board member of Running Start, an organization that encourages young women to politics and leadership roles.

Brandi DeCarli, founding partner of Farm from a Box

Brandi is the founding partner of Farm from a Box, the easiest and most efficient way to start and maintain a 2-acre farm that provides communities with the tools and technology needed to increase local food production. Her goal is to shift the focus from mass production of food, to food production by the masses, so that healthy food becomes accessible to everyone.

Soraya Manel Djermoun, Communication Director for Cevital Groupe Algeria

Soraya is group communication director for Cevital Groupe Algeria, one of the biggest African and Arabic multinationals. She is the author of several best-selling books in geo-economics and the issues faced by young women in challenging social and political environments. Her long-term goal is to contribute to the economic emergence and modernization of Algeria, helping to promote democracy and freedom, particularly for its women.

Nang Lang Kham, Executive Director at KBZ Bank and Chair of Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation

Nang is executive director at KBZ Bank in Yangon and co-founder and chair of Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation. Committed to building a better future for Myanmar, Nang’s ambition is to help its young people excel through education, mentoring and the provision of positive role models. In April 2016 she was named as one of a dozen “Women to Watch” by Forbes Asia.

Fanny Letier, Executive Director at Bpifrance

Fanny is executive director at Bpifrance, the National Investment Bank of France. Since early 2016 Fanny has been in charge of Bpifrance’s Transversal Business Support and the Accelerator Programs dedicated to SMEs and pre-Majors. Her ambition is to promote collaborative leadership and encourage a culture of meritocracy, reforming the French approach to business and facilitating the success of French companies around the world.

Olga Loskutova, Managing Director for SABMiller Brands Europe

Olga is managing director for SABMiller Brands Europe, a FTSE-10 company. Olga believes that the best way to build a truly successful and sustainable business is through understanding, respecting and supporting the people who make up the organization. Her ambition is to inspire women to embrace who they are, realize their true nature and develop authentic female leadership behaviors that highlight the benefits of diversity.

Adriana Marais, postdoctoral researcher

Adriana is a postdoctoral researcher and special projects coordinator at the Foundation for Space Development South Africa. Since childhood she has dreamed of living on another planet, and is currently a Mars One astronaut candidates in the run up to a manned mission to the red planet in 2026. In 2016 she was awarded the Royal Society of South Africa Meiring Naude Medal for fundamental research in the field of quantum biology.

Khululiwe Mabaso, Associate Director of Communication and Government Affairs Africa for Procter & Gamble

Khululiwe is associate director of communication and government affairs Africa for Procter & Gamble. She is passionate about big business in sub-Saharan Africa and particularly about mentoring young African girls so they can fulfill their true potential. As part of this ambition Khululiwe leads a number of P&G CSI projects, including Girls’ and Women’s Empowerment, leadership training at P&G’s Leadership College, and YALI (Young African Leadership Initiative).

Janneke Niessen, Co-Founder of Improve Digital

is a serial entrepreneur, technologist, innovator and creative thinker who is passionate about getting more women and girls into technology. She co-founded Improve Digital, a leading European marketing technology firm. Janneke is also co-initiator of InspiringFifty, a pan-European program that identifies, encourages, develops and showcases women in digital leadership positions. In 2014 she was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year.

Karima Nigmatulina, Advisor to the President at Vi Holding and Lector at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

Karima is advisor to the president at Vi Holding and lector at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. After returning to Russia from the US (where she gained a PhD from MIT) she joined Genplan Institute as a deputy director. Within 9 months she was named acting CEO, a role in which she helped modernize this traditional research institute. Karima’s goal is to help as many people as possible to realize their potential, a role she fulfills through her teaching.

Evgenia Peeva, CEO of Teach For Bulgaria

Evgenia is CEO of Teach For Bulgaria, an NGO working towards providing quality education to every child in Bulgaria. Her goal is to address problems of low literacy that prevent Bulgarian students from low-income backgrounds successfully integrating in the labor market. She was recently listed in the “30 under 30” ranking of Forbes Bulgaria, as well as being named “Bulgarian Woman of the Year”.

Audra Renyi, Executive Director of World Wide Hearing

Audra has worked as an investment banker on Wall Street and as an administrator with Doctors Without Borders in Chad, and is currently executive director of World Wide Hearing, an international foundation that provides affordable hearing aids to children in developing countries. Her goal is empower people with hearing loss so that they can realize their full potential, reflecting her belief in the importance of creating something of lasting social value.

Romina Ressia , Artist and Photographer

Romina is an Argentinian artist and photographer whose work has been exhibited and honored worldwide. Romina graduated cum laude in business administration and accountant from Buenos Aires University, after which she decided to change profession and start again from zero. Through risk taking and hard work she successfully transitioned to the world of art. Her ambition is to inspire others to follow their passion and to use art as a force for social change and cultural integration.

Dr. Tara Shirvani, Transport Unit of the World Bank

Dr. Tara works for the Transport Unit of the World Bank with a focus on climate-resilient infrastructure policies. Her work focuses on balancing the energy demands of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable regions with the impact on climate change. In 2016 she was featured on the front cover of Forbes Magazine as a recipients of their annual “Forbes 30 under 30” award.

Anisha Singh

Anisha began her career with the Clinton administration in Capitol Hill, helping women entrepreneurs raise funding for innovative women-led businesses. In 2009, she launched mydala, a local services marketing platform that targets 400 million customers across 209 cities in India. Today she is helping women entrepreneurs attract vital funding. Her goal is to encourage female entrepreneurship in the STEM fields.

de T’Serclaes
is, VP and advisor to the CEO
 at Schneider Electric

Philippine is VP and advisor to the CEO
at Schneider Electric, the world leader in energy management and automation technologies. Her ambition is to ensure the 3bn people still deprived of stable energy have a fair access to reliable, sustainable power. Philippine was named as a “Future Leader in Energy” by McKinsey in 2016 and has been nominated for a 2017 “Young Global Leaders” award at Davos.

Florence Tondu-Melique, COO and deputy CEO for Hiscox in Europe

Florence is COO and deputy CEO for Hiscox in Europe. She passionately believes that diversity benefits business by promoting growth and innovation, particularly in industries like her own that rely heavily on human capital. In 2015, Florence was named “Future Leader of the Industry” by the Association of British Insurers and “Woman Leader of the Year” by the insurance industry in France.

Angela Baker
Brandi DeCarli
Soraya Manel Djermoun
Nang Lang Kham
Fanny Letier
Olga Loskutova
Adriana Marais
Khululiwe Mabaso
Janneke Niessen
Karima Nigmatulina
Evgenia Peeva
Audra Renyi
Romina Ressia
Dr. Tara Shirvani
Anisha Singh
de T’Serclaes
Florence Tondu-Melique
Changing language
Close icon

You are switching to an alternate language version of the Egon Zehnder website. The page you are currently on does not have a translated version. If you continue, you will be taken to the alternate language home page.

Continue to the website

Back to top