The Yale World Fellows program released its list of 2014 Fellows today, naming the 16 individuals who will make up the program’s 13th cohort. The Fellows, who hail from all around the world, are midcareer professionals who were selected from a pool of nearly 4000 applicants for the opportunity to come to Yale for one semester. During their time on campus, the Fellows will participate in leadership and media training, while engaging with various members of the University community, from undergraduates to graduate students to faculty. From August to December, they will give Master’s Teas, audit classes and collaborate with professors on research.

“Through the Fellowship, Yale will provide these global leaders the valuable opportunity to take a step back from the intensity of their work and to develop a strategic vision for elevated impact at the national and international level,” said program director and School of Medicine professor Michael Cappello in a press release.

The number of applications grew substantially from last year, when the Fellows were selected from among just over 2500 applicants. Interest in the program has grown steadily over the years, Cappello said. The network of current and former fellows now extends to 83 countries as this year’s cohort will bring in the first Fellows from Syria, Spain and Equatorial Guinea, he added.

 “It is a privilege to welcome these impressive leaders to campus,” President Peter Salovey said in the press release. “This innovative program continues to represent the very best of Yale’s efforts to educate and inspire future leaders.”

Read the short bios of the new group from the World Fellows website below:

Nandita Das is an award-winning Indian film actress and director who has leveraged her international profile to campaign on social issues including child mortality, gender and race issues and violence against women. She was the first Indian to be inducted into the International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame for her contributions to the arts. 
Salvatore Iaconesi is a designer, robotics engineer, artist, hacker and principal and co-founder of Art is Open Source. A TED Fellow (2012) and an Eisenhower Fellow (2013), his work explores the growing intersection between technology and art. 
Amira Yahyaoui is a Tunisian peace and transparency activist and founder of the award winning Al Bawsala, an NGO that monitors the constitutional assembly and parliament to protect freedom of expression and promote human rights. She launched the affiliated Tunisian Parliament Monitor and has advocated for freedom of expression for over a decade. While still a teenager, Amira was tailed by secret police and beaten for her activism. She was banned from her homeland for four years and fled to Paris. Following her country’s revolution, Amira became an independent youth candidate in Tunisia’s first free election. She won a Vital Voices Global Trailblazer award in 2012 for women transforming the Middle East. 
Parmesh Shahani heads the Godrej India Culture Lab, an experimental ideas space in Mumbai working at the intersection of academia, business and the creative industries to explore what it means to be modern and Indian. He also serves as the Editor-at-Large for Verve Magazine India, and is author of the book “Gay Bombay: Globalization, Love and (Be)Longing in Contemporary India.” Parmesh is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, a TED Fellow, an MIT ‘Futures of Entertainment’ Fellow, and a Utrecht University-Impakt Fellow. He holds a Master’s degree in Comparative Media Studies from MIT.

Alejandro Pacheco heads the Early Recovery, Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction Unit at UNDP Haiti, leading a team of more than 80 people.He is responsible for UN intervention in Haiti as the country transitions from the emergency stage to long-term development. Previously, Alejandro served as Project Manager for the Government of Haiti’s flagship early recovery and reconstruction program and as a Private Sector Specialist for UNDP El Salvador and Belize. He has supported development and implementation of public policies in developing countries, with impact on thousands of micro, small and medium sized enterprises. 

Rami Nakhla, also know by his alias Malath Aumran, is a pro-democracy activist who has advocated for political reform in Syria since the mid-2000s. Currently, he is creating a Syrian-led peace initiative in coordination with international interventions. Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising in March 2011, Rami has worked to inform the world of human rights violations and atrocities committed against protestors.

Biola Alabi is an African media expert who until recently served as the Managing Director of Electronic Media (MNET), Africa’s first private and leading subscription television service. 

Shu “George” Chen is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of reporting experience on China’s financial industry and economic reforms. He is currently the Financial Editor and Mr. Shangkong Columnist at the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s premier English language newspaper. 

Thora Arnorsdottir was a 2012 candidate for the Presidency of Iceland and is a renowned national media personality and documentary film producer. Although she lost the 2012 race by a narrow margin, along with her husband, Thora sparked international debate on gender roles and equality: she was 8 months pregnant with her third child when she announced her candidacy. Currently, Thora is a journalist and senior news editor at the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. During the week she is editor of the main current affairs TV program on INBS and on weekends, she hosts Iceland’s most popular TV quiz show. 

Ahmad “Rafay” Alam is an environment lawyer and activist. He is a founding partner ofSaleem, Alam & Co., a Pakistani law firm that specializes in energy, natural resources, and urban infrastructure. With a background in commercial, civil and constitutional litigation, he is committed to environmental protection and sustainable development. 

Susana Edjang is an international development, global health and policy expert and serves as H4+ Coordinator at the United Nations Population Fund.  The H4+ (UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNFPA, UN Women, WHO and the World Bank) work together to improve the health of women and children and accelerate progress towards achieving the health Millennium Development Goals by 2015, as set by the United Nations. Originally from Equatorial Guinea, Susana co-founded and served as Program Manager for the Zambia UK Health Workforce Alliance in the UK. 

Alexander Verbeek is the Strategic Policy Advisor on Global Issues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. He is a key player on international issues related to climate, water, food, energy and resources. Alexander works with governments, businesses, thinks tanks and civil society agencies to find connections between these issues and create solutions for the environmental, resource and demographic challenges of the 21st century.

Christopher Lockyear is Operations Manager at Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). Based in Amsterdam, he is responsible for the strategy and implementation of MSF’s humanitarian response and staff in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and South Sudan – managing around 3000 people.

Vivianne Naigeborin is a pioneer in social impact investing in Brazil and serves as Strategic Advisor for Potencia Ventures. Potencia is an international organization that invests in emerging global markets to support an enabling environment for businesses contributing to poverty reduction. Potencia was the first investor and principal strategic partner for a half-dozen key initiatives for businesses with social impact in Brazil, including Vox Capital, the first Brazilian impact investing venture capital firm; and Artemisia, a pioneer organization in the dissemination, promotion and acceleration of impactful businesses in Brazil. 

Paula Moreno is former Minister of Culture of Colombia – the youngest woman and first Afro descendant to be appointed as a cabinet minister in the country’s history. She founded and now serves as President of Manos Visibles, an NGO that implements development strategies to strengthen urban youth organizations and communities of women, with an emphasis on high-risk ethnic communities. Paula serves as an adviser to agencies and foundations includingACDI/VOCA and the Open Society Foundation, was a 2010 Fulbright Fellow at MIT and holds degrees in Management and Industrial Engineering. 

Miguel Pulido is an attorney and Executive Director of Fundar, Center for Analysis and Research, one of Mexico’s largest and leading human rights NGOs and an organization that focuses on citizen security, rights, and government accountability and transparency. He has authored three books on human rights and citizenship. Miguel is a member of the Citizen Coucil to Prevent Discrimination in Mexico and sits on the board of the conservation organization Reforestamos Mexico.  

Full story coming Tuesday.