The Tällberg Foundation today announced the selection of four new Tällberg Global Leaders.  They join a select group of individuals from around the world whose work, accomplishments and prospects embody the kind of leadership needed in the 21st century.
The 2017 Tällberg Global Leaders are:
  • Rodrigo Rubido Alonso, an architect, co-founder and executive director of Instituto Elos based in Santos, Brazil that is dedicated to participative leadership, community, mobilization and community building;
  • Rebecca Heller, the director and co-founder of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), headquartered in New York and operating globally, which organizes law students and lawyers to develop and enforce a set of legal and human rights for refugees and displaced persons;
  • Fiorenzo Omenetto, the Frank C. Doble Professor of Engineering, and a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University in Boston who has pioneered the use of silk as a material platform for advanced technology with application in photonics, optoelectronics and nanotechnology;
  • Bright Simons, technology innovator, development activist and social entrepreneur, based in Ghana, whose work challenges the received wisdom about social and economic development strategies and programs in Africa.

“These four amazing leaders are global in their reach, tireless in their efforts, innovative in their approaches, and operate in concert with universal values,” said Alan Stoga, the Foundation’s Chairman.  “They prove that great leaders are rising to the challenges of our times.   Our goal in honoring them is not only to draw attention to their work, but also to provoke a conversation about the kinds of leaders needed today.”

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) provides significant support for the Tällberg leadership initiative as well as other Foundation activities.  Andreas Dracopoulos, SNF co-President, said, “We are delighted and privileged to support the 2017 Tällberg Global Leaders. These individuals exemplify the engaged, principled, and optimistic leadership demanded by our societies.  SNF applauds this growing network of leaders for their efforts to promote civic engagement and civil discourse in a world where both are sorely lacking.”

Selection of the Tällberg Global Leaders is an integral part of the Foundation’s efforts to encourage new thinking about leadership. The four 2017 leaders were chosen by an international jury from a pool of 220 nominations from 50 countries who were nominated through an open, online process. The jury reviewed nominations that included business people, national political leaders, social activists, artists, technologists, academics and others.

The 2017 Tällberg Global Leaders will participate in a public discussion at Columbia University on November 28th as part of its Global Leaders Forum, and will be honored on November 29th at the Paley Center for Media, both in New York City.

The Tällberg Foundation (, with offices in Stockholm and New York, aims to provoke people to think differently about the global issues that are shaping their present and their future.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation ( is one of the world’s leading private international philanthropic organizations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare. SNF funds organizations and projects that are expected to achieve a broad, lasting and positive impact for society at large, and exhibit strong leadership and sound management. SNF also actively seeks to support projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as an effective means for serving public welfare.
Since 1996, SNF has committed more than $2.4 billion, through almost 4,000 grants to nonprofit organizations in 113 nations around the world—including a new SNF initiative to expand its support of the health sector in Greece with a series of infrastructure and education projects, expected to exceed $240 million.

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