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Leo Varadkar, Priyanka Chopra Among Young Global Leaders in World Economic Forum List

Leo Varadkar (left); Priyanka Chopra

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, Indo-Canadian politician Jagmeet Singh and Indian actress Priyanka Chopra were among the 100 young global leaders named by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on May 9.

“One hundred of the world’s most promising artists, business leaders, public servants, technologists and social entrepreneurs have been asked to join the World Economic Forum’s community of Young Global Leaders,” the WEF said about its 2018 Young Global Leaders list.

Varadkar, the son of a Hindu immigrant doctor from Mumbai, was hailed for more reasons than one by the international organization. “His election as Taoiseach marks many firsts,” the WEF said. “He is the openly gay son of an Indian immigrant and a former medical doctor who became Ireland’s youngest-ever Prime Minister in 2017. He also served as Minister for Health where he introduced free general practice care for all children under six and seniors over 70 years as well as publishing Ireland’s first ever National Maternity Strategy.”

Jagmeet Singh, the leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, also figures on the list, for having a political vision that aims to reduce income inequality, provide affordable housing, promoting LGBTQ rights, and tackling climate change.

The list also includes Washington-based Shubha Nagarajan, the managing director of GE Capital United States, and San Francisco-based Arvind Satyam, managing director, Cisco’s Smart Cities Initiative.

Actress Priyanka Chopra was described by the WEF as a “Bollywood actress, singer, film producer, and philanthropist,” who “campaigns against female infanticide, leads anti-drug addiction programs and serves as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.”

Other Indians who have been named as young global leaders this year are Alok Shetty, the principal architect and founder of Bengaluru-based Bhumiputra Architecture, and Rhea Mazumdar Singhal, the CEO of New Delhi-based Ecoware Solutions.

Also featured is Armstrong Pame, the sub-divisional magistrate of Tamenglong, his home district, and the first IAS officer from the Zeme tribe from Manipur. “Government administrator Armstrong Pame, nicknamed the ‘miracle man,’ brought 100 km of roads to his Indian district in order to spur economic growth,” WEF said.

As many as 54 per cent of the 2018 Young Global Leaders are women and the majority are from emerging economies, the WEF said while announcing the list on the social media. “Taken together, they represent the very best of their generation and are advancing new models of economic growth and governance,” it said on Twitter.

The global personalities are joining a community and five-year program that will challenge them to think beyond their scope of expertise and be more impactful leaders. “They were nominated because of their ground-breaking work, creative approaches to problems and ability to build bridges across cultures and between business, government and civil society,” the WEF added.

The Geneva-based organization, established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation for public-private cooperation, names 100 outstanding and uniquely accomplished individuals who are committed to building a peaceful and prosperous shared global future every year.