Georgie Badiel is the founder of the Georgie Badiel Foundation, a non-profit charity that aims to provide access to clean water and sanitation facilities to countless small villages in Burkina Faso.
Georgie Badiel was born in Abidjan, raised right in the middle of Cote D’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. She has found great success in the world of fashion, named Miss Burkina Faso in 2003 and Miss Africa in 2004, but her true calling lies in activism at the Georgie Badiel Foundation. As a small and focused charity, the foundation is dedicated solely to bringing fresh water and sanitation facilities to the people of Burkina Faso.
Georgie is also the co-author of The Water Princess, a children’s book about her early life in Burkina Faso. As young girl, Georgie used to walk for three hours every day to fetch water for her family. After traveling the world, Georgie went back to her village to visit her sister, who was almost nine months pregnant. Despite her pregnancy, Georgie’s sister still needed to travel miles and miles every morning to retrieve water. Recognizing a critical shortage of clean, accessible water for thousands of people just like her sister, Georgie set out to transform their lives.
Etelle Higonnet is Mighty’s Legal and Campaign Director, where she focuses on forest conservation in Southeast Asia and Africa, with an emphasis on the palm oil and rubber industries.
Etelle previously worked with Greenpeace Southeast Asia on a broad range of environmental issues including climate, energy, oceans, toxic waste, ecological agriculture, environmental justice, and forest protection.
Etelle also has significant experience in human rights, having worked primarily in war zones and post-conflict areas. She conducted research in West Africa on behalf of Human Rights Watch and later Amnesty International, including in the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. She also oversaw the analysis of human rights research projects in Iraq for the International Human Rights Law Institute. She has served as a human rights research consultant for various organizations, including UNICEF, Open Society, the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, the Royal Cambodian Government Task Force for the Extraordinary Chambers and the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Etelle earned a BA from Yale University and a JD from Yale Law School. She has written numerous articles, reports and op-eds on environmental subjects and human rights, and is the author of the book Quiet Genocide. Etelle speaks 9 languages.
Chid co-founded Liberty & Justice, Africa’s first Fair Trade Certified™ apparel manufacturer, after working in entertainment, technology, and finance. He was born in Liberia, West Africa, but left as an infant when his father became the nation’s ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, with residence in Bonn. His family was later exiled in the United States. In 2009, Chid returned to Africa after 28 years abroad. Inspired by the Nobel Peace Prize winning Liberian Women’s Peace Movement, Chid co-founded Africa’s first Fair Trade Certified apparel factory to provide economic opportunities for internally displaced women, who on balance, were vulnerable to rampant unemployment and economic exclusion. He is currently leading L&J’s rapid expansion in Liberia and throughout the region.
In addition to his work at Liberty & Justice, Chid served as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Liberia’s Monrovia Business Startup Center (BSC). The BSC was founded by Spark, a Dutch NGO, for whom Chid manages the Ignite Fund (Liberia) – an equity investment fund that makes strategic investments in Liberian Pico-cap companies with high growth potential. He also speaks internationally on social entrepreneurship and impact investing – recently at Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton Universities, as well as the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia and IE in Madrid, Spain.
Chid was recognized by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in her 2011 State of the Nation Address for his leadership in shaping trade policy and indigenous Liberian entrepreneurship. He is a recipient of the 2014 Salzburg Global Fellowship, 2014 Global Innovation Summit Ecosystem Award, 2013 New African Press 50 African Trailblazers under 50, 2011 SVN Social Innovation Award, 2010 Cordes Fellowship, a Yoxi Portfolio SIR (Social Innovation Rockstar) and works as an advisor and board member to a number of high-impact organizations including GIIRS (the Global Impact Investment Rating System), The Liberia Marathon, FACE Africa, and the Opportunity Collaboration.
Isabel M. Hidrobo has over 13 years of experience in the field of immigration law. As an expert in the field, she has successfully managed her own practice since 2008. She advises clients ranging from multinational corporations to small start-ups and individuals in connection with the temporary and permanent employment of foreign nationals in the fields of fashion, arts, and entertainment. Her clients include celebrities as well as numerous top ranked talent management companies in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Seattle.
Her practice focus includes:
Isabel received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where she majored in Economics and Comparative Area Studies. She obtained her Juris Doctor degree from The George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC.
She is fluent in Spanish, and proficient in French and Portuguese.
Isabel is admitted to practice in New York and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
The President & CIO of Greylock Capital Management, which he founded as a joint venture with Van Eck Global in May 1995, Hans Humes has 23 years of experience working in emerging markets. He was a Managing Partner of Van Eck Absolute Return Advisors, Inc. where he launched the fund which became the Greylock Global Opportunity Master Fund in 1997.
From 1991 to 1994, he was a key member of the Lehman Brothers emerging markets debt trading team, co-developing the desk and managing over $500 million in investments. Prior to that he traded a proprietary debt portfolio at Banco Santander and engineered several debt/debt and debt/equity swaps in Latin America. Mr. Humes began his career at Manufacturer’s Hanover, where he worked on the sovereign debt restructurings for the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of Yugoslavia. Mr. Humes served as the Co-Chairperson of the Global Committee of Argentine Bondholders (GCAB), which represented approximately $40 billion in holdings in the largest sovereign debt restructuring in history. He is a member of the Institute of International Finance’s (IIF) Principles Consultative Group (PCG ) for the Principles for Stable Capital Flows and Fair Debt Restructuring in Emerging Markets, and of the IIF Working Group on Reconciliation of Past Due Sovereign Debt. Mr. Humes is on the Investment Committee of Synergos, a nonprofit institute dedicated to developing effective, sustainable, and locally based solutions to global poverty. He is a board member of the World Policy Institute, a non-partisan source of global policy analysis and thought leadership that identifies critical emerging global issues in an interdependent world and gives voice to compelling new global perspectives and innovative policy solutions. Mr. Humes is also on the board of the New York Theatre Workshop.
Mr. Humes received his BA from Williams College in 1987, has lived and studied in Nigeria, Morocco, Canada, Netherlands, Chile, Mexico, and Belgium and is fluent in Spanish.
ZANG TOI is a renowned Fashion Designer who has built a tradition of elegance for over 20 years. Coming from humble beginnings, Zang was born and raised in a small village, Kuala Krai in Kelantan, Malaysia. He was the youngest of seven children of a local grocer. Zang landed in New York City at the age of 20 where he studied at the distinguished Parsons School of Design. In August 1989, he opened his atelier and soon after, U.S Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour featured Zang in March 1990 issue and was one of the first Asian designers championed by the renowned editor. In 1990, Zang was awarded the Mouton Cadet Young Designer of the Year which recognizes the top, young, U.S. designer of the year. In a Newsday article published in 1991, Frank De Caro enthusiastically noted of the Malaysian-born designer and his success, “If anyone is THE NEXT BIG THING, it’s him.” (Newsday, New York, 29 April 1991).
Since that time, Zang’s work has been featured in major publications such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Financial Times, etc. Not only has he dressed Hollywood celebrities such as Sharon Stone, Elizabeth Taylor, Farrah Fawcett, Kristie Alley, Patti LaBelle, Gong Li, Eva Longoria, Fergie (Black Eyed Peas) and Heather Graham, but has also created luxurious wardrobe for philanthropists and royalty including Melinda Gates and Saudi Princess Haifa Bandar Al Saud.
Along with his passion for glamorous fashion, Zang has been an avid supporter of the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LIVESTRONG) and has raised over USD $700,000 to help in the effort in finding a cure for cancer. His was recognized by the foundation in 2008/2009 when he was presented with the Lance Armstrong Foundation Top Fundraiser Award.
Zang’s continued success was most recently recognized by VividMagazine where he was named as one of the Top 8 most influential Chinese Americans (June-July 2011 issue). Today, the world continues to recognize Zang’s passion for timeless beauty as he builds on a strong tradition of elegance.
J. Paul Martin, professor and Director of Human Rights Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University, studies, teaches and writes on human rights. He specializes on Africa, on education and on the role of religion. He believes that sustainability, self-reliance and continuing education are crucial factors in all economic and political development projects.
Katherine Moran-Villone is an award winning educator and certified school counselor who serves as the Georgie Badiel Foundation’s Educational Consultant and Director of School Fundraising. Katherine has spent time teaching and volunteering in Tanzania and has travelled extensively in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America and has witnessed the impact water scarcity has on people. Drawing upon a successful career as an educator and scholar, Katherine is working to develop partnerships with educators and community organizations in an effort to raise awareness of the critical shortage of clean water in Burkina Faso as well as its deleterious impact on the educational opportunities for African girls and women.
Katherine was the 2015 recipient of the National LifeChanger of the Year Award, finalist in the NY Jets and M&T Bank Play60 Touchdown for Teachers, a nominee for the Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award and Honored. org. We are thrilled to have her on our team to motivate others in ways to achieve our foundation’s mission.