Aubrey Hruby

Aubrey Hruby is the Co-Founder of Tofino Capital, Insider PR, and the Africa Expert Network, a Senior Fellow with the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, and an active investor in African start- ups.

Hruby has consulted extensively in over 30 African markets and regularly advises governments and Fortune 500 companies on doing business in Africa. She is the former Managing Director of the Whitaker Group, an Africa-focused advisory firm that has helped facilitate well over $2 billion in capital flows to the continent. Prior to that, she was an International Trade Specialist at the Barnett Group, where she worked with corporate clients to resolve trade problems across the Middle East and Africa.

Hruby writes regularly on African business issues for the Financial Times and Foreign Policy, among many other publications, and has been interviewed by outlets including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, and Bloomberg.

Hruby teaches at Georgetown University and is the co-author of the award-winning book The Next Africa: An Emerging Continent Becomes a Global Powerhouse (New York City: Macmillan, July 2015). She earned an Executive MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an MA from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and BAs in economics, political science, and international relations from the University of Colorado.

Aubrey Hruby has spoken at well over 150 conferences and events in recent years, including the Milken Institute Global Conference, the Concordia Summit, South by Southwest, the FT Africa Summit, AFSIC – Investing in Africa, and the IFC/EMPEA Annual Global Private Equity Conference, among many others. She has also testified before the United States Congress on trade and investment in Africa and regularly briefs Members of Congress and policy-makers across the US government on African business issues.

Raghuram Rajan

Raghuram Govinda Rajan was the 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, having taken charge of India’s central banking institution on 4 September 2013, and succeeding Duvvuri Subbarao. He is currently the Vice Chairman of the Bank for International Settlements.

Raghuram is currently taking a leave of absence as the Eric J. Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Prior to resuming teaching in 2007, Raghuram was Chief Economist and Director of Research at the International Monetary Fund. Since then, he has chaired the Indian government’s Committee on Financial Sector Reforms, which submitted its report in 2008.

Raghuram’s research interests are in banking, corporate finance, and economic development, especially the role finance plays in it. His papers have been published in all the top economics and finance journals, and he has served on the editorial board of the American Economic Review and the Journal of Finance. He has recently written a book which won the Goldman Sachs Book of the Year award entitled Fault Lines: How Hidden Cracks Still Threaten the World Economy. He also has an earlier book co-authored with Luigi Zingales entitled Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists.

He is a senior advisor to BDT Capital, Booz and Co, and is on the international advisory board of Bank Itau-Unibanco. He is a director of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and on the Comptroller General of the United State’s Advisory Council.

Raghuram is also President of the American Finance Association and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2003, the American Finance Association awarded Raghuram the inaugural Fischer Black Prize, given every two years to the financial economist under age 40 who has made the most significant contribution to the theory and practice of finance

Muhammad Yunus

After receiving his PhD in Economics from Vanderbilt University in the United States, Muhammad Yunus returned to his home country of Bangladesh in 1972.

There he founded the Grameen Bank Project in 1976, and transformed it into a formal bank in 1983.

Through the Grameen Bank Muhammad Yunus has given practical expression to his belief that the world’s poorest people can transform the conditions of their own lives if given appropriate financial support. From this belief came the idea of ‘micro-credit’ - bank loans offered to the poor without asking them for guarantees or security in return.

As Muhammad Yunus describes it: ‘The repayments are designed in such a way that they are tiny instalments. You can pay back your loan over a long period. All of this together is micro-credit. Small loans for income-generating activity, addressed to the poorest, without collateral. For more than 30 years Muhammad Yunus has worked tirelessly to gain loan opportunities for the world’s rural poor, especially poor women. Grameen Bank currently operates 2,381 branches, offering credit to 7 million poor people from 75,950 villages in Bangladesh.

In 2006 Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to create economic and social development from the ground up. This award not only inspired the people of Bangladesh towards greater achievements, but also gave worldwide recognition to the nation as a whole. Muhammad Yunus has proved himself to be a leader by transforming his vision into practical action for the benefit of millions of people, not only in Bangladesh, but in many other countries too.

Chosen by Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia as one of The 25 Most Influential Business Persons of the Past 25 Years, covered in a PBS documentary.
In 2006, Time magazine ranked him as one of the top 12 business leaders, including him among "60 years of Asian Heroes."

In 2008, Yunus was voted 2nd on the list of Top 100 Public Intellectuals in an open online poll conducted by Prospect Magazine (UK) and Foreign Policy (United States).

In 2009, Yunus was awarded the Golden Biatec Award, the highest award bestowed by Slovakia’s Informal Economic Forum Economic Club, for individuals who exhibit economic, social, scientific, educational and cultural accomplishments in the Slovak Republic.

Yunus was named by Fortune Magazine in March 2012 as one of 12 greatest entrepreneurs of the current era.

Professor Muhammad Yunus is the recipient of 61 honorary degrees from universities across 24 countries. He has received 136 awards from 33 countries including state honours from 10 countries. He is one of only seven individuals to have received the Nobel Peace Prize, the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom and the United States Congressional Gold Medal. He was awarded the Independence Day Award in 1987, by the President of Bangladesh for the outstanding contribution in rural development. This is the highest civilian national award of Bangladesh.

Professor Yunus has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, Hardtalk on BBC and The Simpsons. Financial Times chose Professor Muhammed Yunus as one of six Finance Pioneers. In the March 31, 2015 issue in an article entitled "Business Pioneers in Finance" Professor Yunus has been placed alongside Warren Buffett, Amadeo Giannini, Henry Kravis, J.P Morgan, and Mayer Amschel Rothschild as greatest business finance pioneers of all time. He has appeared on the cover of Time Magazine, Newsweek and Forbes Magazine.