30 Innovators Fighting World Hunger and Poverty

By Iris Stone
Published November, 2014

Most people agree that world hunger and poverty are problems worth eradicating. Unfortunately, it is much easier to profess support for a cause then to take action on its behalf. In a society where so many are critical of others for their half-hearted "slacktivism," it is worth being reminded that not everyone is so passive in his or her commitment to charity. Not only are there legions of people around the world dedicating their lives to eradicating world hunger and poverty, many are coming up with innovative ways to address age-old problems. Below you will find our selection of thirty innovators working to solve world hunger, poverty, and important global issues. Our selection includes directors of nonprofit organizations, journalists, architects, economists, experts on agriculture, activists, politicians, entrepreneurs, scientists, concerned citizens, and even one celebrity (we bet you can guess who). We encourage you not just to read the article, but to reflect on ways you can donate or get involved with a cause important to you – whether it's world hunger, poverty, or something else.

1. Andrew Mwenda



Image Source

Andrew Mwenda is a Ugandan journalist and the founder and owner of The Independent, a news magazine. His controversial politics and inflammatory style have gotten him arrested by the Ugandan government several times. This is in part because of his community activism and strong stance on global poverty. Unlike many other humanitarians, he strongly opposes financial aid to Africa, arguing that it turns Africans into "passive objects." Instead, he speaks and writes widely on economic development, free speech, and ways to empower members of the African community. His claims that Western aid often ends up in the hands of corrupt governments and fuels both war and abuse have garnered much attention – both positive and negative. Mwenda has spoken at the popular TED conferences and also appeared before the British House of Commons Committee on Global Poverty. In 2008, he also won the International Press Freedom Award, a distinction given by the Committee to Protect Journalists for his courageous defense of freedom of the press. The World Economic Forum has also recognized him as a Young Global Leader.

2. Anthony Lake

Executive Director of UNICEF


Image Source

When he was named executive director of the international aid group UNICEF in 2010, Anthony Lake brought more than 45 years of public service and experience working to help the war-torn and impoverished around the world. Although he has a long history in the United States government – even advising Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton – Lake invested many years in academia at Georgetown and Princeton universities. He is credited with helping to end the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and received the 2000 Samuel Nelson Drew Award for his efforts. Lake also led policymaking that resulted in peace between Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Northern Ireland. Lake served as chair of the Marshall Legacy Institute, which works in war-afflicted countries to remove landmines and assist survivors, as well as to help advance children's rights. He was also international adviser to the International Committee of the Red Cross from 2000 to 2003.

3. Ashraf Ghani



Image Source

An Afghani politician and a chancellor of Kabul University, Ashraf Ghani has used his experience in political science and anthropology to rebuild his country and assist the poor. Between 2002 and 2004, Ghani served as finance minister and led the nation's attempted economic recovery following the fall of the Taliban. In 2005, Ghani gave a TED Talk on how to rebuild a broken state, urging listeners to rethink traditional economic assistance. He also created the National Solidarity Program, which offers block grants to villages that meet specific criteria. Ghani came in fourth in the 2009 presidential election, but finished second in the first round of elections this year. However, due to pending questions about the election results, neither side has claimed victory. Ghani has also been ranked second among the world's top 100 intellectuals in an online poll.

4. Bill Ayres

Founder of WhyHunger


Image Source

Bill Ayres served for many years as a Catholic priest but realized he had a love for radio broadcasting, taking thousands of calls and offering advice to those who sought his guidance. In the early 1980s, Ayres and his close friend, singer-songwriter Harry Chapin, saw a new challenge: the food needs of the impoverished. In response, they began World Hunger Year, which fights hunger through grassroots efforts and brings celebrities to the cause. The pair felt that long-term solutions come from community organizations that foster self-reliance. Ayres has since founded additional organizations, such as the National Hunger Hotline and the National Hunger Clearinghouse, and is a member of the board of advisers of Long Island's food bank, Long Island Cares. He continues to write and record music, and is the co-author of "All You Need is Love," with Pete Fortnatale. Ayres still hosts two weekly Sunday night radio shows in the New York area.

5. Bill Gates

Business Magnate & Philanthropist


Image Source

Dubbed the world's richest man by Forbes Magazine, Bill Gates is renowned for both his co-founding of Microsoft and his widespread philanthropy. With his wife, Melinda, Gates created the Gates Foundation to tackle issues ranging from infectious disease to financial services for the poor. TIME Magazine named Gates, his wife, and U2's lead singer, Bono, as the 2005 Persons of the Year for their humanitarian work. And in 2002, Gates and his wife received the Jefferson Award for "greatest public service benefiting the disadvantaged." He also donated $20 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In total, according to Forbes, he has given away more than $28 billion. Gates has given several TED Talks, informing audiences of his tech-centered approach to solving worldwide problems such as malaria and barriers to education. The Gates Foundation also started the Alliance for Financial Inclusion to help the 2.5 billion people who do not have access to loans, bank accounts or insurance. AFI aims to help those living on less than $2 a day survive major life events like disease and pay for education.

6. Bill Shore

Founder & CEO of Share our Strength


Image Source

Bill Shore is the founder and chief executive officer of Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit organization committed to ending hunger in America and abroad. Compelled to act in response to the Ethiopian famine in 1984, to date Shore has distributed more than $65 million to over 85 organizations, winning support from business leaders, government officials, athletes, and entertainers. He also chairs Community Wealth Partners, a Share Our Strength organization committed to solving social problems by offering strategic services to non-profits. US News & World Report named Bill Shore one of America's Best Leaders in 2005. Shore has authored four books focused on social change, including his most recent "The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men." He has served on numerous presidential and senatorial campaign staffs, and served as chief of staff for former U.S. Senator Robert Kerrey (D – Nebraska). Shore holds a law degree from George Washington University and is an adjunct business professor at New York University.

7. Bono

Musician & Philanthropist


Image Source

Bono is a world-renowned rock star, global humanitarian, and geopolitical activist dedicated to ending world hunger and eradicating the AIDS epidemic. His affinity for social causes began in 1979 after viewing a benefit show for human-rights organization Amnesty International. Bono has helped organize and has performed in many charity concerts, including the Live 8 and Band Aid projects, and the Conspiracy of Hope tour. Bono has also met with influential politicians, including former President George W. Bush, to campaign for debt relief in developing countries. He cofounded fashion label Edun; the organization DATA (Debt, AIDS, trade, Africa); and the Product Red initiative, which is dedicated to wiping out poverty, AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in Africa. Bono was twice named one of the 100 Most Influential People and also named Person of the Year by TIME Magazine, was awarded the Pablo Neruda International Presidential Medal of Honor by the government of Chile, and received the Portuguese Order of Liberty for his humanitarian work. Bono has received three nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize and was awarded the Man of Peace Prize in 2008.

8. Cindy Levin

Anti-Poverty Activist & Volunteer


Image Source

Levin is a former automotive engineer turned volunteer activist and fundraising coach in Chicago with RESULTS, Bread for the World, and Shot@Life. She is a mother to two daughters, and she credits her own mother for her calling to serve her community. Levin is particularly passionate about vaccination, a cost-effective way to save lives worldwide. She brings congressmen letters from children, who urge them to legislate greater access to vaccines. Levin combines her love of running with advocacy by competing in half-marathons. She trains with her daughters, who along with Levin ran for Charity Miles and raised enough money for Shot@Life to vaccinate over 100 children against polio, measles, rotavirus, and pneumococcal virus. Her volunteerism has taken her as far as Uganda, where she listened to mothers share stories of raising children in extreme poverty. Levin also began a letter-writing club, "Social Justice for Social Moms," demonstrating how to write letters to the editor. Her anti-poverty blog can be found here.

9. Dave McMurtry

Senior VP of Strategy, Habitat for Humanity


Image Source

Dave McMurtry is an executive and entrepreneur who combines his passions for technology and non-profits in his current role as senior vice president of strategy and innovation at Habitat for Humanity International. His love of traveling fueled his visits to over 120 countries. While in Liberia in 2009, McMurtry raised $5 million in grant aid on behalf of the Liberian Economic Assistance Plan; additionally, he motorcycled across the countryside disbursing microloans to 1,500 small business entrepreneurs. In 2006, McMurtry raised over $200,000 in only six weeks in Colombia through online efforts and story-centric fundraising – enough to build 40 houses that sheltered 200 war refugees. McMurtry has volunteered as a pilot for Doctors Without Borders, served as an adviser to Kiva.org, and is an active participant with the World Affairs Council. He is also a Sloan Fellow with an M.A. in Business from Stanford University and a B.S. in Business Administration from California Polytechnic University.

10. Ellen Gustafson

Sustainable Food System Activist


Image Source

Ellen Gustafson is a sustainable food-system activist concerned with how fast-food corporations and convenience stores rife with junk food are driving out indigenous farmers — and along with them, access to nutritious whole foods. She documents how this situation creates hunger and results in obesity later in life, especially among those in developing countries. Gustafson is also the author of "We the Eaters: If We Change Dinner, We Can Change the World," published this year. Gustafson co-founded the FEED Foundation, an organization that has sold over 500,000 reusable bags, some handmade and some produced at a fair trade factory. Profits have fed over 60 million healthy meals to schoolchildren around the world. Gustafson has received accolades from notable publications such as the Diplomatic Courier, Fortune, and Inc Magazine. She has given four TED talks, has spoken at numerous conferences — such as the World Food Prize and Fortune Most Powerful Women — and was co-chair of The Economist's Feeding the World.

11. Ernesto Sirolli

Sustainable Development Expert


Image Source

Dr. Ernesto Sirolli is the Founder of the Sirolli institute, a non-profit organization that promotes local entrepreneurship and self-determination. The institute has helped start 40,000 businesses in hundreds of communities worldwide. Sirolli began working for International Aid in Africa in 1971 but believed that imposing ideas on people was dehumanizing and counterproductive. His method of harnessing the passion, determination, intelligence, and resourcefulness of "the local people" has made him one of the world's most trusted consultants in his field. Sirolli's TED Talk "Shut Up and Listen" has been downloaded more than 2 million times and has been translated in 32 languages. He authored the best-selling book, "Ripples from the Zambezi – Passion Entrepreneurship and the Rebirth of Local Economics," which is studied in economics programs in universities worldwide. Sirolli earned a Ph.D in Local Enterprise Facilitation from Murdoch University, Australia, and is an Industry Fellow at CSRM University of Queensland.

12. Ertharin Cousin

Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme


Image Source

Ertharin Cousin is the current director of the United Nations World Food Programme. Prior to her appointment to the WFP, Cousin was the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture and also worked for the Democratic Party. She has supported many U.S. international development projects and briefly joined the board of America's Second Harvest, the nation's largest domestic hunger organization. She was a leader in the national response to Hurricane Katrina, spearheading an initiative to deliver more than 62 million lbs. of food to needy families in the Gulf Coast Region. She has made it clear that one of her goals is to eradicate world hunger in our lifetimes. Being in such a high profile position has garnered her much attention, and TIME recently named her among the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2014, Forbes also selected her as 45th on its list the world's 100 most powerful women.

13. Esther Duflo

Economist & Co-founder of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab


Image Source

Esther Duflo is an economist and a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also founded and directs the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Action Lab, a research network that performs evaluations of social programs. Her research on microeconomic issues in developing countries has earned her a number of awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the "genius grant." In 2011 she published a book, Poor Economics, which is described as a "radical rethinking of the way to fight global poverty." The U.S. magazine Foreign Policy named her to its list of the 100 top intellectuals in the world in 2008, and also selected her for its "global thinkers" list in 2010 and 2012. The Economist has labeled her one of the eight best young economists in the world, and her book was given the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.

14. Iqbal Quadir

Founder of Gonofone & Grameenphone


Image Source

Iqbal Quadir is an innovator and entrepreneur who founded Gonofone and Grameenphone. Like Duflo, he works at MIT, but as the founder and director of the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship. The companies he founded have helped bring telephone access to the rural poor of Bangladesh and thus helped increase their employment opportunities. Currently the largest telephone company in the country, Grameenphone brings coverage to 100 million of Bangladesh's most impoverished citizens. His company's success has been used as a model for how technology can serve the needs of those living in the world's poorest places. He also founded the Anwarul Quadir Foundation, which promotes innovations in Bangladesh, and Emergence BioEnergy, which helps bring electricity access to those who aren't currently connected to the power grid. Quadir has spoken at the World Bank, U.N., and World Economic Forum, and was selected as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the WEF. He is also the 12th recipient of the Science, Education, and Economic Development Award, and his work has been featured in a variety of publications and books.

15. Jacqueline Novogratz

Founder & CEO of Acumen Fund


Image Source

The founder and CEO of Acumen, Jacqueline Novogratz works to provide entrepreneurial solutions to world poverty. As a company, Acumen invests millions of dollars to support businesses that work to serve the poor. Novogratz's 2009 book, The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World, made the NYT Bestseller List. She has received a wealth of accolades, including being named one of the "25 Smartest People of the Decade" by the Daily Beast, one of Foreign Policy's "Top 100 Global Thinkers," and the Ernst & Young "Metro New York Entrepreneur of the Year" in 2008. As "one of the most innovative players shaping philanthropy today," Novogratz has delivered an inspiring TED Talk about how entrepreneurship, rather than old fashioned aid, can bring affordable clean water, housing, healthcare, energy, agriculture, and education to poor people. Acumen's life-altering investments have supported ventures as diverse as drip-irrigation systems in India and solar lighting solutions in East Africa.

16. Jamie Drummond

Co-founder of ONE

Jamie Drummond co-founded the organizations DATA and ONE (along with, Bono, another humanitarian on this list) in order to work toward ending extreme poverty and the AIDS pandemic. Drummond is an advocate for aid, trade, debt cancellation, investment, and governance reform in order to empower citizens of emerging countries to form their own destiny. ONE works tirelessly to help achieve the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals, eight benchmarks for health, justice, and well being designed to be accomplished over a fifteen-year period (2000 to 2015). Drummond has spoken extensively on how we can "crowdsource" these goals and how bipartisan leadership in Congress can play a role. Prior to his current work, Drummond was a global strategist for Jubilee 2000 "drop that debt" and also worked at Christian Aid. He has traveled extensively throughout Africa and Asia and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

17. Jessica Jackley

Co-founder of Kiva & ProFounder, Advisor for the Collaborative Fund


Image Source

Jessica Jackley is an entrepreneur and investor who focuses on the sharing economy, financial inclusion, and social justice. In 2005 Jackley founded Kiva, a microlending website designed to support the needs of small businesses and individual entrepreneurs in developing nations. As one of the fastest-growing social benefit sites in history, Kiva has collectively lent over half a billion dollars to people in more than 200 countries. Jackley also founded ProFounder, a crowdfunding platform for U.S. entrepreneurs. She is now an advisor with Collaborative Fund, which supports innovators who champion the sharing economy. A graduate of Stanford, she is also a Visiting Scholar at the university's Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society. She also teaches Global Entrepreneurship at USC's Marshall School of Business. Jackley has received widespread recognition for her philanthropic work, including being named to Fast Company's "League of Extraordinary Women" and being given the "No Boundaries" Innovation Award by the Economist. Forbes put it aptly when it wrote that she "mixes the entrepreneurial daring of Google with the do-gooder ethos of Bono."

18. Jim Weill

President of the Food Research & Action Center


Image Source

Jim Weill has devoted his entire career to reducing hunger and poverty; protecting the rights of children and poor people; and expanding economic security, support programs, and healthcare coverage in the U.S. He has served as the president of the Food Research and Action Committee since 1998, one of the leading nonprofit organizations working to eradicate hunger and undernutrition in the United States. Earlier in his career, Weill worked at the Children's Defense Fund and at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. A busy man, he also chairs the Alliance for Justice Action Council and is a board member at both the National Center for Youth Law and The Center for Effective Government. He also chairs the Children's Leadership Council and works with the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. Weill's unique legal approach to ending hunger has led him into policy advocacy and research on such topics as Food Stamps, school meals, and the Child Tax Credit. He is an advocate for closing the nation's income gap and reducing skepticism surrounding federal programs for the poor.

19. John Coonrod

Executive VP of The Hunger Project


Image Source

The Executive Vice President of The Hunger Project, John Coonrod is in charge of all research, advocacy, fundraising, and communications efforts for the charity. As one of the organization's spokespeople, he has been interviewed on CNN, BBC, and NBC and has lectured at Columbia University, MIT, New York University, and Princeton, as well as at the United Nations. Coonrod has worked with The Hunger Project, which works in eleven countries to "empower women and men to end their own hunger," since he became their first volunteer in 1977. He is also co-chair of InterAction's Food Security and Agriculture working group and has been an advisor to a number of international NGO's. Coonrod is a staunch advocate of supporting agriculture in developing markets and raising awareness for how climate change will affect farming in the coming years. He also emphasizes how important it is to meet the needs of female farmers, who constitute the majority of the world's poorest and carry the primary burden for supporting their families.

20. Josette Sheeran

CEO of the Asia Society, Former Vice Chairman of the World Economic Forum, & Former Executive Director of the World Food Programme


Image Source

Josette Sheeran has a long history of taking on prominent positions in international and governmental organizations. She served as the United States Under Secretary for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs in the State Department before becoming the eleventh Executive Director for the United Nations World Food Programme. She recently left the position to work for the World Economic Forum and then to serve as CEO of the Asia Society, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening relationships between the United States and Asian nations. While at the WFP, Sheeran attracted attention for her bold approach to the job, frequently calling on national governments to give more aid to the world's poor. Due to her leadership, the WFP increased its donor base to more than 100 nations and several private sector companies. In 1997 Washingtonian magazine named Sheeran as one of Washington's 100 Most Powerful Women, and more than a decade later she is still being praised; in 2011 Forbes listed her as the world's 30th most powerful woman.

21. Louise Fresco

Scientist & Food & Agriculture Expert


Image Source

Louise Fresco is a Dutch scientist and an expert on food and agriculture sustainability. As a former UN Director and an advisor to numerous think tanks and academies in the Western world, Fresco has developed a keen understanding of how global issues like hunger, poverty, and environmental problems cause social unrest. She insists that smart agriculture, not just food aid, will help solve the world's hunger issues. One of her arguments is that we must stop romanticizing farmers' markets, overpriced food items, and homemade products and instead focus on supporting local agriculture around the world. Fresco has a PhD in Tropical Agronomy and has traveled to more than 80 countries – and has done fieldwork in many of them. She has published eight books and over 100 scientific articles, is an advisor to the Dutch government, and is on the advisory council of The Hague Institute for Global Justice. A Dutch newspaper ranked her on their top 200 list of the most influential people in the Netherlands (2012) and she was also selected as one of the "Sustainable 100."

22. Mark Goldring

CEO of Oxfam


Image Source

Mark Goldring had dreamed of running Oxfam ever since he started working for the nonprofit in Bangladesh, 20 years before his appointment to chief executive last year. He is a strong advocate of changing the way the world thinks about aid and nonprofit work, and he wants to ensure local communities have a "real say" in private sector development. In addition to leading Oxford and managing thousands of staff and volunteers, Goldring also regularly meets with high-level government and business leaders to urge them to take action in the fight against poverty. Although Goldring only became CEO of Oxfam a year ago, he has spent decades working in international development. He was chief executive of VSO International, he worked in the field in the U.N. Development Programme, and he also worked in the U.K.'s Department for International Development. Goldring hasn't let such an important title go to his head; he spent time volunteering in the Philippines as part of an "undercover boss" segment and earns a salary in the lower quartile of what other nonprofit executives are paid.

23. Bob Aiken

CEO of Feeding America


Image Source

As the Chief Executive Officer of Feeding America, the fourth largest charity in the nation, Bob Aiken plays a central role in the U.S. domestic hunger relief effort. In addition to focusing on strategy development, Aiken also works daily to fortify relationships with food banks, food pantries, and meal programs. He has been an active volunteer in the Chicago area for years, and finally left the corporate world in 2012 to serve as a better model for volunteerism on a national scale. He exemplifies this volunteer ethic by serving on the Board of Directors for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. He is a particularly strong advocate for preserving SNAP (food stamp) benefits for U.S. families and personally participated in a campaign known as the "SNAP Challenge," where he ate on $1.50 per meal for a week. He has campaigned against the Farm Bill and continues to push for policies that support America's poor.

24. Paul Pholeros

Architect & Director of HealtHabitat


Image Source

Paul Pholeros is not only the director of Healthabitat, but also an ingenious architect. He put his design skills to good use when he founded the nonprofit, which is an Australian company that works to improve the lives of disadvantaged people – particularly children – by improving their housing and living conditions. Pholeros was first inspired by a challenge he received to improve the health of the rural Aboriginal population in the nation. The more he learned, the more convinced he became that intelligent engineering could improve the lives of indigenous Australians. Healthabitat also works in Nepal and was recently given the World Habitat Award by the UN Habitat and Building and Social Housing Foundation. The firm has also received a Leadership in Sustainability prize from the Australian Institute of Architects and was made one of the six Australian representatives at the Venice International Architectural Biennale. Pholeros personally was granted the Royal Australian Institute of Architects President's Award, and he has lectured at venues around the world.

25. Pierre Ferrari

CEO of Heifer International


Pierre Ferrari is another humanitarian on this list who got his start in the corporate world. After years with Coca-Cola, Ferrari abandoned his post to support a number of social endeavors, including Hot Fudge, a venture firm that invested in startup companies interested in community development. He ultimately found a home at Heifer International. Ferrari grew up in the Belgian Congo and was exposed to poverty, hunger, inequities, and the impacts of colonialism in a way that not many experience first hand. As a result, he has carried the core tenants of giving, entrepreneurship, and self-reliance into his leadership position at Heifer. Rather than dole out aid indiscriminately or even deliver food packages, Heifer instead works with "limited resource farmers" – mostly women – to support agriculture development, increase poor peoples' assets, and empower those living in developing countries. Ferrari has taken a unique approach to the position by insisting that increasing revenue is not a primary goal – rather, his mission is to maximize impact.

26. Premal Shah

Social Entrepreneur & President of Kiva


Image Source

Premal Shah is a social entrepreneur and the current president of Kiva.org. He is a prominent figure in the tech world and was very successful at PayPal before leaving to initiate his own venture helping low-income women in India. He is also a spokesperson for Blackberry, was a featured speaker at the 2006 Clinton Global Initiative, carried the Olympic Torch for the 2008 Summer Games, and has spoken about global poverty at several locations throughout Silicon Valley. He also made it onto Fortune's 2009 "40 Under 40" list and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Under Shah's direction, Kiva has been named one of "Oprah's Favorite Things" as well as one of TIME's Top 50 Websites. Shah's personal lender page catalogs over 400 of his own loans to farmers, shop owners, and other small business entrepreneurs in countries from El Salvador to Zimbabwe. As he writes on his lender page, he loans because "there is no them."

27. Rachel Zelon

Co-founder & Executive Director of Hunger Relief International


Image Source

Rachel Zelon is a founding member and the current executive director of Hunger Relief International, a Christian relief and development organization working to alleviate hunger in malnourished families by working with local communities. Zelon has spent her entire professional career working as a humanitarian and even volunteered for the Peace Corp, which took her on numerous adventures in the jungles of Ecuador. She also worked for the Joint Distribution Committee and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, where she focused on providing refugee assistance and protection. She has also worked for Feed the Children and is particularly well known for her efforts to compassionately relocate members of the Jewish community from Iraq to Israel. Throughout her career, Zelon has partnered with such organizations as UNICEF and the World Food Programme in order to create a more comprehensive effort at hunger and poverty relief. She has lead projects to organize school meal programs, develop families' incomes, set up family farms, provide access to clean water, and more.

28. Salil Shetty

Secretary General of Amnesty International


Image Source

Salil Shetty is the Secretary General of Amnesty International, a prominent aid organization that focuses on a wide array of human rights issues, from torture to poverty. Amnesty states clearly that, "No one should be denied their rights to adequate housing, food, water and sanitation, and to education and health care." Before joining AI in 2010, Shetty worked for the United Nations Millennium Campaign and as the Chief Executive of ActionAid, an international anti-poverty NGO. It's no surprise that he has devoted his life to serving others; both of his parents were passionate activists in their home country of Bangalore. In addition to working to eradicate world hunger and poverty, Shetty is also concerned about providing the means for universal education, defending women's and LGBT rights, and a variety of other issues important to the one of the world's most liberal philanthropic organizations. Efforts to tackle poverty have been close to his heart for the duration of his career, and he believes that AI can play a central role in the anti-poverty movement by disseminating information to people about their social and economic rights.

29. Steven Weir

Vice President of Global Program Development & Support for Habitat for Humanity


Image Source

Steven Weir is a Vice President for Habitat for Humanity, a well-known organization that focuses on providing simple, affordable housing for people in need. His degrees in architectural engineering and environmental design have come in handy as he lends his skills to the HFH cause. Although trained as a licensed architect with a background in private practice work, Weir turned his back on for-profit enterprises after helping found a local Habitat affiliate in California in the 1980s. He was inspired to join Habitat after hearing Jimmy Carter give a speech about a housing project in NYC, and he felt that charity work was the ideal way to reconcile his Christian faith with his chosen profession. Weir has helped lead disaster reconstruction projects throughout Asia and the Pacific, including Sri Lanka, China, Myanmar, Yogyakarta, and Pakistan. He has spoken at a number of venues concerning such topics as how HFH handles disaster and what Habitat's role is in global transformational development. He has also been involved in projects designed to encourage youth to participate in housing projects for the underprivileged.

30. Teddy Cruz

Architect, Urbanist, & Professor


Image Source

Teddy Cruz is an architect working in UC San Diego's Department of Visual Arts. He is known internationally for his research on the urban area spanning from San Diego to Tijuana – research he uses to postulate improvements to urban policy, civic infrastructure, and affordable housing. More than just an architect, he has contributed to a wide number of fields, including political theory, visual arts, and environmental and social practice. Cruz regularly collaborates with community-based nonprofits and teaches seminars at universities such as Harvard, the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam, the University of Anyang in South Korea, and the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Cruz is a highly regarded professor and architect whose awards are too many to name completely. He received the prestigious Rome Prize in Architecture, two Progressive Architecture Awards, the Architectural League of New York Young Architects Forum Award, the Robert Taylor Teaching Award, and the James Stirling Memorial Lecture On The City Prize, among others. He has also been selected as an "Emergent Voice" in architecture, was named a "Visionary Leader" by the FORD Foundation, and has been deemed one of the "50 Most Influential Designers in America" by Fast Company Magazine.


Wikipedia – Andrew Mwenda
TED Speakers – Andrew Mwenda
TED Blog – Andrew Mwenda on Progress in Africa
TED Blog – Andrew Mwenda
The Independent
Andrew Mwenda's Blog
Wikipedia – Anthony Lake
U.S. Aid
The U.N. Management Staff
Wikipedia – Ashraf Ghani
TED Speakers – Ashraf Ghani
Ashraf Ghani Biography
WhyHunger Executive Management Team
Wikipedia – Bill Ayres
NY Times – WhyHunger
Huffington Post – Bill Ayres
Source Watch
Wikipedia – Bill Gates Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Wikipedia – Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Huffington Post – Bill Gates
Reuters – Bill Gates
TED Speakers – Bill Gates
Forbes – Bill Gates
Share our Strength
VPP Partners – Bill Shore Bio
Huffington Post – Bill Shore
Wikipedia – Share our Strength Amazon Books by Bill Shore
YouTube – Bill Shore
Wikipedia – Bono
Look to the Stars
The Guardian – Bono Millennium Development Goals
TED Speakers – Bono
TED Blog – Bono on Eradicating Poverty
TED Blog – What Does Extreme Poverty Look Like
Huffington Post – Charity Miles
Post Tribune – Cindy Levin
Campaign for Education USA
Habitat for Humanity Speakers' Bureau
Forbes – Lesson from Habitat
Word Press – Dave McMurtry
Help Dave Change Lives
Ellen Gustafson
TED Speakers – Ellen Gustafson
Wikipedia – Ellen Gustafson
Civil Eats Makers – Ellen Gustafson
INC 30 under 30
TED Speakers – Ernesto Sirolli
Sirolli Institute
National Public Radio
Amazon Books by Ernesto Sirolli
Mining for Development Conference 2013
MIT Sloan Management Review
Wikipedia – Ertharin Cousin
World Food Programme Executive Director Bio
Forbes – Ertharin Cousin
TIME – Ertharin Cousin
Telegraph – the Woman Who Feeds the World
U.N. News Centre
MIT Economics Department – Esther Duflo
Wikipedia – Esther Duflo
TED Speakers – Esther Duflo
Poverty Action Lab
Telegraph – Esther Duflo
New Yorker – The Poverty Lab
Poor Economics
Wikipedia – Iqbal Quadir
MIT – Iqbal Quadir
TED Speakers – Iqbal Quadir
University of Pennsylvania – Iqbal Quadir
World Bank
Wikipedia – Jacqueline Novogratz
TED Speakers – Jacqueline Novogratz
Huffington Post – Jacqueline Novogratz
Amazon Books by Jacqueline Novogratz
Forbes – Jacqueline Novogratz
Huffington Post – Jacqueline Novogratz
TED Speakers – Jamie Drummond
ONE – Jamie Drummond
The Guardian – Jamie Drummond
Stanford Social Innovation Review
About Jessica Jackley
Wikipedia – Jessica Jackley
TED Speakers – Jessica Jackley
The Lavin Agency
Kiva Board
Stanford – Jessica Jackley FRAC – Jim Weill
Hi Apple Seed – Jim Weill
Oregon Hunger – Interview with Jim Weill
National Food Service Management Institute
The Hunger Project – John Coonrod
Huffington Post – John Coonrod
Zero Hunger Challenge Blog
Act Local First
Wikipedia – Josette Sheeran
TED Speakers – Josette Sheeran
World Food Programme – Josette Sheeran
Asia Society Officers
Forbes – Josette Sheeran
World Economic Forum – Josette Sheeran Wikipedia – Louise Fresco
TED Speakers – Louise Fresco
Ethan Zuckerman Blog
Louise Fresco Bio
World Food Prize
The Guardian – Oxfam Development Beyond Aid
Huffington Post – Mark Goldring
The Independent – UK Charities
Oxfam – Mark Goldring
Oxfam Blogs
Third Sector
Feeding America – Bob Aiken
Feeding America Press Releases
Food Bank of Corpus Christi
Wikipedia – Feeding America
YouTube – Bob Aiken
Healthabitat – Paul Pholeros
TED Speakers – Paul Pholeros
Wikipedia – Paul Pholeros
CUSP Design
Australian Design Review
Forbes – Pierre Ferrari
Huffington Post – Pierre Ferrari
Heifer Message from our CEO
Arkansas Business
Philanthropy News Digest
Origin Magazine
Wikipedia – Premal Shah
Kiva Team Members
Premal Kiva Pender Page
Forbes – Premal Shah
YouTube – Premal Shah
Huffington Post – Premal Shah
Hunger Relief International Team Members
Zoom Info
Wikipedia – Salil Shetty
Amnesty – Who We Are
The Guardian – Salil Shetty
YouTube – Salil Shetty
Amnesty USA Blog
Huffington Post – Salil Shetty
Habitat Speakers' Bureau – Steven Weir
Berkley Center – Interview with Stephen Weir
AF Spot
UC San Diego Faculty
TED Speakers – Teddy Cruz
TED Blog – Teddy Cruz
NY Times – Teddy Cruz
NY Times – The Nifty 50
FORD Foundation

Leave a Reply

Find A Degree
TopMastersInHealthcare.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.