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The Rockefeller Foundation Announces Fellows for Inaugural Global Fellowship Program on Social Innovation

NEW YORK—The Rockefeller Foundation is pleased to announce the inaugural Fellows for the 2013 Rockefeller Foundation Global Fellowship Program on Social Innovation. The Fellowship program brings together a diverse group of 18 leaders who are committed to integrating social innovation into their work, and interested in addressing the root causes of problems affecting poor or vulnerable populations by transforming the systems we live in—political, economic, legal, educational, environmental, and social.

Fellows will have the opportunity to build strategic relationships with a likeminded community of change-makers from across sectors, across issue areas, and across the globe.  The program was designed by a collaborative team from the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience at the University of Waterloo in Canada and the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University in Sweden, both global leaders in cutting edge research and education on social innovation.

“The outstanding individuals selected for this inaugural program all share a passion for change, a desire for action, and an interest in finding targeted, innovative ways to tackle complex social problems at their roots,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “This program will give each Fellow the tools to work for changes that result in more resilient systems, communities, and people.”

The Fellows were nominated by partners and organizations working in some of The Rockefeller Foundation’s key focus areas, from advancing health to securing livelihoods. They come from ten different countries, and represent diverse roles and areas of expertise in a variety of non-profit, for-profit, government, and academic organizations. The Rockefeller Foundation Global Fellows on Social Innovation for 2013 are:

  • Alexandra Vogl, Urban Development Specialist, Asia Development Bank, Manila
  • Betty Kariuki, Partnership and Projects Manager, Enablis Entrepreneurial Network East Africa, Nairobi
  • Chinwe Ogbonna, Programme Specialist in Health Economics, Nigeria Country Office of the United Nations Population Fund, Abuja
  • Jackson Hungu, Deputy Country Director for the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Kenya
  • Joan Leteipa, Programme Manager, TechnoServe Inc., Nairobi
  • Kumanan Rasanathan, Public Health Physician, UNICEF and UNICEF focal point for health in the post-2015 development agenda, New York
  • Manju Mary George, Senior Community Manager, Schwab Foundation and Global Leadership Fellow, World Economic Forum
  • Megha Bhagat, Business Responsibility Professional with the National Association of Software and Services Companies, India
  • Patrick Karanja, Global Information and Communications Technology for Development Team, World Vision International, Nairobi
  • Pumela Sulela, Global Sourcing Council Board Member, Ambassador for Sustainable and Socially Responsible Outsourcing in Africa, and Tri-Sister City Alliance Executive Committee Member, Pretoria, South Africa
  • Purnomo Dwi Sasangko, Head of the Regional Planning and Infrastructure Development Division of the Semarang Regional Development and Planning Board, Central Java, Indonesia
  • Sandhya Rao, Senior Advisor for Private Sector Partnerships in the Office of Health, Infectious Diseases, and Nutrition, USAID, Washington, D.C.
  • Sarah Orleans Reed, Research Associate with the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition, Hanoi
  • Sofi Bergkvist, Managing Director of ACCESS Health International, Sweden; and Senior Researcher at the Center for Emerging Markets Solutions at the Indian School of Business
  • Sunandan Tiwari, Coordinator of the Sustainability Management Programme at ICLEI—Local Governments for Sustainability, South Asia  (based in New Delhi)
  • Toan Vu Canh, Environmental Specialist at the National Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Strategy Studies, Ministry of Science and Technology, Hanoi
  • Wilailuk Wasasa, Manager of Bureau of International Universal Health Coverage Collaboration, National Health Security Office, and Coordinator of Capacity Building, Bangkok
  • Yogesh Rajkotia, Founder and Director, Institute for Collaborative Development, Maryland

Beginning in May, the fellows will participate in four intensive workshops, each held in a different international location over the next year. Through a series of presentations, small group exercises, site visits, and guidance from mentors, Fellows will gain new perspectives and skills to apply in real-time to the challenges facing their own organizations and networks. Fellows will increase their skills in managing and sparking systems transformation in complex problem domains, while gaining a deeper appreciation for the global scale by broadening and strengthening their networks across issue areas, sectors and regions.

More information about the Global Fellowship Program and the 2013 Fellows can be found online at:

The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation aims to achieve equitable growth by expanding opportunity for more people in more places worldwide, and to build resilience by helping them prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. Throughout its 100 year history, The Rockefeller Foundation has enhanced the impact of innovative thinkers and actors working to change the world by providing the resources, networks, convening power, and technologies to move them from idea to impact. In today’s dynamic and interconnected world, The Rockefeller Foundation has a unique ability to address the emerging challenges facing humankind through innovation, intervention and influence in order to shape agendas and inform decision-making.  For more information, please visit

About the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR)
WISIR was founded as a joint venture between the University of Waterloo’s Faculties of Environment and Arts. Through collaborative research projects that bridge faculties, join together researchers at different universities, and work beyond the university community, WISIR is committed to generating new inter-disciplinary knowledge about the dynamics of social innovation. WISIR seeks to mobilize this knowledge through designing and delivering a range of learning opportunities within and outside the university setting. For more information, please visit

About the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) at Stockholm University
SRC advances research on the governance of social-ecological systems with a special emphasis on resilience—the ability to deal with change and continue to develop. The aim is to create a world-leading trans-disciplinary research centre that advances the understanding of complex social-ecological systems and generates new and elaborated insights and means for the development of management and governance practices. SRC advises policymakers and develops innovative collaboration with relevant actors on local social-ecological systems to the global policy arena. For more information, please visit

For media inquiries, please contact:
Erissa Scalera, The Rockefeller Foundation, (212) 852-8430,