Techfugees Advisory Board

Ahmad Sufian Bayran, Techstars MEA Regional Manager & Jusoor Program Director

Ahmad is Techstars Middle East and Africa Regional Manager, a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed with a portfolio of over 1,500 companies and a total market cap of $13.9B, Techstars operates in 150 countries with a variety of programs including Startup Weekend and Startup Week to support entrepreneurs from inspiration to IPO. Ahmad is social entrepreneurship, startup, and collaborative economy, expert. His website is one of the most prominent blogs in the Arab world that tackles the power of the collaborative economy and Blockchain in Arabic. In addition, he is also, Jusoor Program Director, Entrepreneurs in Residence at Aliqtsadi, and board of advisor Techfugees. He mentored several startups and non-profit organizations and has published two books on entrepreneurship in conflict zones and the refugees community.

Axelle Lemaire, former French Minister for Innovation and Digital Affairs & Partner at Roland Berger Paris

A French and Canadian citizen, Axelle Lemaire worked in the French Governement as Minister for Innovation and Digital Affairs between 2014 and  2017. She scaled up the French Tech ecosystem, introduced the Digital Republic Bill to Parliament, and initiated the national Artificial Intelligence Strategy. Before being elected as an MP in 2012, she worked as a lawyer and researcher specialized in international law and human rights. Axelle believes that technologies can empower people to make the world a better place, and sees open governance as a democratic requirement for progress. She is the proud mother of three children.

George Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece, President of the Socialist International & Councillor at the World Refugee Council

George A. Papandreou is former Prime Minister of Greece (2009-2011).  Currently he is the President of the Socialist International (since 2006- ) the largest global organization of progressive political parties.  He is also President of the Movement of Democratic Socialists in Greece He is Councillor at the World Refugee Council. He is the Vice President of the Foundation for Olympic Truce.  He is a member of the Global Leadership Council of Sustainable Development Solutions Network – A Global Initiative for the United Nations. He is a member of the Global Leadership Council of the humanitarian organization Mercy Corps. He is a Commissioner of the Global Commission on Drug Policy.  He is a member of Club de Madrid.  He was Leader of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement from 2004 until 2012.  As Foreign Minister from 1999–2004, he was widely praised for his diplomatic bridge building. He successfully negotiated better relations with former rival Turkey. As Education Minister from 1994-1996, George Papandreou founded Open University in Greece, an innovative national effort to facilitate undergraduate and graduate distance learning.  He was named as one of Foreign Policy magazine’s Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2010 for “making the best of Greece’s worst year.” He completed his university studies at Amherst College in Massachusetts and graduate studies at the London School of Economics.

Jay Corless, Senior Director for Innovation at the UN Foundation

Jay Corless is Senior Director for Innovation at the UN Foundation. In this position he seeks to identify, showcase and scale social innovations that deliver impact on international development goals. His professional work spans two decades within the UN System and the private sector. He has broad work experience in communication, online technologies, cultural diplomacy, design innovations, policy development and project management.
At UNESCO, in 1995, he launched the Organization’s first generation website, oversaw the deployment of the agency’s first content management system, and developed both the internal and external communication strategies for the Specialized Agency. In 2002 he devised the Organization’s U.S. re-entry public information campaign. The successful campaign contributed to the U.S. Government’s decision to rejoin UNESCO after an 18-year absence. On U.S. re-entry he became the English Spokesperson to then Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura. He also coordinated two United Nations Pavilions at the World Expos of 1998 and 2005.

Mike Butcher, Chairman of Techfugees & Editor at Large of TechCrunch

Mike Butcher MBE is Editor-at-large of TechCrunch. Mike has been named one of the most influential journalists in European technology by Wired UK, The Daily Telegraph and the Evening Standard. He also founded the annual Europas Awards, the non-profit Techfugees, the co-working network TechHub and has advised the UK government on tech startup policy. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list of 2016 for services to the UK technology industry and journalism.

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