The Global Leadership Council will help accelerate the development of the AFS Youth Assembly into a global movement of thousands of young leaders, ensuring that they are empowered to take action and create positive impact in communities worldwide.

The Council members will contribute to the programming of the AFS Youth Assembly, provide networking or mentorship opportunities that help young people drive impact in their local communities, and promote the AFS Youth Assembly within their professional and private networks.

The Global Leadership Council also is an opportunity for business and NGO leaders to connect with peers and to engage in dialogue on key global issues, but most importantly to stay in touch with future leaders.


Chairman of Ivoclar; Co-Founder, Chirimoya; AFS Trustee

Helmut Schuster (Chair)

Dr. Helmut Schuster is currently Chairman of Ivoclar, a global dental company. He is also the Co-Founder of ethically sourced ‘luxury basics’ brand Chirimoya, a start-up focused on reshaping the perception of luxury and sustainability in the fashion sector. He is an alumnus of AFS Intercultural Programs and has served in various capacities for most of his life, currently serving as a Trustee of the organization and chairing the Strategy Committee.

Helmut is also an angel investor in a number of successful start-ups and is co-authoring the book ‘A Career Carol’, soon to be released by British publishing house Austin MacCauley. The book is aimed at GenZ and Young Millennials, providing career advice that is robust and easy to follow. Prior to his recent activities, he served on the Executive Committee of bp plc for 9 years and the Supervisory Board of bp Europa for 12 years. He is an economist and completed his education with a PhD from the University of Vienna, he also holds a post-graduate diploma in International Relations.

Throughout his professional life, Helmut has supported and mentored young people. In recent years, his interest and focus has shifted to young entrepreneurs in the for profit and not for profit space. He is deeply engaged in dialogue about generations at work and the benefits of multigenerational workplaces. The topic of sustainability is something he has explored over the years, with many investments focusing on start-ups with the potential to be gamechangers in this space.


Chief Executive Officer, African Leadership Institute

Jackie Chimhanzi

Dr Jackie Chimhanzi is the CEO of the African Leadership Institute, which runs the Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship, in partnership with Oxford University, with the aim of nurturing a new generation of African leaders. She is driven by a desire to see a better Africa, in her lifetime.

In 2012, she was recognised by Forbes Africa magazine as one of the 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa – women under 45 shaping the narrative of Africa’s rising. In 2020, she was featured on the “100 Most Reputable Africans” list and in 2019, on the “100 Most Influential African Women” list. She was, previously, the Senior Strategist of the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) and before that, as a Strategy Lead at Deloitte Consulting, she led project teams on diverse client engagements, interrogating and informing the strategies of major entities in the power, oil and gas, steel and brewery industries. Whilst at Deloitte, she was instrumental in setting up the Deloitte Africa Desk and advised clients on accessing opportunities on the African continent.

She is a member of the ONE Africa Policy Advisory Board and also serves as a non-executive board member and Audit and Risk Committee member of the AdvTech Group, a Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed entity in private education and Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. She is also the Chair of that Board’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Committee. She previously served on the Board of Trustees of AFS Intercultural Programs.

She holds a BSc (Hons), MBA (with Distinction) and a PhD (Strategic Marketing) – all from Cardiff Business School, UK. As an academic, she lectured and authored and co-authored papers in peer reviewed leading academic journals and presented her work at various international fora. Her research focused on strategy implementation effectiveness. She is a 2010 Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellow.

Kerry Dryburgh

Executive Vice President, People and Culture and Chief People Officer, bp plc

Kerry Dryburgh

Kerry leads people and culture at bp. As a key enabler of business delivery, people and culture aims to create a culture of purpose, winning, and care, where empathetic leaders and dynamic teams work together to transform bp and reimagine energy for people and our planet.

Previously Kerry held a series of senior HR positions across bp. For a while, Kerry was both group chief talent officer, integrating talent activities throughout the company, and head of HR for the upstream, leading the people transformation agenda. Kerry also ran HR in bp’s shipping, integrated supply and trading and corporate functions teams. Before joining bp, Kerry was HR director at Honeywell International Inc, the American Fortune 100 engineering and aerospace conglomerate, and while at BT plc, the FTSE 100 communications company, Kerry led end-to-end HR teams at the beginning of the mobile and internet technology boom helping to set up new operations and working out of Italy, Asia, and the UK.

Kerry advocates publicly on matters of diversity, equity and inclusion, social mobility, education and health and wellbeing. She is one of the Commissioners leading on the Levelling Up Goals; aiming to set out clear objectives for the UK’s Levelling Up challenge, spearheaded by Rt Hon Justine Greening. She was also a non-executive director of the United Kingdom’s Strategic Command, which managed joint capabilities in support of the three armed services (Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force). Kerry holds an MBA from Henley Business School, UK and a Postgraduate Diploma in Personnel Management from the University of Suffolk, UK. In her spare time, she enjoys keeping fit and interior design.

Anand Verma

Founder and CEO, Expect and Co-founder of Regenerative Alliance

Anand Verma

Anand Verma is the Founder and CEO of ethical AI focused climate technology startup Expect, a London based company, serving the world, committed to helping companies decarbonise, profitably. He is also one of the co-founders of Switzerland-based foundation focused on Regenerative Leadership called Regenerative Alliance.

Prior to his recent ventures, Anand was the Founder and CEO of Brilliant Basics, an award winning Global Design and Innovation company headquartered in London with innovation studios all over the globe. Successfully acquired by Infosys in 2017 to accelerate Design and Innovation for customer-centric products and services. Anand’s remit was inclusive of leading Infosys’ global digital capabilities and was an integral part of the Infosys global leadership team. Anand was deeply involved with leading design school and university partnerships for Infosys to create impactful solutions and partnerships between academia and enterprise.

Anand is a digital visionary, innovator and successful entrepreneur who has a keen eye on new trends and tools to solve complex problems and enable system change. His career has grown from delivering value through the intersection of human-centric problem solving through emerging technologies. He loves creating impact by humanising technology and reducing complexity in the digital world at speed x scale. Prior to founding Expect and Brilliant Basics, Anand was one of the youngest Presidents at Interpublic Group (IPG) leading, a media conglomerate leading their digital innovation unit, innovation together with M&A.

Anand was born in India and at the age of 19 he was awarded an international scholarship from the British Council to read Computer Science, Maths and German at The University of Buckingham. He also completed his Masters by Research there and later on received PhD (honoris causa) from the university for his dedication to entrepreneurship, technology and design. A mission driven, compassionate and kind leader, inspirational in his approach to serving those he interacts with, through the combination of business experience and purpose each day. He has decided to dedicate his life to fighting climate change by combining passion for climate related issues and his professional experience in making the world a better place. He is passionate about mentoring young leaders and entrepreneurs.

Daniel Obst

President and CEO, AFS Intercultural Programs

Daniel Obst

Daniel is President & CEO of AFS Intercultural Programs, a global not-for-profit, non-governmental organization with operations in more than 60 countries. AFS provides study abroad, volunteer and intercultural learning opportunities in 98 countries, for 12,000 young people and 10,000 host families annually, supported by 55,000 volunteers around the world. Under Daniel’s leadership, the 100+-year-old organization has developed a transformative new global strategy focused on three mission-driven impact goals: developing active global citizens, globalizing schools and other institutions and expanding access to intercultural education to young people in underserved communities. In 2021, Daniel led the integration of the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation and its annual Youth Assembly into AFS. 

Before joining AFS in 2016, Daniel served as Deputy Vice President for International Partnerships at the Institute of International Education (IIE) where he provided strategic leadership for many groundbreaking IIE initiatives. Daniel led the launch of Generation Study Abroad, which mobilized 700 international partner organizations to help double the number of U.S. students who study abroad. Under his leadership, partners pledged more than $185 million to support study abroad. He was also responsible for all the activities of IIE’s network of 1,500 member institutions, IIE’s Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education, and the strategic communications team. 

Prior to joining IIE, Daniel worked as Producer and Director of Product Development at the tech start-up, an online community for young internationals who live, work and study abroad. Daniel has a B.A. in International Relations from the George Washington University (USA) and holds a Master’s degree in European Studies from the London School of Economics (UK). He has served on numerous boards, including on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. 

The Youth Advisory Council

AFS Intercultural Programs has appointed eight outstanding young leaders to serve on the Youth Advisory Council, representing youth voices from their respective regions at the global stage.

These young leaders are committed to sustainable development in their communities and the world at large. The Youth Advisory Council will advise the Youth Assembly organizing team on the planning of the conference, including program development and agenda setting as well as recommendations on engaging youth in action and impact.

Meet the Youth Advisory Council