The new AFS annual award will recognize one extraordinary young person for their commitment to improving the global community with a US$10,000 cash prize, trip to Montreal to attend the AFS Global Conference, international recognition and membership in the AFS community of young and active global citizens. Applications accepted by 31 May.


Distinguished members of the Selection Jury include:



Carrie Bloxson

Carrie Bloxson is the CMO and Head at Impact of, where she oversees the creative and brand strategies for the organization. Carrie is the former Vice President of Marketing for HarperCollins, a global “Big 5” book publisher.

She has spent 20-plus years in key marketing roles, launching groundbreaking campaigns for the world’s most iconic brands and digital properties, including BravoTV, NBC Universal, MTV, VH1, and Comedy Central, and has managed cross-functional areas including creative strategy, programming, audience development, social media, PR, growth marketing, and project management.


Soronko Solutions

Regina Honu

Regina is the CEO of Soronko Solutions. Faced with resistance and misperceptions about the full potential of girls, this young software designer founded the first coding and human-centered design school for children and young adults in West Africa. Her “Tech Needs Girls” movement is making  studying STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering and math—particularly exciting to young Ghanaian women who often are not encouraged to set their sights beyond the home. Regina—who credits her own participation in an AFS exchange program for opening us her world and worldview beyond her roots in Ghana—continues her work using technology to improve lives beyond these learning programs. So far, these programs have trained more than 3,500 girls in Ghana and Burkina Faso. Last year she partnered with Autism Ambassadors of Ghana to introduce an Autism Aid app that provides vital expert information on caring for autistic children.

Regina belongs to the African Leadership Network and the Africa Leadership Initiative West Africa. She is a Mandela Washington Fellow and has received numerous recognition for her work, including beling featured on CNN as one the 12 inspirational women who rock STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), being named as one of the six women making an impact in Tech in Africa and one of 10 female entrepreneurs to watch in emerging economies. The 2018 AFS Global Citizen of the Year Award was presented to Regina Honu.


Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education

Maysa Jalbout

Maysa Jalbout is the CEO of the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, a new landmark philanthropic initiative focused on supporting under-served Arab youth in pursuing high quality education. The foundation is based in Dubai and has an ambitious target of reaching 15,000 youth over 10 years.

Maysa spent five years in Jordan where she first held the position of director of research and strategy at the office of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah and later became the CEO of the Queen Rania Foundation and the vice-chair of the Jordan River Foundation. In Ottawa, Canada, Maysa spent over ten years working for the Government of Canada. She was assistant director for the Social Policy Directorate and senior adviser for the Education Group at the Canadian International Development Agency. Prior to that, she was senior policy adviser in the Social Policy Group and Youth Employment Directorate at Human Resources Development Canada. Maysa started her career with AIESEC—an international youth leadership organization that promotes cultural understanding through exchanges.

Maysa is a member of the Board of Governance of The International Baccalaureate and is a nonresident fellow with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution, Maysa focuses on four education research areas: refugee education, skills development, financing, and technology in education.


Teach For All

Wendy Kopp

Wendy Kopp is CEO and Co-founder of Teach For All, a global network of independent organizations that are developing collective leadership to ensure all children have the opportunity to fulfill their potential.

Wendy founded Teach For America in 1989 to marshal the energy of her generation against educational inequity in the United States. After leading Teach For America’s growth and development for 24 years, in 2013, Wendy transitioned out of the role of CEO. Today, she remains an active member of Teach For America’s board. Wendy led the development of Teach For All to be responsive to the initiative of inspiring social entrepreneurs around the world who were determined to adapt this approach in their own countries. Currently, the Teach For All network is comprised of partner organizations in 48 countries on six continents.

Wendy has been recognized as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards for public service. She is the author of A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn’t in Providing an Excellent Education for All (2011) and One Day, All Children: The Unlikely Triumph of Teach For America and What I Learned Along the Way (2000).


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Andreas Schleicher

Andreas Schleicher is Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). As a key member of the OECD’s Senior Management team, he supports the Secretary-General’s strategy to produce analysis and policy advice that advances economic growth and social progress. In addition to policy and country reviews, he oversees the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), the OECD Skills Strategy, the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), and the development and analysis of benchmarks on the performance of education systems (INES).

Schleicher has been in charge of introducing global competence into PISA, the worldwide assessment of 15-year-old student competences, to gauge how they think about pressing issues of local, global, and intercultural significance. This unprecedented insight will serve as a game changer to encourage more schools systems to integrate global competence into their curriculum. Schools in close to 80 countries participated in the 2018 PISA testing.

In 2018, Schleicher was the inaugural winner of the AFS Global Leader Award.



Helmut Schuster

Helmut Schuster is the group human resources (HR) at BP, a global energy company.

Advocating for diversity and inclusion and developing global competence in young people around the world is a major priority for him. Schuster helped create the innovative AFS/BP Global STEM Academies, a four-week international scholarship program for students from all backgrounds that combines STEM and intercultural learning.

He completed his post graduate diploma in international relations and his PhD in economics at the University of Vienna and then began his career working for Henkel in a marketing capacity. Since joining BP in 1989 Helmut has held a number of leadership roles. He has worked in BP in the US, UK and continental Europe and within most parts of refining, marketing, trading and gas and power. Before taking on his current role, his portfolio of responsibilities as vice president, HR included the refining and marketing segment of BP and corporate and functions. That role saw him leading the people agenda for roughly 60,000 people across the globe that included businesses such as petrochemicals, fuels value chains, lubricants and functional experts across the group.

Helmut is a non-executive director of Ivoclar Vivadent and a board member at AFS Austria.