CGI U Events

Alumni Celebration: Recognizing 12 Years of Impact and Innovation

CGI U’s largest alumni gathering to date took place place at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island in New York City on Saturday, November 2, 2019. This CGI U Alumni Celebration convened a group of outstanding young leaders, business and nonprofit executives, philanthropists, and members of the media, for reflection on and celebration of social impact and innovation. It highlighted CGI U’s long-term commitment to inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs and providing them, as students and as alumni, with access to a wide range of resources, expertise, and mentorship. The day featured high-profile plenary sessions led by President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, in addition to alumni-led small-group discussions and networking opportunities. The event presented a unique opportunity to connect with a diverse global community of entrepreneurs and social innovators who are making impactful contributions to society.


Check out more images in our Facebook album, CGI U Alumni Celebration 2019.

Watch Chelsea Clinton moderate the alumni panel, Beyond the Commitment: Sustaining the Drive to Make a Difference.

Watch President Bill Clinton moderate the leadership panel, Choosing Possibility Over Peril: Lessons in Leadership.

See the full directory of speakers and alumni-led discussion facilitators.

Full-Day Program:

  • 9:30AM - 10:15AM Check-in / Light Breakfast
  • 10:15AM - 10:30AM CGI U Welcome Remarks with Kevin Thurm, CEO of Clinton Foundation, and Myeashea Alexander, Commitments Manager of Clinton Global Initiative University
  • 10:30AM - 11:30AM Alumni-Led Small Group Discussions: Round 1
  • 11:30AM - 11:45AM Break
  • 11:45AM - 1:00PM Morning Plenary

Beyond the Commitment: Sustaining the Drive to Make a Difference

With a network of over 10,000 alumni from 1,100 schools, 163 countries and all 50 states, CGI U students have made over 8,000 Commitments to Action, positively impacting their hometowns, their college campuses and communities around the globe. From expanding access to solar energy and preventing iron deficiency, to advocating for LGBTQ equality and helping low-income youth access higher education, the talent and dedication of CGI U alumni are a testament to how young intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs are on the frontlines of social impact. Yet behind their successes, alumni have shared the challenges they face every day in their commitment to address society’s most pressing issues. At a time when it is more important than ever for young people to persevere in their drive to make a difference, how can CGI U alumni draw on each other and the broader Clinton Foundation network for strength, support, courage and resilience? In this plenary session, members of the CGI U community will share their journeys through hardship, failures and challenges as they commit each day to making a difference around the world. 

Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation

Kristin Duquette CGI U '13, Former Appointee, Obama Administration
Derrius Quarles CGI U '13, Fellow, Foster America and Founder of Million Dollar Scholar
Suhani Jalota CGI U '14, Founder and CEO, Myna Mahila Foundation
Ashifi Gogo CGI U '09, Founder and CEO, Sproxil, Inc.

  • 1:00PM - 2:00PM Networking Lunch
  • 2:15PM - 3:45PM Afternoon Plenary

Choosing Possibility Over Peril: Lessons in Leadership

The number of global challenges are increasing: from natural disasters caused by climate change to growing income inequality to political conflict and violence around the world. Yet despite - and as a result of - these overwhelming challenges, change leaders have chosen possibility and hope over division and despair.  In this plenary session, leaders from the nonprofit, business and philanthropic sectors will share their experiences, lessons learned and the core values that inform and inspire their leadership during this age of both promise and uncertainty.

Robert S. Harrison, Chairman, Cornell University Board of Trustees

President Bill Clinton,
42nd President of the United States

Indra Nooyi, Former Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo
Cheryl Dorsey, President, Echoing Green
Zainab Salbi, Humanitarian, Journalist, and Author
Howard W. Buffett, Professor and Research Scholar, Columbia University

Sixto Cancel CGI U '13,
Founder and CEO, Think of Us
Mahmoud Khedr CGI U '18, Co-Founder and CEO, FloraMind
Agnes Igoye CGI U '11, Deputy National Coordinator Counter Human Trafficking, Government of Uganda
Katie Sgarro CGI U '16, Co-Founder, Asylum Connect

  • 3:45PM - 4:00PM Break
  • 4:00PM - 5:00PM Alumni-Led Small Group Discussions: Round 2
  • 5:00PM - 5:15PM CGI U Team Closing Remarks and Next Steps
  • 5:15PM - 6:30PM Alumni Reception

Alumni-Led Small Group Discussions:


  • Using Art & Media for Social Innovation, Myeashea Alexander CGI U '10 (Room 061) 
  • Networking & Building Partnerships, John Kester III CGI U '12 and Israt Aishee, Up to Us (Room 061)
  • Pitching for Investment, Gavin Armstrong CGI U '13 (Room 071)
  • Human Trafficking, Agnes Igoye CGI U '11 (Room 071)
  • Scalable Systems, Scalable Impact, Daquan Oliver CGI U '13 (Room 081)
  • The Next Generation of Social Entrepreneurship, Ben Conard CGI U '16 (Room 081)
  • Building Resilient Organizations, Robert Pecchio CGI U '15 (Room 091)


  • Impact Assessment & Outcome Based Thinking for Social Enterprises, Oscar Jorge Romero Jr. CGI U '17 (Room 061)
  • Human-Centered Design Thinking & Creativity, Devon Skerritt CGI U '16 (Room 061)
  • The Social Entrepreneurship Journey Within Developing Communities, Ritu Jadwani CGI U '18 (Room 071)
  • Effective Fundraising, Vinny Johl CGI U '10 (Room 071)
  • Theory of Change, Frank Fredericks CGI U '08 (Room 081)
  • Diversity & Inclusion: Ensuring No One is Left Behind, Ryan Ubuntu Olson CGI U '10 (Room 081)
  • Leveraging Partnerships & Collaborations for Social Impact, Pauline Pamela Pratt CGI U '17 (Room 091)
  • Social Listening During Disaster Response, Cari Dighton CGI U '10 (Room 091)