Lord Bates

Minister of State at the U.K. Department for International Development

Lord Bates is responsible for Trade and Economic Development. He is also the House of Lords Spokesperson for the Treasury. Previously, he was a Minister of State at the Home Office.  At DFID, he is also responsible for the Caribbean, Overseas Territories, United Nations & Commonwealth, International Financial Institutions and Global Partnerships.


 Cherie Blair

Wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Leading lawyer and committed campaigner for women’s rights, Cherie set up the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women in 2008 to help women build small and growing businesses in developing and emerging markets so that they can contribute to their economies and have a stronger voice in their societies. 

As well as fighting for human rights in her professional career, Cherie is an active campaigner on equality and human rights issues. In addition to founding her own charity, Cherie remains closely involved with charities with a special emphasis on women and children.

Cherie was an Ambassador for London 2012, supporting the bid to host the Olympics in the UK and was awarded a CBE in the 2013 New Year's Honours List for services to women's issues and to charity in the UK and Overseas.


H.E. Ms. Rula “BibiGul” Ghani

First Lady of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Since assuming the responsibilities of First Lady of Afghanistan in October 2014, H.E. Rula Ghani has visited with many of her compatriots. She sees her role as a listener, a facilitator, and an advocate. She strongly believes in women’s aptitudes and was instrumental in assisting a group of young Afghan women entrepreneurs establish a Chamber of Commerce for Afghan Women in March 2017.


The First Lady was born in Lebanon and met her husband, President Ashraf Ghani at

the American University of Beirut in 1975. She holds a Diploma de l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Paris and two Masters, one in Political Science and the other in Journalism.

Juliee Gichuru

Kenyan Entrepreneur and Media Personality

Julie Gichuru is a media personality and entrepreneur with investments in media, retail, hospitality and entertainment sectors. Julie is an Independent Director on the Boards of Brand KENYA Board and Acumen Communications Ltd and is a Fellow and Trustee of the Africa Leadership Initiative EA, the East African arm of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Julie conceptualised and hosts syndicated pan African television show Africa Leadership Dialogues.

Julie's career in the media over the past 18 years has seen her work across the fields of broadcast, print and digital media. Julie has also pioneered an impressive number of television shows, from the first Kenyan investigative TV series, The Inside Story on KTN to various current affairs shows at NTV including political and current affairs programs Showdown, On the Spot, You The Jury and The People's Voice, and the celebrated news program Sunday Live and peace and reconciliation program Fist to Five at Citizen TV. Also included in this list is the celebrated post election peace specials Voices of Reason. She was a key player in the organisation of the first Presidential Debates in Kenya in 2013 and had the honour to host the first Presidential Debate in the series. Through ARIMUS Media Limited Julie now oversees the production of quality African content such as Africa Leadership Dialogues, high school debate platform Great Debaters Contest and entertainment series Maisha, among other programs.

Julie is a celebrated Peace Ambassador and has been recognised for her peace efforts both nationally and internationally. Most notably, she received the Martin Luther King Salute to Greatness in 2008 for advocacy on peace and non violent action following the 2007 post election violence. She is the first African woman to receive this award.






Soumaya Keynes

Economics correspondent, The Economist

Soumaya Keynes writes about trade and the US economy for The Economist, and has written about topics including the role of women within economics, the wisdom and impact of President Donald Trump's trade policies, and the economics of trade in cheese. She appears regularly on the Economist's Money Talks podcast. She is also the co-host of the Trade Talks podcast, a weekly podcast about the economics of trade policy hosted by the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington DC. Before joining The Economist, Soumaya was a researcher at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and before that a policy adviser at HM Treasury. 

Isa Mueller-Wegner

Vice President, Emerging European Countries (EEC).

Isa oversees all aspects of eBay’s business and is responsible for eBay’s operations in markets such as France, Italy, Spain, Turkey and MENA countries.

Isa joined eBay in 2014 as Senior Director of EMEA strategy. Prior to this, Isa worked at consulting firm Bain & Company in both Zurich and London where she started out as a consultant and left as Principal. Isa has also worked for the BBC in Strategy and as a consultant for Arthur D Little in London and Singapore.

She has an MBA from Harvard University (Baker Scholar) and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University.

In her spare time, Isa – a mother of two - enjoys travelling, spending time outdoors in the Swiss mountains with her family and all the wonderful cuisines of the EEC.


Nataliya Mykolska

Trade Representative of Ukraine –Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine


Nataliya Mykolska has an extensive experience of over 15 years working as a legal counsel on all aspects of international trade including WTO and free trade agreements, trade remedy proceedings, trade financing, cross-border trade transactions and contracts, agency and distribution, franchising and other matters.


In addition to catering to clients’ needs throughout her legal practice within Ukraine’s top law firms, Ms. Mykolska also worked with governmental institutions to assist in approximation of Ukrainian legislation to Ukraine's international obligations, including the development of the EU-Ukraine DCFTA provisions on market access for goods, trade remedies, SPS measures, customs facilitation and dispute settlement. Her professional experience also includes advising on potential impact on clients’ business of “new” free trade agreements, developing business positions and representing clients’ interests in relations with governments, etc. For a number of years Ms. Mykolska advised the World Bank and International Finance Corporation on customs law and regulatory issues, taking part in the Doing Business project.


As Trade Representative of Ukraine – Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, Ms. Mykolska is focused on launching the state export support system, promoting Ukrainian products and services on export markets, multilateral and bilateral preferential agreements, consistent and predictable trade policy as well as on defending the interests of Ukraine at the WTO.


Nataliya Mykolska is initiator of SheExports Program in Ukraine, which is the part of ITC SheTrades initiative. SheExports Program is coordinated by Export Promotion Office under the Ministry and developed in line with the Export Strategy of Ukraine.


Sanem Oktar Öğüt


President, Kagider, Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey


Sanem’s career started in Colgate Palmolive in 1993. She established her first company Tribeca Communications in 1997. In 1999, she founded Tribal Sales & Marketing Support Services; in 2002, founded her database marketing company, directComm. She lastly founded Limonsocial in 2011.  In 2015, WPP announced that GroupM, the leading global media investment group acquired  majority stake in directComm. Recently, she became partner and CEO of Wunderman İstanbul. A serial entrepreneur; she was one of the  Top Ten Women Enterpreneurs of Turkey in 2010; her numerous work and projects have been awarded many times. Since May 2015 she is the President of KAGIDER; also a member of W20 Steering Committee.

Dame Stephanie Shirley CH

Founder, FI Group

Dame Stephanie Shirley (84) arrived in England as an unaccompanied child refugee in 1939, took a maths degree at night school and started a female-friendly software company back in 1962. This eventually employed 8,500 people and was valued at $3bn when it was acquired by the SopraSteria Group in 2007.

The first female President of the British Computer Society and at one time the 11th richest woman in England, Dame Stephanie (or Steve as she came to call herself) has given away over $100m to IT projects such as the Oxford Internet Institute and to her late son’s disorder of autism.

Her memoire, Let IT Go, is being made into a film; her TED talk has been viewed over 2m times and she was appointed Companion of Honour (one of only 65 worldwide) last year.


Paola Subacchi

Senior Research Fellow, Global Economy & Finance, Chatham House

Paola Subacchi is an economist, writer and commentator on the functioning

and governance of the international and monetary system. She is a senior fellow at Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs) in London, a visiting professor at the University of Bologna, and a director of a number of public companies. Her latest book, The People’s Money: How China is building a global currency, was published by Columbia University Press. An Italian national, she studied at Universitá Bocconi in Milan and at the University of Oxford. In 2016 she received the honour Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia.


Adi Maimalaga Tafuna

Executive Director, Women in Business Development Incorporated, Samoa.

Adi Maimalaga Tafuna’i is Co-founder and Executive Director of Women in Business Development Inc in Samoa. The organisation was set up in 1991 and she has since led it through several transitions, mainly shifting from economic empowerment for urban women to creating and sustaining rural economies for struggling Samoan families. In the  1990s, she began a campaign to organically certify farms to add value to their products and ensure families wellbeing and health through eating organic produce. Mrs Tafuna’i was involved in reviving the coconut industry in Samoa through introducing virgin coconut oil pressing and, in 2008 she confirmed a fair trade contract with cosmetic giant The Body Shop. Mrs Tafuna’i was also instrumental in reviving the dying art of Samoa’s fine mat weaving and transforming it into an income-generating activity for Samoa’s weavers. Regionally, she played a key role in the formation of the Regional Organic Task Force, which brought together regional organic practitioners and established the Pacific Organic and Ethical Community, which developed the Pacific Organic Standard, only the third regional organic standard worldwide. She believes that sharing is the pathway to success for small Pacific countries that do not have the resources or quantities of product to sustain an export market. In 2006, she served as the chair of the Pacific Island Association of Non-Governmental Organisations. Her dedication was recognized in 2008 when she was awarded the New Zealand and Samoa Prime Minister’s Fellowship award.  In 2010, Samoa’s Government named Mrs Tafuna’i as “Person of the Year”. In 2012  Mrs Tafuna’i’s work was acknowledged with the Economic Empowerment award at the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards in Washington DC.


Hon. Dr. Isatou Touray

Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration, and Employment, The Gambia

Isatou Touray is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP), a leading organisation in the fight against female genital mutilation. She has supported many grassroots groups to organize and contribute to national development of The Gambia, which earned her great respect and recognition across the country. She is known for her decades-long efforts towards women's sexual and reproductive health and rights. In 2016, she was the first female candidate in history to run for president in The Gambia. She holds a PhD in Development Studies with emphasis on Gender, from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom



Full list of speakers to come