As a member of The World Bank’s Open Government team, Felipe Estefan ’08 leads a tireless effort to improve the transparency of governments and increase civic participation in communities across the globe. In doing so, Estefan has emerged as a distinct leader within his field of work.
On Sunday, Jan. 20, Estefan shared his expertise on leadership at the Colleges during two events at the 2013 Leadership Institute. Estefan first delivered a keynote address in the Vandervort Room of The Scandling Campus Center. Following the address, Estefan participated in a dialogue with Daniel Budmen ’15 as part of the Leadership Café series that weekend.
“We live in a world with significant problems and inequalities, and beginning to resolve those problems will require true leaders who have the willingness and passion to inspire change in their communities,” Estefan says. “I’m excited to be able to chat with students about the way in which they can be those leaders.”
The Leadership Institute, which took place Saturday, Jan. 19 through Monday, Jan. 21, provided students with an array of workshops, speakers, and special events all with a focus on leadership development. The three-day program was organized by the HWS Centennial Center for Leadership. The theme this year was “Big Citizenship.”
At the Leadership Institute, Estefan says he focused on how “proactively exercising citizenship is a form of leadership.” Estefan says that all people start with the potential to be a leader and have the ability to inspire meaningful change in their communities.
“In an increasingly interconnected world, we can’t underestimate what a single person can do-and how a person can lead others-to make the world a better place,” Estefan says. “That’s what leadership is about.”
Currently, Estefan works with programs around the world that focus on increasing civic engagement, bolstering positive change in communities, and improving the lives of the public. “It’s a great privilege to be part of programs that are leading to better conditions for citizens in communities around the world,” Estefan says.
Prior to joining The World Bank Open Government practice, Estefan worked as a planning producer at CNN, where he developed and implemented digital engagement initiatives. In March 2012, Estefan visited the Colleges to discuss his professional experiences with social media and technology.
“What I love the most about coming back to campus and interacting with students, is that each one of the students is on a journey to find the way in which they can live a life of consequence. Being able to witness those journeys, even if for a moment, and being able to exchange insights and ideas is a great honor,” Estefan says. “When I was a student at HWS, I found a community of people willing to help me and support me, and I cherish the opportunity to be able to also help and support current students.”
At the Colleges, Estefan was a double major in media and society and international relations. He graduated magna cum laude with honors from the media and society program and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Estefan had a double minor in peer education and human relations and writing colleagues.
A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Estefan holds two degrees from Syracuse University, an M.A. in international relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and an M.S. in public relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.