Diana Yousef, PhD, MBA, MA is a serial entrepreneur with 10+yrs experience commercializing technology for social and environmental impact in the developing world. Formerly, she consulted for McKinsey, co-founded IFC/World Bank’s Life Sciences Investment Group and the United Nations’ Inclusive Markets incubator, and was a seed-stage VC with Battelle Ventures. She co-founded: WeCyclers (social venture to clean up urban slums and create recyclables supply chain linkages in Nigeria), Immerse Global (Stanford-spin out to develop atmospheric water capture technologies), and SachSiSolar (MIT-spin out to develop revolutionary new materials to lower the cost of solar energy). She is a former protein biochemist (A.B., Harvard; Ph.D., Cornell), and holds an MBA and MA in International Development (Columbia). She serves as an advisor to the TED Fellows Program and a Founding Council Member for NASA/USAID’s LAUNCH Accelerator. She is founder & CEO of change:WATER Labs.
Huda has extensive academic and applied background in the water field. She has professional experience internationally, including Mexico and the Middle East, and in various facets of the water industry, including municipal plant operations for wastewater treatment, desalination, and water process engineering. Her bachelor’s degree from McGill University focused primarily on the fields of geohydrology and aquatic chemistry. She joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT in 2012, after completing her graduate work at the University of Michigan, where she concentrated on industrial and environmental chemical contamination and control, by means of exposure modeling, sampling and analysis protocol development, and novel sampling hardware apparatus prototyping. She is a published author in the fields of environmental public health, water treatment design, maintenance optimization and field applications. In addition, Huda consults in the field of commercial aquaculture.
Yongji's research interests focus on fundamental fluid mechanics, involving interfacial fluid dynamics, water wave theory, gas dynamics, and aeroacoustics. He is currently a research assistant at MIT in Professor Bourouiba's Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Group (FDDT), aiming to understand fundamental physical mechanisms shaping the transmission dynamics of pathogens in human and plant population. His project focuses on studying the disease transmission due to drop fragmentation upon impact. Before coming to MIT, Yongji worked as a full-time research assistant at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). He was responsible for the "Control of High-Order Acoustic Modes in Aircraft Engines" project, part of the National Basic Research Program of China (Program 973). Yongji was selected to join the Shanghai Jiao Tong University-HKU dual degree program. He received a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering with First Class Honours by HKU in 2012. In 2013, he graduated from Cambridge with a Master of Advanced Study in Applied Mathematics (MASt) with distinction.
Heba is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and social media specialist. She holds a master’s degree in Journalism from the University of British Columbia and has almost a decade of story-telling and PR-related experience. Her professional experience as a writer, blogger, videographer and content manager is international, with projects based across Africa, the Middle East and North America. Her published work and research deal with subjects spanning human rights concerns, conflict, policy issues and conditions in the developing world.
Harvard Arab Weekend 5th Start-Up Pitch Competition Winner, 2016
HELLO TOMORROW Challenge — Water and Waste, 2016 (Finalist)
MIT Enterprise Forum PanArab Innovation for Refugees Competition, 2016
Tamer Social Impact Fund, 2016
New England Water Innovation Network Pitch Competition Winner, 2016
Mass Clean Energy Council Catalyst Award, 2015-6
MIT 2015 IDEAS Global Challenge: Grant Winner
MIT/NStar Clean Energy Prize — Infrastructure Track & Development Track, 2015 (Finalist)
Mentor Capital Network Sustainable Business Plan Competition, 2015 (Semi-Finalist)
MIT Water Innovation Prize, 2015 (Semi-Finalist)
MIT 100K ACCELERATE, 2015 (Semi-Finalist)
Gifted Citizens Award, 2014 (Finalist)
Fraunhofer TechBridge Challenge, 2014 (Finalist)
Verizon Powerful Ideas, 2014 (Finalist)
Echoing Green, 2015, 2016 (Semi-Finalist)
PANELS and CONFERENCES
Panelist, Harvard Igniting Innovation Summit on Social Entrepreneurship (Cambridge, MA; November 2015)
Speaker, Columbia Business School Social Enterprise Conference (NY, NY; September 2015)
Speaker, Mentor Capital Network Conference (United Nations; July 2015)