Rising Leaders

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Oslo's Premier Arena for Young Talent

Entrepreneurs. Student Leaders. Young Professionals. Rising Leaders, a joint program between AmCham and the U.S. Embassy, brings them all together in an innovative program that aims to promote diversity and connect Oslo’s most promising young talent with our 250+ member companies. 

At the core of the Rising Leaders is an unshakable commitment to diversity and a focus on empowering young people from underrepresented groups. Program participants include Norwegians from minority backgrounds, immigrants, and young leaders with extensive international experience. Rising Leaders, furthermore, strives for equal gender representation among program participants.  

Through dedicated quarterly sessions and regular AmCham and U.S. Embassy gatherings, program participants collaborate with our member leaders, developing the skills necessary to thrive in today’s global business environment.

About the Program

Promoting Diversity

At the core of Rising Leaders is an unshakable commitment to diversity, connecting underrepresented groups with the Norwegian business community.

Leadership Development

Through four events held on a quarterly basis, program participants network and develop their professional skills with our member companies.

Company Awareness

Rising Leaders offers a unique opportunity for member companies to connect with promising young talent from diverse backgrounds.

Connecting Member Companies with Promising Young Leaders from Diverse Backgrounds

The limited size of the Rising Leaders group is arguably its greatest strength – allowing program participants to network, connect, and explore careers with AmCham’s diverse range of member companies. The programs meetings go beyond the typical lecture and meet & greet format of the traditional young professional program by including consulting sessions, roundtable discussions, and workshops led by member company representatives.

As a participating company, you’ll have the opportunity to highlight your organization’s strengths, in addition to the opportunity to build relationships with our diverse group of program participants.

Ambitious, Driven, and Engaged? Apply Today!

We’re looking for the next generation of international corporate leaders in Norway – innovators, change makers, and creative thinkers that will shape the future of the transatlantic economy and take on the world’s most pressing issues. The Rising Leaders program is now accepting applications for the program’s 2020/21 cycle. To apply, please download the application form below and return it to tb@amcham.no by July 1.

We use the following selection criteria when evaluating applications for the program:

  • Diverse background and/or international experience.
  • Demonstrated leadership track record
  • Proven academic, business, and/or entrepreneurial excellence
  • Ability to work as a part of a team

Program Participants

Rising Leaders participants come from around the world, bringing a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives together in Oslo’s most dynamic group for young professionals and student leaders.

Program Participants
Countries Represented
Organizations Represented
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Annual Meetings

Rising Leaders 2019-2020

Emily Northway

Emily is an American working as the digital marketer and content manager for Oslo Business Forum. She previously worked at Visma on the international marketing team

Bonina Challenor

Bonina Challenor is a lawyer from Perth, Western Australia, who holds a combined Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing Major) and Bachelor of Laws (with Honours) from the University of Western Australia. After graduating in 2016 she worked as an associate for a Supreme Court Judge before moving to Oslo in 2018 to pursue her passion for human rights. She is currently studying the interdisciplinary masters programme on the Theory and Practice of Human Rights at the University of Oslo, and recently completed an internship at the Business for Peace Foundation. Aside from work and study, Bonina is passionate about mental health, mindfulness and yoga, and in 2018 she completed her yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India.

Himal Gautam

Himal has been involved in leveraging technology to tackle fundamental business issues in marketing and brand development in Nepal for over five years. Having worked primarily in strategy and marketing prior to moving to Oslo, he is currently pursuing an MSc in Finance at BI Norwegian Business School. A firm believer in cross-functional and cross-cultural collaboration, he intends to develop a career in helping businesses grow.

Alex Hsi

Alex holds a MSc degree in Economics and Business Administration from the Norwegian School of Economics. He has previous work experience with beeing one of the Directors in Founder Institute Norway, BCG Digital Ventures, several media agencies, and has educational experience from London, Hong Kong and San Francisco. He is currently the CEO of Awelio and Rocket Capital, working for Wavemaker and is also the Chairman of the Board of Awelion. Awelion is launching a new type of tea by replacing tea bags with tea crystals under the brand TwiceTea.

Caroline Pledger

Caroline is an American, based in Norway for the last four years, and serves as President of the Rising Leaders Board. She has a bachelor’s degree in International Environment and Development Studies, and is currently finishing her master’s at the University of Oslo in Peace and Conflict Studies. She has a strong focus on sustainability and climate, with past fieldwork experience from India, China, and East Africa. She currently works as Communications Coordinator at the Business for Peace Foundation. 

Christoffer Sanne

Christoffer holds a bachelor’s degree in international business and administration at BI in Oslo, with a concentration in shipping. He currently works as a CS advisor at Jotun and has previously held the title of HR-manager at Start BI.

Adrian Falck

Adrian is a PA/PR consultant at Hill+Knowlton Strategies. He is passionate about environmental issues and wants to work towards responsible and sustainable business, particularly in the maritime domain. Adrian has experience from DNV GL and the Business Intelligence-group Firstpoint. He holds an M.Sc. in Energy and Environmental Economics from the NHH Norwegian School of Economics, as well as a Master’s in International Management from CEMS and Keio University in Tokyo.

Daniel Aevalo

Daniel is a Product Engineer from Colombia. He has a master’s degree in innovation and entrepreneurship from the University of Oslo as and another one in interaction design from NTNU. He has previous educational experience from Texas A&M, Harvard University Extension School and MIT. He is currently working with Glimty AS and Heibots.

Hamza Malik

Hamza is passionate about the interactions between humans, technology and change, and is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Leadership and Organizational Psychology at BI. He has a bachelor in economics, and experience as an entrepreneur and a leader. Hamza aims to connect business and strategy to psychology in order to create more effective organizations.

Iselin Haugereid Kolsø

Iselin is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and economy at BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo. At BI, she is also working as a supervisor within innovation camps. Through events such as Start BI, Oslo Business Forum, and SHE Community, Iselin has developed a diverse skill set and has a wide range of experiences. In addition, Iselin has a bachelor’s degree in fashion design.

Gediminas Meskauskas

Gediminas is from Lithuania and has been living in Norway since 2010. He is working as CFO in Moodie AS, and additionally consulting start-ups on financial & business planning. Gediminas holds a MSc degree in Business from Norwegian Business School BI. He has over five years of experience in start-up arena and worked with entrepreneurs in MedTech, SaaS, Agriculture, EdTech and Leisure industries. Gediminas is always striving for improvements and welcoming every challenge on the path to success.

Damla Kostek

Damla is a Turkish/Canadian student pursuing her master’s degree in Urban Planning & Human Geography at the University of Oslo. She has lived in Istanbul, Toronto, and Hungary before moving to Oslo in 2018. She has always been interested in community-building and sustainable mobility practices. Currently, she works as a Community Manager at Startup Grind Oslo and a Marketing Assistant for a small-scaled startup.

Ka Man Mak

Ka Man holds a MSci degree in Environmental Geoscience and received additional training in child psychology, documentary photography, journalism and data analytics. She is the founder of The Oslo Desk which envisions a world where everyone of diverse colour, ethnic background and cultural identity will find a place of belonging in their community. She covers stories of the underrepresented with the approach of constructive journalism. She is also involved in Midwife2Midwives, a peer-to-peer training program with a purposely designed midwife kit for safer pregnancy for women and children in Kenya. In addition, a Kavli Trust Tech Fellow.

Dragoș Cantea

Dragoș Cantea is a Romanian concert pianist. He is pursuing an advanced Master’s Degree at the Norwegian Academy of Music and at the same time he is being engaged in an artistic PhD research project in Iași, Romania. Besides performing, he is also leading cultural projects in both countries as an artistic director.

He is an advocate of innovation in art, setting up concepts with actors and/or visual artists under the care of Rotary International, while supporting charity causes in Romania, especially in the educational field. Also, he established his own company in Norway to develop artistic programs in the business and diplomatic environment.

Tove Olaussen Freeman

Tove is a 2018 graduate of the European Master’s in Health Economics and Management Joint- Degree Program (EUHEM) offered by the Erasmus University Rotterdam, in the Netherlands; The Management Center Innsbruck, in Austria; The University of Bologna, in Italy; and the University of Oslo, in Norway. She is also a 2016 graduate of Brandeis University in the U.S.A. Tove currently works as the Intellectual Property and Risk Manager at Ably Medical, a Norwegian medical device start-up company, where she is responsible for maximizing the value of Ably Medical’s intellectual property and for minimizing the impact of third-party intellectual property rights on Ably Medical’s technical and commercial strategies.

Tove holds both American and Norwegian citizenship.

Georgeta Negraru

Georgeta Negraru is the Project Manager of The Rising Leaders’ Board.  She has lived in three countries, and her body of knowledge emerges at the intersection of education, research, economy, arts, and science. Her diverse cultural and professional background helps her to develop human potential in sustainable results. Design thinking and human centered design are some of the strategies she uses as a teacher and coach. 

Sergiu Maznic

Sergiu is the Country Director of Startup Grind, and a Senior Consultant at Pöyry Management Consulting. He has work and educational experience from Moldova, Romania and the U.S.

Sharon Ghebremedhin

Sharon is pursuing a law degree at the University of Oslo. She has been involved in the international student organization ELSA, where she previously served as Vice President of ELSA Oslo’s traineeship program. She also currently works in UNICEF Norway and was a delegate at UN Women’s 62nd session in the United States.

Suyong Basnet

Suyong is a Nepalese student pursuing his master’s degree in biotechnology at the University of Oslo, and works as a research engineer at the university.

Synne Emilie Stålesen

Synne is the Vice President of the Rising Leaders Board, and is currently studying Retail Management at BI. She also works as an order consultant in addition to her studies, and was previously the head of marketing for Start BI.

Thomas Rostad

Thomas is currently pursuing a degree in Marketing at BI and is the current president of Start BI.

Anders Melhus

Anders has a masters degree in Economics and International Relations from the University of Aberdeen and is currently working with economic diplomacy in Oslo. 

Maggie Yang

Maggie is an Australian who moved to Oslo in 2014. She currently works as Investor Relations and Business Development Associate at Verdane, a Northern European private equity firm. She has also been part of an Australian youth delegation to the OECD Forum (Paris, France) and an Australian-New Zealand delegation to the 60th Harvard Model United Nations (Boston, USA).

Maggie holds a Master of Science in Business (honours), majoring in finance, from BI Norwegian Business School and a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and Accounting from the University of Melbourne.

Contact Us

To get your company involved

  • Tyler Thomas Barrott
  • +47 967 07 921
  • tyler.barrott@amcham.no