Recognised by the World Economic Forum as one of its Young Global Leaders and by CNN as one of their Inspirational Women of 2014, Gemma Mortensen left OHS in 1995. She graduated from the University of Oxford with a first-class degree in PPE followed by a Masters at EIUC and stints at both Harvard and Yale, becoming a Yale World Fellow in 2015.
Gemma first worked as a journalist, an experience which prompted her to pursue a role within the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom to the United Nations. She subsequently worked within the European Commission before becoming Executive Director at Crisis Action from 2008-2015, during which time she received the 2012 MacArthur Awards for Creative and Effective Institutions and the 2013 Skill Award for Social Entrepreneurship.
Gemma then became Chief Global Officer at Change.org, the world’s largest platform for social change with over 170million users worldwide, leading 17 teams across the world in optimising the reach and effectiveness of Change.org’s various campaigns. The one aspect unifying all these various roles in the media, government and tech industry is that they fulfil Gemma’s life-long quest to learn the skills needed to bend the arc of power, wherever it resides, towards the public interest and the least advantaged.
In recognition of this innovative new take on collaboration and democratic empowerment, Gemma has been named co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Platforms and Systems, a board member of Intelligence Squared and co-founder of The Syria Campaign (with Tim Dixon).
In 2017, she became a co-founder of More in Common, a new international initiative seeking to build communities and societies that are stronger, more united and more resilient to the increasing threats of polarisation and social division.