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World Economic Forum Honors First American Indian as a Young Global Leader

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Andrew Lee, Seneca, will be the first American Indian honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. For 2011, the forum selected 190 Young Global Leaders from 65 countries, described as "stakeholders of society," representing a variety of businesses. Each year the forum recognizes distinguished leaders under the age of 40 from around the world among a pool of nearly 5,000 candidates. The selection committee was chaired by Rania Al Abdullah, Queen of Jordan.

A total of 668 Young Global Leaders from more than 100 countries act as an independent not-for-profit foundation for the World Economic Forum, under the supervision of the Swiss Government. They work together to integrate young leaders into deep interaction with global society.

Formerly the executive director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at the Harvard Kennedy School and founder of the Harvard Project's Honoring Nations tribal governance awards program, Lee currently serves as the vice president of new businesses for Aetna, the national health care benefits company.

Lee, 38, is half-Seneca and his extended family resides on the Seneca Nation of Indians’ Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in western New York. He has co-authored a comprehensive book on the social and economic conditions among tribes and serves on a number of national boards and advisory councils for institutions such as the Smithsonian, Harvard University and the National Congress of American Indians. Lee received his bachelor's degree from Hamilton College and a master in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a Woodrow Wilson fellow in public policy and international affairs, states the Aetna press release.

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“We are proud to have Andrew recognized among the next generation of global leaders,” said Mark T. Bertolini, Aetna CEO and president. “Aetna is committed to expanding its global presence and this distinction reinforces the importance of our commitment to having a talented, diverse workforce in place to compete in the global marketplace. In his six years with Aetna, Andrew has made valuable contributions to the organization.”

Other 2011 honorees include Nikki Haley (governor of South Carolina), Shinjiro Koizumi (member of Japan's House of Representatives), Blake Mycoslie (founder of TOMS shoes) and Hala Gorani (anchor of CNN International). Some past recipients include Larry Paige and Sergey Brin (co-founders of Google), Mark Zuckerberg (founder and CEO of Facebook), Roger Federer (professional tennis player) and Maria Bartiromo (anchor, CNBC Business News).