Montréal (Canada) The Honourable Denis Coderre, Mayor
“ LIVING TOGETHER IS PRIMARILY A LOCAL ISSUE. OUR COMMUNITIES MUST ACTIVELY NURTURE THE INCLUSION, INTAKE AND INTEGRATION OF ALL CITIZENS. MUNICIPAL POLICIES MUST ASSIST THE INTEGRATION PROCESS BY PROMOTING DIALOGUE AND COMBATTING ISOLATION. WORKING AT LIVING TOGETHER MEANS STRIKING THE RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN OPENNESS AND VIGILANCE. ”
Elected Mayor of Montréal on November 3, 2013, Mr. Denis Coderre is the Executive Committee member responsible for economic development, international relations, Mount Royal and the city’s 375th anniversary celebrations and is Montréal’s highest public office holder.
From 1997 to 2013, Mr. Coderre represented voters from the riding of Bourassa, who elected him to six terms in the House of Commons. During that period, he served as Secretary of State for Amateur Sport, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and President of the queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Minister Responsible for the Francophonie and Head of the Office of Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada.
Mr. Coderre holds a Degree in Political Science from the Université de Montréal and an Executive MBA from the University of Ottawa. He was promoted to the rank of Commander of the Ordre de la Pléiade of the Canadian branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, which honours the achievements of individuals who have distinguished themselves in serving the ideals of the French-language community.
Bamako (Mali) Mr Adama Sangaré, Mayor
“ THE SPACE WE ALL SHARE WILL BE FRIENDLIER AND MORE SECURE WHEN WE GIVE EVERY CITIZEN REASONS TO RESPECT AND TOLERATE OTHERS. ”
Adama Sangaré has been at the helm of Bamako, the capital of Mali, since July 6, 2007. Upon taking office, he expressed great ambitions for the Bamako District, which he hoped to propel into the 21st century.
His colleagues confidence won him seats on decision-making bodies of the Association internationale des maires francophones (AIFM), Cités et gouvernements locaux unis (CGLU) and METROPOLIS.
From 1998 to 2007, he was in turn Third Assistant of Vital Statistics, Second Assistant and then Head of Vital Statistics, of the Census and of Administrative and Legal Affairs of Commune III, as well as Chair of the District’s Twinning and Cooperation Commission.
In addition to his political appointments, Adama Sangaré also served as Teaching Assistant at the Mali’s National School of Administration, Representative of AFRIDRA-ONG Paris to Bamako, attorney at Ousmane Dicko and Social Security Inspector for the Directorate General of INPS.
Mr. Sangaré is 49 years old and has a Masters of Law from the National School of Administration and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the École des sciences de la gestion at the Université du Québec à Montréal (ESG-UQAM).
Beirut (Lebanon) Mr Bilal Salim Hamad, Mayor
Mr. Bilal Salim Hamad has been Mayor of Beirut since June 2010. After coming to office, the Beirut City Council launched a municipal development and modernization strategy. The strategy included a broad range of projects, such as renovation of infrastructure and rehabilitation of green spaces, tunnel and bridge building and construction of new museums. The city has also rolled out temporary traffic management and parking measures, while planning long-term solutions. In addition to these infrastructure projects, either underway or in planning, Mr. Hamad’s development strategy emphasizes municipal delivery of social and humanitarian services.
Bilal Salim Hamad is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He is also a consultant in the design and construction of reinforced concrete and steel structures. He has published over 100 technical articles and conference proceedings. He has also participated in organizing numerous local, regional and international seminars.
Born in Beirut in 1955, Bilal Salim Hamad is married to Ms. Rouba Award and is the father of four children. With a Degree from the American University of Beirut, he also earned a Masters and a Doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin.
Brussels (Belguim) Mr Yvan Mayeur, bourgmestre
“ WE MUST RESPECT OTHERS IN THEIR DIFFERENCES, LIFESTYLES AND FREEDOMS. BRUSSELS HAS LONG FOSTERED OPEN-MINDEDNESS, TOLERANCE AND MUTUAL RESPECT. ”
Yvan Mayeur became Mayor of Brussels on December 16, 2013. With an 18-year record of social commitment as President of the Brussels Public Social Action Centres (CPAS), Mr. Mayeur intends, as mayor, to continue his war on poverty and all forms of social exclusion.
Yvan Mayeur has been a member of the Belgian House of Representatives since the late 1980. In 1995, he was named President of the Brussels CPAS. Determined to modernize this institution, he restructured management, while redefining its core roles in many fields. The Brussels CPAS now have roles that extend well beyond financial assistance and include genuine social initiatives supporting health, housing and employment.
In Brussels, Mr. Mayeur has long been engaged in efforts to increase quality housing at affordable rents, particularly to meet challenges posed by the population boom. During the current legislative session, he was asked to coordinate the “1,000 Housing Unit Plan” policy of the city and his CPAS.
IRIS President from 2005 to 2008, Yvan Mayeur helped created and upgrade financial management of the Brussels public hospital system, by maintaining the dual goals of excellent care and universal access.
Born January 24 in Etterbeek, Yvan Mayeur is a social worker by training.
Dakar (Senegal) Mr Khalifa Ababacar Sall, Mayor
Mayor of Dakar since April 2009, Khalifa Ababacar was re-elected in June 2014. He runs his city according to two primary rules: open governance and participatory democracy.
Since coming to office, Mr. Ababacar’s priorities have been education, socioeconomic promotion of women and young people and the war on poverty. At the same time, he has set up such programs as La Ville en bon parents d’élèves, the Fonds de développement et de solidarité municipal (FODEM) and PAFSEP.
To modernize Dakar and improve its living conditions, Mr. Ababacar has also sought to attract big investments for state-of-the-art municipal infrastructure projects. These ground-breaking developments will also generate jobs. He is committed to supporting and promoting culture by facilitating access to training in cultural occupations and make Dakar a dynamic, innovative community. He also wants to expand Dakar’s dialogue, friendship and cooperation with the world’s other cities.
A former Deputy Minister in charge of relations with the Assemblies and Minister of Trade and Craft, Mr. Ababacar has been a Member of the National Assembly since 2001. Born in 1956, he has a Masters of History and a Masters of Constitutional Law.
Douala (Cameroon) Mr. Fritz Ntonè Ntonè, Mayor
‘‘ THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE TO LIVING TO GETHER IS INCREASING THE RESPONSIBILITY OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES SO RESIDENTS CAN LIVE IN HARMONY WITH EACH OTHER BY BECOMING MORE INVOLVED IN RUNNING THEIR NEIGHBOURHOODS AND THEIR CITY. ’’
Dr. Fritz Ntonè Ntonè has been Mayor of Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital, since 2006. The nation’s President also appointed him Government Delegate to Douala’s Urban Community. Since becoming mayor of the country’s biggest city, Dr. Ntoné’s efforts include implementing in his city some of the world’s most advanced urban planning and management tools. Their use has triggered a vast urban renaissance and unprecedented international municipal cooperation.
Since Mr. Ntonè Ntonè is also a consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO), key partners in development often call on him, particularly with respect to urban management issues.
A physician and general surgeon by training, Fritz Ntonè Ntonè was born in Douala in 1954. He became mayor following a long professional career in which he ran several public hospitals in Cameroon, including the nation’s largest, Douala’s Laquintinie Hospital.
Fès (Morocco) Mr Hamid Chabat, Mayor
Mr. Hamid Chabat has been Mayor of Fez since 2003. A Moroccan politician and trade unionist, he is currently Secretary General of the Istiqlal Party, Member of the House of Representatives for Fès-Nord since 1997 and Secretary-General of the Morocco General Workers’ Union (UGTM) since 2009.
Mr. Chabat worked in a Fez motorcycle assembly plant during his youth. He became well known for his active participation in Fez’s social protests during the 1980s and 90s.
Affiliated with the UGTM, Mr. Chabat became the organization’s head after several years working within it. He was elected to Parliament for the first time in 1997, but his career acquired new impetus in 2002 when he became Fez’s Member in the House of Representatives. In the 2003 local elections, he was chosen as Mayor of Fez, then re-elected in the 2007 legislative elections.
On January 30, 2009, Mr. Chabat was elected head of the UGTM. During 2009 local elections, he was re-elected Mayor of Fez, then re-elected Representative for Fès-Nord in the 2011 legislative elections.
Born August 17, 1953 in Taza, Hamid Chabat was elected head of the Istiqlal Party on September 23, 2012.
Geneva (Switzeland) Mr Sami Kanaan, Mayor
“ DRAWING A BOUNDARY ALWAYS IMPLICITLY CROSSES THAT BOUNDARY, SAID HEGEL. PROMOTING LIVING TOGETHER REQUIRES A DEEP COMMITMENT TO UNDERSTANDING BOUNDARIES—AND KEEPING THEM FROM FRAGMENTING AND DIVIDING OUR SOCIETIES. THROUGH DIALECT AND RESPECT WE MUST BUILD BRIDGES TO CROSS SUCH DIVIDES AND FIND A COMMON APPROACH. A BOUNDARY SHOULD BE A FENCE, NOT A RIFT. ”
Sami Kanaan has been Mayor of Geneva since 2014. Member of the Socialist Party since 1988, he had a seat on Geneva’s Parliament (City Council) from 1997 to 2001 and then Geneva’s Cantonal Council from 2001 to 2005. Upon his election to City Hall in 2011, he became responsible for the Department of Culture and Sports.
Head of the European Union Rectors’ Project, Mr. Kanaan was an Associate in the Evaluation of Public Policies before joining Geneva’s Department of Social Cohesion, Youth and Sports in 2007.
Former President of the Swiss National Students’ Union (UNES), Sami Kanaan worked for 10 years at the Maison de quartier des Eaux-Vives. From 1999 to 2011, he was also a member of the Committee of the Transportation and Environment Association—Geneva Section and, from 2001 to 2011, member of Groupe sida – Genève.
Born in Beirut in 1964, with dual Lebanese and Swiss citizenship, Sami Kanaan speaks several languages. His has lived in Lebanon, Greece and Switzerland (Bern, Zurich and Geneva). He earned an MD Degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and a Political Science Degree from the University of Geneva.
Halifax (Canada) Mr Mike Savage, Mayor
Mike Savage was elected Mayor of Halifax on October 20, 2012. Previously Member of Parliament for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour from 2004 to 2011, Mr. Savage was Official Opposition Critic for Human Resources and Skills and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, as well as Chair of the Liberal Caucus Committee on Post-Secondary Education and Research.
Mr. Savage served as General Manager of S. Cunard & Co., a home and heating retailer in Nova Scotia. He subsequently became Director, Residential/General Business Marketing and Sales for Nova Scotia Power. From 2002 to 2004, he was Vice President of Business Development and Senior Consultant for Robertson Surrette. He was also Vice President, Business Development at M5 Marketing.
Mike Savage was a member of the IWK Hospital Board from 2002 to 2004 and a Board Member of the Neptune Theatre. Former President of the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia, he served on the Board of the National Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada from 1998 to 2003. He actively supported literacy by contributing to the Dartmouth Book and Writing Awards and the Peter Gzowski Invitational Golf Tournament for Literacy. He has contributed his energies and leadership to the Red Cross, Junior Achievement, Canadian National Institute for the Blind and Alderney Landing Convention Centre. Since 2011, Mayor Savage has headed a United Way Strategic Council (Halifax Region) to help the organization find strategic supports that could help it build and strengthen community and neighbourhood living.
Born in 1960, Mike Savage grew up in Dartmouth and studied at Dalhousie University. He lives in Dartmouth with his wife Darlene and their two children.
Hiroshima (Japan) Mr Kazumi Matsui, Mayor
Kazumi Matsui was elected Mayor of Hiroshima in April 2011, then re-elected in 2015. He served as President of Mayors for Peace, an NGO bringing together more than 6,600 municipalities in 160 nations and regions, with the goal of establishing lasting international peace and the elimination of nuclear weapons.
He began working at Japan’s Ministry of Labour in 1976 and became Secretary General of the Embassy of Japan to the United Kingdom from 1989 to 1992. He served in different positions in the same ministry, in the Workers’ Division of the Office of Women’s Labour (1993) and the Division of Professional Inclusion Measures for Seniors in the Employment Office (1994).
In 2002, he became Director to the General Coordination Division of the Minister’s Secretariat, of the Deputy Minister of International Affairs and in 2006, Representative of Japan to the Board of Directors of the International Labour Organization (ILO). In 2008, he was appointed General Manager of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of Professional Relations.
Kazumi Matsui holds a Law Degree from the University of Tokyo.
Île-de-France Region (France) Mr Jean-Paul Huchon, President
President of the Île-de-France Region since 1998, Mr. Jean-Paul Huchon has also served, since 2006, as President of METROPOLIS, President of the Syndicat des transports d’Île-de-France, President of the Metropolitan Section of the CGLU and Vice President of the CGLU. A member of the Socialist Party, he was also Mayor of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine from 1994 to 2001.
With a degree from the Paris Institute of Political Studies and a former student of the National Administration School (ÉNA), Mr. Huchon was a Civil Administrator at the Ministry of Finance’s Budget Division. In 1981, he became Director of the Office of Michel Rocard in the Ministry of Planning (1981 to 1983), in the Ministry of Agriculture (1983 to 1985) and Hôtel de Matignon, the French presidential residence (1988 to 1991). In 1985 and 1986, he was Chief Executive Officer of the Caisse Nationale du Crédit Agricole, then Adviser to the President. From 1992 to 1994, he was Chief Executive Officer, then Adviser to the President of Pinault-Printemps.
Born in Paris in 1946, Mr . Huchon is also author of Jours tranquilles à Matignon, Ceux qui aiment ne peuvent pas perdre and De battre ma gauche s’est arrêtée.
Johannesburg (South Africa) Mr Mpho Franklyn Parks Tau, Mayor
Mpho Frankly Parks Tau has been Johannesburg’s Mayor since 2011 and is the city’s second democratically elected leader. A political militant since the age of 14, he now heads South Africa’s biggest city, with 4.8 million residents.
Born on the outskirts of Soweto, Mpho Franklyn Parks Tau grew up with his brothers and sisters during the struggle against apartheid. From his youth, he belonged to organizations opposed to racial segregation and served in various positions in the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) and the Soweto Youth Congress, where he was elected President.
With a Graduate Degree in Public Administration from Regenesys, he is currently working toward a Masters of Public Policy and Management at the University of London. Mpho Franklyn Parks Tau was born June 6, 1970 in Orlando West, near Soweto.
Lac-Mégantic (Canada), Colette Roy Laroche, Mayor
Mrs. Colette Roy Laroche was elected Mayor of Lac-Mégantic in 2002. During her three terms of office, always having residents interests at heart, she played a very active role among the various local economic organizations. No sooner did the railway tragedy occur in 2013, deeply affecting the population in her area, she displayed great courage and determination in order to mobilize the competent resources and recommend actions to take. In 2014, she was named «Chevalière» of the Ordre national du Québec and was awarded a Meritorious Service Cross by the Governor General of Canada.
A graduate of Université de Sherbrooke in the field of teaching, Mrs. Roy Laroche worked in the education sector for over 35 years before becoming Mayor of Lac-Mégantic. She taught for 12 years at the Commission scolaire de Lac-Mégantic and then, in turn, held the positions of teaching consultant, director of educational services and director general. She was then appointed assistant director general of the Commission scolaire des Hauts-Cantons.
During her career, she was also involved on the Conseil supérieur de l’éducation (official member), the École nationale des pompiers (administrator) and Cégep de Beauce-Appalaches (Chairperson of the Board of Directors) as well as the Union des municipalités du Québec (administrator).
Miami (USA) Mr Tomàs Pedro Regalado, Mayor
Tomás Pedro Regalado became Miami’s 33rd mayor in 2009.
Hailing from Havana, Cuba, he arrived in the United States in 1962 to become the youngest reporter ever hired by WFAB radio. Tomás P. Regalado rapidly moved up through the ranks. At 21, he was hired by NBC affiliate WCKT as Editor-in-Chief of Latin-American news and Anchor of the Tele-Amigo news. After two years at that station, which became Channel 7, he returned to WFAB as a News Director and Presenter. In 1983, he was the first Cuban-American to join the White House Press Corps.
In 1996, Mr. Regalado was elected Miami Commissioner. A week later, Operation Greenpalm exposed the city’s financial crisis and an Oversight Board was installed. Mr. Regalado was re-elected in 1999, 2003 and 2007.
While Miami Commissioner, Tomás P. Regalado also headed the Spanish Broadcasting System News, a daily show with commentators broadcast by WWFE La Poderosa and hosted a daily news program on Cable Network TeleMiami.
Born May 24, 1947, Tomás P. Regalado is the first child of Tomás Regalado Molina and Carmen Rita Valdez Regalado.
Monterrey (Mexico) Ms Margarita Arellanes, Mayor
Margarita Arellanes was elected Mayor of Monterrey in July 2012 and after taking office in November 2012, became the first women in Monterrey’s history to serve in this position.
As Mayor, Ms. Arellanes overhauled the police force, making it one of the most effective and trusted in Mexico. She also rolled out many social programs for kids and teens in the fields of education and recreation.
Having begun her career as an attorney specialized in commercial, civil and family law, she has held various jobs in the Nuevo León government. From 2000 to 2003, she was legal adviser to the Action Nationale party’s legislative group at the Nuevo León State Congress. In 2004, Ms. Arellanes joined the federal public service as head of Social Development to the Federal Delegation of the Nuevo León’s Ministry of Social Development (SEDESOL), before serving as its Director from 2006 to 2012.
Ms. Arellanes holds a Bachelors of Law from the Université autonome du Nuevo León. She did her doctoral studies in constitutional and public law at the University of Salamanca, in Spain. Born June 1976 in Monterrey, she is currently working toward a Masters in Public Administration from ITESM.
Mulhouse (France) Mr Jean Rottner, Mayor
“ WELL-INFORMED, PEOPLE ARE CITIZENS; BADLY INFORMED THEY BECOME SUBJECTS. THIS QUOTE FROM FRENCH ECONOMIST AND SOCIOLOGIST ALFRED SAUVY IS PARTICULARLY PERTINENT IN OUR HYPER-CONNECTED WORLD. IN AN EPOCH OF A SHARING SOCIETY AND COLLABORATIVE ECONOMY, WE CAN NOW PROVIDE OUR FELLOW CITIZENS NOT ONLY WITH THE MEANS OF LIVING TOGETHER BUT OF EVOLVING TOGETHER. HELPING PRESERVE THE COMMON GOOD IS AN EXCELLENT GOAL FOR A RENEWED DEMOCRACY. ”
Jean Rottner has been Mayor of Mulhouse since 2010 and was re-elected in March 2014. He was also Vice President of the Mulhouse Alsace Agglomeration, Official Responsible for Land Planning and Official Responsible for Development of the New Economy. Vice President of the Association des maires de grandes villes de France (AMGVF), he was elected President of the Fédération des agences d’urbanisme (FNAU) in September 2014.
He Co-Chairs the Digital Task Force of the Association des maires de France (AMF) and the AMGVF’s Economic Development, Innovation and Digitlization Committee.
Alternate Deputy for the Fifth District of the Haut-Rhin from 2002 to 2012, Jean Rottner was elected First Assistant to the Mayor of Mulhouse in 2008 before being elected Mayor in 2010 following Jean-Marie Bockel’s resignation.
Jean Rottner is also National Secretary of Local Elected Officials for the Republican (former UMP) party.
Born in 1967, Mr. Rottener is a physician. He practiced in the emergency room at Mulhouse Hospital from 1997 to 2005 before heading the Emergency Medical Sector from 2005 to 2009.
Paris (France) Ms Anne Hidalgo, Mayor
In September 2012, Anne Hidalgo announced her decision to run for Mayor of Paris in 2014. She won in March 2014 and became the first woman to hold that job.
With a Masters of Social Labour Science and a Post-Graduate Degree in Social and Union Law, this dedicated worker was, in 1982, one of the very few women to pass the National Labour Inspection Exam. In 1984, she was appointed to her first labour inspection position in Chevilly-Larue (Val-de-Marne) . At the time, she was 23, the youngest employee ever to hold this job. Seven years later, she was named Director of the National Labour Institute. She was next employed by the Vocational Training Authority of France’s Ministry of Labour.
After a brief term at Compagnie générale des eaux en 1996, Ms. Hidalgo joined the Socialist Party (PS) in 1994 and began her political life in 1997 as Adviser to the Minister of Labour, Martine Aubry.
After working in two other ministries, Ms. Hidalgo ran as a candidate for 2001 city elections in Paris’s 15th district, bastion of the French right. Anne Hidalgo, lost in the second round, but won a seat on the Paris City Council. After he was elected mayor, Bertrand Delanoë promptly made her his First Deputy. In 2004, she also become Regional Advisor of the Île-de-France Region and was re-elected to that post in 2010.
A daughter of Spanish Republicans, Anne Hidalgo was born June 19, 1959, near Cadix, in Andalusia. Immigrating to France with her family in 1961, she grew up in a Lyon working-class neighbourhood. Ms. Hidalgo is married and the mother of three children.
Quebec City (Canada) Mr Régis Labeaume, Mayor
Régis Labeaume was elected Mayor of Quebec City on December 2, 2007, then reelected in November 2009 and in 2013.
Before entering City Hall, he headed the Fondation de l’entrepreneurship, an organization dedicated to the promotion of entrepreneurial culture in Québec. Special Adviser to Cité de l’optique from 2000 to 2004, he was a member of Innovatech Québec’s Board of Directors from 1997 to 2005 and of the Hydro Québec Board from 2001 to 2006. He was also a member of TSO3’s Board.
Mr. Labeaume was Co-Owner of Réadaptation Québec, Founder and President of Mazarin Mining from 1985 to 1993, Board Chair of the Asbestos Corporation, Board Chair of Bell Asbestos Mines from 1992 to 1993 and Consultant to foreign firms seeking to set up offices in Québec.
Mr. Labeaume has been actively involved in Greater Quebec City’s cultural and social scene throughout his career. He was Board Chair of the Centre d’information et de référence de la Capitale nationale, Vice President of the World Youth Congress and President of Constellation 2001, a TV producer. He was also a Board member of the Canadian Council for Small Business, the Fondation de l’Université Laval, Pignon Bleu (an agency that supports families in Quebec City’s Lower Town), the Chaire Fernand-Dumont sur la culture and the Quebec City Summer Festival.
Régis Labeaume holds a Sociology Degree from Université Laval and a Diploma from the Collège des administrateurs de sociétés (CAS).
St. Petersburg (USA) Mr Rick Kriseman, Mayor
Rick Kriseman was appointed to St. Petersburg’s City Council in 2000, elected in 2001 and re-elected in 2003. In 2005, he was chosen by his peers to head St. Petersburg’s City Council. In 2013, he was elected Mayor of St. Petersburg.
During his time on the City Council, Mr. Kriseman served on the Public Arts Committee and the Arts Advisory Committee. He was also Chair of the Public Security, Service and Infrastructure Committee and Treasurer and Vice-Chair of the Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization. In addition, Mr. Kriseman was a member of the Special Committee on Wheeled Recreation, the Council Procedures Committee, the Transportation Impact Fee Task Force, The Livable Communities Task Force, the Pinellas County Cultural Arts Advisory Task Force and served as Vice-Chair of the Legislative Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations Committee.
With this track record, Rick Kriseman ran for Florida’s House of Representatives and won in 2006, then was re-elected in 2008 and 2010. His colleagues made him Policy Chairman from 2011 to 2012, in recognition of his leadership and work ethic.
Rick Kriseman earned a Bachelors of Science (Broadcasting) from the University of Florida in 1980 and studied at the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1987 and started his career in the United States Federal District Court and the United States Court of Appeals.
Thiès (Senegal) Mr Talla Sylla, Mayor
“ MANAGING TO RESPECT OUR DIFFERENCES, WHILE SHARING OUR PRINCIPLES AND VALUES. ”
Mr. Talla Sylla has been Mayor of Thiès, Senegal, since July 2014. A proud patriot and fervent champion of human rights, he is also leader of the popular movement Action pour la renaissance Wallu Askan Sénégal and President of the Alliance for Progress and Justice.
Mr. Sylla joined the African Independence Party at the age of 14. In 1998, he founded the Jëf Jël Alliance, his political party, which would eventually become firmly established. He was elected Deputy to and Vice President of the National Assembly in the 2001 legislative elections. He resigned on December 7, 2001 to protest widespread corruption in governance.
Talla Sylla also helped launch the Bennoo Siggil Senegal opposition, which won the 2009 elections. Born in Pikine in 1966, he was a leader of Dakar’s student movement from 1987 to 1993.
Victoria (Republic of Seychelles) Ms Jacqueline Moustache-Belle, Mayor
Jacqueline Moustache-Belle has been Victoria’s Mayor since 2012 and is also President of the Victoria Districts Association.
After completing her studies in communication and then radio and television production in France, the US and Mauritius, she took a training program for diplomats of the UK Commonwealth, then studied public relations some years later.
Over the span of her 30-year career, Ms. Moustache-Belle worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Planning, the Ministry of Tourism and Transport and, for 20 years, the Compagnie de la Radiodiffusion et de la Télévision des Seychelles. She was one of the key figures involved in launching the Seychelles’ first private commercial radio station. Before being elected mayor of Seychelle’s capital, she was also Executive Director of the National Arts Council for one year.
Globally oriented, Ms. Moustache-Belle has participated in many national and international forums. She has also visited and even lived in many different nations. She speaks English, French and Creole. Born in the Seychelles in March 1961, she is married and the mother of three children.
Washington DC (USA) Ms Muriel Bowser, Mayor
First elected as Ward 4 Councilmember in a 2007 special election, Ms. Bowser was re-elected in 2008, then again in 2012. On November 4, 2014, she was elected as the District of Columbia’s seventh mayor—and only its second woman mayor.
Throughout her career, Ms. Bowser has strived to improve the lives of residents throughout the District. She was selected by her colleagues on the Council as Chairwoman of the Committee on Economic Development. She made big strides in creating affordable housing and promoting recreational activities. Previously, as Chair of the Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation and the Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs, Chair of the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority Board’s Planning, Program and Real Estate Committee, Muriel successfully supported numerous economic and social reforms. She also previously served as Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Transportation Planning Board.
She was also honoured with the Democratic State Committee’s Legislator of the Year Award (2012), the Phyllis Campbell Newsome Public Policy Leadership Award (2012), and the NoMa Business Improvement District Public Sector Award (2012).
Muriel, a native Washingtonian, earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Chatham College and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from American University.