Clinton Global University Initiative-2017 Meeting

Esther Ngumbi
4 min readOct 20, 2017


“Today’s generation of young people holds more power than any generation before it to make a positive impact on the world.”-President Bill Clinton

I have always agreed with President Clinton’s words.

This past weekend, October 13–15, 2017, I traveled to Northeastern University, Boston to attend the tenth annual Clinton Global University Initiative Meeting (CGI U). This was a special meeting because CGI U was celebrating its 10 years anniversary — yes a decade of engaging the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world.

I attended because I serve as a Commitment Mentor for Agriculture.

As usual, attending the meeting allowed me to meet my mentees, other Commitment Mentors like Olivia and John and the more than 1,100 innovative student leaders who have made Commitments to Action in CGI U’s five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health.

The meeting was organized along plenary sessions chaired by President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton as well as smaller working group sessions offering us attendees plenty of opportunities to interact together as well as learn from a very diverse group of panelists.

This year also happened to be special because I was being honored and celebrated as one of 18 commitment makers who made it to CGI U honor roll. Honor roll was created to recognize extraordinary alumni who, over the past decade, have made significant impact through their Commitments to Action or careers, and are continuing to dedicate their lives to taking on complex global challenges and making a difference around the world. Yes, out of 8700 alumnae, CGI U had chosen 18 and I was humbled to be one of them.

In addition, this year, I was one of CGI U invited speakers. I spoke on one of the skills session: Monitoring and Evaluating Your Results.

On Sunday, all CGI U attendees, including President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, participated in a community service project at the Madison Park Technical Vocational School.

The opening plenary session topic was What Unites Us: Building Community in Divided World featuring AMAZING panelists including Daryl Davis, Musician/Race Relations Expert, Lyrad Productions, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Olympic Medalist, Activist, and Entrepreneur, Louella Sandra Uwiringiyimana, Co-Founder, Jimbere Fund. On Saturday, we had three more plenary session topics including On the Move: Creating Opportunity for Migrants and Refugees featuring Madeleine K. Albright, Former Secretary of State; Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group; Chair, National Democratic Institute, Albright Stonebridge Group and National Democratic and the closing plenary session — A Closing Conversation featuring President Bill Clinton, Founder, Clinton Foundation; 42nd President of the United States, Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation and Rep. Joe Kennedy III, (D-Mass.).

Throughout the meeting we had amazing speakers, conversations, plenary sessions and great reception by CGI U staff.

I left the conference fired up and motivated.

I also left the conference with this message to all passionate young change makers out there:

- Consistently show up and be passionate about your work.

- Stay at the job and never leave no matter the challenges.

- Stay focused and yes let the bigger picture and dream keep you going.

To sum it all, I had an amazing experience. Thank you Clinton Global University Initiative for granting me the opportunity. It has been indeed, SEVEN STRONG years with CGI U and I am humbled and grateful!



Esther Ngumbi

Post Doc Auburn University, PhD Entomology, hunger activist, AAUW Alumnae, Aspen Food Security Fellow, Founder Young Thinkers& Spring Break Kenya &OYESKA GREENS