An award-winning communications consultant and former journalist, Sharif Rangnekar uses every possible platform—talks, writing and music—to advocate change and garner support for the LGBTQ community. He is author of Straight to Normal: My Life as a Gay Man (2019), and Realizing Brand India: The Changing Face of Contemporary India (2005). As a journalist, Sharif was correspondant for The Economic Times and The Pioneer, before leading Integral PR as its CEO and chairman. Named to the Global Power List by PR Week in 2015, he was recognised as PR Professional of The Year in 2013 by the India PR & Corporate Communications Association. Sharif provides counsel in the area of workplace diversity and inclusion specific to the LGBTQ community, and is associated with Open For Business, a platform that promotes such policies. He curates Embrace: Music Justice Arts, a platform that blends art with social justice, and is frontman of the band Friends of Linger, which released India’s first song dedicated to the gay community, “Head Held High.”
Rania Azab is Group CEO of the 4PR Group in Cairo, Egypt. Rania has more than 20 years of experience in the communications industry in both private and public sectors. She uses her strong understanding of the region’s markets and international trends to offer clients world-class services that not only meets their needs but anticipates them. Prior to founding 4PR, Rania engineered the public re-launch of the Egyptian stock exchange as well as establishing its PR and communications department, a first in the Egyptian public sector. She started her career in 1992 with advertising, moving from being an account executive at Tarek Nour Communications to an account director at the D’Arcy international advertising network, working on both local and international accounts including Procter & Gamble, Emirates Airlines TWA, Colgate, Palmolive, Mars products and more. Rania’s specialties include strategic consultancy, corporate reputation management, brand PR, crisis and issue management as well as integrated communications tools.
Baaba Cofie is a founding partner and Senior PR Consultant of Mahogany Consult, a Public Relations Consultancy in Ghana. She has over nine years experience in corporate communications for both local and international clients, with expertise in communications research, content creation and management, development and health communications consulting and event management. She has worked on brands such as Siemens, SWIFT, FBNBank Ghana, New Chrystal Hospital, Proctor and Gamble, Comic Relief, Operation Smile, Project Fives Alive! (National Catholic Health Secretariat), the Ghana 2010 World Cup Planning Committee and more.
Baaba is also a public relations lecturer with the School of Communication Studies, Wisconsin International University College, in Accra, Ghana. She is a professional theatre director and writes as a freelance journalist. She holds a Master of Philosophy Degree (MPhil) in Communication Studies (Public Relations and Print Journalism) from the University of Ghana, Legon and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre Arts (specializing in Theatre Directing and Music).
Alnoor Ladha is a media strategist, civil society advocate and grassroots community builder with extensive global experience in climate communications. Mr. Ladha has served on numerous boards including Greenpeace International USA (2012 to 2017) and the P2P Foundation (2015 to 2018). He is co-founder and Executive Director of The Rules, a global network of citizens dedicated to changing the rules that create inequality, poverty and climate change, and is currently co-founder of Tierra Valiente (Brave Earth), a sustainable community and alternative healing center in Costa Rica. From 2010 to 2013, Mr. Ladha was a Partner and Head of Strategy at Purpose, a movement-strategy consultancy and incubator based in New York City. His work has been published by Al Jazeera, Truthout, Common Dreams, Occupy.com and Fast Company among others.