Project Management Institute Announces 2021 Future 50 List Celebrating 50 Young Rising Leaders Changing the World

Philadelphia, PA

From creating tools to help distribute COVID-19 vaccines to helping address food insecurity, this year's notable changemakers are rising to the occasion in a year unlike any other


Today, Project Management Institute (PMI) announced its second annual Future 50 list, which features 50 rising leaders using bold and innovative thinking to transform the world through notable projects. The 50 standout project leaders, highlighted in a new digital experience on and a special issue of PM Network® magazine, represent a new generation of fearless, young innovators who drive transformation and create positive social impact across the globe. Honorees include groundbreaking achievements from people across many industries and countries, including young technology pioneer Gitanjali Rao of the United States, Pixie Dust Technologies’ Yoichi Ochiai, PhD of Japan and world-class footballer Marcus Rashford of Manchester United. 

PMI® research  shows that only 40 percent of organizations say they prioritize attracting and hiring the next generation of project professionals. But what the Future 50 list highlights is that this new generation is capable of  driving value for businesses and society now and in the future.   

"In an exceptionally challenging year, this new generation of leaders have stepped to drive innovation around the globe," said Michael DePrisco, Chief Operating Officer of Project Management Institute. "With a deep sense of social responsibility, this next generation of leaders are deeply committed to protecting the natural environment, driving diversity and fostering environments of inclusion, and making the world a better place. The 50 individuals featured on this list are each changemakers whose wide range of projects exemplify the power and potential of transformation." 

To identify this year's Future 50 honorees, PMI reached out to hundreds of experts and stakeholders across the globe for nominations. A special committee vetted the rising leaders and narrowed the list of nominees. Finalists were then individually researched or interviewed to create a list representing a full spectrum of regions, industries, and achievements in The Project Economy – one in which people have the skills and capabilities they need to turn ideas into reality. While some honorees are Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification holders, others would not even describe themselves as project managers. What unites the Future 50 is a commitment to project work as the foundation for positive impact today and tomorrow. 

To see the complete list of honorees and what drives this next generation of talent, visit  
The 50 Future Leaders to Watch:* 
A. Toby Espinosa, DoorDash, North America
Abigail Sandala, PMP, Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority, Sub-Saharan Africa
Ackeem Ngwenya, Reframd, Europe
Angelina Howard, Amazon, North America
Ashish Thakkar, Mara Phones, Sub-Saharan Africa
Ayanda More, Apara Global, Sub-Saharan Africa
Bridget Mason, PMP, Tiree, North America
Cassie Richardson, PMP, Electronic Arts, North America
Cat Huang, BIG — Bjarke Ingels Group, Europe
Celeste Holz-Schietinger, Impossible Foods, North America
Christelle Kwizera, Water Access Rwanda, Sub-Saharan Africa
Chong Luen Lim, PMP, Boston Scientific, Asia Pacific
Cristhian Ortiz Elizarbe, PMP, Learn and Share English, Latin America
Devin Finzer,, North America
Eddy Alvarado, Agro360, Latin America
Fatima Ibrahim, Green New Deal UK, Europe
Gitanjali Rao, Kindly,North America
Hanan Al-Maziad, PMP, PgMP, PfMP, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, Middle East/North Africa
Haneen AK Tuama, PMI-RMP, PMP, Basrah Gas Co., Middle East/North Africa
Hannah Hunt, Army Software Factory, U.S. Army, North America
Huge Ma, Airbnb, North America
Innocentia Mahlangu, PMP, Hatch, Sub-Saharan Africa
Jaime Lama Collado, PMI-PBA, PMP, Dominican Republic Stock Exchange, Latin America
Janani Raju, Robert Bosch Engineering & Business Solutions, South Asia 
Jenna Hackett, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, North America
Jenna McNaney, TikTok, North America
Jie Li, Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research & Design Institute, China
Joseph Daniels, Project Etopia Group, Europe
Kevin Love, Coa, North America
Khaleel Baba, PMP, Emaar Properties PJSC, Middle East/North Africa
Li Xiang, X+Living, China
Marcus Rashford, Child Food Poverty Task Force, Europe
Mariana Costa Checa, Laboratoria, Latin America
Megumi Avigail Yoshitomi, Japan Association for Cellular Agriculture, Center for Rule-making Strategies, Tama University, Asia Pacific
Mohamed Baly, Orange Business Services, Middle East/North Africa
Nadaraj Devantharan, PMP, Malaysia E-Government Services, Asia Pacific
Nashin Mahtani, Yayasan Peta Bencana, Asia Pacific
Nathaniel Diong, Future Minds Network, Asia Pacific
Nishita and Nikita Baliarsingh, Nexus Power, South Asia
Omran Sharaf, Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, Middle East/North Africa
Rainier Mallol, Artificial Intelligence in Medical Epidemiology, Latin America
Regine Chan, Generation Z, Asia Pacific
Simon Njuguna, CAPM, Synergetic Energy Partners, Sub-Saharan Africa
Syed Ahsan Mustaqeem, PMP, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd., Asia Pacific
Tanya Elizabeth Ken, LakshyaShala Edutech, South Asia
Tshegofatso Sehlodimela, PMP, Unisa Press, Sub-Saharan Africa
William Meller, Dell Technologies, Latin America
Yoichi Ochiai, PhD, Pixie Dust Technologies, Asia Pacific
Zhengkai Jiang, PMP, CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co. Ltd., China

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Meet the 2021 #PMIFuture50

Meet the next-gen leaders transforming The Project Economy:

About Project Management Institute (PMI)

PMI is the leading authority in project management, committed to advancing the project management profession to positively impact project success. We empower professionals to excel in project management practices through our growing global community, knowledge sharing, and best-in-class certifications—driving positive change in organizations and communities. Since 1969, our unwavering mission has been to advocate for the profession by offering life-long learning and connections to sharpen high-demand skills. Today, PMI provides professionals at every stage of their career journey with the globally recognized standards, online courses, thought leadership, events, and tools they need to succeed. With 300 chapters around the world, PMI members can network, find mentors, access career opportunities, and learn from peers, working together to drive greater impact.

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