For Immediate Release         

Tuesday, May 24, 2005   

Los Angeles, CA –John Bryant, Operation HOPE’s Founder, Chairman, and CEO, joined over 1,700 world leaders from government, private sector and non-governmental organizations to attend, the World Economic Forum in Jordan addressing global security and prosperity in the Middle East May 20 -May 22, 2005. Participants engaged in a series of private workshops focusing on the issues of energy supply, financial services, infrastructure and educational reform. Those in attendance include First Lady Laura Bush, and Jordan’s King Abdullah and Queen Rania.

"Rising leaders of today need to forge viable partnerships to spearhead a process of change,” said Her Majesty Queen Rania of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. “The Forum of Young Global Leaders will activate a network of insightful, innovative and energetic young people whose vision and dynamism can usher a future of hope, progress and positive growth."

John Bryant remarked “I am here in Jordan because I was invited as a Young Global Leader. I am here in Jordan because I am told the work that Operation HOPE has done to empower third world countries in America – her inner cities and low-wealth communities, and the best practices that flow from this work, can be applied to solving problems around financial illiteracy, self-help and economic empowerment in other parts of the world, and particularly here the Middle East. I am here because we all inhabit this small planet, and we are all brothers and sisters.  I am here because this is a sensitive and important time in world history, and I don’t want to take someone else’s word for what is going on in the Middle East, and amongst those of the Muslim faith. Finally, I am here because our mission is poverty eradication, and ultimately all roads lead back to the issue of poverty. You want to solve health and public safety issues, solve poverty. You want to deal with the environment, or even get a handle on this global issue of terrorism – solve poverty. With the exception of God’s love, all of these issues and problems facing the world today, directly or indirectly find their way back to the agenda that is most important to the members of the World Economic Forum, and is our central mission statement at Operation HOPE – eradicating poverty as we know it. That is why I am here, and I could not be more pleased that I participated, representing the Young Global Leaders, and my country as well.”

John Bryant participated in the meetings as one of the Young Global Leaders. The Forum of Young Global Leaders brings together outstanding leaders, aged 40 years or younger, who have committed to devote part of their knowledge and energy over the next five years to collectively work towards a better future. As a national community leader, Bryant has been cited by the past four (sitting) U.S. presidents for his work to empower low wealth communities across America.

The Forum of Young Global Leaders makes up an exciting, powerful network of leaders from 69 different countries. This group consists of delegates from around the world: 72 from Europe, 62 from North America, 49 from Asia, 19 from the Middle East and North Africa, 18 from sub-Saharan Africa and 17 from Latin America.

Drawn from a pool of 8,000 candidates from around the world, the Forum of Young Global Leaders were nominated by a committee of 28 eminent international media leaders including CEO of Pearson, Marjorie Scardino; New York Times Company Chairman, Arthur Sulzberger; CEO of the Reuters Corp, Tom Glocer; and HDTV visionary Katsuji Ebisawa. The committee is chaired by Her Majesty Queen Rania of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

About John Bryant

Founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE, Inc. (OHI), America’s first nonprofit social investment bank and a national provider of financial literacy and economic empowerment programs. Through ongoing collaborations and long-term partnerships with leading government, private sector, and community interests, OHI works to bring self-sufficiency and a sustained spirit of revitalization to America’s inner-city communities.  OHI’s HOPE Centers, a growing network of inner-city banking centers, have created more than 800 new homeowners and small business owners, more than $125 million in funded loans, and more than $210 million in commitments for homeownership and small business loans from their 250 bank and corporate partners. OHI’s Banking on Our Future program has delivered financial literacy education and related services to more than 147,000 children across the country. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and a network of private and community partners, OHI’s HOPE Coalition America has provided free financial counseling and casework services to Americans affected by natural disasters and national emergencies in 125 cities in 35 states to date. Taken together, these programs make Operation HOPE the national leader in economic empowerment tools and services for the under-served in America. OHI and its programs can be found online at www.operationhope.org. 

About The Forum of Young Global Leaders

The Forum of Young Global is comprised of leaders, aged 40 years and younger, committed to shaping the future. The Young Global Leaders include leaders from each of the seven geographic regions and from the worlds of politics, business, society, learning, arts and culture. Each year, around 200 Young Global Leaders are nominated to serve for a period of five years, ultimately forming a community of 1,111 by 2009. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, The Forum of Young Global Leaders is in the process of being incorporated as an independent, not-for-profit foundation, under the supervision of the Swiss Government. The Forum of Young Global Leaders was created by Professor Klaus Schwab in 2004 and acts in close cooperation with the World Economic Forum in their joint commitment to improving the state of the world. For more information and a detailed list of all Young Global Leaders, please visit www.weforum.org/ygl . Information is also available at our website, www.younggloballeaders.org 

About The World Economic Forum

It is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world. The Forum provides a collaborative framework for the world’s leaders to address global issues, engaging particularly its corporate members in global citizenship.  Incorporated as a foundation, and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests.  For more information visit www.weforum.org


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