Global Executive Team

Mehrdad Baghai
Co-Founder, Chairman, and Global CEO

As Global CEO of High Resolves, Mehrdad has focused on rapid growth of the program in Australia and expansion into the U.S., Canada, China, Brazil and Africa. Mehrdad is Chairman of Alchemy Growth, a boutique strategy advisory firm. Previously, he was a partner at McKinsey & Company and co-leader of the Firm’s worldwide Growth Practice, and an Executive Director at the CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. Mehrdad has degrees from Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School and Princeton University. He is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I have seen and felt the impact of social division and hatred first hand. We need to think of prejudice, racism and hatred as public health issues and engage in immunization programs in order to eradicate these diseases.

Roya Baghai
Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer

Roya has a degree in architecture but has worked in many different design fields, from graphic and object design to typography. Throughout all her work, she has been passionate about creating transformative experiences through design. Her commitment to creating positive social change and empowering young people to do the same was the inspiration and driving force behind the co-creation of High Resolves in 2005 and her deep involvement since. Over the last three years, she has also been the Executive Director of Videos for Change: a powerful platform that is amplifying the voice of young people who have creatively engaged with social issues and are catalysing positive change in the world.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I am passionate about contributing in some small way to the creation of a world with unity in diversity, and where justice and equality of opportunity is upheld and experienced by all. I am joyous and privileged to work towards this vision with the impressive and multi-talented team at High Resolves.

Anna Howarth
Director, Strategic Programs & Business Development

Anna is a community engagement professional, who worked for Microsoft for 14 years, most recently supporting youth and community outcomes, in the position of Microsoft Philanthropies Manager. Prior to this role, Anna was Microsoft Australia’s chief customer advocate in the position of Customer Experience Director. She also led Employee Communications functions across Microsoft, Optus and the Commonwealth Bank.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

I am a passionate advocate for supporting Australian youth and I am excited to personally be involved in an organisation that embraces diversity and works with young people to develop inclusive behaviours in our leaders of tomorrow.

Donna Hutchison
CEO, Australian Region

With over 15 years of experience in design, strategy, corporate finance and transformation, Donna is a business leader who loves helping people solve complex problems. As CEO of High Resolves Australia, Donna is focused on growing the program to reach more than 50% of Australian teenagers over the next five years. 

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

We are changing the world, one young person at a time. By equipping a critical mass of young people with the skills required to solve complex problems and act in the long-term collective interest of humanity, I believe we can make a difference. 

Paul Kelsey
Global COO and Acting CEO, North American Region

Paul Kelsey was the inaugural CEO for High Resolves for ten years in Australia and is now the Global Chief Operating Officer. Prior to High Resolves, Paul was in various senior management positions in financial services for over 20 years.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I am passionate about High Resolves more than ever now because I have three teenage children, and I see first-hand how difficult it is for young teenagers to develop a genuine sense of empathy for global issues and to feel empowered to make a difference.

Hanno Kemp
COO, Videos for Change

Hanno has worked in many divergent roles in education, including high-school teaching, managing a private tertiary institution, mobilising skilled volunteers to address needs in under-resourced schools and consulting on the education management of professional licensing bodies. Before joining High Resolves, he spent 7 years working with a small, multi-disciplinary team at the FUEL Trust (Feed, Uplift, Educate & Love) to help facilitate large-scale improvements in curriculum delivery, school feeding, and early childhood development practices in South Africa. Hanno holds qualifications in Law and Organisational Psychology.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

I believe in the powerful combination of agency and hope. High Resolves helps young people imagine a world that often lies beyond their everyday reality – and inspires and equips them to make that world a reality. 

Steve Moore
Director, Program Office & Compliance

While working in some of India’s poorest communities, Steve was struck by the power of education to create social change. Upon returning to Australia he resolved to help equip young people with the skills to positively change the world around them. Working as a science teacher in Sydney’s high schools, Steve saw the need for new educational experiences that developed students as active participants in society, leading to him organizing and running leadership programs in low socio-economic status schools. Joining the High Resolves team enabled Steve to unite his management experience in the for-profit sector with his passion for social change through education. Steve holds a Master of Science from the University of Bristol, and a Graduate Diploma in Education from Macquarie University and Master of Business Administration from Kaplan University.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I have the opportunity to work with a group of individuals who are incredibly determined to make the world a better place.

Justin O’Hare
Chief Financial Officer

Justin is a father of two daughters in their twenties and has been an accountant for over 20 years working in senior roles for multinational organizations in Contract Services, Hospitality, Jewellery, Computer Equipment and Dental Equipment industries. These companies have included Delaware North, Compass Group and Dentsply Sirona. Justin has a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) Degree in Hospitality Management from Angela University, majoring in Finance and Marketing with his dissertation on the treatment of people with minority diets by the hospitality industry, a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from the University of Technology Sydney and a Global Executive Master of Business Administration (GEMBA) from University of Technology Sydney.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
High Resolves helps to engage young people and teaches them how to speak up about issues that they care about and become active citizens with empowering skills and opportunity. These young people now have a voice and can be heard loud and clear through programs like Videos for Change.

May Samali
COO, New Ventures

Based in San Francisco, May Samali is passionate about investing in people and ideas that can change the world. As COO, New Ventures at High Resolves, May is leading a new initiative to build a technology platform and ecosystem for citizenship education across the US. May has a decade of extensive experience advising technology start-ups and nonprofits across the US and Australia. She is currently a Venture Partner at NextGen Venture Partners, a network-driven venture capital firm. She was formerly an investor at the Urban Innovation Fund, a Director at Tumml, and a corporate lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills in Sydney. May holds a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, and Bachelors of Laws and Economic & Social Sciences with First Class Honors and the University Medal from the University of Sydney. She is a John Monash Scholar and an Australian American Young Leadership Dialogue Fellow. She was a Gleitsman Leadership Fellow and a New World Social Enterprise Fellow at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
High Resolves is a game changer. The program engages students when they are most receptive to transformation. It has the powerful potential to change hearts and minds – both individually and collectively. Responding to the complexity of today’s challenges requires fundamental interventions like High Resolves.