Date: Apr 27, 2023Time: 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Democratizing Access to Privilege and Power: From Life in Exile to HBS and Founding a Global Educational Institution (virtual)

Thu, 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM Virtual
General PublicOther


Before she went on to attend two Ivy League institutions, Cornell University and Harvard Business School, where she graduated top 5% of the class as a Baker Scholar, Umaimah Mendhro grew up without access to formal education for much of her life in rural Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, where she lived in exile. After business school, Umaimah went on to build a multi-million-dollar e-commerce brand, VIDA & Co., backed by Google Ventures, Y Combinator, and others. She eventually bought back the company from her investors and turned into a Public Benefit Corporation. It was from this solid foundation that Umaimah directed a $1M grant from VIDA to launch One League, a global education enterprise with the mission to democratize access to world-class education for the most gifted, underserved population of the world. She also managed to convince Harvard, MIT, and Stanford to collaborate with her on the venture.

In less than 10 months since its conceptualization, One League was offering an Ivy League quality graduate-level education, via globally accessible live, synchronous classes, with curriculum curated and licensed from Harvard, MIT, and Stanford.

One League’s program is led by distinguished faculty, who have taught at top-tier institutions (including HBS), authored award-winning books and articles, and are dedicated to the rigor of One League’s world-class learning offering.

One League’s inaugural class represents a diverse array of participants from nearly 50 countries, including Afghanistan, Ghana, Iraq, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Uganda, and the United States and a 50-50 female-male gender ratio. The cohorts include a Forbes 30 Under 30 Awardee, a Presidential Award Winner, a Human Rights Fellow, a Global Prize Winner to Combat Energy Poverty, and a Top 100 Women in Technology Awardee. Fellows are working on audacious projects such as realizing energy equity across Africa, creating agents of change in Southeast Asia, and building technology incubators in the Middle East. The class includes survivors of war, first generation college graduates, refugees, ethnic and cultural minorities, and sole breadwinners for their families living under the poverty line.

One League is providing access to opportunity, networking, and knowledge on par with top-tier educational institutions. One League fellows are championed by the organization’s extensive coalition of industry executives and leaders and receive access to opportunities to seek venture funding to propel world-changing ideas.

One League was recently recognized by Fast Company as one of the ten Most Innovative Companies in the World in Education in 2023.

Join us to hear Umaimah’s story of triumph and perseverance, and how she developed unprecedented support to democratize access to opportunity and privilege at a global scale.

Participants must register by Noon on April 26th to receive details on joining the discussion. The Zoom link will be sent out 24 hours before the event.

Please note that no refunds will be issued.



Umaimah Mendhro, MBA 2009

Founder of One League & VIDA

Umaimah Mendhro, Founder & President of One League, grew up without access to formal education for much of her life in rural Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, where she lived in exile. Umaimah went on to attend Cornell University and Harvard Business School, graduating with highest distinction (Baker Scholar, top 5% of class). Umaimah is also the Founder & President of VIDA & Co., formerly backed by Google Ventures and Y Combinator, currently a multi-million dollar public benefit corporation.

Umaimah has worked at Microsoft, McKinsey, and West where she led projects with Twitter, Dropbox, and Square. Umaimah is a Venture Partner with Halogen VC, author of select Harvard Business Review case studies and Forbes Op-Ed pieces, and she holds 13 patent awards. Umaimah and VIDA have been recognized by Fast Company for the World Changing Ideas Award and by CIO Magazine as one of the Most High-Impact Leaders Making a Difference in the World. Moreover, One League was just recognized as Fast Company’s World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2023.


Josh Macht

President of MassLive Media Group, an Advance Local company

Josh has recently taken on the position of running a local news operation that is expanding its efforts in Boston and beyond. Prior to this role, he held a few different leadership positions at the Harvard Business Publishing company, starting as the founder of HBR digital and working his way into the CEO position. He developed and spearheaded Harvard Business Review’s digital strategy, driving significant global growth for the website and print products. Josh also led a large-scale transformation in the company’s higher education division and product development company-wide. Before HBR and HBP, he was the editor in chief of, where he grew the digital footprint and impact of the brand significantly with innovative new offerings. Macht began his web career in the early 1990s as a founding editor of He has also written extensively about the internet, media, education, and the high-tech industry for publications such as TIME, The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, the Harvard Business Review, and Harvard’s International Journal of Press and Politics. He is a graduate of Bates College and Harvard University.


Date Time

Date: Apr 27, 2023Time: 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM


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  • Free / Patron Members (please contact
  • 10 / Member/Member Guest (limit one)
  • 20 / Alumni Non-Members
  • 25 / General Public


Laila Worrell, MBA 1998