Gessye Ginelle Safou-Mat is an IFC Communications Officer who joined the World Bank Group in 2015. In 2022, she received an IFC Top 30 Award for her work co-founding the IFC NextGen initiative to amplify the voices of young staff, recognize their contributions, facilitate interactions with senior management, and put IFC at the heart of global youth conversations in development. Gessye was key to the successful launch of UpNext, IFC’s first event series exploring the creative industries—one of the largest employers of youth globally. In her role as creative director, she co-led a combined production team of 150+ members to bring the Africa and LAC editions to a wide audience. Over the past 10 years, Gessye has led communication and partnership strategies for social enterprises and public sector initiatives, including the launch of the multi-donor Congo Basin Blue Fund and the National Program of Reforestation, among others. Gessye is a Silicon Valley African Film Festival Emerging Filmmaker Award-Winner for her debut documentary “The Africa We Know.” Gessye is a Fulbright scholar holding a MA in International Development from American University.