Amanda Lindhout

As Founder and Executive Director of The Global Enrichment Foundation (GEF), Amanda Lindhout has gained international acclaim for her work supporting development and aid in Somalia – the country where she once spent 460 days as a hostage. Formerly a freelance journalist, Amanda’s concern for the humanitarian crisis in Somalia led her to the war-ravaged nation in 2008 where three days upon arrival she was abducted by teenage criminals. Following her release in 2009, she left journalism and became an unlikely and passionate advocate for the people of Somalia. Amanda founded GEF to ignite leadership in Somalia through education and economic initiatives that the organization develops, funds and implements. In 2011, for the first time since her abduction, Amanda returned to Somalia and led famine relief efforts for which she has raised millions of dollars. Since GEF’s inception in 2010, her award-winning humanitarian work has provided aid and education to over 300,000 people living in the war-torn country.