portrait of

CEO and Co-Founder, Global L.E.A.D. Program

Garrett Gravesen is a social entrepreneur with a passion for adventures abroad. He has criss-crossed six continents and spoken to people from more than 100 countries, first as the co-founder of Georgia-based nonprofit H.E.R.O. for Children and now as the CEO and co-founder of the Global L.E.A.D. Program.

A student leader at UGA, he became the youngest president in the history of the Student Government Association and seemed destined for a career in international finance after getting an internship with Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong. He then decided to work as an international volunteer at an AIDS orphanage in Kenya and had a chance meeting with a young boy named Martin, who would change his life goals. When he returned to Georgia, Gravesen and his Terry College classmate Ryan Gembala co-founded a nonprofit for children affected by HIV/AIDS called H.E.R.O for Children.

With H.E.R.O. on a firm foundation, Gravesen has turned his attention to a new venture: the Global L.E.A.D Program, an international service, leadership and adventure nonprofit that he co-founded and directs with another Terry College classmate, Robbie Reese.

This year, Global L.E.A.D. will offer educational adventures in South Africa and Greece. He has spoken at international conferences in India, Poland, Romania and Brazil, and he delivers part of the global education curriculum taught by Global L.E.A.D. that is accepted for study abroad course credit at UGA.

For his efforts, Gravesen was honored by the U.S. Jaycees as one of the "Ten Outstanding Young Americans" of 2007 and one of "The Outstanding Young Persons of the World" by Junior Chamber International (JCI) in 2008.