Gabriel Bran Lopez
- Program Year
- Country of Current Residence
- City/Town of Current Residence
- Current Position
- Founding President
- Youth Fusion
- Education, Entrepreneurship (including social), NGOs, Non-profit / Philanthropy, Social innovation
- English, French, Spanish
- Professor Antonia Maioni, McGill University
- Interest(s) / Expertise
- education, NGOs, social entrepreneurship, student retention, youth empowerment
An engaging and dynamic speaker, Gabriel has spoken to thousands of young people to promote youth involvement in public issues. He is committed to empowering youth and to providing them with the opportunity to develop their own social and environmental initiatives.
A former Director on the board of Oxfam-Quebec, Gabriel currently sits on the board of the J.A. Bombardier Foundation, is a member of Quebec’s task force on student retention and success, and is the spokesperson for the Quebec Entrepreneurship Contest. He is the President of the “Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal” and the Founding President of Youth Fusion.
Gabriel was born during the 36-year war that ravaged Guatemala and its Mayan population. He has traveled across Canada, the United States, Africa, Latin America and Europe. In 2007, he went to Gulu, Uganda, to work in a war zone with orphans and youth struggling with the ravages of HIV/AIDS, war and poverty. In 2008, he worked in Dakar, Senegal, promoting human rights, education, health, sustainable development and micro-finance projects. In the same year, Gabriel helped to organize the Generations Pact environmental project in collaboration with Dr. David Suzuki, Dr. Hubert Reeves, Steven Guilbeault, and other renowned personalities. As a result, Quebec universities received significant funding from the Quebec government to promote sustainable development projects on campuses across the province.
In 2011, Gabriel was the recipient of Ernst & Young’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and was elected to the Ashoka Canada Fellowship in recognition of his accomplishments. On 17 April 2013, he was named “Personality of the Week” by La Presse/Radio-Canada (CBC) in recognition of his ongoing leadership of Youth Fusion and of Favoriser l’Inspiration et la Reconnaissance des Sciences et de la Technologie (FIRST) annual festival.
In November 2013, he was awarded the prestigious Michel-Perron Award for his innovative work in education at a province-wide conference on school perseverance. His work was also recognized by the Public Policy Forum of Canada, the Globe and Mail, the Association pour le développement de la recherche et de l’innovation du Québec (ADRIQ) and the Quebec Latin-American Chamber of Commerce. Gabriel was elected president of the Jeune Chambre de Commerce de Montréal (JCCM) for 2015-16. In this role, he will develop and spread over the next generation of Montreal entrepreneurs with boldness and innovation.
Gabriel holds a BA in Communication Studies with Great Distinction from Concordia University, where he was the President of the Garnet Key Society, and was granted the John E. O’Brien Medal for his academic achievement as well as the Forces Avenir Personality Award for his commitment to initiatives that contribute to the development of socially conscious and responsible citizens. He was recently a finalist in CBC’s show Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister.
The Jeanne Sauvé Foundation’s commitments – youth empowerment, social change, and global responsibilities – are what inspired Gabriel to take on this incredible challenge. His academic mentor during the Program was Antonia Maioni, Chair of the Sauvé Scholars Program. Professor Maioni has published widely in the fields of Canadian and comparative politics, with a particular focus on health and social policy.
As a Sauvé Fellow, Gabriel continued the work he began through Youth Fusion – exploring the correlation between civic engagement, community involvement, and academic success – and implement its program across Quebec, Canada and eventually on an international scale.