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Our mission is to incubate solutions to global problems from New Zealand and make a lasting positive impact on the world. 

We created the Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) to serve as a platform to best leverage humankind’s creative potential and entrepreneurial spirit to build new paradigms, and create scalable solutions for the rest of the world. New Zealand is uniquely positioned to capture such potential and become an incubation nation for game-changing innovations.

Sir Edmund Hillary


EHF has been developed in the spirit and memory of Sir Edmund Hillary. Best known for being the first person to summit Mount Everest alongside Tenzing Norgay, and his trans-Antarctic expedition, Sir Edmund also spent decades improving the lives of Sherpa communities in the Himalayas, building schools, training centres, and hospitals with the Himalayan Trust. Sir Edmund’s work offers an example of the boldness of action, commitment  to  service, and scope of global impact that our Fellows aspire to achieve.


Images Courtesy of the Royal Geographic Society (with IBG)

Leading Change From the Edge of the Map

Our Values


Our values, which are greatly inspired by the life and actions of Sir Edmund Hillary, shape our team and work. They connect us to our purpose and to Aotearoa New Zealand.


Mātātoa / Be bold

Our work pushes boundaries and embraces creativity at the edges. We love challenging assumptions and creating transformative solutions for pressing global challenges.


Whanaungatanga / Interconnectedness

We connect people with opportunities. We value collaboration over competition to help raise the tide for all. We pursue systemic solutions with local and global applications.


Taumata Rau / Excellence

Actions speak louder than words. We value execution with discipline, patience, agility, and resourcefulness. Simplicity inspires us.


Toa Whakaihuwaka / Global Impact

We truly believe New Zealand can lead change from the edge of the world. We are motivated to spearhead positive change by developing local solutions with global applications.


Houtupu / Authenticity

We bring our whole self to our work and celebrate each other’s diverse passions and backgrounds. A path of active discovery inspires adventure and zest for life.


Kaitiakitanga / Stewardship

We strive to act with care for people and land, and to improve intergenerational wellbeing through creativity and entrepreneurship.


Ngākau Māhaki / Humility

Our work is not about us but about those we serve. We actively strive to be better versions of ourselves, to act with integrity, and to learn from our successes and failures.

Our Team 


Yoseph Ayele
Chief Executive

Growing up in Ethiopia and living in six countries has made Yoseph a global citizen driven to make positive impact through entrepreneurship. Yoseph works closely with the entrepreneurship community across NZ, Silicon Valley, and other hubs around the world.

Tai Kenning
Brand & Design

Born and raised on the north coast of California, Tai is deeply inspired by the fabric of the natural world and its complex subtleties of wave and form. He has spent nearly two decades working as a multidisciplinary designer with Silicon Valley and NZ startups.

Alina Siegfried
Content & Communications Lead

As a former New Zealand National Poetry Slam champion and TEDx speaker, and with a diverse background in resource management, startups, communications and government, Alina believes in the power of story above almost everything else.

Brian Monahan
Candidate Attraction

Brian studied at Harvard before leaving to start Inflection with his brother Matthew. He is known to take to the mic for hip-hop “flowetry” to convey his passionate vision for a more just and sustainable world, and NZ's potential role within it.

Paula Neme
Operations Assistant

Growing up in her fast-moving home country of Argentina, Paula thrives at managing events and organising people. Her own background and New Zealand's mix of cultures provides her with a vision of a better world that she works towards achieving every day.

Alex Novak

Alex is a national inline hockey champion and chartered accountant who helps the team make analytically driven decisions. Alex puts his trust in the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, and earned his stripes at Ernst & Young in Wellington and Switzerland.



Our Board



Matthew Monahan

Upon first arriving to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2010, Matthew was captivated by the land, people, and potential to develop integrated solutions. Matthew is CEO of Inflection, the Silicon Valley company he founded with his brother Brian in 2006.


Kate Frykberg, MNZM

With a background in entrepreneurship and philanthropy, Kate is a former Business Woman of the Year whose roles have included startup co-founder, CE of Todd Foundation, and Chair of Philanthropy NZ. She is passionate about a world where everyone thrives and everyone contributes.


Bill Kermode

Bill is the CEO of NEXT Foundation, a strategic philanthropic foundation looking to create a legacy of environmental and educational excellence for the benefit of all New Zealanders. Bill brings more than 20 years experience in private equity and venture capital investment in New Zealand.



Hillary Institute of International Leadership Team

The Edmund Hillary Fellowship is wholly owned by the Hillary Insitute of International Leadership, and we benefit greatly from their wisdom, advice and experience.



Mark Prain, Founding Director

Formerly a provincial rugby player, opera singer and playwright, Mark changed gears and has spent the last 25 years working in NZ and the USA on sustainable leadership and climate change, and has served as Founding Director of the Hillary Institute of International Leadership since 2007.


Anake Goodall, Chairman of Trustees

Anake is attracted to good people grappling with wicked problems. A former Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, he serves on the board of Ākina Foundation and Meridian Energy and is Chairman of the Hillary Institute of International Leadership.

Our team is hiring!

“Working at EHF is amazing. I have the freedom to be creative, and the support of an incredible group of people who push boundaries, attempt the impossible, and help me to grow. We have a lot of fun!”

- Alina Siegfried, Content & Communications Lead


Want to join the EHF team to deliver a unique world-class programme for global impact and make a difference in the New Zealand startup community? We are currently recruiting for the roles below and would love to hear from you.

Please note our small team does not have the capacity to respond to all job enquiries. We'll do our best to get back to you if there is a fit with our team.  


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