People mingle on one of the floors of Heron Tower. Photo by: Neil MacWilliams / CC BY-ND

The setup was beautiful. On Monday, the Milken Institute hosted a reception for the Devex 40 Under 40 International Development Leaders in London at the Heron Tower, the city’s tallest skyscraper.

Elevators were activated with swipe cards and went directly to the 25th floor, where drinks and hors d’oeuvres were being served. The view of London was spectacular.

There, mingling, was an accomplished set of people from diverse backgrounds — politics, advocacy, consulting, journalism and more. Among the honorees were Publish What You Fund Managing Director Karin Christiansen, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women CEOHenriette Kolb and KPMG principal adviser Matthew D. Smith.

They all are part of a new generation of global development leaders that is fast transforming the way we deliver international assistance.

Some knew each other, others had emailed but never met in person, and many built new connections as the evening went on.

There was much chatter about the breath of experiences these 40 leaders under the age of 40 bring to the table, and the diversity of the organizations they work with. Another theme was the convergence of international development “sectors” and the importance of multidisciplinary leaders.

And there was no shortage of such leaders in the room.

Please read our interviews with the London 40 at, and let us know what you think via Facebook and Twitter. Tweet your message to London’s aid leaders using #London40.

And watch out for a preview of development cooperation in 2012 by this next generation of leaders.

Read our London40 coverage and last week’s Development Buzz on development leaders.

The Devex ‘40 Under 40’ International Development Leaders in London initiative is sponsored by Chevron Corp. and GRM International, two leaders in international development.

About the author

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    Rolf Rosenkranz

    Rolf Rosenkranz oversees a talented team of in-house journalists, correspondents and guest contributors located around the globe. Since joining Devex in early 2008, Rolf has been instrumental in growing its fledgling news operation into the leading online source for global development news and analysis. Previously, Rolf was managing editor at Inside Health Policy, a subscription-based news service in Washington. He has reported from Africa for the Johannesburg-based Star and its publisher, Independent News & Media, as well as the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, a German daily.

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