The Winterschool for Thinktankers is a unique opportunity for young and proactive individuals to develop their knowledge and understanding of think tanks and to prepare themselves to become future policy entrepreneurs.
Think tanks play a crucial role in policy making and in strengthening democraticprocesses by informing and enriching the public debate. Maintaining an active and dynamic community of think tanks and supporting the creation of new ones is highly important for democratic governance and sustainable development.
To be a successful think tank leader one cannot rely on being just a great researcher and intellectual; leaders have to be excellent managers, political strategists, great communicators, and prolific networkers.
Meet the future think tank leaders
Ama Fenny, Research Fellow at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Ghana. Member of Southern Voice.
Ama Pokuaa Fenny is a Research Fellow with the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economics Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana. Since 2005, she has researched and published in the area of developmental issues in health economics, health service delivery and social protection. Her current research areas include finding synergies to integrate governmental policies into service delivery systems in Ghana. She has also carried out a number of expenditure tracking surveys and health expenditure reviews with country experience across West and East Africa. She has a PhD in Health Economics from the Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Denmark; MSc in Health, Population & Society from the London School of Economics & Political Science (UK) and BA in Economics and Computer Science from the University of Ghana. One of ISSER’s objectives as a Think Tank is to increase the relevance of research output by engaging with policy makers and relevant stakeholders. Participating in the Winterschool will be benficial to the institute, enhancing the capacity for the organisation’s drive to influence policy with evidence–based research.
Awab Elmeshab, Policy and Research Coordinator at the Center for Development and Public Policy, Sudan.
Awab A. Elmesbah is a Sudanese national living currently in Khartoum where he is the Policy and Research Coordinator at the Center for Development and Public Policy, a newly established non-governmental think tank. Awab worked as a TV producer for one of the most famous political talk shows in Sudan. In 2014, Awab Elmesbah established Sudan Debates, the first organization concerned with spreading the culture and art of debate among higher education students. Awab led his University Debating Team to win the 2nd International Universities Arabic Debating Championship in 2013. He was also a semifinalist of the 2014 Global Debate and Public Policy Challenge in Budapest. Awab was awarded the UK government scholarship, Chevening. Awab Elmesbah holds an M.Sc. in African Development from London School of Economics and Political Science, and a B.Sc. in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from University of Khartoum.
Bernadette Ndema, Communications Officer at Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment, Uganda.
Ms Bernadette Mercy Ndema is a Communications Specialist. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Journalism and Communication from Makerere University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication from Makerere University. Bernadette also holds a diploma in Journalism from the Uganda Management Institute. With a career that spans seventeen years and with a passion for development communication, she has practiced communications using various multimedia channels in different regional and international organizations including USAID, GIZ and SNV. Bernadette has published articles in different newspapers, magazines and international news agencies. She currently works with the Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment as the communications Officer where she manages the internal and external communication for the organisation. Bernadette also coordinates the publication process of the research products for the institution.
Isabel Pereira Arana, Coordinator and Lead Researcher of the Drug Policy Area at Dejusticia: Center for the Studies of Justice, Law and Society, Colombia.
Isabel is a political scientist from the University de Los Andes of Colombia (2008), and has a Master’s Degree in Development Studies, with emphasis on conflict and peace building from the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Switzerland (2015). Her focus is on the impact of drug policies on rural development, public health, and armed conflict. She is currently a lead researcher in the Drug Policy area at the Center for the Study of Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticia), with special emphasis on access to controlled medicines and palliative care, and the implications of the peace process for drug policies in Colombia. She is also a member of the research collective ‘Consortium of drugs and the law’. Previously, Isabel worked as a professional of international cooperation projects for development in conflict zones in Colombia and as adviser to the national government in multilateral negotiation.
Janaka Wijayasiri, Research Fellow at Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka.
Janaka Wijayasiri is currently a Research Fellow and Head of International Economic Policy research at the IPS. Since joining the IPS in 1999, his areas of research interest have been primarily related to trade issues at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels. These include issues of policy significance to Sri Lanka in areas covering bilateral and regional preferential trade initiatives, multilateral negotiations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) and issues related to the textile and garment, tea and spice industries in Sri Lanka. He has been part of Sri Lanka’s official delegation representing the academia at regional forums such as Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) and the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC). He has also participated in various bilateral trade negotiations with other countries which Sri Lanka currently seeking agreements with. Janaka Wijayasiri has a number of publications to his name which have appeared as articles and chapters in both journal and book publications. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Indian Ocean Rim Studies (JIORS). Janaka Wijayasiri holds a BA in Economics with Development Studies from the University of Sussex, UK and an MA in Economics of Development from the Institute of Social Studies, the Netherlands, and PhD from Monash University, Australia. He has also received training in GTAP (Global Trade Analysis Project) from the Center for Global Trade Analysis, Purdue University, Canada.
Juan José Herrera Mera , Project Coordinator at Grupo FARO, Ecuador. Member of Southern Voice.
Juan José Herrera is an Ecuadorian economist with knowledge in topics related to extractive industries, energy, sustainable development, climate change and public finance. Extensive experience in the development and coordination of research projects with a legal, economic, social and fiscal focus. He has contributed with Grupo FARO’s research projects for more than 6 years in projects with the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), GIZ, ECLAC, amongst others. Juan José has been an active researcher in the topic at the national, regional and local level; his areas of expertise include topics such as mining and oil contracts, revenue generation and management, environmental conflicts, sustainable development goals, transparency and public finances. Currently, Juan José is Grupo FARO´s Project Coordinator and is in charge of the research and advocacy of this think tank on the topics of Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Khaled Mahmoud Alwaleed, Director of Training and Development at CDPP
Khaled Mahmoud, The Director of Training and Development at CDPP. He has studied International Development in LSE, Purchasing and Supply Chain Masters in University of Westminster. Khaled is Specialised in Public Procurement Planning and Public Purchasing Auditing.
Michael Olender, Editor for Southern Voice, Canada
Michael Olender is an editor for Southern Voice on Post-MDG International Development Goals. Since 2012, he has been dedicated to publishing and international development in various roles. He has worked as an analyst and editor in federal government, embassy, central bank, and independent think tank settings. He assisted a Canadian research specialist and the permanent representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations in writing a background research paper for the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. He holds a Master’s degree in international affairs from Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs in Ottawa, Canada.
María del Carmen López Imizcoz, Communications Coordinator and Press Officer at the Center for the Implementation of Public Policies promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC), Argentina. Member of Southern Voice.
Carmen has a bachelor in Economics (Universidad de Buenos Aires) and a master in Journalism (Universidad de San Andrés at Buenos Aires). Since 2007 she has worked uninterruptedly as an economic journalist for different media outlets at Buenos Aires, such as Cronista.com. In 2017 she joined the Communications Area at CIPPEC, the #1 Argentine think tank on public policies. There she coordinates both internal and external communications actions. Her daily work includes designing and implementing communications initiatives based on CIPPEC’s publications (such as public policies documents) for targeting different audiences.
Mohammad Mohsen Momeni Rad, Deputy of Effectiveness and Development at the Governance & Policy Think Tank (GPTT)
Mohammad Mohsen Momeni Rad is Deputy of Effectiveness and Development at the Governance & Policy Think Tank (GPTT) of Sharif University of Technology in Tehran. He is mainly focused on devising comprehensive ways of bridging the existing gaps between academic research and policy making through capacity building and mentoring the agents of policy change. His areas of expertise are policy engagement, policy networks and policy institutions. As GPTT’s operations has been expanding rapidly in many areas, he is currently involved in redesigning the structure of the groups within the GPTT with the goal of transforming it into a continuously evolving, agile, sound, and efficient institution. He was a key figure in organizing the First Conference on Governance and Public Policy, which was the first and largest public policy and governance event in Iran. He is also an executive advisor to HESAM accelerator, the first center for training and mentoring think tankers and policy researchers in the country.He holds a B.S. in Software Engineering from Sharif University of Technology (SUT) and currently is an M.A. student in Management in Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST).
Nicole Kaiser, Scientific assistant at econcept AG, Switzerland.
Nicole Kaiser studied political science at the University of Zurich and Geneva with a focus on democracy studies and political participation as well as migration. Afterwards, she gathered experience working as a research assistant at the European University Institute in Florence and as an intern at the Swiss Embassy in Chile. Currently, Nicole is working as project manager at econcept AG, a research and consulting company in Zurich, dealing with policy design and evaluation as well as strategic consultancy of mainly Swiss public sector clients. In her free time, Nicole is a passionate dancer.
Ninja Bumann, Organizational Assistant at the Institute of Eastern European History of the University of Vienna and Member of Foraus, Austria.
Ninja Bumann studied History, Slavic Languages and Literature and Political Science in Zurich, Prague and Vienna and gained experience in the field of international politics during various internships at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Swiss Embassy in Bratislava and the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM). Besides her current position as an assistant at the Institute for Eastern European History at University of Vienna, Ninja is part of a small team which wants to set up a foraus spin-off in Austria.
Rachel Strohm, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Mawazo Institute, Kenya.
Rachel Strohm is co-founder and COO of the Mawazo Institute, a research institute based in Kenya. She is also a PhD candidate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on the politics of higher education in East Africa. Prior to founding Mawazo, Rachel worked as a research manager in development economics in Ghana, Rwanda, and the DR Congo. She holds an MA in international relations from Johns Hopkins University, and a BA in geography and French from Dartmouth College
Rahel Renggli, Head of Audiovisual Communication at cr Kommunikation/ cr Lichtspiele, Switzerland.
She is born and raised in Lucerne. She holds a Bachelor degree in Political Science (Major) and Philosophy (Minor) at the Universities of Lucerne and Zurich in 2010. She worked during her studies as a journalist for a local TV station in Zurich and a daily Newspaper. She then moved 2010 to Berlin after BA and worked in the international communication agency «Media Consulta» (www.mcgroup.com) in the field of political communication and audio-visual productions for clients as the UN, European Union and other political and non governmental organisations. The she moved back in 2013 to Switzerland and worked independently as a film producer, director and communication specialist for diverse clients in the fields of science, economy and politics as EAWAG, SAT.1, Teleclub, NZZ etc. In 2014 she started a job at the Swiss communication agency «cR Kommunikation» as a film producer, consultant and project manager. In 2016 she started my master studies at the University of Lucerne in Global Governance and World Society. In 2017 the agency merged with other companies and become «CRK Kommunikation, Kreation & Kino», where she is Head of the department of audio-visual communication and a member of the management. In the past years she did several seminars in the fields of political campaigning, film and communication in Switzerland and abroad.
Richa Bansal, Director of Communications at Centre for Policy Research, India. Member of Southern Voice.
Richa Bansal is a development communicator working in the policy space. She is currently the Director of Communications at the Centre for Policy Research in Delhi, India, which she joined in 2014 – launching a new website, brand identity, six social media channels, setting up a team, and producing regular interpretation as well as outreach of research outputs – over the last three years. Prior to this she has worked in communications roles for five years in different gender rights organisations based out of India and the UK. She started her career as a journalist and worked for different newspapers in various cities of India for three years before switching fully to the development space after pursuing an Mphil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge, UK. She also holds a Master’s degree in mass communication and is an English literature undergrad
Richard Mills, Director of Global Communications and Advocacy at The George Institute for Global Health
Richard Mills is the Director of Global Communications and Advocacy at The George Institute for Global Health, a leading medical research institute headquartered in Sydney, Australia. He leads various teams focused on media, digital engagement, government and multilateral relations, and most recently, a new think tank within The George that aims to drive impactful thought leadership in healthcare. Prior to the George Institute from the World Bank, he was most recently Director of Corporate Communications. There he helped lead efforts to tell the story of a World Bank that more than doubled its support to developing countries during the financial crisis while becoming more focused on openness, results and accountability. He spearheaded the use of new and creative tools across social media, marketing and outreach. A spokesman for some of the highest profile parts of the United States government, from Congress to the Executive Office of the President to the State Department, Mr Mills has 20 years of experience with international issues in over 60 countries, from trade, economics, conflict and, most recently, poverty and development.
Rozainah Baharuddin, Chief Operating Officer at Khazanah Research Institute, Malaysia.
Rozainah Baharuddin is Chief Operating Officer at Khazanah Research Institute. Together with her Managing Director, she set up the Institute 4 years ago in early 2014. Before joining the Institute, she was Director under Group CEO Office in CIMB Group, where she headed the unit supporting the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Investment Banking, CIMB Group and Chief Executive of CIMB Investment Bank Berhad. Rozainah started her career as an Audit Assistant in KPMG, where she gained her audit experience and exposure to a wide variety of clients across different industries. After obtaining her professional chartered accountant qualifications under the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA), Rozainah spent just over 5 years in the corporate finance departments of Aseambankers Berhad (now known as Maybank Investment Bank Berhad) and CIMB Investment Bank Berhad where she was involved in, and occassionaly led a number of IPO, Reverse Take-Over, M&A, Equity Funding and Debt Restructing transactions.During the period in which she was in CIMB and prior to joining Group CEO’s Office, Rozainah was also attached to other departments within the group where she gained experience in finance, international banking and transaction services, and human resource. Rozainah graduated from the University of Exeter, United Kingdom with a BA in Business Economics.
Sanchir Jargalsaikhan, Vice-Director at Sustainable Development Strategy Institute, Mongolia.
I’m a political scientist and activist broadly concerned with economic and political development in Mongolia and in the Global South. My main area of research focuses on, but not limited to problems of late and uneven development, democratization process in post-socialist countries including issues of trade, investment, extractivism, poverty and debt in the developing world. I have an interdisciplinary research agenda that combines critical political theory, global political economy, and Central Asian and Russian studies. I’m inspired by collaborative, participatory and people focused research. My working experience includes areas such as security studies, election observation, trade, investment, sovereign debt analysis, academic and popular publishing as well as social work/entrepreneurship concerning education and well-being of underprivileged children.
Shuvo Mahmud Sazzad, Dialogue Associate – Communication at Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Bangladesh. Member of Southern Voice.
Mr Md. Sazzad Mahmud Shuvo is a communications and knowledge management professional. He received an MA in English with concentration in Media and Communications Studies from Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh. He has professional experience in branding and development communications. He has experience of working with BBC Media Action, James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH) etc. His areas of expertise include digital media and content management, audio-visual production, campaign planning and management. As a CPD official, Mr Shuvo is the Communication Focal Person of the Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh. He is passionate for contributing in the journey towards achieving the sustainable development.
Sonja Schiffers, Co-President at Polis180, Visiting Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs and PhD Candidate at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.
Sonja Schiffers is a Visiting Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Research Division Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and PhD Candidate at Freie Universität Berlin, analyzing Russian and Turkish foreign policies towards the South Caucasus and the Balkans. She also serves as Co-President of Polis180, the Berlin-based grassroots think tank for EU and foreign policy, and Co-Head of Polis 180’s Program Area Women and International Politics.
Waha Ibrahim, Executive Assistant, Center for Development and Public Policy
Waha Ibrahim works at the Center for Development and Public Policy as an Executive Assistant for the Executive Director, basically an Architect who has extreme interests in urban planning fields. She is comfortable where knowledge meets experience, process oriented, and a chatty introvert that appreciates the existence of Music and Food!
Chalani Ranwala, Head of Communications at Verité Research
Chalani Ranwala heads the Communications Team at Verité Research, an interdisciplinary think tank based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Her core interests include strategic communication, data visualisation and the role of media and communication in public accountability initiatives. She holds a BA in International Communications from Nottingham University and a MSc in Media, Communication and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Meet the speakers
Andrea Ordoñez, Director, Southern Voice
Andrea Ordoñez is Director of Southern Voice, a network of think tanks devoted to bringing research from the Global South to international debates on the development agenda. She co-edited the book “Southern Perspectives on the Post-2015 International Development Agenda” with Debapriya Bhattacharya that compiles the research on a diversity of development issues by researchers in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Her work focuses on better linking researchers from the Global South with their counterparts in other countries, strengthening their presence in international debates and fostering better knowledge systems to support sustainable development. She was previously the Research Director at Grupo FARO, a think tank in Ecuador. Andrea has developed research projects for the public sector and has carried out institutional and sectoral assessments for numerous international organizations. She is an economist by training and has a strong interest in how to carry out research and policy analysis that can inform policy.
Leandro Echt, Research Associate, On Think Tanks
Leandro is Research Associate at On Think Tanks. He works in the policy and research
field. He engages with think tanks, researchers, NGOs and public agencies interested in linking evidence with public decisions, particularly in developing countries, through capacity building, mentoring and consultancy activities including evaluation of programs and organisational assessments. He is also the general coordinator of Politics and Ideas. Previously, he was the coordinator of the Influence, Monitoring and Evaluation Program at the Argentinean think tank Center for the Implementation of Public Policies promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC). He is Argentinian and currently based in Florida, United States.
Francesco Pisano, Director, Library of the United Nations Office at Geneva
Francesco Pisano is an expert in international affairs with a professional background in humanitarian affairs, risk management, and research on knowledge systems. He has an academic background in international relations with a specialisation in diplomatic studies and conflict resolution, and law with a focus on public international law.
He joined the United Nations in 1993 where he took positions of increasing responsibility with the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs, its Division for Disaster Mitigation, then with OCHA as Senior Officer. He served as Director of Research, Technology Applications and Knowledge Systems at the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) where he was also the Manager of UNOSAT (the Operational Satellite Applications Programme) from 2007 to 2012. Since 2016 he directs the UN Library Geneva, a centre for research and knowledge exchange established in 1919, and the Cultural Activity Programme of UNOG, a space dedicated to cultural diplomacy and international outreach.
Thomas Biersteker is Professor of International Security and Director of Policy Research at the Graduate Institute, Geneva. He previously directed the Graduate Institute’s Programme for the Study in International Governance, the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown. He also taught in prestigious universities such as Yale or the University of Southern California. As a autor/editor, he published various books on Governance. He is currently focusing his research on transnational policy network or global security. Besides his academic work, he was the principal developer of SanctionApp, a tool for mobile devices created in 2013 to increase access to information about targeted sanctions at the UN.
Emilia Pasquier, Director, foraus
Emilia Pasquier (29) is the director of foraus – the Swiss Think Tank for foreign policy. Prior to this position, Emilia was Deputy Secretary General at the International Chamber of Commerce Switzerland and Focal Point for the UN Global Compact Switzerland. Between 2011 and 2013, she worked as a research assistant and as an author at Année Politque Suisse – the Swiss yearbook on Swiss policies, where she specialized on Swiss foreign policy and social groups. Emilia holds a Master in Political and Economic Philosophy from the University of Bern and was visiting student at the University College Dublin and New York University. She is a member of the board of the Association Suisse de Politique étrangère and member of the political advisory board of the European Forum Alpbach. Emilia was named one of the year’s top 100 Swiss personalities by L’Hebdo magazine.
Alexandre Biedermann is the Vice-President of the Board of the foraus and an active member of the organization. Indeed, before joining the board, he was the coordinator of the group foraus– Genève. He studied european and international law in Switzerland.
Nowadays, he works as scientific collaborator in the international and european law department at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He is also currently writing his PHD about State’s international responsibility.
Jeff Knezovich, Editor at large (communications) and research associate, On Think Tanks
Jeff Knezovich is a digital communications and data visualisation specialist based in Switzerland. He has spent the last decade working in a range of UK-based think tanks in various communication capacities. He managed the digital communication activities of the Nuffield Trust, a think tank focused on the UK’s health system. Before that he managed the Policy Influence and Research Uptake activities for the Future Health Systems research consortium at the Institute of Development Studies. He also worked in the Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) Programme at ODI where he oversaw programme communication activities and those of several large projects. In addition to delivering a wide range of communication strategies and outputs, he also has a strong track record of working with others to help them to develop their communication skills.
Luca Brunner is co-head & co-founder of “foraus global”, an international network for grassroots think tanks and a spin-off of the Swiss think tank „foraus – Forum on Foreign Policy“. He studied political science and law (MA degree) and he mainly worked in the media sector and in the field of international politics. Last year, he already participated at the “Winter School”.
Monitoring, evaluation and learning
Stephen Yeo, former Executive Director, Centre for Economic Policy Research
Stephen Yeo is the former Executive Director of CEPR. Under his leadership, CEPR launched VoxEU, a global economic research platform. He has had extensive involvement in building capacity for policy research and analysis in Sub-Saharan Africa, along with experience in monitoring and evaluation, in particular of policy research networks and policy influencing projects. He is currently involved in the evaluation of the International Growth Centre (IGC).
Kali Taylor, Co-founder and Executive Director, Student Energy
Kali Taylor is a sustainable development professional, with a keen interest in systems thinking, social change, and youth engagement. Kali currently works with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in Geneva coordinating action on the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Kali is a member of the UNOG SDG Lab team, representing the NGO viewpoint and providing expertise on systems change and innovation best practice.
Kali is a co-founder and the founding Executive Director of Student Energy, a global not-for-profit dedicated to empowering the next generation of leaders who will transition the world to a sustainable energy future. She has also completed an internship with the Green Growth Knowledge Platform – a joint initiative between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Bank and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) for advancing the green economy.
In her early career, Kali held numerous positions in the energy industry focused on climate change and sustainability. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary specialized in Energy Management and a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation from the University of Waterloo.
Catherine Fiankan-Bokonga is the Vice-President of the Geneva Club Press and of the the Association of the Accredited Correspondents to the United Nations (ACANU). From 2013 to 2015, she was the Vice-President of the Foreign Press in Switzerland and Lichtenstein.
As a special reporter, she did several missions, especially in Africa She is also working as a journalist specialized in the area of international relations for various medias such as France 24, Radio Vatican or even african press…
Since 2016, she is Editor-in-Chief and Publication Director of the Klvin Mag, a review which is distributed everywhere in Switzerland.
Fundraising and financial management
Sonja Stojanovic Gajic, Director, Belgrade Centre for Security Policy
Sonja Stojanovic Gajic is the BCSP Director. She holds an MA in Politics, Security and Integration with distinction from the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, University College London.
Prior to taking up her current appointment, she worked with the Strategic Development Unit of the OSCE Mission to Serbia and Montenegro’s Law Enforcement Department as a coordinator of the strategic management program for the Serbian and Montenegrin police services. In the period of 2006-2011, Ms. Stojanović worked part-time as a teaching assistant for security studies at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade.
She is the author of the methodology for measuring security sector reform (SSR) in transitional societies from the perspective of civil society tested in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
Marc-André Pradervand, Synapsis Foundation – Alzheimer Research Switzerland
Marc-André Pradervand studied Business Administration and Management Information Systems at the University of Zurich/Switzerland. After working for several years as a business consultant he joined an international nonprofit organization and discovered the beauty of fundraising. He has now been a fundraiser for nearly 18 years and has held different positions in organizations like UNICEF, Save the Children, World Vision or Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders. Currently he is Head of Fundraising for the Synapsis Foundation – Alzheimer Research Switzerland in Zurich. He is also an active member of the Swiss fundraising association and trains and mentors fundraisers.
Governance and management
Simon Maxwell, Former Executive Director, Overseas Development Institute
Simon Maxwell was Director of the Overseas Development Institute from 1997-2009. He is an economist who began his career working overseas, first in Kenya and India for the UN Development Program, and then in Bolivia for the UK Overseas Development Administration. For fifteen years before joining ODI, he was a Fellow of the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex
Personal website: http://www.simonmaxwell.eu/
Yan Luong, Deputy Director, foraus
Yan is deputy director at foraus, the Swiss think tank on foreign policy and heads the Think Tank Hub Geneva. At the same time, he teaches digital communications at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Lausanne (HEC) and is a regular speaker at international events and conferences. A digital communications specialist with a strong social media twist, Yan has previously worked with a range of media and public institutions including: Couleur3 (the avant-gardist Swiss youth radio station); the Montreux Jazz Festival; Swiss national television (RTS); the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Presence Switzerland (the public diplomacy unit of the Swiss Federal department of Foreign Affairs) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), where he deployed change management programmes towards the digitisation of public communications.
Enrique Mendizabal, Founder and Director, On Think Tanks
Enrique is an independent policy entrepreneur. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). Until December 2010 he worked for the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) where he headed the Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) programme. At ODI he co-founded the Outcome Mapping Learning Community. Enrique is the co-founder of Politics and Ideas, the Peruvian Alliance for the Use of Evidence, and the Premio PODER al Think Tank Peruano del Año. Since 2016, he organises an annual Evidence Week in Latin America. He lives in Lima (Peru) but spends quite some time in London and traveling to visit think tanks across the world. He combines this with travel writing.