Meet the Team
Heike is the Grant Manager of Fondation Botnar. She graduated from the University of Passau in Germany with a degree in International Business and Cultural Studies, and also obtained a Masters in Development and Cooperation from ETH Zurich. Heike has always been interested in how the lives of people can be improved, no matter where they live, and has worked for over a decade with development projects around the world. As Grant Manager, Heike is taking care of Fondation Botnar’s donation projects as well as of the development of our project management processes.
Kiara Jade Barnes
Engagement and Communications Manager
Kiara is the Engagement and Communications Manager for Fondation Botnar. She has a Masters in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, and a joint honours BA degree in History of Art and African Studies from the University of Birmingham, UK. As an experienced communicator on philanthropy and global health topics, Kiara loves stories – telling them and listening to them – so leading communications and engagement for Fondation Botnar is an inspiring fit for her to share stories about the impact the organisation has on the wellbeing of children. At Fondation Botnar she is responsible for communications and engagement with partners, stakeholders and influencers on today’s global issues.
Dr. Aline Cossy-Gantner
Chief Learning Officer
Aline is the Chief Learning Officer at Fondation Botnar. She studied Physics in Lausanne and earned her PhD in Surface Physics in Basel. She has broad experience in academia and industry, and understands what is needed to bring projects and solutions along from innovation to end-users with efficient project and product management. Her background in organisation development and leadership drives her to find adequate positioning of the human factors in all projects. At Fondation Botnar she is responsible for the full research portfolio, including monitoring and evaluation.
Dr. Stefan Germann
Chief Executive Officer
Stefan is the Chief Executive Officer of Fondation Botnar. He is a global child health and wellbeing expert with over 30 years’ experience - living in 7 and working in over 80 countries with the single passion of the progressive realisation of children’s rights. He started up several social development organisations and programs in Africa and Asia (Masiye Camp, REPSSI, One Goal Asia). As a leadership principle Stefan believes that “Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge (Simon Sinek)”.
Dr. Susanna Hausmann-Muela
Chief Program Officer
Susanna is the Chief Program Officer for Fondation Botnar. She has been working over the past 25 years in global and public health, with long field stays in Tanzania and Mexico and completed her Masters in Medical Anthropology and her PhD in Epidemiology. She has extensive experience in implementation research, specialising on access to care and bringing the community voice into policy and planning. She was previously Deputy CEO and Head of Grant Making at the UBS Optimus Foundation, and helped establish several NGOs in the global health field. At Fondation Botnar she is responsible for the full programportfolio, planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation.
Thuy Anh Huynh-Le
Thuy Anh is the Grants Administrator for Fondation Botnar. She was born in Vietnam and has a background in accounting and administration in the non-profit sector. She graduated with a Bachelor in Finance and Accounting from FFHS Switzerland, and has a strong passion on helping others, especially children. As Grants Administrator, Thuy Anh assists the Chief Program Officer in the grant making process; preparing contracts, maintaining contact with current partners, and monitoring and keeping track of reports for projects that fall under the program portfolio.
AI/Digital Program Manager
Siddhartha is the AI/Digital Program Manager for Fondation Botnar. He grew up in India where he completed his Bachelor in Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology. In addition to many years of research within the industry he also completed postgraduate studies in Biomedical Engineering at ETH Zurich. Siddhartha is deeply interested in using technology and algorithms for social good. At Fondation Botnar, he is supporting digital health and artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives.
Szandra is the Executive Assistant of Fondation Botnar. She is a graduate of History from the University of Vienna. Szandra travelled the world for many years through sporting activities before settling down in Basel in 2008. She joined Fondation Botnar after deciding that she was ready for a new challenge; working for a purpose. Szandra supports our CEO, Board, and management team in office administrative matters and organises events and workshops.
Zur is the Partnerships Coordinator at Fondation Botnar. He is currently on secondment from Impact Hub Basel, where he is involved in partnership development and program design. Zur has an MBA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is passionate about making the world a better place via economic growth. He has over 15 years of experience in various aspects of business development, and has been strongly involved in social entrepreneurship, including the management of microgrants and an accelerator for community-based social businesses. As Partnerships Coordinator, Zur supports the Fondation Botnar programs, specifically the establishment of our Learning Hubs in key secondary cities around the world.
Dr. Beatrice Schibler
Research Project Manager
Beatrice is Research Project Manager for Fondation Botnar. She joined the foundation after completing her doctoral research degree in Molecular Parasitology on the biology of the malaria parasite from the University of Basel. Beatrice is passionate about innovative, multidisciplinary research to tackle unsolved problems, and believes that you’re only able to facilitate positive change by connecting with people and by constantly learning. At Fondation Botnar she takes care of all research project-related issues, from the initial application until the successful completion of a project.
Chief Operating Officer
Karin is the Chief Operating Officer of Fondation Botnar. She holds a Federal Diploma in Pension Fund Management and a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Non-profit Management and Law from the University of Basel (CEPS). She has worked in the non-profit sector for many years and gathered extensive experience in foundation management. Prior to joining Fondation Botnar, Karin worked as a Business Manager, building up and running two other foundations in contract/risk management and finance. As the COO of Fondation Botnar, she is responsible for all corporate finance, HR and legal issues as well as for efficiently and safely running processes.
Chief Investment Officer
Sushant is the Chief Investment Officer of Fondation Botnar. He holds a Masters in Finance and Controlling from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. He has over 25 years of experience in private and institutional asset management and was excited about joining the foundation to fulfil its purpose. He is responsible for managing the endowment fund and is developing how the foundation can most effectively use innovative finance in investing for impact.
Strategic Learning and Evaluation Manager
David is the Strategic Learning and Evaluation Manager at Fondation Botnar. He grew up in Zimbabwe with his parents being active in international relations, finished school in Germany, and then graduated in International Business in Austria. He came to Basel to complete his Masters in International Management and joined Fondation Botnar with the excitement about the possibilities of new technologies establishing learning networks across both borders and cultures. He focuses on the monitoring and assessment of Fondation Botnar’s approach, utilising learning and evaluation processes to inform and improve the strategy.
Bea is the Office Administrator of Fondation Botnar. She grew up in Bernese Oberland and became passionate about travelling the world. She is a huge believer in travelling to experience new cultures, and subsequently turned her passion into a career in the tourism industry. After working in the travel industry for over 18 years she moved to Basel and joined the Fondation Botnar team. Bea supports the Chief Operating Officer in accounting and HR and is responsible for office administration.