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Management Office

Alexander Schulze

Chief Programme Officer, Interim CEO

Alex is the Chief Programme Officer for Fondation Botnar. He is responsible for the strategic development of the overall philanthropic portfolio and also leads the health portfolio. Alex holds a PhD in Development Sociology from the University of Bayreuth in Germany and a Post-graduate Diploma in Development Cooperation from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). Alex has worked in international cooperation for over 20 years, with experience in a public donor agency and corporate philanthropy. Before joining Fondation Botnar, he headed the Global Health division of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and previously led strategic functions at the Novartis Foundation. His areas of expertise are health system quality, equitable access to health services and products, sustainable health financing, social protection, and private sector engagement for health. As of 1 January 2024, Alex will serve as interim CEO, leading the Foundation together with the management team.

Aline Cossy-Gantner

Chief Development Officer

Aline is the Chief Development 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 organisation development, research and capacity strengthening programmes.

Antoine Veyrassat

Venture Philanthropy Lead

Antoine is Venture Philanthropy Lead at Fondation Botnar. He holds a Master’s in economics from the University of Zurich in Switzerland. Antoine has over 20 years of experience in asset management, having previously worked in investment management and advisory roles. Antoine joined Fondation Botnar in 2019. In his role as Venture Philanthropy Lead, Antoine oversees the build-up and implementation of Fondation Botnar’s Venture Philanthropy strategy, investing in purpose-related start-ups across the foundation’s focus countries. Antoine also manages the foundation’s endowment, helping to formulate the investment strategy and implement the Strategic Asset Allocation.

Daniela Weber

Venture Philanthropy Investment Manager

Daniela is Venture Philanthropy Investment Manager at Fondation Botnar. Daniela previously worked at the Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund (CAIF) in Tunisia and gained work experience in consulting and in a Swiss cleantech start-up. She holds an MBA from the University of Bern and a Bachelor’s degree in Multilingual Communication from the University of Geneva. At Fondation Botnar her main responsibilities include analysing new investments and monitoring the existing portfolio with a primary focus on Africa.

Eva Moldovanyi

Programme Manager

Eva is the Programme Manager at Fondation Botnar. She has a Masters in Business and Economics with a Major in International Trade, Resources and the Environment from the University in Basel. When she was in high school, Eva read the UNICEF State of the World’s Children Report, which inspired her to focus her career working with and for children. Eva is passionate about sustainable and innovative solutions for the generations of today and those of the future. At Fondation Botnar Eva is responsible for the one-off grants and the Botnar Road Safety Challenge.

Heike Albrecht

Risk and Compliance Manager

Heike is the Risk and Compliance Manager at Fondation Botnar. She graduated from the University of Passau in Germany with a degree in International Business and Cultural Studies and obtained a Masters in Development and Cooperation from ETH Zurich. She is also a Certified Internal Auditor. 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 Risk and Compliance Manager, Heike is taking care of Fondation Botnar’s risk identification and management as well as the foundation’s compliance with relevant regulations.

Karin Schumacher

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.


Kiara Jade Marvuglio

Engagement and Communications Lead

Kiara is the Engagement and Communications Lead for Fondation Botnar. She has a Master’s in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute, Geneva and a joint honours degree in History of Art and African Studies from the University of Birmingham, UK. Kiara also has a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Strategic Philanthropy from the University of Geneva. As an experienced communicator on philanthropy and global development topics, Kiara loves stories – listening to them and telling them – so leading communications for Fondation Botnar is an inspiring fit for her to share stories about the change and learning that the organisation is collaborating on for the wellbeing of young people. At Fondation Botnar, she is responsible for strategic communications and external engagement.

Manuela Mächler

Grant Operations Manager

Manuela is the Grant Operations Manager at Fondation Botnar. She graduated from the Zurich University of Applied Science with a degree in International Management and worked in the banking sector before entering the non-profit sector. Prior to joining Fondation Botnar, Manuela worked for UNICEF Switzerland and later as an independent contractor for different NGOs and foundations. At Fondation Botnar, she is responsible for the grant management process.

Marcus Jenal

Strategic Learning & Evaluation Lead

Marcus is the Strategic Learning & Evaluation Lead. He has a background in Environmental Sciences from ETH Zurich. Before joining Fondation Botnar, Marcus was a partner at Mesopartner; he supported organisations, programmes and projects during the design, inception and implementation of systemic change initiatives. In addition, he has been building knowledge in complex systems theory and other relevant scientific fields through various training and research engagements. He has actively engaged in conceptual work on systemic approaches, improving projects’ design, delivery, monitoring, and evaluation. At Fondation Botnar, he coordinates the foundation’s efforts to learn about and improve its effectiveness in the areas it engages in.


Nicolas Vetterli

Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Manager

Nicolas is the Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Manager at Fondation Botnar. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Management, both from the University of Geneva. He has previously worked in the Evaluation and Controlling Division of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the United Nations Population Fund in Palestine, swisspeace, Caritas Switzerland in Chad, and in consultancies advising public sector and philanthropic actors. His work focused on the development of adaptive management practices (monitoring, evaluation and learning systems) and strategies in conflict-affected contexts, mainly in West Africa and the Middle East. At Fondation Botnar, he supports efforts to learn, reflect and adapt in the areas in which it works.

Rineke Veenendaal

Communications Manager

Rineke is Communications Manager for Fondation Botnar. She holds a Masters in Communication & Information Studies from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She has broad experience in public relations and worked as a media spokesperson for several international corporations. Rineke loves creating visibility for stories of people and organisations that excite and inspire others. At Fondation Botnar, she manages the foundation’s communications, working closely with partners to communicate their impact on young people’s wellbeing.

Samira Stauffiger

Grant Administrator

Samira is Grant Administrator at Fondation Botnar. She has a certificate from Wirtschaftsmittelschule WMS business administration school in Basel, Switzerland. Samira did a one-year Administration Internship at Fondation Botnar. Samira believes you are never done with learning and should always go through life with curiosity and an open mind. As Grant Administrator, Samira supports the team and partners on grant-related administrative issues.

Sary Lock

IT and Digital Platform Lead

Sary is the IT and Digital Platform Lead at Fondation Botnar. He holds a Masters in Computer Science from the IAE Lyon School of Management in France. Before joining the foundation, he worked in various roles as a software engineer, project manager, solution architect and team lead across several industries: consulting, automotive, supply chain and retail. As a technologist with strong experience in data and analytics, and knowledge of IT architecture, Sary is responsible for running the foundation’s information systems and digital services. He is excited by the possibility of leveraging the strategic potential of technology for the organisation to deliver on its mission and values.

Siddhartha Jha

AI and Digital Innovation Lead

Siddhartha grew up in India and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, an MSc. in Biomedical Engineering and a CAS in Computer Science with a focus on Artificial Intelligence, both from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He brings many years of interdisciplinary professional experience in technology, research, and innovation roles in different organisations. Siddhartha is responsible for supporting Fondation Botnar’s work on the use of data, digital & frontier technologies, and innovation. Siddhartha draws his inspiration from various disciplines and is deeply interested in facilitating a responsible and innovative use of technology and design for the common good.

Stefanie Besmens

People and Office Administrator

Stefanie is the People and Office Administrator at Fondation Botnar. She was born in Herzogenbuchsee, Switzerland, and has extensive experience in recruitment for long-term and temporary placements. After more than 15 years, she decided to embrace a new direction in her career and found the perfect match at Fondation Botnar. Connecting HR topics and taking care of the office and team environment resonates with her heart and mind.

Susanna Hausmann-Muela

Cities Portfolio Lead

Susanna is the Cities Portfolio Lead at Fondation Botnar. She leads the strategic development and implementation of programmes that improve city systems for young people. She holds a PhD in Epidemiology, a Master in Medical Anthropology and an Executive MBA in Non-Profit Management. For over 25 years, Susanna has worked in health and wellbeing, with long field stays in Tanzania and Mexico, working on community perspectives and participation, bringing the community voice into policy and planning. She has extensive experience in teaching and practice in implementation science, multisectoral approaches, and mixed methods. Before joining Fondation Botnar, she was Senior Advisor at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and previously Deputy CEO and Head of Grant Making at the UBS Optimus Foundation.

Sushant Sharma

Chief Investment Officer

Sushant is the Chief Investment Officer of Fondation Botnar. He holds a Master’s in Finance and Controlling from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Sushant has 30+ years of experience in private and institutional asset management. He is a specialist in international multi-asset class portfolios. Previously, Sushant headed Asset Management for Novartis Treasury. Among managing corporate liquidity and hedging currency risk, his team also managed Novartis’ Swiss pension fund assets. Sushant joined Fondation Botnar in January 2018. Besides managing the foundation’s endowment, he is developing Fondation Botnar’s Asian Venture Philanthropy portfolio of purpose-related start-up investing. While with the foundation, he has further enriched his know-how and experience in sustainable and impact investing.

Szandra McCrory

Executive Assistant

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.

Ursula Jasper

Governance and Policy Lead

Ulla is the Governance and Policy Lead at Fondation Botnar. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of St Gallen and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Zurich. Before joining Fondation Botnar, she worked as a Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich. Ulla is passionate about politics and has a deep interest in all things political from the local to the global level. At Fondation Botnar she is responsible for managing our policy work and for coordinating external relations and partnerships.

Zur Oren

Partnerships Coordinator

Zur is Partnerships Coordinator at Fondation Botnar. 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 Coordinar, Zur supports the Fondation Botnar programmes, specifically the establishment of the OurCity initiative in cities around the world.

Young Professionals Programme

Developing talent is a priority area for Fondation Botnar. Together with cinfo, Fondation Botnar has established a Young Professionals Programme to create possibilities for young professionals, under the age of 35 to develop and make a difference in a fast-changing interconnected world. Read more here.

The Future Now.
For Young People

Fondation Botnar
St. Alban-Vorstadt 56
4052 Basel
+41 61 201 04 74