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Fondation Botnar appoints senior experts to its Expert Commission.

Fondation Botnar

Fondation Botnar

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Media Release

Announcement: Fondation Botnar appoints senior experts to its Expert Commission, 12/06/2019 – Basel, Switzerland.

Fondation Botnar is pleased to announce the senior external experts selected for its Expert Commission.

The foundation provides a range of funding opportunities to enable pioneering research and innovation, and to help realise ground-breaking initiatives within our strategic focus at the intersection of the following areas to ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people around the world:

  • Cities
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) & Digital Health
  • Global Research & Solutions
  • Talent Development
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovative Financing

With the exception of applications for “one-off grants”, all applications for funding are now examined in detail by the newly created advisory Expert Commission. The Commission is comprised of members of the foundation Board, members of the foundation management team, and new external experts who have been chosen by the new Nomination Committee of the Board. The Scientific Commission has been merged into the Expert Commission to ensure coherence with our core areas of focus.

The external experts elected to the Expert Commission are appointed for one year term before being confirmed to serve the remainder of their first term. This term lasts three years in total. External experts will only be able to hold their position for a maximum of two terms of three years.

Other members of the Commission include Fondation Botnar Board members, Prof. Marcel Tanner, and Elsbeth Müller, and three members of the foundation management team, Susanna Hausmann Muela (Chief Program Officer), Sushant Sharma (Chief Investment Officer), and Aline Cossy-Gantner (Chief Learning Officer).

“We are proud to welcome Alice, Kelechi, Max, Ramesh and Michele, whose expertise will be integral to the foundation’s grant selection, to support work in urban contexts, with a specific focus on leveraging digital and AI innovations for children and adolescents. We look forward to the commission commencing activities immediately, as we strive to ensure high impact investments to improve young people’s health outcomes.”, say Prof. Marcel Tanner, and Elsbeth Müller, co- chairs of the Fondation Botnar Expert Commission.
Please find details on the external Expert Commission members:

Ramesh Raskar, Member Expert Commission: AI & Digital Health

Ramesh Raskar is an Associate Professor at MIT Media Lab and directs the Camera Culture research group. His focus is on AI and Imaging for health and sustainability. These efforts span research in physical (e.g., sensors, health-tech), digital (e.g.,automated and privacy-aware machine learning) and global (e.g., geomaps, autonomous mobility) domains. He received the Lemelson Award (2016), ACM SIGGRAPH Achievement Award (2017), DARPA Young Faculty Award (2009), Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (2009), TR100 Award from MIT Technology Review (2004), and the Global Indus Technovator Award (2003). He has worked on special research projects at Google and Facebook and co-founded/advised several companies. Ramesh joined the Fondation Botnar Expert Commission in March 2019 as our expert on AI and digital health.

Max Price, Member Expert Commission: Global Research & Solutions

Max Price became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town in July 2008, completing his ten-year term in June 2018. From 1996 to 2006, he was Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand. From 2006 to 2008 he consulted in public health and higher education. Following clinical work in academic settings and rural hospitals in South Africa, he gained a Masters degree at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, continuing there as a Research Fellow in Health Economics. Max is a qualified medical doctor with a MBBCh degree from the University of the Witwatersrand. Max joined the Fondation Botnar Expert Commission in March 2019 as our expert on global research.

Kelechi Vera Olawoyin, Member Expert Commission: Talent Development

Kelechi Vera Olawoyin is the Head of Human Resources, Administration and Communications at Transport Services Ltd (TSL), Nigeria, the largest Indigenous Transport and Logistics company in Nigeria. She joined TSL in January 2018 from Novartis Africa, where she was the Head of Novartis Africa Corporate University. Prior to this, she worked with Unilever Nigeria & West Africa for 7 years as the Leadership Development Manager for West Africa responsible for end to end Talent Management and subsequently as a HR Business Partner to the Sales and Marketing Departments. She is a pioneer alumnus of the British Council/LEAD InterAction Leadership programme in Nigeria. She also served as a Mentor for the Vital Voices Pan-African Leadership Initiative for Women and Girls in 2007 and currently volunteers as a Mentor for WISCAR (Women in Successful Careers). She holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and an M.Sc. in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. Kelechi joined the Fondation Botnar Expert Commission in March 2019 as our expert on talent development.

Alice Gugelev, Member Expert Commission: Entrepreneurship & Innovative Financing

Alice Gugelev is the CEO of GDI Africa, and a global Director at GDI where she leads a portfolio of initiatives that drive large scale social change in areas such as financial inclusion, SME development employment, education, humanitarian work, and climate change. The portfolio has a special focus on financial and structural changes to unlock entrepreneurship for individuals, small and growing enterprises and corporations. Alice is also the Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Muskoka Foundation and Chief Strategy Officer and investor for AppMakr, the world’s largest DIY mobile app
development platform. Alice has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a double major BA in International Economics and East Asian Studies from Columbia University and Stanford Japan Center. Alice joined the Fondation Botnar Expert Commission in March 2019 as our expert on entrepreneurship and innovative financing.

Michele Acuto, Member Expert Commission: Cities

Michele Acuto is Professor and Director of the Connected Cities Lab at the University of Melbourne. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Bosch Foundation and of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He is an expert in international urban development and the role of city leadership in global challenges. Michele has as previously taught and led internationally-oriented urban programs at the University of Oxford and at University College London, and worked for the World Bank, European Commission response to pandemic threats, Arup, International Campaign to Ban Landmines, and several WHO urban health programs. He holds a PhD (in regulation, justice and diplomacy) from the Australian National University. Michele joined the Fondation Botnar Expert Commission in May 2019 as our expert on cities.    



About Fondation Botnar
Fondation Botnar is a Swiss foundation established with the core purpose of improving the health and wellbeing of children and young people in growing secondary cities around the world. To achieve this, Fondation Botnar acts as a catalyst, connecting diverse partners and investing in solutions that leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and digital innovation.

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Fondation Botnar
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+41 61 201 04 74