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Young Professionals Programme

About the Programme

Talent development is a priority area for Fondation Botnar. We want to create opportunities for young professionals to develop and pursue impactful careers, whether that’s in NGOs, government, international organisations, impact investing, or philanthropy. 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.

The programme lasts for two years with one year spent with Fondation Botnar in Basel and up to one year with a partner or related organisation in a low- to middle-income country.

Meet the Young Professionals

Adria Berari

Learning in the Digital Age

Adria is part of the Young Professionals Programme 2022-2024. Adria holds a Bachelor’s in Modern History and International Relations from the University of Essex and a Master’s in Diplomacy and Foreign Policy from City, University of London. She previously worked in Cluj-Napoca to set up and implement the first Education Cluster in Romania. She brings the grant partner perspective to the team as she facilitated the co-design of FIX Cluj and spearheaded the EduMapping, both Fondation Botnar-supported projects. Adria is spending her first year of the Young Professionals Programme as a Programme Manager at Fondation Botnar, working on programming related to learning in the digital age.

Theresa Budzinski

Communications & Advocacy

Theresa is part of the Young Professionals Programme 2022-2024. Theresa graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy from Furtwangen University. She has experience as a creative director consulting various companies and foundations in creating events, branding and communication campaigns. She loves asking the right questions and finding the stories worth telling, creating chaos as much as structuring it and experiencing the high of ultimate inspiration and co-creation. Theresa spent her first year of the Young Professionals Programme as a Communications Specialist at Fondation Botnar, working on communications and advocacy topics, and is currently working with UN-Habitat in Nairobi.

Manuel Crain


Manuel is part of the Young Professionals Programme 2021-2023. He brings varied experience in formal and informal settlements and focuses on participatory youth and community engagement. He holds an MSc in Urban Sociology from the University of Amsterdam, an MSc in Urban Studies from University College London and a CAS in Development & Cooperation from ETH Zurich. Manuel spent his first year as a City Specialist at Fondation Botnar and his second year working with Fundacion Corona in Colombia.

Illan Acher

Human Rights in the Digital Age

Illan was part of the Young Professionals Programme 2021-2023. He is passionate about diverse cultures and how young people develop an understanding of global issues. He has worked with the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva, New York, Uganda and several West African countries. Illan holds a MSc in Migration Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. After spending his first year as a Programme Specialist at Fondation Botnar, Illan spent part of his second year at Amnesty International in the United Kingdom and Kenya.

Namrata Mehta

Capacity Building & Systems Change

Namrata was part of the Young Professionals Programme 2020 – 2022. She has a depth of experience helping organisations adopt a design-led approach to developing solutions in and for emerging economy contexts. Namrata studied Sociology at the University of Delhi and Experimental Media Arts at the Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology in India. Namrata spent her first year at Fondation Botnar as Capacity Building & Systems Change Programme Manager and her second year with UN-Habitat in Nairobi.

Daniela Weber

Venture Philanthropy

Daniela was part of the Young Professionals Programme 2020 – 2022. She has several years of experience in microfinance, entrepreneurship and cleantech, and has worked in various startups before joining the foundation. Daniela holds an MBA from the University of Bern in Switzerland and has work experience in Switzerland, China, Germany, Nepal and Togo. After spending the first year at Fondation Botnar as Venture Philanthropy Portfolio Manager, Daniela spent her second year in Tunisia with AfricInvest, a leading private equity firm in Africa.

In focus: Young Professionals insights

In this space, you get to know and learn from the Young Professionals’ reflections and expertise.

The Future Now.
For Young People

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