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Young Professionals Program

About the Program

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 Program to create possibilities for young professionals under the age of 35 to develop and make a difference in a fast-changing interconnected world.

The program 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.

The next cohort of Young Professionals will open for application in mid-2022 for 2022 – 2024. Check this page for updates.

Meet the Young Professionals

Namrata Mehta

Capacity Building & Systems Change

Namrata is part of the Young Professionals Program 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 Program Manager and will be spending the second year with UN-Habitat in Nairobi.

Daniela Weber

Venture Philanthropy

Daniela is part of the Young Professionals Program 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 is currently spending her second year in Tunisia with AfricInvest, a leading private equity firm in Africa.

Manuel Crain


Manuel Crain is part of the Young Professionals Program 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. He is spending his first year of the Young Professionals Program as a City Specialist at Fondation Botnar.

Illan Acher

Human Rights in the Digital Age

Illan is part of the Young Professionals Program 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 and is studying towards a MAS in International Education at the University of Geneva. He is spending his first year of the Young Professionals Program as a Program Specialist at Fondation Botnar.

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 Children Worldwide

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