Jacqueline Coté was the Director of Public Relations and previously Head of Communications at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva from 2009 to 2021. In that role she was instrumental in building the new campus of the Institute, the Maison de la Paix, as a vibrant centre of conferences and seminars, thus solidifying the reputation and outreach of the Institute in International Geneva and beyond.
Prior to that Ms Coté was the Permanent Representative to the UN of the International Chamber of Commerce and also served as Senior Advisor Advocacy & Partnerships to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. In the early part of her career, Ms Coté practiced as an international lawyer in Canada and Switzerland and held management positions with multinational companies SGS and DuPont.
Ms Coté believes that the global agenda can best be tackled by linking the public, private and non-profit sectors, and that dialogue and empathy are essential tools to achieve the sustainable development goals. She recently trained as a mediator at Harvard Law School and joined the board of several associations to continue her engagement with International Geneva.
Ms Coté has Swiss, Canadian and British nationalities, is a member of the Bar of Quebec and has two grown-up children who share her passion about tackling today’s global challenges in their areas of work.
Elisabeth Tooms EN
Elisabeth Tooms studied Law at Oxford University and at the same time participated in theatre projects as director, wardrobe mistress and stage manager. She married in 1985 to Tim Firth, who died of cancer in 2014. She became involved with IofC/MRA at university and after graduating she worked with the organisation on a full time basis, directing musical shows and touring around the world. A career change resulted in working for 19 years in the City of London for Allen & Overy, a global law firm, as the Head of the Library and Information Service. She took early retirement in 2004 and returned to theatre work, taking commissions as director, stage manager and lighting designer. In particular, stage manager for Intermission Theatre in London helping to develop the Shakespeare inspired youth theatre project. Became a trustee of the Oxford Group (IofC UK) from 2005-2009, taking the chair in 2007. In 1997 founder member of Renewal Arts and involved in creating a series of arts conferences in Caux. She joined the Council of the CAUX-IofC Fondation in 2014.
*Member of the Executive Committee
Hans-Rudolf Pfeifer EN
Hans-Rudolf Pfeifer is a medical doctor and a specialist in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. He is running his own private practice for psychiatry and psychotherapy in Zurich. Pfeifer is married and father of two daughters. He has been a member of the council since 2010.
Vivek Asrani has been part of the family business for 35 years and is currently the Managing Director of Kaymo Fastener Company, India. He graduated with a Bachelors in Science and went on to get a law degree. He was an executive body member of AIESEC from 1986-89 and the Founder President of Association of Youth for Better India (AYBI) from 1990 to 1993. He met IofC in 1992 and has been an active member since 1995. He currently serves on the Board of IofC India.
Vivek also serves on the boards of several NGO’s in India :
- Toybank - a project that has set up 325 play centers in municipal schools and in rural India impacting over 45,000 children on daily basis.
- Praja - One of the India’s largest citizens’ initiative holding the system accountable for its performance on the back of information gathered through Right To Information (RTI).
- Muktangan - Adoption of 7 Municipal schools in Mumbai teaching 3200 children and having trained over 500 community based teachers.
His wife Rashida runs a furniture business and his two sons are currently studying in their under- graduate years.
Karin Oszuszky EN
Karin Oszuszky is Advisor in the Private Sector and Trade Finance Department at the development finance Institution OFID. She is based in Vienna, Austria. She has been in commercial banking since 1985 in various assignments for large international banks in Vienna, Amsterdam, Geneva and Zurich. From 1998 to 2002 she was director at the Structured Commodity Finance Department at ING Bank in Amsterdam. From 2002 to 2005 she headed the corporate clients department of ING Geneva and was head of the corporate office of ING in Zurich.
François Barras EN
Ambassador François Barras is originally from Valais in Switzerland. Following a degree in law at the University of Geneva, a Masters in Anthropology from the University of Virigina, USA and a Doctorate in Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, he began his career with UNDP and World Bank missions. He went on to a career as a diplomat which took him successively to Tel Aviv, Washington, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Lebanon, New York, Beirut and Bern.
He retired in June 2017 and that same year joined the Council for Initiatives of Change Switzerland. He is also President of the Institute of Arab and Mediterranean Cultures (ICAM) in Geneva and President of the association Swiss Made Culture in Crans-Montana.
Originally from Egypt, born in Spain, Omnia Marzouk has lived most of her life in Australia and Britain. She attended Sydney University and was the first woman recipient of the Hamilton Mott Scholarship at Wesley College. She graduated from Sydney Medical School, then completed her specialist training in the UK. She obtained her MD with distinction from Liverpool University. Dr Omnia Marzouk was Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medecine for 22 years at the UK's busiest Children's Emergency Department - Alder Hey Children's NHS Trust in Liverpool. She served as Clinical Director of the Emergency Department for 7 years and as Associate Medical Director of the Children's Hospital for 5 years. She held Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health national advisory and training posts in Paediatrics and Paediatric Emergency Medicine. She has recently retired from clinical work but continues to mentor and train doctors and nurses in Emergency Paediatrics. Dr Omnia Marzouk was the first woman president of Initiatives of Change International from 2011-2016. She was introduced to Initiatives of Change (IofC) while at school in Australia and has been actively involved since. For many years, she has been particularly engaged in trustbuilding initiatives and intercultural and interfaith dialogue within the UK as well as taking part in similar initiatives in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
An associate professor at the School of Engineering and Management in Yverdon-les-Bains in western Switzerland, Véronique Sikora brings her passion for knowledge sharing, and several years of multicultural experience in communications and training.
Having worked in business and government in Canada and Switzerland, she became keenly interested in how people share knowledge. This led her to steer her career path towards higher education where for the last 20 years she has been designing and delivering courses in business communications including knowledge management. She also works independently for "Weaving Social Fabric".
Her extensive volunteer experience includes delivering workshops and leadership training and facilitating seminars and round tables for IofC Switzerland and the Swiss Knowledge Management Forum. Véronique is currently Co-President of the Friends of Caux.
Morenike Onajobi was first introduced to IofC Switzerland in 2012 by Intermission Youth (Theatre) and has been on the leadership team of the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme since 2016. Working as a senior trainer, Morenike specialises in personal introspection and leadership development.
After studying Sport and Exercise Science at Loughborough University, Morenike went on to pursue a career in consultancy specialising in employment law, organisational design and business strategy.
Born and raised in East London, Morenike actively supports and engages in a range of humanitarian causes such as prison reform, supporting vulnerable young people and promoting peace, leadership and development for people from war-torn countries.
Antoine Jaulmes EN
Antoine Jaulmes is a graduate engineer from Mines ParisTech. With long experience in industrial and R&D management positions, he is now a consultant on management and ethical business policy and leads the Initiatives of Change Business & Economy Programme. Since his youth he has been concerned about the tragedy of extreme poverty in the world and by the prospect of planetary exhaustion in the face of world population growth. He now works to help business leaders take all their stakeholders, near and far, into account and to steer their companies towards serving humanity’s needs. He chaired the board of Initiatives of Change Switzerland from 2012 to 2018.
Martin Frick is the Director of the World Food Programme Global Office in Berlin. He previously served as the Deputy to the Special Envoy for the UN Food System Summit 2021. He served before as the Senior Director of UN Climate Change where he was overseeing the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the secretariat's Climate Action work. As programme director for former Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Foundation, he developed the founding narrative of climate justice. He previously served as Director for Climate Change at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He was the German representative for human rights and humanitarian affairs at the UN General Assembly and served as the European Union’s lead negotiator in the establishment of the UN Human Rights Council. As Ambassador to the international organizations based in Germany, he helped building up the UN’s sustainability hub in Bonn. He holds a PhD in Law from Regensburg University and was a guest lecturer at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.
Photo: Martin Frick
David Forbes-Jaeger EN
Nick Foster EN
Nick Foster has been Caux Forum Director since 2013 and became Co-Director General of Initiatives of Change Switzerland in February 2021. He also overseas Partnerships & Programmes. Nick studied arts and psychology education. He has lived around the world and worked in education and the NFP sector, and run his own manufacturing company in South Africa. He has also worked as a consultant to businesses on topics such as partnership development, staff retention and burnout. Nick has been involved with IofC for a long time, first through ‘Making Britain a Home’ and then through ‘Foundations For Freedom’ in Eastern Europe and Russia.
Stephanie Buri EN
Stephanie Buri became Co-Director General of Initiatives of Change (IofC) Switzerland on 1 April 2020. She also oversees Communications, Philanthropy and General Administration. Stephanie joined the foundation in 2014 as Director of Communications and Knowledge Management. After a B.A. in International Studies from the University of San Francisco and a M.S. in Cultures and Development Studies at the KU Leuven in Belgium, Stephanie specialized in Communications for Development. Her previous work experiences include the German Marshall Fund, The Women's Forum for the Economy and Society and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Diana Damsa Training
Diana Damsa is in charge of the Foundation's training programmes. She holds degrees in Law and Music and has pursued postgraduate studies in Healing of Memories and Intercultural and Interfaith Communication. In 2004 she was inspired by Initiatives of Change (IofC)’s message that change in the world starts with change in oneself; she has been active in several IofC programmes since then. In particular, she has been involved with Foundations for Freedom in various capacities both as a member of the management and coordination team, as a designer and facilitator of youth and leadership programmes and of interethnic dialogues in Ukraine and Romania. She was vice-president of Creators of Peace and Managing Director of IofC Switzerland's Tools for Changemakers programme. She is also a founding member and the President of the Centre for Social Transformation in Romania, which works to promote peace, build trust and empower women and Roma youth.
Sebastian Hasse studied computer science and is a trained mediator. He is originally from Germany but currently lives in France where he is closely connected to Initiatives of Change France. He has been actively involved in voluntary activities for many years and in addition to his work for IofC Switzerland, he also coordinates online events for the international IofC community.
Daniel Clements CF
Daniel Clements is Welsh and has a passion for working with young people. He volunteered for many years with the Air Training Core, and has ambitions to engage in educational reform. He sees the challenges people face today as deeply spiritual, and has a desire to enable people to overcome inner darkness and live lives of truth and compassion.
Sidra Raslan CF
Sidra Raslan is a young Syrian determined to take part in making the world and her country a better place. She believes in the power of youth and the gift of diversity, and that when combined together with personal stories and an openness to share, provides a space that inspires leadership and a cascade of change. We are calling that space the Creative Leadership conference. Her journey with IofC began in 2016, since then she has carried with her a piece of the palace and the people she’s met with her daily, and it keeps her motivated to be the best version she can be of herself. In Syria she spends free time volunteering with youth to empower then to become active members of society. She is constantly seeking opportunities and working on ‘being the change she wishes to see in the world.
Bhavesh S Patel
Bhavesh Patel designs and facilitates learning and development for people, organizations and networks. He believes that in an increasingly uncertain world, there are no off-the-shelf ideal pre-defined solutions. Instead organizations can find their evolutionary capacity through engaging the hearts and minds of their own people. This leads to a variety of work from strategic development to helping community groups discover their shared vision. He also works as a trainer, delivering workshops that explore skills in self-management, communication, training and facilitation. Bhav has a Master’s in Management Psychology and has worked in over 30 countries for a mix of social and corporate clients.
Jonathan Dudding EN
Jonathan Dudding has been working internationally as a trainer and facilitator for over twenty years. He was trained by the Institute of Cultural Affairs and specializes in their methods. In addition to facilitating events and training others in facilitation, Jonathan also offers advice on how to incorporate participatory approaches into sectors where participation is less valued. In 2011 Jonathan provided training and support to the Caux Conferences’ facilitators. He is now a full member of the Caux Design Team. He has also worked with ICA:UK in partnership with IofC Switzerland to run courses on Facilitation in Geneva.
Valentin Brunet is a Swiss and French national who has worked as a manager and assistant manager for hotels in the canton of Valais in Switzerland before joining the Foundation in 2022. With a background in hotel management and a financial training applied to hotels, he had the opportunity to work in various establishments to manage various projects and events related to the hotel and restaurant industry.
Edna Da Costa Sanches
Ulrike Ott Chanu EN
Ulrike Ott Chanu has been part of the communications team since February 2014. First the webmaster of the Caux website, she now coordinates the different communication tasks for IofC Switzerland. After studying English, French and History she worked as a teacher in Germany until marriage to a Frenchman not only made her change country but also retrain professionally. She studied International Logistics, business and economics translation, worked for various shipping companies and managed a B&B in Normandy. She now divides her time between her work for the Foundation and her family.
Diana Topan has worked with various NGOs at an international level since 2012, having gained experience as a project manager in the Netherlands and Romania, and as a freelance social media manager with clients in Europe, the Middle East and the USA. She studied Psychology and is passionate about photography and digital arts. She likes to work in her garden, is an enthusiastic mushroom observer and has an endless curiosity for the creative reuse of obsolete furniture and everyday items. Diana has worked in communication for several international IofC programmes and conferences in Caux. She is currently the Vice-President of the Centre for Social Transformation in Romania, and has been the Communications Coordinator of Tools for Changemakers since 2017.
Adrien Giovannelli EN
Adrien Giovannelli started working in August 2016 for the IofC Switzerland as Head of Facilities and brings with him 10 years of experience in the construction field in France and 3 years as Duty Manager for a Swiss Hotel Management school. He works on the renovations and is in charge of the maintenance department for the Caux premises. Adrien is a real aficionados of photography.
Jérôme Bertini EN
Jérôme Bertini comes from Nice (France), where he worked as a painter for a local company for 17 years, and 7 years as a craftsman. He joined the maintenance team in Caux in September 2016 as a painter.
Mathieu Vincent has been a carpenter/cabinet maker for almost 30 years. His knowledge is multiple and can go from the restoration of antiques, to the making of a secret piece of furniture or the installation of a floor, a window or a staircase. He joined the team in 2021 and it is with great pleasure that his know-how and techniques are now at the service of the foundation.
Bernard Groves is currently working as a versatile technician. After more than 30 years working as a landscaper/horticulturist for Swiss municipalities and private clients he joined the Foundation in April 2019.
Angelo La Greca
Angelo La Greca joined the Foundation in January 2019 as a versatile technician. He has more than 10 years' experience in electrical engineering and more than 18 years as a heating operating technician in French companies. His priority is to help his team to be strong, dynamic and efficient through sharing his know-how.
Horia Jarrar is responsible for finance, human resources and finance for IofC Switzerland, including the premises of the Caux Conference and Seminar Centre.
A Swiss and French national, Horia has worked as Business Finance Director for Equant EMEA in Paris and for SITA in Geneva . She has a degree in Finance and a Masters in Economics. She has wide experience in the for-profit and non-profit sectors and in multicultural environments and is passionate about archetypal psychology. She believes in the ability of individuals inspired by universal values to work for a better society.
Myriam Girardet joined the team in June 2020 and currently works as Accountant and HR Administration Officer Of Swiss and Dutch national, Myriam has held several positions in the fields of Finance, Administration, Human Resources and Logistics in three different NGOs around the world (Haiti, Bangladesh, Lebanon and Democratic Republic of Congo). After 9 years abroad Myriam returned to Switzerland in July 2019 to seek a new professional challenge and to pursue the preparatory course for the « Brevet fédéral de spécialiste en finance et comptabilité » which should end in 2023. Passionate about social entrepreneurship and sustainable development she is active as a volunteer in an organization in Haiti.
Originally from the canton of Neuchâtel, Claude Dubey lived there until 2008 before she went a long trip to the USA to learn English. On her return she moved to Fribourg, Switzerland, and then to the countryside of Lausanne before settling permanently in Valais in 2015 where she is raising her daughter. Claude loves nature and the outdoors and enjoys skiing or walking in the mountains, swimming in the clear waters of the lakes and tasting the culinary wonders of Switzerland.
Ekaterina Gross has been working as a liaison officer at the Caux Refuge project since April 2022. She is half Ukrainian and half Russian and has been living in Switzerland for twelve years.