Christine Beerli EN
Christine Beerli was appointed as the new President of the Council of the Foundation in November 2018. She was the Vice-President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). A member of a law firm in Biel, Ms Beerli began her political career on that city's municipal council, where she served from 1980 to 1983. From 1986 to 1991 she was a member of the legislative assembly of the Canton of Bern. In 1991 she was elected to the upper house of the Swiss parliament, where she remained until 2003, chairing the foreign affairs committee (1998-1999) and the committee for social security and health (2000-2001). Ms Beerli chaired the caucus of the Free Democratic Party in Switzerland's federal assembly from 1996 to 2003. She also served on committees dealing with security policy and economic and legal affairs. She retired from politics in 2003. Since 1st January 2006 she has headed Swissmedic, the Swiss supervisory authority for therapeutic products. She is former director of the School of Engineering and Information Technology at Bern University of Applied Sciences.
In January 2008, Ms Beerli was appointed permanent Vice-President of the ICRC. As such she was a member of the ICRC Assembly – the institution's supreme governing body – as well as the Assembly Council and the Presidency, where she worked closely with the President and deputized for him whenever necessary.
*Member of the Executive Committee
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
Andrew Lancaster EN
Since 1965 Andrew Lancaster has worked with IofC in Australia, New Zealand, India, North America and Britain. For most of the last 40 years his wife Margaret (who is English) and he have lived in Canberra. They have three sons and five grandchildren.
He is currently Chair of the Council of Management of IofC Australia. Prior to that he served on IofC’s International Council for six years. He has been a member of the Council of CAUX-IofC since 2005.
*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.
Antoine Jaulmes EN
Antoine Jaulmes is a graduate of the Paris School of Mines and has since worked with PSA Peugeot Citroën where he is now the Director of the Light Commercial Vehicles R&D Platform. Impressed since his younger years both by the tragedy of third world’s poverty and by the shrinking availability of natural resources, he is a fervent supporter of every initiative which may advance the emergence of an urgently needed more just world order. His long-held conviction is that IofC’s specific approach will contribute towards this aim in several ways.
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.
Dr Omnia Marzouk
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.
Mulham Soufi Council
Originally from Syria, Mulham Soufi grew up in France just on the Swiss border near Geneva. He studied landscaping for 5 years which allowed him to be aware and competent on environmental issues. Very attached to the world of video games, during all his adolescence he developed online platforms which gathered nearly a hundred thousand members on his online game servers. The administration of the teams and the experience of moderation allowed him to be hired in child protection at OKAIROS as a moderator and community manager in Geneva. In 2019, he joined the computer excellence training course at school 42 in Lyon. he was also a participant in the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme in 2018 and in 2019.
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.
David Forbes-Jaeger EN
Stephanie Buri EN
On 1 April 2020 Stephanie Buri became co-Director General of Initiatives of Change (IofC) Switzerland with Rainer Gude. She oversees Communications, Philanthropy, IT and the Service Centre. 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).
Rainer Gude EN
On 1 April 2020 Rainer Gude became co-Director General of Initiatives of Change (IofC) Switzerland with Stephanie Buri. He oversees Strategic Partnerships, Programmes and External Relations. Rainer started his work with Initiatives of Change International in 2012 by coordinating the relations with the UN and other International Organizations and missions in Geneva. 2018 he took on the role of Strategic Partnerships Manager for Initiatives of Change Switzerland. He holds a Masters in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute of Development and International Studies in Geneva. Before joining IofC, he worked several years in the business and NGO sectors.
Celestina Neto has been part of IofC Switzerland since January 2020. Graduated from Nicolas-Bouvier, commercial school in Geneva and from Hillsong International Leadership College in Sydney, she assists both the Secretary General and the Geneva team and also organises different events, conferences and meetings. Fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, Celestina has a diverse professional experience as she has worked in different fields such as private aviation, social welfare and protestant churches.
Véronique Chereau EN
Veronique Chereau joined the team in April 2018 as Head of Philanthropy, in charge of relationships with donors and funders. Veronique brings over 14 years of international and fundraising experience. After a Master in Management, Veronique worked in South Africa, New Zealand and Europe in the corporate and NGO sectors, raising funds for Oxfam, Habitat for Humanity and WWF International amongst others.
Elodie Malbois EN
After finishing her Master’s studies in Philosophy at the University of St Andrews (UK), Elodie Malbois joined the Foundation as an intern in communications for the Caux Forum 2014. She returned the following year as a communications officer, before leaving in December 2015 order to write a PhD dissertation in philosophy at the University of Fribourg and the Institute for Ethics, History and the Humanities in Geneva. Having finished her dissertation, she is back again temporarily to support the communications team and more specifically to promote the Caux Forum 2020 until end of August 2020.
Ulrike Ott Chanu EN
Ulrike Ott Chanu has been mandated as the Webmaster of the Caux website since February 2014. 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 and worked for various shipping companies until she opened a B&B in Normandy in 2009. She now divides her time between her work for the foundation and IofC International, her guests, family and a range of farm animals (not necessarily in that order).
Karina Cheah is a third-year student at Colgate University (Hamilton, NY, USA) studying international relations, French and creative writing. She joined IofC in February 2020 as the Communications intern and will hold the position until the summer. Karina has been writing since she was six years old and has no plans to stop. To learn more about her book, This Side of the Veil, please click here.
Peter Osazuwa EN
Peter Osazuwa joined IofC Switzerland in June 2019 as an IT Manager. Peter has overall responsibilities for technology solutions for the Foundation. He has a master's degree in Computer Systems and Networking. A senior IT Manager and Chartered IT Professional with over 20 years’ experience of proven track record in delivering technology systems and support. Before joining IofC, Peter held a number of senior technology roles within the public and private sectors in the UK.
Brigitt Altwegg EN
Brigitt Altwegg is Programme Manager Trustbuilding and has been part of IofC Switzerland since July 2012. She holds an MA in International Relations from the Graduate Institute Geneva and an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies the European Peace University. Before joining IofC Switzerland, she worked as Assistant to the Director of the human rights organisation TRIAL International. She is also a professional rock climbing instructor.
Annika Hartmann de Meuron Staff
As the Managing Director of Ethical Leadership in Business, Annika Hartmann de Meuron develops all-year activities on ethical business practices, which offer companies the opportunity to exchange with peers, get to know related guidelines and to experience the specific IofC Switzerland ethics approach. She has worked for many years as a Corporate Social Responsibility Consultant for the Philias Foundation and has a background in communications at the Global Humanitarian Forum and the PR-Agency Rochat & Partners.
Horia Jarrar is responsible for finance, human resources and finance for IofC Switzerland, including the premises and hospitality 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.
Rahel Isenschmied EN
A passionate hotel manager, Rahel Isenschmied has a higher degree in tourism management as well as a certificate for hotel and restaurant management. Having served for more than 15 years managing a Swiss Historic Hotel, Rahel Isenschmied joined the Foundation at the end of 2016 as Hospitality Manager for the Caux Conference and Seminar Centre. Reception, service quality and innovation feature amongst her priorities while keeping a particular emphasis on showcasing Swiss Hotel Service traditions.
Fabian Büecheler EN
Fabian Büecheler is assistant to the Hospitality Manager. During and after his apprenticeship in the Hotel & Tourism sector he had the opportunity to work in various hotels, restaurants and bars all over the German speaking part of Switzerland. He started his career with the Foundation in 2011 as Executive Assistant. He now is in charge of processing all the Caux Conference reservations.
After having finished her Bachelor’s degree in International Business (Hospitality & Tourism Management) Cindy Bühler had the opportunity to work for several renowned hotels in the USA, Taiwan, Mexico and Switzerland. She founded and successfully led a dancing school and dancing events in Mexico where she mostly enjoyed bringing people together and creating unity among the dance community. Cindy joined the Foundation in March 2020 to support the hospitality team at the Caux Conference and Seminar Center.
Elsa Biruk EN
Elsa Biruk has been working for the Foundation since 2000. She has 19 years’ experience in service and housekeeping.
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.
Daniel Egli EN
Daniel Egli has been working for the foundation since 1989, as carpenter and cabinet-maker. He has almost become a living library of the foundation.
Pascal Gallet EN
Pascal Gallet is currently in charge of parks and gardens. After several years as head nurseryman, then landscape manager and finally maintenance manager, he joined the foundation in September 2018.
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.
Natalia Cornaz joined Initiative of Changed Switzerland in May 2020 as HR Officer. Natalia is of Swiss and German origins and has worked in several positions in Finance and Human Resources in a family business in Geneva, at Nestle and a construction company in Lausanne. She is passionate about people and sharing inner peace which she developped and enhanced while travelling several months in Asia. She loves working in hospitality and acquired a bachelor degree at the Hotel Management of Lausanne. In her free time she is very active in various sports and adores skiing.
Michael Bättig EN
Michael Bättig has been working for the Foundation since 2010. Besides general accounting tasks within the Foundation’s finance department he is also responsible for the conference accountancy. Michael has a commercial education background with experience in trust-related work, but has also worked in other commercial and technical areas in the past.
Myriam Girardet joined the team in June 2020 as an accountant. 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.
Nick Foster EN
Nick Foster has been Caux Forum Director since 2013. He 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.
Annika Hartmann de Meuron CF EN
Annika Hartmann de Meuron is in charge of the Ethical Leadership in Business event which aims to enable international business leaders to make ethical decisions. Furthermore, she is developing activities on ethical business practices for companies based in Switzerland. Annika has an MA in International Relations and in History and Politics. She has worked for many years as a Corporate Social Responsibility Consultant for the Philias Foundation, prior to which she worked in communications at the Global Humanitarian Forum and the PR-Agency.
Irina Fedorenko has just completed a PhD in Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. She also has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the Far Eastern Federal University of Vladivostok and a Master’s of Environmental Science from the University of Oxford, Green Templeton College. She is a co-founder of the ecosystem restoration company BioCarbon Engineering, that uses drones and other emerging technology to enable land restoration around the world. Irina is interested in youth activism and social entrepreneurship and is a member of the social enterprise Kindness Collective.
Diana Damsa CF
Diana Damsa 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, and as a designer and facilitator of youth and leadership programmes and of interethnic dialogues in Ukraine and Romania. She is currently the Vice-President of Creators of Peace. 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.
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.
Tinotenda Mhungu CF
Tinotenda Mhungu is a youth advocate and socio-economic activist in Zimbabwe. He co-founded the Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy, which seeks to unite polarized young people in Zimbabwe. He has attended the CPLP twice, and ascribes the change in his relationships at home and at work to the lessons and experiences he gained there.
Phoebe Gill EN
Over the last 20 years, Phoebe Gill has been training management within the public and private sectors. Having a passion for communication and conflict resolution, she jointly developed a new methodology for community dialogue in the UK for the organization Hope in the Cities. This was pivotal in bringing about change in some of the UK’s major cities. More recently, Phoebe has been involved in the creation of the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme, creating a modular approach to learning for people from over 60 countries, who go on to spread Caux’s message through experiential learning and service to the community.
Chris Evans EN
Chris Evans has volunteered with Initiatives of Change ever since 1969. From 1975 – 1997 he coordinated the Caux Conference for Business and Industry. He was treasurer of IofC UK from 1991 – 2004 and helped launch Foundations For Freedom in Eastern Europe. From 2003 – 2008 he served on the IofC International Council, and from 2010 –2012 as Chair of the Trustees of IofC UK. Presently he is on the steering groups for two IofC programmes: Addressing Europe’s Unfinished Business and Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace. He brings all this experience to his new role with the Centre of Excellence for the Essence of IofC, along with a strong conviction about Caux’s important future role.
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.
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.