Staff CAUX-IofC 2017
The Team
CAUX-Initiatives of Change Foundation


Barbara HintermannSecretary General

Barbara Hintermann has been Secretary General of the Foundation since March 2015. She has 20 years of experience in the humanitarian and corporate sectors, occupying diverse executive leadership and managing positions in the Middle East, Africa, South America, and Europe. She is a strong believer in people and their capacity to further develop their competences and skills, passionate about managing through people and making a difference. She is oriented towards tangible solutions. Ms. Hintermann is also in charge of the Foundation's Fundraising Department.   

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Christine Taets | Executive Assistant

Christine Taets started on 14 May 2018 in our office in Geneva as our Executive Assistant. Christine brings extensive experience (about 20 years) in Executive Assistant positions. She has worked many years at the Belgium MFA (Protocol, Directorate for Human Rights and at the department for politics). She has also worked several years as the Executive Assistant at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Delegation in Brussels and at the Headquarters in Geneva (Operations for Europe, Central Asia and North America).



Véronique Chereau | Head of Philanthropy

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. Email




Rainer Gude | Strategic Partnerships Manager

Rainer Gude 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. Since 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. 

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Caux Forum

Nick Foster | Forum Director

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.

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Eliana Jimeno | Towards an Inclusive Peace Managing Director

Eliana Jimeno is a peacebuilding consultant with 10 years of work experience on issues related to transitional justice, institutional strengthening and public policy implementation. Eliana’s passion for her country, Colombia, has led her to conduct research on the impact of institutional design in implementing peacebuilding programmes. In 2012 she participated in the Caux Scholars Program experiencing the connection between personal transformation and reflective practice. At Towards an Inclusive Peace, Eliana seeks to challenge current policy perspectives on violent extremism by bringing a human-centered approach that acknowledges the humanity of the Other as a means to build reconciliation and sustainable peace. Email


Johannes Langer | Towards an Inclusive Peace Managing Director

Johannes Langer is a Research Fellow and doctoral student at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg, Germany, focusing on victims' perceptions of the truth commission in Colombia. Originally from Austria, he has lived, studied and worked in eight countries in Europe, East Africa and the Americas. Johannes is passionate about peacebuilding by convening people to discuss and start to recognize the other. In 2012 he was a Caux Scholar, returning in 2013 as the programme’s coordinator. Through Towards an Inclusive Peace, Johannes hopes to influence the peacebuilding approach to violent extremism and use restorative justice for progress in 2018. Email


Annika Hartmann de Meuron | Ethical Leadership in Business Managing Director

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. Email


Irina Fedorenko | Caux Dialogue on Land and Security Managing Director

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. Email


Shontaye Abegaz | Just Governance for Human Security Managing Director

Born and raised in the United States, Shontaye Abegaz has lived in Europe, Africa and North America. She is the Managing Director and Chair of the Executive Committee for Just Governance for Human Security. This annual international event attracts over two hundred individuals to address concerns around the Six Pillars of Human Security. Working to promote peace, prevent conflicts, build trust and encourage intercultural dialogue, Shontaye’s contribution to the Caux Forum has resulted in a wider reach to peacebuilders all around the world, as well as a revised vision and mission which specifically focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Shontaye is a member of several civic organizations including Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Art Institute of Chicago, The Metropolitan and International Women Associates. Email

Maylis Guillou-Keredan | CATS Managing Director

Freshly graduated from her International and European Legal Career Masters in 2016, Maylis Guillou-Keredan spent a year and half between volunteering in Cambodia and an internship focusing on Children’s Rights. It led her to work for AEDE (Agir Ensemble pour les Droits de l'Enfant), a French association advocating for Children’s Rights in France, which brought her to work punctually with Initiatives of Change France. She started to work as Operations Manager for the CATS Conference in August 2017. Email




Diana Damsa | Addressing Europe's Unfinished Business Managing Director

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 IofC’s vision that change in the world starts with change in oneself; she has been active in several programmes ever since. She has been particularly involved with Foundations for Freedom in various capacities including as a member of the Management and Coordination team, as well as a designer and facilitator of youth and leadership programmes, and of inter-ethnic dialogues in Ukraine and Romania. She is currently the Vice-President of Creators of Peace. She is a founding member and the President of the Center for Social Transformation in Romania, which works to promote peace, build trust and empower women and Roma youth. Email



Phoebe Gill | Caux Peace and Leadership Programme Manager

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. Email


Darren Bird | Caux Peace and Leadership Programme Coordinator and Trainer

Darren Bird is the Training Coordinator for CAUX-IofC. In 2017, he developed the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme. He has spent his entire career working with children and young people. For 12 years he was the Chief Executive Officer of Funky Dragon – the Children and Young People’s Assembly for Wales. More recently, he has worked as an International Children’s Rights Advocate and Consultant advising organizations on how to listen to children. This includes working with the Council of Europe, different Youth Fora or Parliaments, Eurochild and the Learning for Well-Being Foundation. He is also the Executive Director of Children as Actors for Transforming Society (CATS). Email




Chris Evans | Head of Centre of Excellence IofC Essence

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. Email




Jonathan Dudding | Caux Design Team

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 CAUX-IofC to run courses on Facilitation in Geneva. Email



Rob Lancaster | Caux Design Team

Originally from Australia, since 2007 Rob Lancaster has worked with more than 30 different teams, primarily with Initiatives of Change, on trust building projects and programmes in Asia, Africa, and Eastern and Western Europe. His experience ranges from Leadership programmes in Caux, to the reconciliation process and grassroots consultation in South Sudan. Rob has degrees with Honours in both Law (LLB) and Arts (International Relations/French) from the Australian National University, as well as a Master’s of Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Oxford. He currently works with Oxford Policy Management Australia, and international development consultancy. Email


Bhavesh S Patel | Caux Design Team

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 community groups discovering 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. Email




Stephanie Buri | Director of Communications and Knowledge Management

Stephanie Buri is Director of Communications and Knowledge Management and has been part of CAUX-IofC since April 2014. 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). Email


Sabrina Thalmann | Communications Officer 

Sabrina Thalmann joined CAUX-IofC as Communications Officer in December 2015. She is in charge of managing the Caux website and promoting Caux Forum events. She holds a B.A. in Contemporary History and German Literature, a M.A. in Education and a M.A. in Political Science. Sabrina previously worked as an intern for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. She also worked several years as a German teacher. Email



Diego de Leon Sagot | External Relations Officer

Diego de León Sagot joined CAUX-IofC in March 2016 as External Relations Officer. He is in charge of developing and strengthening CAUX-IofC media relations, managing institutional social media accounts and promoting CAUX-IofC activities in Switzerland. He has a background in Political Sciences and International Relations and holds a M.S. on Human Rights. He has more than 10 years of working experience in the field of NGOs, focusing on issues related to human rights, international advocacy and communication strategies. He also has a background as journalist, being granted Permanent Correspondent status at the UN Office in Geneva for several years.

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Ulrike Ott Chanu | Webmaster

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 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).





Laurent Fontaine | IT Manager

Laurent Fontaine joined CAUX-IofC in January 2017 as IT manager. He is in charge of maintaining and developing all the IT services for the foundation. He holds a BS degree in Information technology. Laurent has more than 15 years of experience having worked for large international corporations in Europe and Asia Pacific. He also worked as a Knowledge Management senior consultant and project director in Swiss consulting firms for the past 7 years.





Programmes in Switzerland

Brigitt Altwegg | Programme Manager Trustbuilding 

Brigitt Altwegg is Program Manager Trustbuilding and has been part of CAUX-IofC 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 CAUX-IofC, she worked as Assistant to the Director of the human rights organisation TRIAL International. She is also a professional rock climbing instructor. Email




Annika Hartmann de Meuron | Programme Manager Ethical Leadership in Business

As a Programme Manager 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 CAUX- IofC 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. Email



Sofia Mueller | Project Coordinator 

Sofia Mueller has been a project coordinator since October 2015, being in charge of the Enriching Encounters series and special events. She is Swiss-Canadian and has a study background of International Relations and Public Management and Policy. She started out with IofC-Switzerland as a conference assistant for the International Peacebuilders' Forum in 2014. Email





Service Centre

Ludovic Lafont | Service Centre Director

Ludovic Lafont joined the CAUX-IofC Foundation as Service Centre Director in June.  He worked 9 years in the private sector (banking and auditing) and he brings 7 years of experience in managing Finance, HR and premises for the International Committee of the Red Cross. Ludovic has been involved in several transformational projects and he loves being part of multicultural teams. Email




Nataliia Verdegaal Administrative Assistant










Rahel Isenschmied | Hospitality Manager

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 Palace – Conference and Seminar Centre. Reception, service quality and innovation feature amongst her priorities while keeping a particular emphasis on showcasing Swiss Hotel Service traditions. Email



Fabian Büecheler | Caux Reservations Officer

Fabian Büecheler is the Caux Reservations Officer. 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. Email



Elsa Biruk | Housekeeping











Christoph Keller | Facility Manager

Christoph Keller is the Facility Manager of the Caux Conference Centre, taking care of the buildings' maintenance and renovation. He has been working with the Foundation since 1982, first as a volunteer, in India and then in Caux. Originally trained as a mechanical engineer, since 2008 he has been the Facility Manager of the Caux Palace and the Villa Maria, where he lived with his family until 2011. He is married and has three adult children.




Adrien Giovannelli Head of Maintenance

Adrien Giovannelli started working in August 2016 for the CAUX-IofC Foundation as Head of Maintenance 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 now works closely with Christoph Keller on the renovations and is in charge of the maintenance department for the Caux premises. Adrien is a real aficionados of photography.




Jérôme Bertini | Painter

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 | Carpenter




Emilie Parati | HR Manager

Emilie Parati joined the team in November 2016 as Human Resources Manager. After studying at a hotel management school in Lausanne, Emilie worked for several years in the private sector and more specifically in the field of human resources. In 2013, she took up the position of Human Resources Manager in a 4* hotel. With this experience and a diploma in staff management, she decided to leave the world of hotel management to work in a sector more suited to her convictions.





Michael Bättig | Accounting Assistant

Michael Bättig has been working for the Foundation as Accounting Assistant since 2010. Besides general accounting tasks within the Foundation’s finance department he is also responsible for the billing of the conference fees. He is also the contact person for any IT related question in our offices. 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.




All photos (except for R. Lancaster, U. Chanu, A. Giovannelli, V. Chereau): Nicolas Lieber