Senta Höfer is passionate about planting and nurturing new ideas, programmes and institutions in manifold environments.
Before establishing the Global Diplomacy Lab Secretariat at the Federal Foreign Office, which she has directed since 2014 and continues to build and expand today, Senta created and managed executive training programmes for international diplomats, as well as cultural initiatives in Eastern Europe. All of these – just like the Global Diplomacy Lab – are public-private partnerships between the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs and private foundations.
Before returning to Germany in 2005 to work in international relations, Senta spent many years abroad – always in intercultural and multidisciplinary environments – be it establishing and directing the German Cultural Centre in Timişoara (Romania) or working for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in post-war Croatia. This is also where, in addition to her regular work, she co-founded an NGO fair, at a time when members of the Croatian political leadership called NGOs the “cancer of society”. The motivation for this work was not least the fact that Senta was born and grew up as a member of the German national minority in Bucharest, Romania, which was a dictatorship at the time. She was able to emigrate at the age of 17.
Once she arrived in the “free world”, Senta began to travel, live and pursue studies in journalism, German and art history in Würzburg, London, Bamberg, Antwerp and New York. Senta had the pleasure and luck to be awarded fellowships by the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Karl Gerold Foundation and Columbia University, as well as to work as a journalist for, among others, the BBC World Service, the Bavarian Broadcasting Company (BR) and Die Zeit weekly newspaper.
Senta lives with her partner and their two almost grown-up children in Berlin-Schöneberg, where she organises literary salons and loves listening to and playing music in her free time.
Sue Lyn Chong has been working with the Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL) as an event manager since October 2014. Her expertise lies in the coordination and planning of sustainable and innovative networking events all over the world. Social responsibility and supporting local change makers are part and parcel of her work. Before joining the GDL, Sue Lyn organised alumni meetings for the Training for International Diplomats programme at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. Prior to that, she completed her traineeship in Brand Communications during which she had a strong focus on identifying new trends, experiences and perspectives. Before that, she worked as a freelance project manager in the creative sector for several years, always in search of new challenges.
With both Chinese Malaysian and German roots, Sue Lyn grew up in Heidelberg between two different cultural backgrounds, laying the foundations for her work in an international environment today. In her daily life, she combines an eye for detail and respect for everyone in order to create a joint vision that generates trust and cooperation.
Sue Lyn holds an M.A. in Cultural Management and Cultural Tourism from the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) and a B.Sc. in Economics from the Freie Universität Berlin. Her speciality lies in combining rational analytics with creativity when developing new solutions to special tasks. She strives for an environmentally friendly lifestyle and tries to be mindful of the consequences in everything she does.
Ramina Yachkaschi is pursuing her passion for gender and diversity-related issues in her PhD thesis. She is a doctoral candidate at the Gender and Diversity Division of the Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science at the Freie Universität Berlin.
Before joining the GDL Secretariat, Ramina managed various programmes for the Training for International Diplomats programme at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.
She holds a Master’s degree in the Politics and Economics of the Near and Middle East from Philipps-Universität Marburg. Alongside her studies, she completed interdisciplinary classes and training courses on gender and diversity, thus fostering her expertise.
Her love and curiosity for different cultures was nurtured by her multicultural upbringing. She has been moving between Germany and Iran all her life.
In her free time, she enjoys cooking with family and friends and making pottery.
Gaga is a student assistant at the Global Diplomacy Lab and an MA student of North American Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin, where he focuses on the politics and sociology of North America. His main interests include urban politics, especially the role of the cities in the future of transnational relations, as well as the global struggle for social equality. Alongside his studies, Gaga enjoys reading, cooking and playing Dota 2.
With her deep-rooted curiosity about everything from politics to psychology, Corinna has studied and worked in very different fields. Whether you talk with her about advances in renewable energy sources, possibilities for using artificial neural networks in medicine or how to make the United Nations a more effective global player, she will listen closely and surely give you her opinion on the matter.
Her passion for communicating with people around the globe and from diverse backgrounds brought her to the GDL in September 2018. This step was only a stone’s throw away, as she previously worked in the same building, where she managed a workshop for Chinese diplomats for the Federal Foreign Office.
Corinna holds a Master’s degree in Media and Political Communication from Freie Universität Berlin. In her studies she focused on the use of social media by political organisations.
While she loves Berlin city life, in her free time Corinna often explores nature on foot or by bike.
Carl is currently earning a Master’s degree in International Relations with a focus on Global Political Economy at Technische Universität Dresden. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in Political Science and Sociology. From February 2021 to the end of June 2021, Carl will be supporting the GDL Team as an intern.
Through his studies in political economy, he discovered his interest in different approaches to diplomacy, especially regarding relations between state and non-state actors and relations between states and actors in the economy.
Outside of the field of international relations, he is interested on international security and defence and in the external relations of the European Union.
During his free time Carl enjoys cooking, reading and working out, as well as playing lacrosse.
Viktoria is completing her Bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary Russian studies at the University of Potsdam and is currently working as a student assistant in the Secretariat of the Global Diplomacy Lab. One of her biggest passions is foreign policy and geopolitics. Her greatest career dream is to play an active role in shaping multilateral and bilateral relations. With a view to getting closer to achieving her dream and her goals, she completed a four-month internship at the Global Diplomacy Lab. During her internship, she helped to prepare and organise this year’s GDL prE‑Summit. Furthermore, in her most recent role as a project coordinator, Viktoria oversaw the training sessions of the 21st European Diplomatic Programme.
Driven by her other interests for travelling and intercultural affairs, she has participated in various cultural and political projects. Together with Ukrainian students, Viktoria designed an exhibition in Kyiv and Potsdam, and also organised a workshop on freedom of the media with students from Russia. In addition, she worked as an interpreter for Russian- and English-speaking refugees in hospitals for a number of years.
Philipp is a student of Social and Political Science at the Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf and is currently volunteering at the Global Diplomacy Lab. It was his desire to take part in new forms of diplomacy, specifically the exchange between state and non-state actors, which brought him here.
During his studies, he mainly focusses on the integration process of the European Union with a spotlight on discursive strategies in the European Parliament. While working at the political science institute at his university, he was able to gain more in-depth insights into the research process about international organisations and the EU.
Since he is interested in computing sciences, he spent time in courses concerning the development of integrative computing methods in humanities.
He enjoys reading books, visiting the theatre, and trying to cook Asian cuisine.
Nehle is in the final year of a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences in Kleve. As part of her studies, she is joining the GDL for a five-month internship from March to July 2021.
Alongside her degree Nehle has participated in various Model United Nations and Model African Union simulations which have contributed to her strong interest in international politics and especially in the fields of international security and diplomacy. Nehle has also taken part in two seminars on EU-Russia relations together with students from other universities in Germany, the Netherlands and Russia, allowing her to gain deeper insights into the European Union’s work and its international ties as well as to meet people from different countries and fields of study. Participating in these events and studying at an international university has encouraged her keen interest in intercultural communication, the work of diplomats and the importance of international relations.
In her free time Nehle enjoys cooking and baking, jumping fitness, travelling and spending time with friends and family.
Olivia is an 11th-grade student completing her IB diploma at Munich International School and has been working as a volunteer for the GDL and an intern for the GDL Mumbai Incubator Lab since November, 2020.
Through her multicultural upbringing as a Thai-American in Germany, she is always looking to further her international open-mindedness. Throughout her time in school, she has participated in various Model United Nations conferences, which have taught her values of diplomacy and furthered her interest in global affairs. She has expanded in this area by writing articles for her school newspaper's current events section. Now, she is exploring these interests with the Global Diplomacy lab - learning about and experiencing different approaches to diplomacy.
During her free time, Olivia enjoys reading and writing, going climbing with her family, and playing football.
Clara joined the Global Diplomacy Lab because of her passion for unconventional ideas, connecting and inspiring people, and interdisciplinary research in the field of international relations.
Before working for the Global Diplomacy Lab, Clara was responsible for the implementation of political background discussions at Körber-Stiftung's International Affairs department. In 2019, she conceptualised and organised a programme on cross-border cooperation for the Federal Foreign Office's Training for International Diplomats programme.
After spending six months at Berkeley High School as a teenager, Clara decided to study law and politics. This journey, including some detours, took her to Bochum, Paris, Erfurt and Weimar, Brussels, San Francisco, and Berlin. She is working towards a graduate degree in International Relations at Humboldt-Universität, Universität Potsdam and Freie Universität Berlin and is currently a student at New York University's Graduate School of Arts and Science, for which she has been awarded scholarships by NYU and Fulbright. For her Master's thesis, she is studying the role of emotions in foreign policy and diplomacy.
Clara lives with her best friend in the Neukölln district of Berlin. She likes architecture, contemporary dance, hiking and the Ruhr region, where she was born and raised.
Caroline is in her final year of absolving a Bachelor’s degree in International & European Law at The Hague University of Applied Sciences in The Hague. As part of her studies, she is joining the GDL for a three-month internship from April to July 2021.
Throughout her degree, Caroline participated in multiple projects revolving around diplomacy, such as a simulation of being a Member of the European Parliament and a Model United Nations. Reflecting her interest in European Union law, she took courses to deepen her understanding of EU external relations. As a participant in the 2020/21 European Law Moot Court competition, she was able to apply her knowledge about the Union’s legal system to a fictional case while engaging with different European universities. Interaction with people from different cultural backgrounds has always been a motivation for Caroline to work, live and study abroad. Having embraced the international atmosphere in The Hague to the fullest, her desire to develop her knowledge and competences in the field of diplomacy has now temporarily brought her back to her home country.
In her free time, Caroline enjoys adopting plants, learning languages and meeting new people at poetry slams and food festivals.
Hannes studied Applied Theatre Studies in Vienna and Gießen. While studying, he worked as a freelancer all over Europe for various theatres and art festivals, including the Salzburg Festival between 2014 and 2019. He then studied European Studies in a dual degree programme at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) and the Institut d'Études Politiques (Sciences Po) in Strasbourg. There he focused on international security and defence policy, as well as the external relations of the European Union. From May to July, Hannes is supporting the GDL as an intern.
His interest in diplomacy grew after discovering the potential of cultural relations policy for solving global security problems and crisis situations. For him, civil society and other non-state actors have a natural role to play in this.
Apart from his focus on the various aspects of international relations, he is strongly committed to the protection of the oceans, especially the Arctic Ocean.
In his free time, Hannes likes to ride his racing bike and works as a diving instructor when time permits.