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.
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.
Viktoria is studying interdisciplinary Russian studies at the University of Potsdam and is in her final bachelor semester. 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. To move closer to achieving her dream and her goals, she recently completed a four-month internship at the Global Diplomacy Lab. During her internship she assisted in the preparation and organisation of this year’s GDL prE-Summit. In her current capacity as a project coordinator, Viktoria is coordinating the training sessions of the upcoming European Diplomatic Programme.
Driven by her other interests, 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 media freedom with students from Russia. In addition, she worked as an interpreter for Russian and English speaking refugees in hospitals for a couple of years.
In her free time she loves to meet friends, play sports and work at her favourite bar in Berlin!
Jacob Behrendt is a student assistant and an MA student of Intercultural Conflict Management at the Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin. In his studies he focused mainly on alternative dispute resolutions, social movements and the impact of networks. Furthermore he is very much interested in international as well as German politics. His background in law with a focus on human rights has helped him to gain a deeper understanding of these issues.
He has spent a year doing voluntary work in Cape Coast, Ghana and studied a year abroad at the Università degli Studi di Firenze in Italy. Jacob has a passion for non-formal education and has therefore organised and participated in various international youth exchanges as a trainer on anti-discrimination and human rights.
He loves to explore the international cuisine in Berlin, and enjoys sports, literature and theatre.
Felix is an internationally-minded young professional who pursued multidisciplinary studies in Law, Public Administration and International Management. Due to his broad interest in current trends and local developments in different regions of the world - ranging from the BRICS countries to Latin America and the European Union - Felix is aiming to pursue an international career path.
After living abroad in France, South America and Canada, he decided to study in Beijing, Berlin, Paris and São Paulo, enabling him to attend classes in four languages. During his studies at Sciences Po Paris, Felix also discovered his strong interest in Franco-German cooperation and diplomacy.
Felix is fluent in five languages and is currently enhancing his Chinese and Russian skills. He moved back to Berlin just recently to take up new challenges.
He is passionate about consulting, innovation and value creation as well as about sustainability and the European Union. He is also inspired by global media and has gained professional experiences at the DER SPIEGEL news magazine and the ZDF broadcasting company’s Rio de Janeiro studio.
After work, Felix enjoys playing music, travelling, swimming and Indian cuisine.
Tanja is supporting the GDL Secretariat as a volunteer. She studies law at the University of Potsdam where she just majored in international law, focusing on current issues in humanitarian law and human rights.
Alongside her studies, Tanja works for a law firm with a focus on aviation law and is a mentor for first-year law students at her university. She has also interned with a legal firm specialised in asylum and migration law.
In her free time, Tanja enjoys travelling with friends, reading good books and working out or playing tennis.
Pauline is enrolled in Political Science and German Language Studies at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. She is currently conducting research for her Bachelor’s thesis about the behaviour of the UN in cases of genocide, which she will begin after completing her internship at GDL in Berlin.
She is particularly interested in writing and journalism and has had internships on the editorial staff of the online magazine ka-news in Karlsruhe and at Springer Verlag in Berlin. Apart from her studies, Pauline recently became a member of Migration Hub Heidelberg, a network that provides assistance to people with a history of migration and coordinates various projects in the field of displacement, migration, anti-racism and decolonisation.
In her free time, Pauline loves to read, go out with friends and dance.
Alexandra can chat to you fluently in four languages. Raised by a Lebanese father and a German mother, she sees the day-to-day world through the lenses of two contrasting mentalities. Her international background, combined with her interest in new cultures, languages and foreign policy led her to pursue a career that involves working with international organisations.
To fulfill this aspiration, she is currently doing a B.A. in “International Studies in Management”, a programme which allows her to delve deeper into stimulating aspects of economics and international affairs. As part of her studies, she spent one year abroad at Hallym University in South Korea, where she expanded her intercultural competence to include valuable insight into East-Asian affairs.
In her free time Alex enjoys drinking coffee, baking banana bread and sunsets on rooftops.
Mehdi is studying political science and law in his final bachelor semester at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. He has written his BA thesis on Transnational Democracy and Societal Constitutionalism. He was a student assistant at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt and studied European and international law at Paris Nanterre University. He is interested in diplomacy and geopolitics, particularly the Middle East and Iran.
In his free time Mehdi enjoys reading, travel and sports.