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.
Juliana Figale has been a project manager at the Global Diplomacy Lab’s secretariat since May 2015, which she joined as a programme officer in April 2014. Prior to that, she worked for the Training for International Diplomats of the Federal Foreign Office, conceptualising and implementing the I Regional Meeting for the Americas and the Caribbean. She is a PhD student at the European Graduate School (EGS), Switzerland.
Juliana holds an MA in Public Policy from the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) and a BA in Economics from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil. She is co-founder of Saravia Institute, a think-tank that works in the field of public policy and governance. As a researcher at FGV, she has advised the Brazilian Presidency and the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, among others.
She is an alumna of the Managing Global Governance Programme (MGG) and of the Training for International Diplomats. Her research interests include the configurations of ethics in the realms of language and body and their implications for citizenship.
Sue Lyn Chong, former Programme Assistant at the Training for International Diplomats, has been supporting the Secretariat with the organization of the Global Diplomacy Lab since October 2014. She holds a M.A. in Cultural Management and Cultural Tourism from European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) and a B.Sc. in Economics from Freie Universität Berlin. Her interest lies in the cultural and creative sector as well as in the challenges of global policies in the new digital age. During her studies her research focus lay in the use of new media in the field of cultural education.