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 is project manager at the Global Diplomacy Lab’s secretariat, which she has been co-creating since 2014. In her daily work, she is passionate about drawing up ideas and playing with diverse possibilities of implementation.
She also greatly enjoys collaborating with a worldwide community of talented professionals from various sectors. Intercultural consensus-building particularly fascinates her – something she has gained from her Brazilian-German identity. Prior to the Global Diplomacy Lab, she worked for Training for International Diplomats of the Federal Foreign Office, conceptualizing and implementing the First Regional Meeting for the Americas and the Caribbean.
Juliana is a PhD candidate at the Philosophy, Art & Critical Thought division of the European Graduate School in Switzerland. Focusing on political philosophy, she writes about an ethics that is actualized in language and body. Juliana is an alumna of the Managing Global Governance Program of the German Development Institute and of the Federal Foreign Office’s Training for International Diplomats program.
Before moving to Berlin in 2011, she completed an MA in Public Policy at the Getulio Vargas Foundation and a BA in Economics at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. As a researcher at FGV, she advised, among others, the Brazilian Presidency and the Brazilian Ministry of Culture. She is co-founder of Saravia Institute, a Brazilian think-tank that works in the field of public policy and governance.
Juliana is keen on discovering her surroundings by bike, on foot and in yoga positions, and she is intrigued by encounters with the uncanny where it appears too close to be witnessed.
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.
Ludmila has been working at the Global Diplomacy Lab since July 2017. In her work, she focusses on community management and communication. She is passionate about bringing people together and inspiring them for common creative projects.
Prior to joining the GDL, she worked in media development, organising educational projects for international journalists at Deutsche Welle Akademie and the Institute for Democracy, Media and Cultural Exchange.
Before moving to Berlin in 2011, she worked as a Robert Bosch Stiftung Fellow at the cultural department in Bonn, where she collaborated with international artists and strengthened ties between Belarusian and German cultural institutions.
In 2013, Ludmila founded a networking platform in Belarus for talented professionals from different sectors, which has grown into a very lively project and offers various programmes for further education, self-realisation and the expansion of professional contacts.
Ludmila used to work as a journalist for different media and has run the biggest educational webpage in Belarus for several years. She is a co-author of a book of stories about people who had to leave their homeland for political reasons.
Ludmila holds an M.A. in Art and Media Management from the Freie Universität Berlin and a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies from Warsaw University.
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 culture 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.
Carolin currently works as an intern at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. She is a student of International Relations (BA) at the University of Erfurt, Germany. Before beginning her studies in 2014, she completed one year of developmental voluntary service at Fundación Promoción Humana in Bogotá, Colombia. She remained active in this field through voluntary engagement and training in Germany to become a multiplier for Global Learning (eFeF).
Another field of interest is citizen participation, as well as the plurality of formats and methods in this area. Carolin has been co-heading the project “Erfurt Breakfast Bus”, which is a prize-winning initiative seeking to provide a platform for exchange and to make the voices of Erfurt citizens heard at local political level.
After actively participating in various Model United Nations (MUN) conferences in Germany and the US, Carolin became passionate about the art of diplomacy and the transformative power of (international) cooperation. She is happy to be part of the GDL team and learn more about going beyond traditional diplomacy.