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 a project 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.
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, where she supports the growing GDL community. Corinna’s work has inspired her to dive deeper into the underlying questions of how member-driven networks can be managed. Hence, she is currently researching the subject outside of her work for the GDL Secretariat together with the Partnership Resource Center at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Corinna holds a Master’s degree in Media and Political Communication from Freie Universität Berlin.
While she loves Berlin city life, in her free time Corinna often explores nature on foot or by bike.
Philipp is a student of Sociology and Social Research at the University of Cologne and is currently working as a student assistant 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 and is currently working as a student assistant in the Secretariat of the Global Diplomacy Lab.
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.
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.
Never one to run out of questions to ask, Lea is passionate about what makes other people tick. Not only does she enjoy delving into her fellow humans’ stories, but she also loves sharing those stories, be they in a personal or – as is the case with the GDL – professional environment. As a PR consultant, she brings her knowledge and expertise in the world of media to the table to ensure that the members’ stories reach as wide an audience as possible.
The GDL’s and Lea’s paths first crossed in 2017, when she interned with the department for International Training for Diplomats at the Federal Foreign Office. Fortunately for her, the GDL enlisted her help to plan and organise the 7th Lab, entitled “Truth, Memory and Justice”, which took place in Berlin. Witnessing first-hand the incredible drive and hunger for change that the members share, the idea of one day returning to work with the GDL took root in the back of her head. What was once just a hope has now become reality, as she has taken on the role of public relations manager for the GDL.
Lea is responsible for PR and communications within the Secretariat. She is currently also studying Business Psychology as a Master’s at the HMKW University of Applied Sciences. In her leisure time, she can most likely either be found on her road bike, in the swimming pool or with her nose buried deeply in a book.