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 senior 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 completed her PhD coursework 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.
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 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 has just finished her Master’s degree in Media and Political Communication at Freie Universität Berlin in which she focused on how political organisations make use of social media and whether they really should be present on all available social network sites.
While she loves Berlin city life, in her free time Corinna often explores nature on foot or by bike.
Julika joined the GDL Secretariat in March and will be working here until the end of June 2019. She will, in particular, be in charge of the GDL’s Side Events at the Latin American conference and the German Government’s Digital Revolution Future Forum.
The Latin American region is close to her heart as she returned from a semester abroad at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana of Bogotá in Colombia in January 2019. Julika had spent another six months in Buenos Aires some years previously. These experiences and others inspired her passion for studying and working in international environments. She is looking forward to working in the diverse context of the GDL with people from different professional fields and backgrounds.
Before joining the GDL, she accompanied a six-week programme for 19 diplomats from all over the world.
Julika is finishing her Bachelor’s degree in social sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, where she focuses on peace and conflict studies in international relations. Apart from that, she enjoys discussions about politics with her friends, has rediscovered her interest in bouldering and loves Berlin’s city life.