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.
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.
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.
Ivana works as a freelance project manager for the Global Diplomacy lab where she previously served as an elected advisory council member from 2017 to 2019. She is an experienced professional with a proven track record in the field of public administration and civil society. She worked for the Government of the Republic of Serbia as Communications Officer to the Head of the Negotiating Team for the Accession of Serbia to the European Union. Prior to that, she was Public Relations and Project Manager at the European Movement in Serbia. She also led the media team of the international Belgrade Security Forum.
In 2015, she serves as an exchange officer in the Training for International Diplomats section at the German Federal Foreign Office. This assignment was part of the Fellowship Program for Young Governmental Officials from the Western Balkans, organized by the European Fund for the Balkans.
She is a graduate of the Hertie School of Governance (Executive Master of Public Administration) in Berlin, the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade, and the Diplomatic Academy of Serbia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Julia Sattler is Assistant Professor of American Studies at TU Dortmund University, Germany. Following her dissertation, in which she analysed mixed race narratives using the theoretical framework of contextual family therapy, she began exploring the intersections of American studies and urban planning, mostly working with Detroit, MI, and her native Ruhr Valley. She has worked with multiple urban redevelopment projects, and has co-taught a number of classes with urban-planning colleagues from Germany and the US. Following this trajectory, she is now studying the negotiation of radical urban transformation processes in American poetry. Furthermore, she is conducting research for a new book project on female responses to Walt Whitman’s poetry. Beyond her academic interests, Julia loves theatre, travel, photography and creative writing.
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 is now completing a four month internship at the Global Diplomacy Lab. During her internship she is assisting in the preparation and the organization of this year’s GDL Summit.
Driven by her other interests for travelling and intercultural affairs, she has participated in various cultural and political projects. Together with Ukrainian students, Viktoria designed an exhibition in Kiev and Potsdam and also organized 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, do 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.