The Global Perspectives Initiative’s Team

The Global Perspectives Initiative was founded in Berlin by Dr. Ingrid Hamm and Stephan Balzer. Today, the initiative’s team includes nine permanent employees, who dedicate their work to increase Germany’s international responsibility in global development cooperation. An advisory board supports the initiative since 2018.


The Founders

Stephan Balzer, Dr. Ingrid Hamm

Dr. Ingrid Hamm
Ingrid Hamm is deeply engaged in the international dialogue about global development. She has worked in large German foundations for three decades and most recently directed the Robert Bosch foundation. Today she consults various German and international organizations.

Stephan Balzer
Stephan Balzer has always been interested in new ideas and visions: for 15 years he has been leading the Berlin based idea and innovation agency red onion. Stephan established the TEDx conference format in Germany and brought the Singularity University Summit to Berlin to advance the discourse on the challenges of digitalization and technological disruption.


Project Management

Bernadett Fekete
Bernadett Fekete has been project manager at GPI since March 2019 and is responsible for our programme line Business as Part of the Solution. Originally from Budapest, Hungary, she has several years of professional experience in international projects and has previously worked for the German Bundestag, GIZ in China, Human Rights Watch and the Global Solutions Summit during the German G20 presidency. She studied social sciences and international relations in Budapest and Berlin and has had great interest in global development ever since.

Nora Kiefer
Since January 2021, Nora Kiefer has been the project manager responsible for the important Africa Roundtable at the Global Perspectives Initiative. This project will bring together German and African politicians and decision-makers. Previously, Nora worked for the German Africa Foundation and GIZ on a project related to future development policy. She developed her passion for Africa while doing field research in Tanzania and Ghana, where she investigated the influence of religion on sustainable development for the GIGA Institute. Nora Kiefer studied Business Psychology (B.Sc.), Political Science (B.A.) and Peace and Security Studies (M.A.).

Silvia Mayr
Silvia Mayr works as a project manager for the GPI programmme lines Migration and Peace. She holds a bachelor degree in Social Sciences from Humboldt University Berlin and has studied in Guatemala and Kenya. Previously, she was able to contribute her enthusiasm for sustainable development topics to projects at Action against Hunger in Berlin and at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Nairobi.

Judith Ramadan
For Judith Ramadan it is meaningful to contribute her experiences and skills to a working context, which demands and promotes humanity, respect and diversity. With a degree in Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Judith lived and worked in Germany, Uganda, Syria and Turkey. After three years of working with GIZ, she joined the GPI Team as project manager and is now team lead. Judith is mainly responsible for the topics Multilateralism, Migration and Global Responsibility.


The Advisory Board

Amadou Diallo

Amadou Diallo

Amadou Diallo has been CEO of DHL Global Forwarding Middle East & Africa since June 2017. He is the founder of the DPDHL online platform Saloodo! GmbH.
Previously, Mr. Diallo was, among others, Executive Vice President Integrated Logistics and Value Added Services, CEO of DHL Freight, CEO of Africa and South Asia Pacific and CFO of DPDHL’s logistics business units.
Mr. Diallo is Chairman of the Board of Amref Germany, Member of the Executive Committee Welthungerhilfe as well as on the Board of Schiller Intern. University, Paris and Africa 2.0. Mr. Diallo is Senegalese and speaks several languages fluently: including English, German, French, Fulani, Wolof and Spanish.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Wolfgang Huber

Prof. Dr Dr h.c. Wolfgang Huber
Professor Dr Dr h.c. Wolfgang Huber is one of the most prominent theologians in Germany. Huber is a progressive thinker in ethical questions. He served as bishop of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg from 1994 until 2009. He was the Chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) from 2003 until 2009.
 Today, he works as a publicist and theology professor at the Berlin Humboldt University in Heidelberg and in Stellenbosch (South Africa). He also holds numerous honorary offices. For example, he is chairman of the board of trustees of the Garrison Church foundation in Potsdam.

Diana Kinnert

Diana Kinnert
Diana Kinnert is a CDU politician and self-employed entrepreneur, consultant and publicist. Since 2016 she has been advising various actors in political processes, such as the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dr Gerd Müller. She also works for various research institutes and companies.
As a member of the CDU federal commission for the party reform “Meine CDU 2017”, she advocated for the modernisation of her political party. Her book “Für die Zukunft seh’ ich schwarz: Plädoyer für einen modernen Konservatismus” became a bestseller in the election year 2017. In addition, Kinnert regularly publishes political commentaries and columns.

Dr Wilhelm Krull

Dr Wilhelm Krull
Dr Wilhelm Krull has been founding director of the New Institute in Hamburg since January 2020. Prior to this, he was Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation from 1996 to 2019. After studying German studies, philosophy, education and political science, he worked as DAAD lecturer at the University of Oxford as well as in leading positions at the Science Council and in the General Administration of the Max Planck Society. In addition to his professional activities in science policy and research funding, he has held and continues to hold numerous positions in national, foreign and international supervisory and advisory bodies. He has received numerous honors, including an Honorary Fellowship from St. Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, in November 2019. His most recent book publications are: “Krieg – von allen Seiten” (2013) and “Die vermessene Universität” (2017).

Dr. Anja Langenbucher

Dr Anja Langenbucher
Dr Anja Langenbucher is Director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s European Office. She manages the foundation’s policy, advocacy, government relations and communications activities in Europe. She has previously worked for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in a range of roles including managing the EBRD’s technical assistance program and as a transaction leader in the agribusiness team leading both debt and equity transactions. Anja also worked at the IFC / World Bank in Washington D.C. and for the European Commission in Brussels; she started her career at the Boston Consulting Group in Munich. Anja holds a Doctorate and Master’s Degree in Economics.

Dr. Stefan Mair

Dr Stefan Mair
Dr Stefan Mair is a renowned Africa expert, Director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik SWP). He studied Political Sciences, Economics and Sociology at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. He held a scholarship from the ifo-Institute for Economic Research and was subsequently awarded his doctorate in Political Sciences. In the following years he worked as an advisor on Africa at the Foundation for Science and Politics (SWP), becoming head of the research group Africa and Middle East at the SWP in 1997. From 2002 to 2010 he was a member of the SWP’s institute management and also held the position of research director from 2007 to 2009. Until 30 September 2020 Dr Mair was a member of the Executive Board of the BDI.

Dirk Messner

Prof. Dr Dirk Messner
Prof. Dr Dirk Messner is president of the Federal Environment Agency and has been director of the Institute for Environment and Human Security of the United Nations University (UNU-EHS) until 2019. He has been co-director of the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research of the Duisburg-Essen University since 2011. Messner was director of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) in Bonn from 2003–2018. Based on his research areas, he is engaged in high-level political advisory boards: since 2013 he is co-chairman of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) and co-chair of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Germany (SDSN) since 2014. He has been co-chair of the Science Platform Sustainability 2030 since 2017. From 2007–2017 he was a member of the China Council on Global Cooperation on Development and Environment (CCICED).

Andreas Rickert

Dr Andreas M. Rickert
Dr Andreas M. Rickert is CEO and founder of the PHINEO gAG. Previously, he worked for the Bertelsmann Stiftung as director of the Civil Society program and acted as assistant to the board. Andreas also worked as Senior Governance Specialist at the World Bank in Washington D.C. Prior to this he was Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, Inc. globally working on public sector and healthcare projects. As Engagement Manager, he spent four years primarily in the public and healthcare sector. Dr Rickert is a member of various committees, such as the German Council for Sustainable Development, the European Commission’s Expert Advisory Committee on Social Entrepreneurship and the G7 initiated Task Force on Impact Investing.

Michael Schwarz

Michael Schwarz
Michael Schwarz was appointed as Executive Director of Stiftung Mercator in 2014 and heads the International Affairs Division. Since 2010 he has been responsible for International Affairs. He has worked in the foundations sector since 2005 when, after working for a time as a consultant at CNC, an international strategic communications consultancy, he took up a position at Robert Bosch Stiftung. He studied public policy and political science in Germany and the US.

Ruben Vardanyan

Ruben Vardanyan
Ruben Vardanyan is an Armenian-Russian impact investor and social entrepreneur. He is a member of the advisory board of the IFC (World Bank Group) and the Fundação Dom Cabral Business School in Brazil. He is also a board member of Ameriabank and SOLLERS and a number of other companies, NGOs, public and professional organizations. Ruben Vardanyan is known both for his commercial projects (investment companies Troika Dialog and Vardanyan, Broitman and Partners) and for his in-depth philanthropic programs, such as the first United World College (UWC) in Eastern Europe. In 2015 Ruben Vardanyan co-founded the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative.