In the nine years since its foundation, IFIL has seen dozens of people come and go. All of them contributed a lot of their personal time into the organization’s development and make up one part of the long and wonderfully successful story of the initiative. You find them here below.

Note: over the years of passing the responsibilities from one generation to the next, some information on IFIL’s past have been lost. The list below therefore is not complete. If you at one time were part of IFIL but don’t find yourself below, please don’t hesitate and contact us via the contact form. We will be happy to include you immediately!

Johanna Künzler

Co-Head of Intercultural Project Coaching

After having completed a bachelor in German language and Literature, Johanna is currently attending a master’s programme in Swiss and comparative politics at the University of Berne. She has spent half a year abroad in Berlin, where she got to meet students from all over the world. Working at IFIL means to Johanna being able to help interested persons like herself gaining experiences that broaden the understanding for other people’s lives and mentalities. That’s what keeps her going.

Co-Chairman of the Executive Board

Jonas completed his BA in international affairs from the universities of Geneva and Berne in the summer of 2012 and has been involved in several different youth- and non-partisan political organizations throughout his studies. He has been very fortunate to enjoy several stays abroad, among which there was a year-long stay in United States and a half-year internship at the Embassy of Switzerland in Australia. Currently, he is doing civil service at the SECO, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. It is his fascination with international exchanges that made him want to be a part of IFIL.

Co-Head of Finance

From August 2012 to March 2013 Tobias Huber was the Head of Public Relations. Now he is responsible for Finance. He did an apprenticeship as a computer scientist functional direction system engineering (2009). After being abroad almost one year he decided to get the professional maturity. He works for a major Swiss insurance company. At the moment Tobias Huber is studying General Management at the University of applied science in Winterthur (ZHAW). Tobias participated at the IFIL Study-Trip to China (2013).

Co-Head of Intercultural Project Coaching

Ines has studied political science and sinology at the University of Zurich and is currently doing a gap year before continuing her studies in the area of political science. In 2009, she passed a year at the Maritime University of Dalian in order to improve her Chinese skills. The reason for her motivation to be involved into IFIL is her unforgettable experience as a co-organizer of the study trip to China in September 2013.

Yilian Ines Mangada

Head of Public Relations

Andreas is the Head of Public Relations. He is studying Law at the University of Berne an is focusing on international and public law. Beside his studies he is working as a freelance journalist. Andreas was participant of the IFIL Study Trips to Cambodia (2010), Jordan (2012) and Kosovo (2013). For him, each of these trips has been an absolutely fantastic and unique experience. That’s why he decided to be part of the IFIL team in 2013. For him, this is a great opportunity to share his passion for travelling and discovering the world and its people with others.

Co-Head of Intercultural Project Coaching

Alexandra Bär is Co-Head of Intercultural Project Coaching. She is currently enrolled at the University of Geneva, where she studies Law. During high school she spent one year as an exchange student in China. After high school graduation she spent another year in China doing two internships, additional courses in Chinese language and culture. Alexandra has organized the IFIL Study Trip to China in 2011. As she is very enthusiastic about the idea of IFIL and convinced about the importance to deepen our understanding and horizons by learning about other cultures, she joined IFIL in 2011.

Co-Head of Intercultural Project Coaching

Holding a BA in Economics and an MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Zurich, Andrea is currently doing an internship at DHL Global Forwarding in Tokyo. She did a one-year exchange programme at Waseda University in Tokyo and organized the IFIL trip to Japan 2010.

Head of Finance

Sebastian Koller was the treasurer of ifil.ch and had the responsibility for the finances. After working in the Corporate Actions and Tax department at a major bank in Switzerland, Sebastian was trained as a relationshipmanager. Sebastian graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a Major in International Management.

Co-Head of Intercultural Project Coaching

Katherine Meyer is Co-Head of Intercultural Project Coaching. She studies for her Master’s degree in Japanology, Economics and East Asian Art History at the University of Zurich. Her first connection to IFIL was when a friend, Andrea Willi, organized the Japan trip 2010. Andrea asked her to do one together next year, which they did enthusiastically. Organising and working together with the IFIL Board motivated her to join the team of IFIL in 2011.

Co-Head of Intercultural Project Coaching

Joëlle Affolter is Co-Head of Intercultural Project Coaching. She obtained her master’s degree in History and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Berne in 2010 and then started an internship at the Political Affairs Division IV of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Her first contact with IFIL was as a participant in the trip to Israel and Palestine in 2007. One year later she herself, together with Lukas Wegmüller, organized that same trip – an experience that marked her profoundly and that motivated her to join the team of IFIL in 2009.

Co-Chairwoman of the Executive Board

Ursina Schönholzer is Co-Chairwoman of the Executive Board. Her travel fever started while she was travelling around Europe with her family in a camper van. During her studies in Social Anthropology, International Law and European Studies at the Universities of Basel, Berne and Barcelona, she found always time to travel abroad to gain insight in other cultures and ways of living as well as making new friends and experiences in other parts of the world. That’s also one of the main reasons why she is dedicated to the idea of intercultural projects and exchange offered by IFIL. She joined the IFIL Board in April 2012.

Co-Chairwoman of the Executive Board

Fanny Charmey is co-Chairwoman of the Executive Board. She is highly involved in youth activities in Switzerland but also abroad. Originally from the French speaking part of Switzerland, she studied in Zurich for her master degree in Comparative Linguistics and Political Science, and she is currently the Head of International Politics and Projects of the Swiss National Youth Council (SNYC). In this position, she is in charge of lobbying for the youth of Switzerland at the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the European Youth Forum, and also of enhancing capacity-building of youth associations in Eastern Europe, particularly with regards to the question of migration, as the diaspora of those countries is integrated in this project. Intercultural learning is therefore a central part of her every day life, and she is happy to promote this idea and skills through IFIL!

Head of Marketing and Events

Janine Sommer is the Head of Marketing and Events. She studies Law in her final year at the University of Neuchâtel. During her semester breaks she likes to travel around and to get in touch with different cultures and its people.
She found her way to Ifil.ch after having participated twice in a study trip as a member (UNO New York/Washington 2008 and Brazil 2010).
One of her main goals as Head of Marketing and Events is to spread the ideas of IFIL of helping young people broaden their horizon and to get to know other cultures by participating in an IFIL trip.

Head of Public Relations

I was responsible for Public Relations and Web from 2009 – 2012. Prior and during my time with IFIL, I participated in the intercultural study trips to Uganda and Rwanda as well as the IFIL Seminar on Switzerland. I studied political science at the University of Berne and after getting my degree, worked at the FDFA, the Swiss Embassy in Nigeria, swisspeace and Terre des hommes. Through IFIL I was able to get invaluable experience in project management in a small and highly motivated team. Although I left the IFIL board, I am certain to always be part of the ever-growing IFIL family.

Co-Chairman of the Executive Board

Lukas organized a study trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories in 2008 and a trip to the Institutions of the EU in 2012. Lukas joint the IFIL board in 2009 as Co-Head of Intercultural Project Coaching. After two years in this position Lukas Wegmüller worked as Co-Chairman of the Executive Board from 2011-2012. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History from the University of Berne. Lukas has worked in the Middle East at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and at Ecopolitics in Berne. Lukas is currently finishing his Master in European Studies at the Universities of Basel and Strasbourg.

Co-Chairman of the Executive Board

Nina Astfalck is the co-woman of the Executive Board. She is currently concluding her studies of Political Science and History at the University of Zurich. From a very young age Nina has shown great interest in travelling and getting to know foreign cultures. During highschool and University she made several exchanges and internships in different countries such as the USA, Chile, Colombia or Brazil. IFIL gives her the possibility to motivate students and young adults to travel and get to know other ways of living and broaden their horizons.

Co-Chairwoman of the Executive Board

Sonja Astfalck co-chaired IFIL with Danny Bürkli between 2010 and 2011. She accompanied IFIL to the UN Conference Alliances of Civilizations in Istanbul, Turkey, in April 2009. After completing her studies in International Relations in Geneva, Sonja worked amongst others in London for a think tank on international strategic studies (IISS). Currently, Sonja is part of Swiss Re’s Political Risk Management Team.

Co-Chairman of the Executive Board

Danny is the Co-Chair of the Executive Board. He has studied Political Science in Zurich and Geneva and has worked extensively abroad. Danny has organized a number of study trips, amongst them one to Yemen and one to London on the issue of radicalization and political violence.