Our Team

Meet the team behind Swissnex in Boston and New York

Boston and
New York

We are a group of entrepreneurial, creative, and relentless connectors and knowledge brokers dedicated to bringing people and ideas together across borders and disciplines. Our team includes Harvard and MIT graduates, a budding novelist, a PhD in molecular medicine, an African innovation specialist, and more.

CEO, Consul

Benjamin Bollmann

Benjamin is the CEO of Swissnex in Boston and New York. He was previously Deputy CEO at Swissnex in San Francisco, where he launched interdisciplinary programs spanning from science communication to humanitarian action and human rights in the digital age. Before joining Swissnex in 2015, he worked as a journalist and communication specialist at the intersection of science, data, and design in Switzerland. Benjamin is a graduate of ETH Zurich and has conducted neuroscience and AI research at MIT.
Chief Operating Officer

Sophie Sithamma

As Chief Operating Officer, Sophie is in charge of finance, HR, and anything else that keeps Swissnex running on a daily basis. She attended Université de Bretagne Occidentale in France and has a Bachelor’s in economics. Sophie, who has more than 11 years of experience at Swissnex, enjoys a well-organized Excel spreadsheet and loves working on personal finance in her private time.
Deputy CEO

Jonas Brunschwig

As Deputy CEO, Jonas contributes to Swissnex in Boston’s overall vision, strategy, and external affairs. He also manages Swissnex’s academic relations portfolio connecting Switzerland’s higher education ecosystem to the Boston area and the East Coast. Jonas is a recent graduate of MIT, where he focused on innovation ecology, researching innovation-driven ecosystems, particularly in the context of sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining Swissnex in 2015, he was a fundraiser at MIT, worked for a think tank as well as a startup that invented an energy-generating soccer ball.
Head of Swissnex in New York

Oliver Haugen

A Geneva native, Oliver has managed our New York office since 2014, designing programs in innovation, startup acceleration, and emerging media. Before Swissnex, he worked with think tanks, governments, the World Economic Forum – and even on Wall Street. Trained in political science (AB, Harvard University; MSc, London School of Economics), Oliver remains fascinated by the historical and social forces shaping innovation in such areas as science, media, or the built environment.
Head of Academic Engagement

Brendan Karch

As Head of Academic Engagement, Brendan connects the Swiss higher education ecosystem to academic partners on the East Coast, driving forward programs at the intersection of science, technology, society, and university innovation. Before joining Swissnex in 2021, he worked as a tenured professor of modern European history and earned his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. In his free time, Brendan enjoys hiking snowy New England and sampling every cuisine Boston has to offer.
Head of Innovation

Alicia Evangelista

As Head of Innovation, Alicia works to connect Switzerland’s startups, innovation-driven companies, and foundations with game-changing partners and ideas in the US. Prior to joining Swissnex, Alicia worked in technology transfer at the National Institutes of Health, and as an open innovation consultant at yet2 in the Boston area. Alicia holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine from Boston University and a BS in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia.
Communications Manager

Alexandra Alteio

One half of the communications team, Alex is involved across all activities in Boston and New York supporting new and ongoing initiatives across various platforms and creating engaging content. She received her BS in Communication Management and Design with a concentration in communications design from Ithaca College. She volunteers as the social media manager of Boston’s chapter of Creative Mornings, a breakfast lecture series founded by Swiss designer Tina Roth-Eisenberg.
Communications Manager

Anour Esa

The other half of the communications team, Anour thrives at the intersection of all things media and communications, working on graphic design, photography, videography, written content, podcasts, and more. Anour has worked and lived in Germany, Jordan, and Palestine co-founded a coffee start-up and produced a podcast. He has consulted with various other start-ups on design, marketing, and branding, ranging from a solar power company to a tea company. He holds a BA in International Relations from George Washington University.
Innovation Lead in New York

Laura Stalder

As our Innovation Lead in New York, Laura’s work focuses on the development of internationalization strategies for startups as well as programs in emerging media and cross-disciplinary projects for corporate partners. She is experienced in product and business development, working with brands like Nestlé, Geneva International Airport, UnitedHealthcare, and Qualcomm. Laura holds an MSc in Integrated Innovation for Product and Business Development from HES⁠-⁠SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland, with a strong emphasis on design thinking methodologies.
Operations & Events Manager

Johanna Lemon

As part of the Operations team at Swissnex, Johanna is an instrumental part of day-to-day operations, facility management, event planning, hospitality, and more. Prior to joining Swissnex, Johanna served in the Peace Corps in Morocco, managing a youth center there. She also served as an AmeriCorps member in Illinois. In her spare time, Johanna is a budding novelist, with several self-published books. She is a graduate of Hollins University in Roanoke Virginia.
Academic Relations Associate

James Moore

James studies International Relations at the University of Geneva, and just recently came aboard the Swissnex ship as the Academic Relations Associate. At Swissnex, he is helping with a variety of projects that will further connect universities and researchers in the US and Switzerland. Passionate foodie and fervent sports fan, he is a curious soul determined to learn, grow and build strong connections in Boston and help advance the Swissnex mission.
Innovation Associate in New York

Yasmine Starein

Our Innovation Associate in New York, Yasmine holds a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Lausanne. During her studies, she frequently organized conferences and cultural events within the official student association of her faculty. Prior to her Master’s, she worked at a Swiss start-up in the life sciences industry, specializing in marketing and sales. In her free time, she likes to explore the outdoors and spend time in the mountains going skiing, climbing, and hiking.


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