People

Meet the people behind Swissnex in Boston and New York

Our Team

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 graduates, a budding novelist, an entrepreneur, 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.
Operations Lead

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.
Head of Academic Engagement

Brendan Karch, PhD

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 PhD in history from Harvard University. In his free time, Brendan enjoys hiking snowy New England and sampling every cuisine Boston has to offer.
Communications Manager

Alexandra Alteio

As the communications team, Alex is involved in 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.
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.
Innovation Lead

Joséphine Erni

As our New York-based Innovation Lead, Josephine develops and executes various startup and entrepreneurship programs. Before joining Swissnex, Josephine worked at the Swiss Business Hub USA, helping Swiss startups enter the US market. Josephine holds a BA in Business and Economics from the University of Basel and an MSc in International Economics from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In her free time, Josephine enjoys exploring New York and picking up new hobbies such as sailing and painting.
Innovation Manager

Oriane Rütsche

As part of the Innovation Team, Oriane implements and expands entrepreneurship programs. Prior to joining Swissnex, Oriane worked in hotel and events management, as well as in the financial sector. She holds a BSc in International Hospitality Management from the EHL Hospitality Business School as well as an MSc in International Strategic Management from the University of Lund. In her spare time, Oriane enjoys hiking, traveling, photography, and playing volleyball.
Academic Engagement Associate

Sebâ Topuz

As an Academic Engagement Associate, Sebâ supports the Swissnex team in connecting the Swiss higher education ecosystem to academic partners on the East Coast. Prior to joining Swissnex, Sebâ worked as a project assistant at the University of Bern and is an M.A. Candidate in Public Management and Policy at the KPM Center for Public Management. Before that, she majored in Political Science at the University of Zurich and focused her research and work on the strategic management of higher education and public organizations.

Science Office in Washington D.C.

As part of the Swissnex network, the Science Office at the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington D.C. is a policy-oriented bureau that aims to strengthen cooperation and bilateral relations in education, research, innovation between Switzerland and the USA.

Advisors

Advisor

Katie Stebbins

Katie Stebbins is the Executive Director of the Food & Nutrition Innovation Institute at Tufts University and was previously the Vice President for Economic Development at the University of Massachusetts President’s Office. Katie proudly played a leadership role as the inaugural Secretary for Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship for Governor Baker in Massachusetts, where she led state investment efforts in clean energy, cybersecurity, health-tech, robotics, and advanced manufacturing. Katie continues her work in cybersecurity as President of Global Epic, an international consortium of cyber economic leaders. She is formally trained in economic development and environmental planning and has worked for twenty years designing and implementing technology driven projects for ecological and economic sustainability. Katie has launched three of her own companies, is an Innovator in Residence at MIT Sloan School’s Innovation Institute, and earned a master’s in regional planning from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and her BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Learn more

Careers

Join the Team!

Discover job openings in Boston, New York, and in our global network.

Openings
Openings

Alumni Stories

The alumni stories project celebrates what makes the swissnex network special – our people! To highlight our diverse network we selected five unique alums to share their very personal tales and invited Swiss graphic designer and illustrator Christina Baeriswyl to visualize their journeys.

Meet our alumni