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 musicians, budding novelists, entrepreneurs, 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.
Head of Innovation

Nathalie Minder

As Head of Innovation, Nathalie is the lead for Swissnex’s startup and innovation programs on the East Coast. After several years in the music industry and co-founding an e-commerce startup in Sweden, Nathalie worked at STARTUP CAMPUS to inspire and support Swiss entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into businesses. Nathalie holds an MS in Business & Management from the Stockholm School of Economics, and a BS in Business Administration from the University of Bern.
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 Lead

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.
Programs Associate

Sandra Chellakudam

As a Programs Associate, Sandra helps develop and execute various startup and entrepreneurship programs. Before joining Swissnex, she worked at Impact Hub Zurich, where she implemented diverse sustainability projects and coordinated events. Sandra holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Geneva. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new cultures and places, cooking new recipes, and engaging in all things creative.
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.
Programs Associate

Synniva Müller

As a Programs Associate, Synniva helps connect Swiss universities with peer institutions on the East Coast. She recently completed her BA in political science and sociology. During her undergraduate studies, she worked as a student assistant at the University of Zurich, where she welcomed incoming students and visitors from abroad, and contributed to the program coordination of a refugee integration initiative. In addition, Synniva is actively involved in civic engagement and enjoys hiking and dancing in her free time.
Head of Arts
and Creative Industries

Marc Streit

As Head of Arts and Creative Industries based in New York City, Marc is responsible for Swissnex's activities at the interface of art and the fields of education, research, and innovation. He sees the arts as an opportunity to engage diverse communities around Swissnex's thematic focus areas in a tangible, playful, and accessible way. Marc is the former Deputy Artistic Director of the contemporary dance center Tanzhaus Zürich and founder of the zürich moves! festival for contemporary practice in the performing arts. He studied curating at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK).
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.
Operations & Event Coordinator

Christina Quinn

As a part of the Operations team, Christina is responsible for event logistics and the smooth running of everyday facility operations in addition to supporting team members in different departments. Prior to joining Swissnex, Christina graduated from Boston College with her B.A. in International Studies where she was an International Studies Peer Advisor her senior year. She also studied abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France during the 2021-2022 academic year. In her free time, Christina enjoys watching hockey games, cooking new recipes, and going on walks with her Bernese Mountain Dog.
Communications Lead

Alexandra Alteio

As Communications Lead, Alex is involved in all activities at Boston and New York. Leading 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 and events manager of Boston’s chapter of Creative Mornings, a breakfast lecture series founded by Swiss designer Tina Roth-Eisenberg.
Content and Public
Diplomacy Manager

Frederic Atwood

As Content and Public Diplomacy Manager, Frederic is involved in many aspects of communication and programming at Swissnex. He holds an MA in international relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a BA in history from the University of Chicago. Before joining Swissnex, Frederic worked in transatlantic public diplomacy in his native Washington, DC. Outside of work, he enjoys reading, cooking, and playing music.

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.

Head of the Science and Technology Office

Olivia Gachoud

Olivia is the Head of the Science and Technology Office at the Embassy of Switzerland in the United States. In this role, she is responsible for reporting on education, research, and innovation policy developments and trends in the US. Before joining the Embassy in 2022, Olivia was a project manager at Presence Switzerland, where she was responsible for the Americas and was strongly involved in promoting Swiss innovation abroad, particularly in the field of cleantech and environmental protection. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Fribourg, and has studied at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She nerds out about sporting events and the mechanics of communication campaigns.
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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.
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Join the Team!

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


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