Gen A Fellowship
Preparing the Next Generation for the Asian Century
Asia matters. In its mission to foster Asia Competence, Asia Society Switzerland is committed to empowering younger voices in the dialogue with Asia, recognizing youth as a key driver of Switzerland’s future success in the region. We offer the Gen A (short for: Generation Asia) program to young professionals and advanced students in Switzerland. The program aims to deepen their knowledge of Asia-related issues, to provide the participants with the tools to interpret Asia’s development and to identify opportunities for a successful collaboration with Asia. This one-year program will enable the next generation to engage with Asia on eye-level and build a community of young Asia-curious people in Switzerland.
Gen A is a learning and leadership development platform for advanced students and young professionals. Application to the program is open to anyone living in Switzerland under the age of 35 with no more than three years of work experience. Gen A is designed to inform, inspire, and connect. Gen A fellows gain access to leading business, policy, trade, diversity, and cultural thinkers on Asia; join a network of peers who are passionate about Asia, and get the chance to lead projects and represent the network.
Gen A Alumni and Fellows
The network of successful alumni is growing every year. We are convinced that many of our Gen A alumni will become key players and opinion-shapers in the future dialogue with Asia. Take a look at our current fellows and alumni, reach out to them and start the dialogue!
- Current Fellows
- Class of 2022
- Class of 2021
- Class of 2020
Houda Barroug is currently pursuing her second-year M.A. in International Affairs, with a focus on global security, at the Geneva Graduate Institute. An exchange semester at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, convinced her to take a gap year to not only work closely with different Korean companies with investments in Morocco, but also conduct field research for her Bachelor’s thesis at Brown University. She has an affinity for conducting comparative studies as it allows her to draw patterns between different approaches to state-building, development, and governance.
Mhyma Melissa Bilbao is a recent graduate of International Relations at Dublin City University. Born in Manila, Philippines then emigrated to Ireland at the age of 10, and at 23 to Switzerland – she now works as an associate in Zurich at a for-impact organization Aiducation International, aiding over 2,300 Filipino and Kenyan students to date in their education as a ticket out of poverty. Aside from international development, she is also fascinated by the historical colonial ties between Europe and Southeast Asia. In the context of EU-ASEAN relations, Mhyma wrote her master’s thesis on a comparative case study of the Rohingya conflict in Myanmar and the Aceh Monitoring Mission by the European Union in Indonesia. Previously she has worked with the Embassy of Ireland in promoting Irish literature in Switzerland, attended the first EU-ASEAN Youth Summit in Brussels as a Youth Representative, and has lived in 6 European and Asian countries to date. In her free time, she loves to cook Filipino fusion dishes, travelling to Ireland, and enjoying the scenery in Switzerland. Contact Mhyma by email or connect via LinkedIn.
Jiwon Choi is currently pursuing an Executive Master’s degree in Art Market Studies at the University of Zurich, with a genuine interest in globalized art and its market. Back in Seoul, South Korea, she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Painting with a minor in Art Studies at Hongik University and afterward gained professional experience both as an art dealer and art curator, specializing in Korean contemporary art. She developed and honed various skills such as planning art exhibitions, art dealing, and art management throughout her career. At the moment, she is looking for opportunities to start a career in Switzerland or in a relevant institution or company elsewhere, or perhaps to pursue another Master’s degree in a related field. Contact Jiwon via email or LinkedIn.
Dominic Chow is currently a graduate analyst with HSBC Private Bank based in Geneva. His current scope of work revolves around supporting the development of the Asia business out of Switzerland, facilitating international connectivity between Asia and Switzerland and operationally assisting relationship managers in the Key Clients (Ultra-High-Net-Worth) segment of the bank. Prior to this, he graduated with a First Class Honours Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from King’s College London on the Li Ka Shing Foundation Lord Sandberg Memorial Scholarship. Coming from Hong Kong, he hopes to connect with Asia-minded professionals globally. Please feel free to get in touch with Dominic via email or LinkedIn.
Tenzintseten Deckeykhangsar is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance at the University of St. Gallen. He gained professional experience working for a fintech startup in the digital asset space based in Zurich and Singapore and for a professional services company in the financial sector. As a first-generation student with Tibetan roots, he is actively involved in the Tibetan community. In his free time, Tenzintseten is very passionate about language learning, history, and long-distance running.
Sen Fang (方森) is passionate about digital technologies and has been researching and working on Technology Intelligence and Digital Transformation topics. He holds a Doctoral Degree on Technology and Innovation Management from ETH Zurich, which is complemented with engineering background in his bachelor’s and master’s. Sen has living experiences in seven countries and can speak five languages.
Felipe Fischer is a recent graduate in Political Science and currently an academic intern at the Swiss Federal Police. During his studies his focus was on Chinese politics. He was a student at the Confucius Institute in Geneva and attended the International Summer School in Beijing. Apart from his specialization on security issues, he adopted a multidisciplinary approach on Asian-Studies, including Pop-culture, philosophy, and technology.
Martina Froehlich finished her Bachelor's degree in Japanese Studies and Environmental Sciences and was part of the PR team at the Zurich Film Festival 2020. While studying abroad in Osaka and Miyazaki, she worked as an Event- Manager and travel writer for a Japanese startup. Passionate about anything Asia-, entertainment-, and Arts & Culture(s)-related, her mission is to bring people together and further the dialogue between different cultures, disciplines, and topics. She is excited to do just that and expand her knowledge about Asia as part of the 2023 Gen A cohort. Contact Martina via LinkedIn or email.
Jeanette Gautschi works for KPMG Switzerland as an Alliance Operations Specialist where she enables strategic relationships between international tech firms and KPMG. She graduated in International Management at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences and spent a year studying in Seoul, South Korea while working for a Korean crypto exchange in Gangnam. She grew up in Switzerland and has roots and passports in the Philippines and the Netherlands as well. Due to her upbringing, she is very passionate about intercultural exchange and therefore was also active as a Partnership Manager and Board Member for the Erasmus Student Network in Winterthur. Contact Jeanette via LinkedIn.
Rachel Ann Go is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development at the University of Basel, after working several years in a multinational company in the Philippines and in Switzerland. She also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration & Accountancy from the University of the Philippines. She spent time volunteering in an asylum center in Kanton Zug, an orphanage center in Malawi, and, most recently, in a political campaign for the 2022 elections in the Philippines. Rachel is excited to delve into the Sustainability field in Asia. Connect with her by email or LinkedIn.
Sara Grover is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Education and Digital Transformation at the University of Education Zurich (Pädagogische Hochschule Zürich). She has a Master in Public Policy from St. Xavier’s College, India and an undergraduate degree in economics with honours from the University of Delhi, India. Her interest lies in the intersection of policy and technology. She has been working in the past to provide research inputs to members of parliament in India. She has been the recipient of the prestigious Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship and the ThinkSwiss Scholarship.
Mathias Inoue was born and raised in Basel, Switzerland, to a Swiss mother and a Japanese father. He studied classical music with the violin and holds two master’s degrees. His family background sparked his interest in the region of East Asia, which ultimately made him decide to pursue a Certificate in Advanced Studies in East Asia at the University of Zurich. He has recently passed the JLPT N1 level in Japanese and is learning Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. He is currently preparing for a BSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Basel. Contact Mathias on LinkedIn.
Nicolas Kurek is a Master of Law candidate in the University of Zurich/King’s College London double degree program. Between 2020 and 2022, he was Swiss Youth Representative to the United Nations. In the Fall of 2022, he completed an internship at the US House of Representatives. Currently, Nicolas completes his civilian service as an animator for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers. In the future, he would like to complete an academic internship at a Swiss embassy in an Asian country. He plans to write his master’s thesis on intellectual property provisions in Switzerland’s free trade agreements with eastern Asian countries.
Julia Lechbinska, a gallery owner and art historian, is a cultural intermediary for East Asian contemporary art in Switzerland. Her assignment is to translate the cultural codes for the local public and for the global netizens with the help of the exhibition program and cultural venues. Julia studied art history at the University of Zurich with a focus on East Asia. Afterward she did several trainings in art expertise and worked for the auction house Ineichen. From 2015 Julia organized her first exhibitions, which led to the foundation of Lechbinska Gallery in Zurich in 2020.
Joséphine Lim (林淑欣) is currently pursuing her M.A. degree in Cultural Analysis and Gender Studies at the University of Zurich. She has obtained her double-major B.A. in Popular Culture Studies and Sinology at the University of Zurich, completing the language and cultural exchange programs at the University of Beijing during this time. Her fields of interests include postcolonial studies and feminist theory, specializing at the conjunctural analysis of the location of affect, culture, subjectivity- and identity formation within both the digital media landscape and everyday practice. Contact Joséphine on LinkedIn.
Elischa Link is currently completing his political science and law studies at the University of Basel and is doing a traineeship in the field of innovation at SwissCore in Brussels, the Swiss representation of the research, education and innovation sector. Already during high school, he had spent a year in Japan and thus discovered his passion for Asia. During his studies, he then spent a semester at Tsinghua University in Beijing and completed a summer school at East China Normal University in Shanghai. Besides his studies, he was active in university politics in various positions, most recently as president of the Swiss Student Union. He is also active in the Red Cross as co-chair of the Swiss Red Cross Young Leaders Forum and as Youth Delegate for international affairs. Contact Elischa via LinkedIn.
Émilie Luthringer is a master’s student in Asian studies at the University of Geneva. She specialises in Korean studies and has previously studied at the University of Montreal, Canada, and Yonsei University, South Korea, as part of her academic education. Her passion for Asia grew from her mother, who regularly took her to a Chinese restaurant when she was a child, and later let her consume manga, K-pop, and dramas when she reached adolescence. Today, Émilie wishes to dedicate her career to helping Europe and Asia better know and understand each other. She also holds two degrees in Sustainable development and Gender Studies. Her other interests include geopolitics, international relations, climate change, and feminism.
Quentin Merle is a research and teaching assistant at the ETH Center for Security Studies. He holds an MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies from the University of Oxford and an Honours BA in International Studies from Leiden University. His research interest and expertise are within Sino-European relations and the Belt and Road Initiative. He has participated in a summer school in Beijing, completed a high school exchange to Shenzhen, and been involved in a Chinese fashion startup. He loves to play tennis any time of the day. Connect with Quentin via email or LinkedIn.
Elena Miyoshi is currently working as an assistant in corporate external audit in an international company. She completed her bachelor studies in International Business Management in a trinational study programme, in which she had the opportunity to go abroad to the Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea. Next to her interest in Asian culture, she is expressing her interest in sustainability and mental health awareness by supporting grassroot movements within companies to foster a sustainable and inclusive company culture.
Tobias Tarlosy grew up as a child of immigrant parents in Germany and has subsequently studied and worked in St. Gallen, Buenos Aires, Moscow, Budapest and most recently in Tokyo, where he has spent two years with a DAAD scholarship. There, Tobias studied Japanese for one year and worked as the first foreign Trainee ever at Keizai Doyukai – The Japan Association of Corporate Executives, which is one of the key corporate sponsored business associations in Japan. Furthermore, he worked at KPMG in Tokyo, whereby he transferred back to KPMG Zurich in 2020. Reach out to Tobias via LinkedIn.
Saghar Vosough is a third-year Ph.D. student in Neuropsychology at the University of Zurich. After obtaining her BA degree at the University of Allameh Tabatabai in Tehran, Iran, she moved to Shahid Beheshti University for her master’s degree in Psychology. While working in the field of neuropsychology. She came to Switzerland for a collaboration with the Brain and Trauma Foundation, Grisons, Switzerland, in 2019.
Robin Weber is a postgraduate psychology student with a focus on intercultural topics at Zurich UAS. During his Bachelor’s he completed a semester in Singapore and took part in an exchange program during his Master’s in Bangalore, India. He is currently working on his Master’s thesis about cultural differences in mental health communication on social media in collaboration with an Indian student enrolled at Christ University in Bangalore. Privately, he was deeply engaged with volunteer work in pre-pandemic Mainland China. Contact Robin via email.
Anita Weilenmann is currently working on her Master’s degree in Social Anthropology and Modern Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Zürich, and is preparing for job opportunities after graduation. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Anthropology and Chinese studies. During an exchange year in Kunming and a field trip to Kazakhstan, Anita was able to gather first experiences and insights into lived realities, which fostered her interest in politics and how it directly or indirectly takes influence on people’s lives. Contact Anita on LinkedIn.
Krish Zimmermann is enrolled as an Indology graduate student at the University of Zurich, where they focus on Asian diaspora dynamics and LGBT history. Outside of their academic ventures, Krish is an event manager who has organized concerts and small festivals in the underground music scenes of both Japan and Switzerland. As a half-Indian Swiss person, they hope to contribute to better understanding of the Asian continent, its diversity, and dynamics in the west. They can be reached by mail.
Class of 2022
Basil Ammann is a senior researcher at the think tank Avenir Suisse. He studied international relations, focusing on economics, at the universities of Geneva and St. Gallen and at Sciences Po Paris. An exchange year in Hong Kong and an internship in India sparked his enthusiasm for Asia. He loves to debate political, historical as well as cultural topics and never ever turns down a good bowl of noodle soup.
Gopiga Arulchelvam is a recent graduate in International Relations and Asian Studies from the University of Geneva. She also had the opportunity to study for one semester at the Renmin University of China (Beijing). She wrote her master’s thesis on the Belt and Road Initiative and its impact in Eurasia. During her academic years, she was also involved in several activities with NGOs and associations. Contact Gopiga via email.
Olivia Chollet was born and raised in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Her long-standing interest in Asia, and East Asia in particular, was sparked by family trips in Japan as a teenager. After a first degree in International Relations, she recently obtained a Master’s in Pacific Asian Studies at SOAS university in London. As she is passionate about foreign languages, she recently passed the JLPT N2 in Japanese and is currently learning Korean and Mandarin Chinese. At the moment, she is looking for opportunities to start a career in East Asia or in a relevant institution or company elsewhere, or perhaps to pursue another academic degree in a related field. Her other activities include improvisational theater, literature, and fiction writing.
Manuela Coldesina is an independent scholar and museum professional. After obtaining a B.A. degree in Art History and Japanese Studies at the University of Zurich, she graduated cum laude from Leiden University with an M.A. in the History, Arts and Culture of Asia and a Specialisation in Critical Heritage of Asia and Europe. Recipient of the Ada Ceschin and Rosanna Pilone Foundation Fellowship Grant in 2020, she is currently compiling the report of the MUSEC’s Souvenir du Japonresearch and exhibition project. Contact Manuela via email.
Anna Dietrich is part of the Global Marketing Division of Switzerland Global Enterprise, the official Swiss organization for import and export promotion. After graduating High School, she spent two years in Osaka, Japan, where her passion for Japanese culture and language manifested and the desire to work in an international environment was formed. Back in Switzerland, she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism Management at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons and afterwards gained first professional experience as a project management intern at placemaking company gutundgut in Zurich. Enrolling for a Master’s Degree in International Business at ZHAW is one of her goals for the near future. Contact Anna on LinkedIn.
Adam Fehr is a radio journalist at SRF 4 News. Working on topics ranging from current political developments in South China Sea, the Taliban understanding of Sharia law to Hallyu and plastic recycling in Manila. Growing up in the Philippines profoundly shaped his interest in (South-) East Asia and, subsequently, his career as a Social Anthropologist and storyteller at the leading news radio station of Switzerland. He studied at the University of Zurich and conducted monthlong field studies in northern Sulawesi and Manila. Moreover, he attended a language and cultural exchange program in Beijing, invited by the Confucius Institute. Contact Adam via LinkedIn or Instagram.
Till Haechler is a trainee lawyer with Lenz & Staehelin, a major Swiss corporate law firm, specializing in cross-border M&A and foreign investment law. He holds master’s degrees in law from the Universities of Hong Kong and Zurich. He envisages a career as a corporate lawyer with a particular focus on Asian investors doing business in Switzerland and Swiss investors seeking business opportunities in Asia.
Lea Hasenzahl is a PhD Candidate at the Institute of Digital Technologies for Communication – ITDxC (Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society) at Università della Svizzera italiana - USI (Lugano). She holds a MA degree in Economics and Communication (Major in International Tourism) obtained at USI and a BA in Sociology and Communication Sciences, obtained at Technische Universität Dresden (Germany). With her PhD research project, she aims to explore "the public discourse around Chinese Outbound Tourism in Western societies" (working title). Lea is also a research associate of the UNESCO Chair in ICTs to develop and promote sustainable tourism in World Heritage Sites. Lea speaks German, English and French, has elementary Mandarin skills and is currently learning Italian.
Tim Hofer is a graduate student enrolled in the MSc program in International Relations at the London School of Economics. Spending a year in Chengdu during his undergraduate program in Political Science and China Studies at the University of Zurich, his focus of research lies mainly on the domestic and foreign policy of the PRC. As an avid language enthusiast, he recently started learning Hindi alongside improving his Mandarin skills.
David Hongler is currently working on his doctoral thesis in International Law at the University of Zurich. He lived and studied in Beijing for multiple years and was selected as a Yenching Scholar at Peking University in 2016. He holds two Master Degrees, one in Law and one in Interdisciplinary China Studies with a focus on Economics.
Loïc Jent is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Economics at the University of St. Gallen, having recently spent 6 months as the Academic Intern for Economic and Political Affairs at the Embassy of Switzerland. During his time in Seoul, Loïc was part of the initial cohort of Asia Society Korea’s youth program, ASK-Y. Prior to that, Loïc was involved as Assistant Project Officer for Fontes Foundation in Uganda. His academic knowledge and interests center around international relations, natural resource management, and development cooperation. Led by his high sensitivity to social issues, he was involved in the implementation of a variety of community-driven humanitarian projects in Croatia, Romania, Kenya, Tanzania, and China during his teenage years. Contact Loïc via LinkedIn
Alicia Joho is pursuing a Dual Master’s Degree in International Relations and Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Sciences Po Paris. Besides her academic focus on multilateralism, diplomacy, and international cooperation, Alicia worked at the UN Executive Office of the Secretary General in New York as well as the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Furthermore, she gained experience in the fields of youth participation, gender equality and communication through engagements in various non-governmental and student-led organizations. Serving as founding Board Member of STEAR (the Student Think Tank for Europe-Asia Relations), Representative at the 14th Asia-Europe Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and alumna of the National University of Singapore, Alicia is passionate about Asian studies and Europe-Asia relations. Contact Alicia via LinkedIn.
Liliane Krüsi is a graduate student in Sinology at the University of Zurich & Marketing Coordinator at what. AG. Besides her studies, she has initiated a podcast series on ETH Spin-offs with Swisspreneur and helped grow YiLu, a young community of European and Chinese change-makers. As a teenager, she grew up in Shanghai, Moscow, and Zurich, which sparked her interest in different cultures and languages. Studying between Shanghai, Zurich, and New Brunswick she graduated with her bachelor’s at UZH specializing in Cross-Strait economic relations between China, Taiwan, and the United States. Reach out to Liliane via LinkedIn.
Zenya Kwan is NFT Research and Development specialist at Casper Association located in Crypto Valley Zug. A Hongkonger who has been an expat in the UK, the US and Switzerland since 2008. Zenya was supervised by Dr. Uli Sigg during the Executive Master degree at the University of Zürich, and written the master thesis - Hong Kong Art Scene from 1974 to 2019. Coming from a business analyst background and traditional art market, Zenya has a great interest to develop software which implement a securer environment to the disruptive NFT landscape.
Boas Lieberherr is a researcher in security and foreign policy-making in South Asia. Before joining the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich, he worked as an analyst in the Defense Attaché‘s office at the Swiss Embassy in New Delhi, India. After completing an apprenticeship in digital media design, Boas studied political science and economics at the University of Zurich. He also holds a Master’s in Comparative and International Studies from ETH Zurich. Boas‘ research focuses on India’s security and foreign policy, relations among South Asia, the US, and China, and the emerging concept of the “Indo-Pacific.” He has published in the Center for Security Studies’ own publication formats, NZZ, and SIRIUS, and was interviewed by SRF. Boas is also an enthusiastic mountain climber. If you can‘t reach him, he may just be climbing the Matterhorn. Connect with Boas via email, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Thibault Maillard has recently completed a Master’s degree in Chinese studies from the University of Geneva, and he is looking for new professional opportunities. He also holds a bachelor in Choreography and a certificate in digital humanities. He is passionate about Asia, technology, and art.
Benjamin Mak connects the dots between global clients and customers, where this has led to multiple successful projects. Within several years in the public office and now 2 years in the private sector, Benjamin has gained experiences in business analytics, consultation, team building as well as internal and external long-term strategic implementation. Currently, Benjamin is managing numerous global projects, where he finds the optimal solution in the pharmaceutical development space.
Chiara Mazidi is a bachelor student in history and political science at the University of Zurich, with a focus on interdisciplinary topics such as economic history, democracy studiesand humanitarian organizations. Besides her studies, she has worked as a walking tour guide and archivist for the Jewish Heritage Pathand the Jewish religious community in Endingen. Since 2020, she has also worked for the art museum Langmatt in Baden. Whether on the guided tours with school classes or at events with the museum, she enjoys imparting knowledge and using her communication- and social skills with various groups.
Selina Morell studied European Global Studies at the University of Basel, where she began to focus on topics related to China and its foreign policy. After a semester as an exchange student at Tsinghua University in Beijing, she worked as an intern in the Political Section of the Swiss Embassy in Beijing. After completing her studies, she began working as a research assistant at the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport. In autumn 2022, she will start a doctoral thesis at the University of Basel.
Carolina Rohmann is a Natural Hazard Specialist Graduate at Swiss Re. After her studies in atmospheric sciences at the University of Frankfurt and the University of Innsbruck, she got into the world of natural hazards in the reinsurance industry through an internship at Munich Re. Despite growing up in Germany, she had contact with Asian culture from an early age because of her half Japanese origins. Contact Carolina via email or LinkedIn.
Jonas Rüegg is a Senior Researcher in Global and Asian History at the University of Zürich. His topics of research and teaching include environmental change in the history of Japan and the Pacific, science and industrialization in modern East Asia, as well as the history of environmental disasters in the Anthropocene. Having served the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan after his graduation from the University of Zürich, Jonas later pursued graduate studies in the United States. Having completed his PhD at Harvard University in 2022, he is now working on a book titled The Kuroshio Frontier: Business, State, and Environment in the Making of Japan’s Pacific, which explores the role of Pacific exploration and colonization in the formation of the international order in modern East Asia. Over the course of his career, Jonas has taught and conducted research at Tokyo University and Academia Sinica, among other schools.
Kimberly Schlegel is a recent graduate of the University of Zurich with a Master’s Degree in English Linguistics and Japanology. She has been fascinated with Japan from an early age, which has led her to travel the country several times already. Her last time in Japan was her one-year exchange at Keio University in 2017/18. When Kimberly’s not attending academic courses, she teaches (Swiss)-German and English at VOX-Sprachschule. Moreover, to satisfy her two big interests –sustainability and movies –you find her supporting the national core team of the Sustainability Week Switzerland with her technical knowledge or volunteering at the Zurich Film Festival. Contact Kimberly via email or LinkedIn.
Alexander Wälchli is an entrepreneur with proven experience in building a product from scratch and launching it on a global stage. Behind the scenes, he is a product manager, business developer, responsible for internationalization and fundraiser in a multicultural and diverse setting. Powerful analytical and conceptual thinking skills teamed up with precise execution. Also, a fast-paced team player with a strong and integer personality.
Luigi Zeni, born in the Italian part of Switzerland, is an MA student at the University of Zurich. He graduated from a double-major program in Japanese Studies and East-Asian Art History. Currently, he is researching the topic of mingei 民芸 – folk art/crafts – with a focus on Japanese ceramics and the contemporary scene of Japanese craftsmanship. In 2017/2018 he spent one year at Osaka University as an exchange student and expanded his knowledge about Japanese arts and crafts. In 2020, he co-founded Wasshoi! Interdisciplinary Magazine on Japan, a magazine available for free online, the aim of which is to share insights about Japanese culture on a semi-academic level with a broad audience through articles, reviews, essays, short stories and more. He has also cooperated with several projects related to East Asian art exhibitions and his dream is to work at an East Asian art museum.
Hao Gan Zhong is a researcher for Ceenex, where he conducts research on international political and economic policy. He is also a teacher of extracurricular classes in international schools. Coming originally from Australia, he moved to Zurich in 2020. He has a master’s degree in international relations from Fudan University, China, and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Monash University, Australia.
Class of 2021
Eléonore Aubry has, in addition to a year studying at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, traveled extensively throughout Asia, from Mongolia to Indonesia and Sri Lanka to the Philippines, cultivating her strong interest in the region. Whilst half French, half English, she has sought to combine her knowledge of Mandarin and degrees in law and sustainability whilst settling down in Zürich. Eléonore is currently working as a Conflicts and Reputational Risk Analyst in Investment Banking. Reach out to Eléonore via LinkedIn or send her an email.
Yuhao Chen is a Master student in Marketing Management at the University of St. Gallen, before coming to Switzerland, he has studied in China, Malaysia and Germany. He has overseen the gap between Asian and Western cultures, and he decided to be the bridge to connect different cultures and bring everyone in the world together. Reach Yuhao via LinkedIn or email.
Timoteo Cozzio is Deputy Director of Strategic Communications at the Society for East Asian Affairs, a French NGO based in Paris. Currently pursuing a dual Master’s degree at Sciences Po and Fudan University, he specialises in Europe and Asia in global relations. He completed his undergraduate in Sinology at the University of Zurich, researching the implications of nationalism in Chinese cinema with regard to Sino-African ties.
Debjani Das holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Anthropology with a Minor in Social Sciences from the University of Bern and an interdisciplinary Master’s degree in World Society and Global Governance from the University of Lucerne. During her Undergraduate studies, Debjani did an exchange at University College London (UCL) where she was a member of UCL’s Model United Nations. She has a broad interest in many different topics such as international politics, culture, art, society, and diplomacy and combined some of them in her thesis on World Heritage in Kathmandu where she conducted fieldwork. She has interned at Asia Society Switzerland and has worked for the British Embassy as well as the State Secretariat for Migration, and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs on topics such as asylum, human rights diplomacy, domestic policy and public diplomacy. She loves to continuously learn about new things and is an alumna of Asia Society Switzerland’s Gen A 2021 Programme. Reach Debjani via LinkedIn.
Pablo Rahul Das is currently the Head of Communications at the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich. Before starting this position, Pablo was in charge of communications and public relations at the World Trade Institute (WTI) of the University of Bern. He also interned in the diplomatic section of the Swiss Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam from July until December 2019. Pablo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Languages and Literature in English with a Minor in Political Science from the University of Bern and a Master’s degree in the same fields of study. He is passionate about everything related to Asia, international politics, and diplomacy. He also is an avid reader and loves traveling. During his Undergraduate studies, Pablo did an exchange at University College London (UCL) where he was an active member of several student societies, e.g. UCL Japan Society and UCL International Relations Society. For his Master thesis, he conducted fieldwork on language attitudes in postcolonial Hong Kong. Pablo is a Certified Project Management Associate (IPMA Level D) and is an alumnus of Asia Society Switzerland's Gen A 2021 Programme. Reach Pablo via LinkedIn.
Kevin Michael Hubacher is an attorney-at-law and admitted to the bar in Switzerland. Kevin has earned a Ph.D. in law from the University of Lucerne and a juris master degree from Tsinghua University in Beijing. Kevin has both lived and studied in China. He works as associate for the Swiss law firm Homburger AG and focuses on public and private mergers & acquisitions as well as corporate governance. Kevin also advises on matters in relation to insurance law, insurance supervision as well as inbound and outbound business with China. He publishes and speaks regularly in these fields. Kevin is very passionate about Asia and a member of, amongst others, the Asia Society Switzerland, the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, the Swiss-Chinese Association and the Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Reach Kevin via LinkedIn.
Samira Hüsler is a social anthropologist specialized in Japan. To improve her understanding of Japanese culture, she completed an internship within the tourism sector in Fukuoka as well as several bigger and smaller field research projects in Japan. Meanwhile, she is working as a research associate at the Institute for Ageing Research in St.Gallen, where she continues to collaborate with researchers from Japan. She is a Gen A alumna of 2021.
David Klug currently is an MA candidate at the University of St. Gallen for a degree of Management, Organization, and Culture. Previously, he completed a BA at the University of Zurich in the fields of Sinology, sociology, and Japanese. He has also spent one year the the Sichuan University in Chengdu where he deepened his Mandarin skills. David Klug has been blessed to meet many friendly and inspiring people through his journey at Gen A. Reach David via LinkedIn.
Dennis Moser is a double-degree master's student candidate in Business Innovation and International Management (CEMS) at the University of St. Gallen and the Graduate School of Management at St. Petersburg University, Russia. During his master’s studies, he worked at M1 AG in St. Gallen, a think tank for strategic issues of the time. His interest and connection to Asia grew while working for two years in Southeast Asia. Dennis is a Gen A alumnus of 2021. Reach out to Dennis via LinkedIn.
Jonas Niederberger is currently pursuing a Master's in Development Studies at the Graduate Institute of Geneva. He is specialising in Environment, Resources, and Sustainability. His key interests are sustainable development and governance and Asian politics (specifically China), as well as changes in international norms, international learning processes and paradigm shifts. Jonas holds a Bachelor of Arts UZH in Social Science with a major in political science and a minor in Chinese studies. Having gained valuable experience leading and volunteering in NGO projects related to sustainability, specifically sustainable electronics, Jonas was the co-lead of the Centre for Student Engagement at the University of Zurich (VSUZH Impulsfabrik) for two years. Reach out to Jonas via LinkedIn or email.
Seraina Petersen is an international affairs and cooperation professional specialised in development, policy analysis, and conflict prevention. She is currently working with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs’ Peace and Human Rights Division. She has previously worked in several international organisations including the UN and OSCE, and has work experience in China, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Uzbekistan. She is also an avid musician, volunteer, and loves to get to know new cultures – for example, through the Gen A 2021 Programme.
Chirine Sunderland is Trade Officer at the Swiss Business Hub Korea, Seoul. With +15 years of continuing interest in the Korean peninsula, she holds a Bachelor in Korean Studies from SOAS University of London and Korea University, a Master’s degree in East Asian Business at the University of Sheffield, and is always active at the interface between Korea and Europe, both on a professional and personal level. Chirine has worked in several domains and for several organisations in relation to Asia, including the Korean and Swiss Trade & Investment Promotion Agencies (S-GE & KOTRA). She decided to see Asia through a new lens by joining and completing the Gen A 2021 Programme. Reach out to Chirine via LinkedIn.
Julia Tscherrig is a Political Affairs Officer at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. After her studies in Anthropology, History, International Law and Politics in Switzerland, Canada and Estonia, she has worked at the Swiss Embassy in Costa Rica, the Swiss Mission to the UN in Geneva and the Global Apprenticeship Network in Geneva. She is now responsible in Bern for the coordination of Swiss human rights positions at the United Nations (UN). She is fluent in German, French, English and Spanish. As of April 2022, she will work at the UN Office of the Victims’ Rights Advocate in New York, contributing to provide sustainable assistance to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN staff and related personnel. Reach Julia via LinkedIn.
Philipp Wolf is a producer and editor at NZZ PRO Global. He studied international relations focussing on political science at the university of Geneva and the university of Amsterdam. History books, documentaries, discussions and last but not least several months of traveling Southeast Asia sparked his interest for the continent. If he is not reading or discussing Asia related topics, he is most likely standing in the kitchen crying over his failed attempts of cooking Indian or Chinese dishes.
Other Gen A 2021 alumni are Adam Benacka, Nadine Lange, Kellen McCullum, Andreas Ratchev, Gabriela Siegenthaler, Lawrence Wu, and Isabelle Zheng.
Class of 2020
Dolma Blattner is currently pursuing her Master in Banking and Finance at the University of St. Gallen. Prior to that, she studied Business Administration at the University St. Gallen and the Singapore Management University. She is an alumni member of Asia Society Switzerland’s first Gen A cohort. Dolma has Swiss and Tibetan roots. Her mother's family is originally from Lhasa. Although she was born and grew up in Zurich, she still feels strongly connected to her heritage and is actively involved in the Tibetan community in Switzerland.
Elisa Cadelli was born into an Italian-Swiss-German family and studied international relations in Geneva (international politics and law). She worked, volunteered and studied in various places across the globe, but has soon discovered her special interest for the Asian continent. Elisa completed her master’s in London in public policy through which she gained a lot of knowledge around mission-oriented innovation, private-public partnerships and design approaches for stakeholder engagement. She currently works at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in the Asia & Pacific Division and co-leads the Swiss think tank foraus' Asia program. Contact Elisa via email.
Myrta Brunner works in digital communications with the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH). She values intercultural exchange as a foundation for mutual understanding and cooperation in our globalized world. After graduating from the interdisciplinary MA Religion – Economy – Politics in Basel, Zurich and Lucerne, she discussed global challenges and China’s role in today‘s world at Yenching Global Symposium 2021 and fostered Swiss-German dialogue in the Pop-up House of Switzerland in Stuttgart. Through her podcast talking off the liver, she gives people around the world a chance to learn about life in Switzerland. Reach out to Myrta via LinkedIn.
Corinne Estermann is a public servant focusing on multilateral cooperation, with an academic background in Sinology, Economics, Chinese Political Economy, and International History. She studied at Peking University (PKU), Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), London School of Economics (LSE) and University of Zurich (UZH). Her intention is to foster an internationalist perspective on different cultural, social, and economic systems and their mutual influence on each other. Corinne is passionate about discussions on lives and livelihoods in China that put humans at the center of concern. Contact Corinne via LinkedIn.
Martín Mosteiro Romero is an energy systems engineer and a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore. He holds PhD and MS degrees from ETH Zürich as well as a BS from Rutgers University, and has professional experience in four continents. He was originally drawn to Asia by an interest in East Asian art history and languages, and joined Gen A 2020 in order to continue to learn about the region. Contact Martín via email or reach out to him on LinkedIn.
Lisa Peers Dermont is an editor and producer for the Fundaziun Medias Rumantschas, publishing the only supra-regional Romansh daily newspaper in the world. Previously, she contributed her part to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and organised the vaccination campaign of the canton of the Grisons. Her love for China sparked while travelling through the country, leading her to study Chinese Sciences for her Bachelor's Degree. Subsequently, she studied Chinese language and culture in Beijing and Kunming. Finally she wrote her MBA Master's thesis during an exchange semester in Shanghai. Additionally, she has worked as a ski instructor and coach for Chinese ski instructors in Chongli and Yanqing.
Cecilia Perversi is a Marketing Manager and Co-Chair & Co-Founder of Young Professionals Network at UBS in Zurich. She’s from Italy, where she grew up and studied at Bocconi University to then move to Zurich to get her Master’s at HSG and build her professional career in marketing, exploring various industries. She loves to grow and learn new things, which is why she is a Gen A alumna herself and mentors HSG students in her free time (including one of the current Gen A fellows!).
Julia Rickenbacher is a policy evaluator at Interface Poltitikstudien Forschung Beratung. She holds a Master's degree in Political Science and Japanese Studies. Three years of working, studying and travelling in Japan deepened her passion not only for this country in particular but also Asia in general. She loves to learn and discover new perspectives, which is something she enjoys in both her work as an evaluator and when exploring Asia. Reach Julia via LinkedIn.
Célia Rohrer is a Communications Business Partner for an international Biotech company. She manages the strategic and operational communication needs of local and international stakeholders. She is fascinated by cross-cultural behavior and "glocal" trends, integrating a global strategy into a local network. She holds a Master of Science degree in International Management. In her Master's thesis, she explored the impact of deglobalization trends on RCEP markets, with the Asia Society Network being of great importance to her research. Reach Célia via LinkedIn.
Gabriel Ruggli is Co-CEO of C-Level, an Exchange Platform for Swiss Executives. Furthermore, he founded one of the largest Swiss Drive-In Cinemas Autokino Winti during the Covid Crisis. As a teenager his first start-up led him to China and sparked his love for the Asian continent. Studying between Beijing, Shanghai and Zurich he graduated his Master at HSG specializing in PRC’s commercial law and is a Gen A alumnus of 2020. Reach Gabriel via LinkedIn.
Sonja Schneider is an undergraduate student in Chinese studies and Geography at the University of Zurich. She likes nature, traveling, languages and learning new things. "Asia Society‘s Gen A Program gave me a lot of insights into specific issues about Asia which I wasn‘t that aware of before." Reach out to Sonja via email.
Olivier Stamm is a curious Asia enthusiast, having travelled to the Mount Everest Base Camp in Tibet, run the Pyongyang Marathon in North Korea and motorbiked across South-East Asia & Malaysia. Since finishing his studies in Shanghai and Hong Kong in 2019, he’s been working for International SOS, the world’s leading medical and assistance company. Olivier is a Gen A alumnus of the 2020 cohort. Reach out to Olivier via LinkedIn or send him an email.
Lucia Toth is a graduate in Chinese Politics and Diplomacy at Fudan University in China and an Intern at Trivium Beijing, a China Policy Consultancy. While completing her Business Bachelors at HSG, she studied and worked in China for one year. Building China understanding has since become her passion and delivering it to Western stakeholders her career aspiration. After her graduation from Fudan, Lucia is striving to pursue a career in the nexus of business and policy within the Chinese context. Contact Lucia via email or LinkedIn.
Maurin Widmer is a Robotics Field Engineer in a Swiss Startup and currently completing his further education in Business Administration. Since his first trip to Southeast Asia as a young boy, he is fascinated by Asian culture and diversity. This influenced his decision to do a part of his Mechanical Engineering Master's at the National University of Singapore. After graduating from ETH, he worked as a customer project manager at a large Swiss Sensor company. He led intercultural projects and engaged with customers around the world, with a strong focus on Asian markets. In his free time, he loves to explore and cook new Asian dishes. Reach Maurin via LinkedIn.
Other Gen A 2020 alumni are Matteo Bernasconi, Michael Koch, Francis Müller, and Michael Rychener-Schreiner.