Meet the #VGLForum Speakers
Speakers 2020 and 2021
Jim is a co-founder and managing partner in HonuLei Connection, which is based in Honolulu and provides coaching, leadership training, and consulting on bringing restorative justice to organizations. He retired as U.S. diplomat in 2019. His last overseas assignment was as Principal Officer/Consul General at the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany, the largest U.S. consulate in the world with over 900 employees.
Jim knows a bit about transitions: he has lived and worked in eight countries. During his 28-year career as a diplomat he moved 14 times and held 17 different positions, including training positions. After he left the Foreign Service, he and his wife established a new business, he got his Masters Degree in Conflict Transformation, he became a certified coach, and he started a leadership training program.
Dr. Elizabeth Sáenz
Elizabeth is a medical doctor specialized in paediatrics with further Master’s degrees in Public Health in Developing Countries and Mother and Child Health.
She has worked as a practitioner both in the public and private sector, developing a sensibility for the social dimensions of health care and health services provision.
Through her career, she has worked in several UN organizations, such as PAHO, UNFPA and more recently UNODC, where for the past 13 years she has been responsible for the coordination of global programmes on treatment of drug use disorders.
In early 2020 she was assigned as UNODC Liaison Officer in Geneva. She is responsible for promoting UNODC’s and WHO’s efforts in working on a holistic approach to drug demand reduction, and enhance interagency cooperation in the UNODC-WHO Programme on drug dependence treatment and care.
Torsten is an HR expert responsible for Organizational & Leadership Development for Central Europe at Intel. He has 15+ years of professional experience in the consulting and high-tech industry with a strong focus on transformation management.
Torsten’s purpose is to provide leaders & talents inspiration and a safe space to grow their mindset and capabilities. He is a certified leadership coach supporting his clients to navigate complex environments and master personal and professional transitions. Torsten is proud father of 3 talents and resides in Munich.
Claudia Barona Padovani
Claudia is a very passionate HR professional at DHL Express Europe, a young leader responsible for Talent Management, Acquisition and Engagement at European level.
Claudia puts always people at heart which has proven successful when it comes to developing talent programs, engagement initiatives and creating a collaborative and trustful environment within her team and organization.
Andrew is People and Customer Experience Manager at eloomi and is passionate about HR and Learning & Development. With almost two decades of experience working in the NGO, private, and educational sectors, he is focused on professional and talent development through digital learning experiences.
Andrew believes that everyone has a ‘next step’ in their professional development. He aims to lead, guide and coach them towards it with care and passion.
Kat — previously Head Coach of Iran’s National Women’s Football Team — is the first American Iranian championing women’s rights to play football in the Middle East, specifically in Iran. Having spent the last decade changing the stigma attached to women’s football, her mission was to encourage millions of girls to play worldwide.
During a family holiday to Iran, she was scouted while practicing and asked to join the first Iranian women’s national football team.
She started her campaign by captaining the national team and helped lead them to the top 10 teams of Asia. She then became the first woman to receive the prestigious FIFA ‘A’ license for coaching and was the Head Coach of the Under 19 National Team.
Kat has a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham and is currently studying Global Affairs at Rice University.
She has been interviewed for the Wall Street Journal, CBS 60 minutes with Lesley Stahl, USA Today, FIFA magazine, and she has spoken about using football as a diplomatic tool at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, She Believes Summit in NYC and UC Davis School of Law with a United Nations Special Rapporteur, and gave a TED talk.
Ahmed — an avid football player — is a Senior Service Program Manager in G+D Currency Technology, currently managing the services portfolio in multiple fully-automated currency technology projects across the Middle East and Africa. Before joining G+D Currency Technology, he held different regional managerial positions in Procter & Gamble, HP and DXC Technology.
With a career span of more than 20 years, Ahmed has unique multinational experience in service management and consultation, strategic service implementation, team building, and company collaboration.
Ahmed holds degrees in both Economics and IT, a PMP Certificate as well as other management and technical certificates.
He played professional football in his teens and to this day remains a passionate football player.
Pascal is an experienced CFO with more than 25 years of international experience at blue chip companies like Spie-Batignolles, Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, and Cerner. In his multiple roles, Pascal has successfully developed and led multi-cultural teams and acted as a strong business partner to define and implement profitable growth strategies.
Pascal is also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) as well as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with CTI and ICF, the two most reputable coaching organizations worldwide. Driven by his passion for leadership and people development, he coaches executives, first-time managers, leaders transitioning into new roles, or teams.
Pascal holds an MBA from Columbia Business School. He is also a wine connoisseur. Pascal does not play football, but he watches it from time to time.
Ann-Katrin is a Leader and Coach, currently holding the role as VP HR Systems & Services at Danfoss. She has 20+ years of international work experience in Human Resources, with focus on transformation initiatives, project and change management, process and system implementations, as well as people management and development.
Ann-Katrin is a Swedish-speaking Finn and she lives since many years in Germany. In the last ten years, she actively pursues her passion for coaching, supporting individuals especially with career, performance and life challenges. Her own life motto is: “Choose your own path, then no-one will overtake you”
Dr. Nadine Nehme
Nadine is a scientist and medical researcher with 13 years of experience in genetics, genomics, and immunology. She holds a Ph.D. in molecular genetics from Louis Pasteur University and performed her post-doctoral studies at Necker Hospital, Paris, where she focused on immune diseases and genetics. She also held the position of university lecturer for 4 years where she focused on transmitting her knowledge in the fields of molecular and human genetics, cellular and molecular biology, and fundamental and clinical immunology.
Being fond of technology and believing that technology drives healthcare, sciences, and the medical field more than any other force, her latest challenge was leaving academia in June 2015 to co-found Medicus as its Chief Science Officer.
Rafiah is a highly accomplished business leader with over 40 years of experience within the ICT industry, spanning across several regions including Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. She has led and managed large and multifaceted teams in both the developed and emerging markets.
Rafiah has won awards in the region including Female CEO of the Year, Top Female Leader by Forbes, Trail Blazer Award, and many others.
She is also a mentor to various senior executives across the industry, both male and female, and has placed female leaders in key positions. Rafiah’s journey to excellence has been fueled by a relentless passion for empowering people, the desire to succeed, and her curiosity to explore the unknown.
Rafiah currently leads the digitally-enabled transformation for Ericsson, focusing on sales engagement.
Petra works with Spencer Stuart out of the Copenhagen office with Leadership Advisory. Petra has more than 25 years of advisory experience and worked across sectors, serving corporate clients, private equity as well as professional service firms focusing on strategy, transformation, and organizational development.
Prior she worked with Kearney management consulting in multiple roles and geographical locations and served on the global leadership team of the Procurement and Analytics Practice. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion and member of the network Generation CEO.
Roman is the Managing Director at Gebr. Heinemann Vienna and is responsible for the operation of all ten Heineman Duty Free Shops at Vienna International Airport. Prior to Vienna, he managed the operation of Heineman Duty Free Shops in Italy and other Austrian cities. Roman studied in Germany, Sweden and the US and has international professional and management experience in the tourism and retail sector.
Gregor is currently the CFO of UniCredit Bank Austria and has pursued an international career in Finance and Risk related jobs in the UK, Slovenia and Czech Republic. Gregor is passionate about people management, corporate culture and industry transformation in a VUCA world.
Dr. Silke Maurer
Silke is the Chief Operating Officer of BSH home appliances, globally managing Innovation, R&D, Production and Supply Chain.
She changed to the consumer industry after almost 20 years of working with BMW cars & motorcycles in various positions in technology and HR in Germany, the UK and Italy.
Despite her degree and Ph.D. in Engineering, Silke is as much into people as into technology and enjoys being a coach in her leisure time.
Raul leads Continuous Improvement in DHL Express Europe, focusing on driving a culture of continuous improvement throughout the organization and on implementing programs, tools and approaches that deliver substantial positive impact on the experience of customers and on the satisfaction of employees. He is a director with over 20 years of international experience in large-scale Optimization and Continuous Improvement Programs. His experience spans both line management and support responsibilities across multiple areas and countries. Always in search of the hidden potential, he is passionate about Operational Excellence, Customer Experience, Change Management and unleashing human potential.
Torsten is the Co-Founder & CEO of YouNoodle, Inc. A bioinformatics engineer by training, Torsten co-founded YouNoodle in San Francisco, a technology platform to source, select and engage the most promising startups in the world. He has judged startup programs at Stanford University, MIT, and Imperial College, and has written opinion pieces for both Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur Magazine. Torsten is an advisor to a number of startups, and an investor in two venture funds. He is a frequent speaker on corporate innovation, and on how governments can spur ecosystem growth through global startup engagement.
Hatti is the global leader for product development and innovation for the data and software practice at Willis Towers Watson. She is a strategic thought leader and rewards expert with over 20 years of rewards experience at WTW. She leads the vision and strategy for Data and Software products, identifying opportunities for continued innovation due to the evolving landscape and emerging trends in compensation data and software.
Lord Professor John Alderdice
John is a professor in psychiatry and applied his professional understanding to addressing politically-motivated violence in Ireland, where he was one of the Party Leaders who negotiated the 1998 Belfast Agreement that brought an end to the conflict there. He then served for some years as the first Speaker of the new power-sharing Northern Ireland Assembly.
He has been a Liberal Democrat member of the British House of Lords for over twenty years and is currently a Deputy to the Lord Speaker. He was formerly President of Liberal International – the global network of some 100 liberal political parties and is now the Director of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict based at Harris Manchester College, which is part of Oxford University.
Dr. Coline Covington
Coline Covington, Ph.D., is an experienced psychotherapist with a background in political science and criminology. She is a Fellow of International Dialogue Initiative (IDI), a think tank formed by Prof. Vamik Volkan, Lord Alderdice, and Dr. Robi Friedman to apply psychoanalytic concepts in understanding political conflict and the effects of trauma on political behaviour.
Coline also works in the corporate sector promoting ethical leadership within organizations in the process of change.
Coline’s recent publications include: Everyday Evils: A Psychoanalytic View of Evil and Morality (Routledge, 2017) and For Goodness Sake: Bravery, Patriotism and Identity (Phoenix Publishing House, 2020).
Coline is in private practice in London.
Dr. Barbara Covarrubias Venegas
Barbara is a senior researcher and lecturer at different universities in Austria and abroad, the founder of virtualspacehero and will co-moderate this session. Besides, she is Visiting Professor at the University in Valencia/Spain. Her research focuses on New Ways of Working and particularly leadership strategies for complex environments. Barbara is the project leader for Vienna Global Leaders and EUNEPA’s different leadership programs. She is also a passionate dancer and fell deeply in love with West Coast Swing. www.barbaracv.com
Edgard Edmond Bou-Chahine
Edgard is the General Manager at Schneider Electric Algeria and Tunisia, and has over 18 years of experience in finance, performance management and business development. His career at Schneider Electric has been developed around the fields of Finance, Performance Management and Business Development not only in Europe (France, Spain) but also in different African countries (South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria) and the Middle East region (Turkey, UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon, Iran).
Ilona has over 20 years of experience in HR – operational HR business as well as conceptual HR. Currently, she is a Senior HR Manager at adidas and focuses on Diversity & Inclusion topics as well as Culture and Engagement. She has initiated and leads the Europe DiveIn Team with the purpose of driving and steering D&I topics across Europe. Ilona is also a Co-Active Coach. Her coaching philosophy is, “Too many people die with their music still in them.” (Oliver Wedell-Holmes). Her intention is to listen, dance and let the music out. She inspires her coachees to trust in themselves and to create their purpose to live their life to the fullest.
Stefan is Head of HR Development at Lidl Austria. He is responsible for training and development, talent management, global mobility, and apprenticeship training. After studying “International Economics”, he joined Lidl as sales manager in 2008. He later changed to the sales organisation of Lidl, before joining the HR department in 2016. In all his positions, he was able to make use of his passion for HR and test new management approaches in practice.
Sam is the global business leader for data and software practice at Willis Towers Watson. He is a results-driven business leader with over 16 years of rewarding experience in General Management, Sales, Business Development, People Management, Product Development, and Operations. Sam was recognized as Asia’s most innovative compensation and benefits leaders at the Asia-Pacific HRM Congress.
Dr. Markus Ebner
Markus teaches economic and organizational psychology at the University of Vienna and the University of Klagenfurt, works as a coach and trainer for numerous companies, and owns a management consultancy. He has specialized in Positive Psychology and is one of the leading experts on the subject of Positive Leadership in the German-speaking countries. His work has received numerous awards. His book “Positive Leadership” was placed on the economic-relevant German bestseller lists in 2019; the English edition will be published in 2020.
Dr. Tayyab Rashid
Tayyab is a licensed clinical psychologist and an Associate Faculty at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). He has also taught Self-Development course for five years at the Executive master’s in Leadership & Strategy Program, IE University, Madrid, Spain. Tayyab’s expertise includes strengths-based clinical practice, resilience and posttraumatic growth. Tayyab’s work has been published in academic journals and his book, Positive Psychotherapy, with Dr. Martin Seligman, has been translated into several languages.
Rita facilitates, trains and coaches individuals and groups in the areas of leadership effectiveness, high-performance team development, diversity & inclusion, mindfulness and intercultural competency. She teaches Mindfulness at Work programs in corporate settings and online helping participants be more intentional in their approach to work and personal life and maximize their effectiveness at achieving their goals.
Marcus has been Leadership & Executive Development Leader at IBM for the past 15 years. In his global role, he blends extensive international consultancy experience with a range of responsibilities: from creating and managing programs for aspiring managers and executive leaders, to driving culture change initiatives – e.g. Positive Leadership in Europe. His expertise is grounded in a Master’s degree in I/O Psychology, and in HR Management and Organisational Development. He also teaches leadership topics at the University of Vienna.
Iketina is an intersectional gender and international human resources professional with over 15 years of experience in international policy organizations and the private sector. She currently serves as a consultant at an international organization. Her responsibilities include the development, promotion and facilitation of learning opportunities for multidisciplinary staff from over 100 countries. She has also worked as a consultant Gender Expert to several UN organizations in Vienna and Geneva. In 2014, she founded professionalscheck.com
Dr. Stefan Teufl
Stefan is Head of UniCredit Academy as Vice President of Learning & Development in Bank Austria. He is particularly interested in new ways of working, corporate learning and positive leadership. Stefan is also volunteering as reviewer for the journal Organisationsentwicklung and a lecturer at Vienna University of Economics and Business. He has been awarded as Speaker of the year 2017 from imh.
Dr. Barbara Kump
Barbara is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Small Business Management at the WU Vienna, organization developer, and business coach. She is particularly interested in the role of cognition in change, and in intuition at the workplace.
Sascha is a co-founder of dwarfs and Giants. The innovation lab for organizational design was founded in Vienna in 2015 and supports SMEs and large corporates in their corporate development across industries. Sascha focuses on agile-systemic transformation processes as well as purpose-driven organizations and holacracy. Prior to joining organizational consulting, he was a managing director of a social profit organization.
Dr. Gudrun Gaedke
Gudrun is a specialist in personnel and organizational development and works as a lecturer and trainer. She was Head of Study Programs Human Resources & Organization at FHWien der WKW University of Applied Sciences. Gudrun is particularly interested in resource-based approaches like positive leadership, resilience or solution-focused training to develop people, teams and organizations.
Nina Alice Bauregger
Nina is a senior marketing & sales expert, boasting a decade-long leadership track record with global players, SMEs and start-ups. Her fields of expertise include corporate communication in change projects, digital transformation and intercultural leadership.
Dr. Bijan Khajehpour
Bijan is a Managing Partner at EUNEPA, Managing Partner at Atieh Capital and a veteran strategy advisor for the West Asian markets. He has over 25 years of strategic consulting experience with global companies.
Dr. Pari Namazie
Pari is the founder of the platform Vienna Global Leaders. She is an executive coach, facilitator and the Managing Partner and Head of the Leadership and Organizations Division at EUNEPA. She has over 25 years of experience in the field with multinational and international companies.
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