Our People

Meet our team of connectors and knowledge brokers.

Our People

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.

Benjamin Bollmann
CEO, Consul
Benjamin is the CEO of swissnex Boston. He was previously Deputy CEO at swissnex 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.
Sophie Sithamma
Chief Operating Officer
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.
Jonas Brunschwig
Deputy CEO
As Deputy CEO, Jonas contributes to swissnex 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.
Oliver Haugen
Head of swissnex in New York
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.
Alicia Evangelista
Head of Innovation+
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 the field of technology transfer at the National Institutes of Health, and as an open innovation consultant at yet2 in the Boston area. Alicia holds a PhD in Molecular Medicine from Boston University, and a BS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia.
Alexandra Mueller-Crepon
Head of Arts+
As Head of Arts+ at swissnex, Alex works to integrate art and design in broader public discourses around innovation, technology, and science. Prior to her position at swissnex she was project and program manager at the Engagement Migros development fund in Zurich. Between 2014 and 2016 she participated in bringing the 11th edition of Manifesta -- the European Biennial for Contemporary Art -- to life. Alex studied International Relations at the University of St. Gallen and graduated with an MA in Cultural Policy and Management at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
Alexandra Alteio
Communications Manager
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.
Anour Esa
Communications Manager
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 The George Washington University.
Laura Stalder
Media and Innovation Manager
As our Media & Innovation Manager 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 a 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.
Johanna Lemon
Operations & Events Manager
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.
Maëlle Jacot-Descombes
Innovation & Media Associate
Maëlle is Innovation and Media Associate at swissnex in New York. She recently graduated with a Master's degree in Strategy, Organization, and Leadership from HEC Lausanne. Her thesis focused on behavioral economics and on the concept of nudges. Maëlle's work at swissnex includes supporting programs in emerging media, scouting for trends, and conducting research to help Swiss startups enter the US market. She has a background in event management and has lived and studied in Canada.
James Moore
Academic Relations Associate
Our newest addition to the team, James studies International Relations at the University of Geneva, and just recently came aboard the swissnex ship as our new 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.
Laura Antonietti
Associate of Arts+