Foundation and Board

cinfo was established as a foundation in 1990 by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

The purpose of the Foundation and therefore the aim and the fields of activity of cinfo are:

  • Preparing and disseminating information and specialist knowledge on conditions and developments in the international cooperation labour market, in particular in development cooperation, humanitarian aid, development policy, the promotion of peace as well as human rights policy
  • Regular information and documentation for public occupational advisory services, the media and other agencies in Switzerland in the above areas, including the government, cantons, communities and the private sector
  • Advising interested parties and clients on professional opportunities in the field of international cooperation
  • Holding regular information conferences and courses for further education and training for interested individuals and organisations on the requirements on activities in the area of international cooperation

Foundation Board

Christine Beerli-Kopp, President

Christine Beerli, former Vice-President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), was born in 1953. She began her professional career as a lawyer and her political career as a member of the City Council of Biel, from 1980 to 1983. From 1986 – 1991, Christine Beerli served in the Bern cantonal parliament. In 1991, she was elected to the Council of States, to which she belonged until 2003. She was, inter alia, President of the Foreign Affairs Committee and President of the Social Security and Health Committee. Christine Beerli left politics in 2003. Since 2006, she has been President of the Agency Council of Swissmedic. Previously, she was Director of the Department of Engineering and Computer Science at the Bern University of Applied Sciences for ten years.

In both humanitarian aid and development cooperation it is vital to post the right person in the right place. Technical skills and professionalism are essential but are not in themselves sufficient. Human qualities like empathy, cultural sensitivity and modesty are very important. The breadth of experience can also play a significant role. I believe cinfo can provide valuable assistance to individuals and institutions and I am very pleased to be able to contribute to the Foundation Board.

Daniel Endres

Daniel Endres, former Director of the Global Refugee Forum at UNHCRUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – a critical opportunity to build momentum towards achieving the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees – held several other senior positions at UNHCR in recent years, in Geneva and Brussels (Director, Division of Resilience and Solutions; Comprehensive Responses; Division of External Relations; Bureau for Europe). Having started his career in international cooperation as a Swiss JPOJunior Professional Officer in Pakistan – after training in law and political science and a few years of practice as a lawyer – Daniel Endres also brings with him more than 20 years’ field work experience with UNHCR. Some examples: Representative for Iraq; Deputy Chief of Mission in Afghanistan; Senior Emergency Preparedness and Response Officer, with emergency deployments to DR Congo, West Africa, North Caucasus, Northern Albania, and more.

Isabel Günther

Isabel Günther has been Professor of Development Economics and director of NADEL, ETH Zürich since 2014. From 2008 to 2014 she was acting as Assistant Professor for Development Economics at ETH Zürich. She had previously been research associate at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Göttingen for three years and at the Harvard School of Public Health for one year. Her main research interest is in empirical microeconomics with a particular focus on measurement of poverty and inequality, population economics, technologies and policies for poverty reduction, and effectiveness of development aid. Isabel Günther has carried out most of her research in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa.

Barbara Hintermann

Barbara Hintermann has been Director General of Terre des hommes Lausanne, the leading Swiss organisation for children’s aid, since 2020. Director General of Initiatives of Change Switzerland between 2015 and 2020 working mainly in peace promotion and reconciliation, she also has extensive experience in humanitarian aid, mainly with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC): HR Director ad interim and HR Deputy Director; Director of operations for Europe and Northern America – both at the Geneva headquarters; Head of Delegation in Colombia; Head of Delegation/Subdelegation/etc. in Guinea, South Sudan, Rwanda. She also carried out missions in Lebanon and Israel/Occupied Territories. Previously, Barbara Hintermann was Head of Marketing with UNICEFUnited Nations Children's Fund Switzerland. She was originally trained in Business and Managerial Economics at the HWV Zurich (today: HWZ Zurich, University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration). 

To find competent and values-based people remains a high priority for me as a leader. I am convinced of cinfo’s mission and added value for organisations working in international cooperation, and I am thrilled to offer my extended experience for the further development of cinfo.

Lorenz Indermühle

Lorenz Indermühle has been working for more than 20 years with the Swiss Red Cross (SRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to protect human life, health and dignity. He has also worked for smaller NGOs in Central America. He has been Head of the Africa/America Division of the SRC since 2014, responsible for the strategic planning and staff leadership. Until 2012, he was responsible for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of numerous SRC programmes and projects in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and South-East Asia. Lorenz Indermühle holds an MSc in Development Cooperation from the University of London (School of Oriental and African Studies) and a CAS in Leadership Development from the FHNW. 

cinfo has supported me throughout my career. I have always been impressed by the professionalism and range of services offered by the foundation, both on a personal level (career advice and orientation) and as a representative of an organisation (support in recruiting personnel, one of the main tasks in my current position). Based on my network and experience in international cooperation, I would like to contribute as a member of the Foundation Board to the ongoing professionalism of cinfo and prepare cinfo for new challenges. 

David Keller

David Keller has been Head of the Arthur Waser Foundation in Lucerne since 2018. The foundation runs an educational strategy in various African countries and is active in the fields of arts&culture and social affairs in Central Switzerland. Previously, he was Head International Affairs at the Zurich University of the Arts and Director of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) in Zurich. At the SDCSwiss Agency for Development and Cooperation , he was responsible for the development of the Public-Private Partnerships programme from 2008 to 2011. David Keller lived in Latin America from 1999 to 2005, where he worked for the AVINA Foundation. Before 1999, he worked as an opera singer in Germany and Switzerland. David Keller is a lawyer (University of Zurich), MBA (University of Toronto and HSG) and opera singer (Zurich Conservatory and Opera Studio Biel/Basel).

Through my involvement in the Foundation Board, I wish to promote private sector actors as a recognised target group and stakeholders of cinfo.

Erich Wigger

Erich Wigger, economic historian, has held the position of Head of Finance & Services and has been in the management of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation since 2011. Prior to this, he worked for nine years as a member of the Executive Board of INTERCOOPERATION. Erich Wigger originally completed a business apprenticeship, followed by a degree in economic history in connection with economics at the University of Zurich, where he worked for several years and wrote his doctoral thesis. He subsequently worked for the Swiss Metal and Watch workers Association (SMUV) and for Movendo, the Educational Institute of Trade Unions. Erich Wigger has been involved in the Foundation Board of cinfo since 2002.

I want to bring to cinfo my extensive, professional experience of sending personnel abroad. It is equally important to me to contribute, as a Foundation Board member, to cinfo’s sustainable business management.

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