Our team

THE TEAM

Mike Butcher

Co-Founder and Chairman of Techfugees Foundation

Mike Butcher is Editor-at-large of TechCrunch. Mike has been named one of the most influential journalists in European technology by Wired UK, The Daily Telegraph and the Evening Standard. He also founded the annual Europas Awards, the co-working network TechHub and has advised the UK government on tech startup policy. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list of 2016 for services to the UK technology industry and journalism.

Joséphine Goube

Co-founder & Executive Director of Techfugees For Impact

Alumnus from both Sciences Po Paris and the London School of Economics in urban development, Josephine has been the CEO of Techfugees, coordinating the tech community to create technology for and with displaced people since 2015. She seats on the board of the Norwegian Refugee Council and acts as an informal expert for the European Commission on migration reforms. Nominated as one of the top “30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs” by Forbes in 2016, 2017 and 2018, in 2017 she was honored as “Digital Women” of the year in France in 2017. From 2012 to 2016, Josephine was Migreat’s partnerships manager, a London startup specialized in applying for visas for Europe.

© Assem Hamsho for Techfugees for Impact 2021

Raj Burman

Chief Executive of the Techfugees Foundation

Raj joined Techfugees as CEO in November 2020. Fellows of the renowned Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Raj brings with him a wealth of experiences in various business fields and experienced leadership. His career spans three decades of scaling high-growth ventures across international markets, with specific knowledge of digital innovation, entrepreneurship and philanthropy. In his previous role at Sustain Ventures, Raj applied his philanthropy experience across  international impact ventures and corporates supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Prior to that, Raj worked for GS1 as well as led the SME scaleup business accelerator in the United Kingdom for an independent body of the European Commission.

 

Ambre Cerny

Deputy Director of Techfugees for Impact

Ambre is a specialist in communication and public relations. She has worked in the public and political sector for almost 10 years, moving from local authorities to the French National Assembly, then to the Presidency of the French Republic with François Hollande, and finally as Chief of Staff and political advisor for the Ministers of Culture and for Victims assistance (after Paris attacks in 2015). Committed in particular to improving the situation of refugees as well as climate change, she’s convinced that social innovation can – and must – play an essential role to better our life together. So she became involved with Techfugees in 2018 and actively participated in structuring the French charity ‘Techfugees for Impact’ and its activities, including the #TF4Women Fellowship programme aimed at accelerating the professional inclusion of women refugees in tech

 

© Assem Hamsho for Techfugees for Impact 2021

Louise Brosset

Global Community Management

Graduated in entrepreneurship from ESCP Europe in Paris and Berlin, and City University in London, Louise worked as a research assistant in cognitive science. She cofounded  Black Sheep, a student association aiming at learning and duplicating best practices from NGOs working with forcibly displaced people to scale innovation (focus Asia). She joined Techfugees in 2018 as #TF4Women Fellowship Program Manager in France and Global Community Manager.

Cherine Ali

Head of #TF4Women Programmes

A Syrian civil activist who has worked and managed several humanitarian and peacebuilding projects in Syria since 2012. She was also a co-founder and member in many initiatives in order to raise awareness about human rights, women empowerment and create safe spaces for displaced children. Chérine has been in France as a refugee since October 2015, graduated in sustainable engineering from “ENISE” The National School of Engineers of Saint Etienne – France in 2018 and the Faculty of Civil Engineering-Damascus University. She was a fellow in TF4Women 2019. Chérine is now part of the TechFugees team because she believes that empowering and ensuring equal professional opportunities is an original human right for any refugee.

© Assem Hamsho for Techfugees for Impact 2021

Alexis Lefranc

#TF4Women Programme Manager in France

A graduate of the University of London in English Literature, International Relations, and Sustainable Development, Alexis started his career as a chef before moving into international education in 2005, working as an English teacher in Russia and China. Since 2014, he has been active on several education for development programmes in Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan, both with large organisations (British Council, EU funded LASER programme) and small NGOs (Acting for Change International, North Jordan). Passionate about languages and cultural diversity, Alexis is a committed activist for world citizenship and solidarity beyond borders. He is specifically interested in training methodologies for digital literacy, with a focus on displaced populations.

© Assem Hamsho for Techfugees for Impact 2021

Matilde Spoldi

#TF4Women Programme Manager in Italy

Graduated in Anthropology of International Development in London, Matilde has been working for the past 10 years supporting asylum seekers and refugees across Europe. She collaborated with UNHCR and IOM to implement activities in refugee camps, including local organisations and municipalities such as StandbymeLesvos, ICEI, Migrants Organise, AFOL and many others. Having extensive experience of community mediation and promoting diversity in various project management roles, she specialises in programme design and implementation related to the professional inclusion of migrants, also providing NGOs and their staff with the right tools and training. Sharing our vision and core values, she (just) joined Techfugees in 2021 to create best solutions at a higher level of impact!

Aggelina Mila

#TF4Women Programme Manager in Greece

Combining her studies in Education with Management, Aggelina has been volunteering for several years (both in Greece and abroad), aiming to expand her learning horizons. Hence, she discovered her passion for social impact work, while she has been mainly gaining experience in the field of tech education and the integration of displaced groups into the labour market. She believes in the power of education to strengthen skills and self-confidence, while joining a global movement that empowers individuals to be members of a sustainable ecosystem that nurtures tech solutions and supports integration, excites her. And this what led her to become part of Techfugees: to collaborate with a dynamic and multicultural team, sharing a common purpose and play her part in accelerating professional inclusion of women in the Greek tech industry

Fatami Saleh

#TF4Women Programme Manager in France

Graduated in international business law from the Sorbonne in Paris, France, Fatami has worked in skills sponsorship schemes and for pro bono initiatives for both the private sectors and charities. She campaigns for the rights of refugee women and is one of the volunteer experts of the Diair (Interministerial Delegation for the Reception and Integration of Refugees).

She joined Techfugees in April 2021.

© Assem Hamsho for Techfugees for Impact 2021

Lucie Fievre

Communications officer of Techfugees for Impact

With a Master degree in communication applied to politics and institutions, Lucie worked at each one, a french structure aiming to allow displaced people to find a job up to their expectations. Convinced that refugees have so much to bring to host societies, she decided to keep working this way by joining Techfugees’s inclusion team in order to empower refugee women!

Nalawit Teclehaimanot

#TF4Women Programme Manager in Italy

Immigrated from Eritrea and graduated in Economics and Finance from the University of Rome, La Sapienza, Nalawit worked for several years in the manufacturing and trading industry, linking South Europe with Africa.

Committed to the diaspora and women entrepreneurs initiatives she has been engaged in Communities management where she had developed her involvement and interest in issues regarding diversity and inclusion of migrant women in Italy.

A firm believer in the power of education, empowerment of youth through tech and innovation as drivers to development and peace.

She joined Techfugees in September 2021

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Board Members and Special Advisors

Petra Johansson

Financial Director & Board Member of Techfugees Foundation

Petra Johansson has 20+ years experience from the events industry ranging from sponsorship, media and delegate sales at organisations including IIR Conferences (now Informa Group), Incisive Media, and Financial News. She has been based in London since 1998 and runs events consulting company TwistedTree since 2007, and is also co-founder of 2Pears.

George Papandreou

Special Advisor

George A. Papandreou is former Prime Minister of Greece (2009-2011) and Councillor at the World Refugee Council. Currently he is the President of the Socialist International (since 2006- ) the largest global organization of progressive political parties and President of the Movement of Democratic Socialists in Greece. He is also the Vice President of the Foundation for Olympic Truce and a member of the Global Leadership Council of Sustainable Development Solutions Network – a Global Initiative for the United Nations. He is a member of the Global Leadership Council of the humanitarian organization Mercy Corps. He is a Commissioner of the Global Commission on Drug Policy.  He is a member of Club de Madrid. #TFSummit18 – George Papandreou: “Migrants and refugees should be seen as the new Europeans”

 

Axelle Lemaire

Special Advisor

A French and Canadian citizen, Axelle Lemaire worked in the French Governement as Minister for Innovation and Digital Affairs between 2014 and  2017. She scaled up the French Tech ecosystem, introduced the Digital Republic Bill to Parliament, and initiated the national Artificial Intelligence Strategy. Before being elected as an MP in 2012, she worked as a lawyer and researcher specialized in international law and human rights. She’s now Partner at Roland Berger Paris.

Ahmad Sufian Bayran

Special Advisor

Ahmad Sufian Bayran is Techstars Middle East and Africa Regional Manager, a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed in 150 countries with a variety of programs including Startup Weekend. Ahmad SB is social entrepreneurship, startup, and collaborative economy, expert. His website is one of the most prominent blogs in the Arab world that tackles the power of the collaborative economy and Blockchain. In addition, he is also, Jusoor Program Director, Entrepreneurs in Residence at Aliqtsadi. He mentored several startups and non-profit organizations and has published two books on entrepreneurship in conflict zones and the refugees community.

Haidar Baqir

Special Advisor

Haidar Baqir holds a Master’s degree in engineering and has been working in emergency telecommunications for the last 18 years. Mr. Baqir had been working with the World Food Programme (WFP). He served in multiple field emergency operations, including Sudan 2004, Lebanon 2006, Somalia 2007, South Sudan 2011, Ebola outbreak response in West Africa in 2014, Nepal following the earthquake, and Yemen in 2015. He also served as part of the Global Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) based in Rome and as Regional IT Emergencies Preparedness and Response Officer for the World Food Programme based in Bangkok, covering the Asia and Pacific region. In his role with Global ETC based in Rome 2015-2017, Mr.Baqir led the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) coordination model project for WFP and the humanitarian response community.  His final deployment with United Nations was with the Telecommunications Development Bureau of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) based in Geneva working as emergency telecommunications and climate change coordinator.

Jay Corless

President of Techfugees for Impact

Jay Corless is Senior Director for Innovation at the UN Foundation. In this position he seeks to identify, showcase and scale social innovations that deliver impact on international development goals. His professional work spans two decades within the UN System and the private sector. He has broad work experience in communication, online technologies, cultural diplomacy, design innovations, policy development and project management.

Inès Massa Ngombe

Secretary of Techfugees for Impact

Former Fellow in the web development vertical, thanks to this program, she has made it her profession. Eager to help and be of service, she wishes to put herself at the service of others and bring her stone to the building. It is a way for her to give back in a certain way what has been given to her.

Stéphane Herault

Treasurer of Techfugees for Impact

Aged 56, after a scientific BAC, Stéphane joined BNP Paribas in July 1984 in an agency in Seine et Marne.

Curious, ready to take on new challenges, he changed agencies a first time after a year, then a second time after a year. Having acquired a taste for change, learning new back-office jobs and discovering new regions, after 10 years of career he has already held 6 positions and assumed responsibility for a team of 10 people. A passage through the audit allowed him, at the age of 32, to leave for Morocco to create a structure within BMCI (a subsidiary of BNP Paribas) and to take a new position after two and a half years. Back in France, and after a position of Manager in an agency group of 230 employees, in 2005, he took a turn to take a first position of Sales Manager with responsibility for 7 agencies. He continued in this voice for 12 years before returning to HR management on a population of 370 computer engineers in Montreuil, adding new communication skills to his arc in particular.

With a 37-year career now, 11 moves (8,200 kms) and 15 positions, he has just taken on new responsibilities in a production group in Lille, a new region to discover.

But what makes him most proud are his two daughters who have graduated brilliantly and who today are appreciated in their work.

Administrator of Techfugees for Impact

Marion Lemaire is a passionate digital professional. She has worked for successful online fashion and design brands for 7 years. Since graduating from an MA in Media & Communications in Lille, France, Marion has traveled and lived in several countries, eventually settling down in London, UK. She is currently providing consulting services in e-commerce, whilst also developing personal projects, centered around her passion for vintage and fashion.

Administrator of Techfugees for Impact

Sharanya works at Gravity, a French Kenyan start-up which uses digital identity to help refugees and SMEs gain access to services. Sharanya has extensive experience in monitoring and evaluation of humanitarian programmes. She’s co-leading the French chapter of Techfugees. 

 

Administrator of Techfugees for Impact

Ex Googler and Rocket Internet managing Director, Alex is currently exploring new projects and interested in things related to technology & positive. He’s co-leading the French chapter of Techfugees. 

Administrator of Techfugees for Impact

Lucas works at the intersections of politics, activism and entrepreneurship

 

His experiences, at the grassroots level, at the Elysée Palace or more recently at the European Parliament, allowed him to put his skills and ideas at the service of the key challenges of our times, especially the fight against climate change. Lucas is an expert of online mobilization (marketing, donation, crowdfunding…), communication and political opportunity analysis.

Administrator of Techfugees for Impact

Graduate of Sciences Po Paris, Sarah held various positions in ministerial offices and worked with managers of large companies (Fnac-Darty, Vivendi / Havas) between 2015 and 2020. She is currently working on a documentary project entitled “Les gens du pays”, a series of portraits on inhabitants of the whole of France. Committed for several years in favor of people in exile, she is notably a long-term volunteer with the Auberge des Migrants, a french humanitarian association in Calais.

Administrator of Techfugees for Impact

Chloé has worked in entrepreneurship, investment and international development for 15 years. She is currently COO for RaiseLab, the only French organization dedicated exclusively to open innovation activities, by fostering meaningful collaborations and business opportunities between startups, SMEs and corporates. Previously, Chloé oversaw strategic development and international expansion for NUMA, a pioneer in the European tech scene for startup acceleration and corporate innovation. She’s also been an investment director in a social impact fund, an international project manager at UNESCO and a strategy consultant for US-based public affairs clients. French-American, Chloé holds an MBA from IE Business School (Madrid) and a BA in international relations and economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Administrator of Techfugees for Impact

Marketing Manager within the Up group, marketing and electronic payment expert, involved in various bodies within her company, Laurine puts her sense of dialogue and her analytical mind at the service of the projects to which she contributes. Passionate about history, art and travel, she devotes her free time to satisfy her thirst for culture.

Administrator of Techfugees for Impact

Laura holds a master’s degree from Sciences Po Paris in Human Rights. She worked for more than a year at Techfugees as a communication manager. Laura is now a diplomat within the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, where she currently monitors humanitarian crises in Africa and the link between the MEAE and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

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