Get to know our expert jury
Co-Head at Institute for Research in International Assistance (IRIA) & Research Associate
Akkon University of Applied Human Sciences/ Institute for Research in International Assistance (IRIA)
“ISA is an outstanding initiative that links local climate protection and gender equality activities internationally and makes them visible in an appreciative way. It is a great honour for me to serve on the ISA jury and as an ´ambassador´ to contribute to ensuring that the scholarships are awarded to exactly the right people and projects. “
Gaby Feldmann is Co-Head of the Institute for Research in International Assistance (IRIA), the Institute of Akkon University of Human Sciences, Berlin, and is largely responsible for IRIA’s successful development as an application-oriented research institution into a highly effective institute with innovative, effective contributions to improving global health. She works closely with international partners from science, politics and business – including NGOs, of course – and conducts research and consulting in the fields of global/public health, humanitarian aid and development cooperation worldwide. She also organizes international summer schools, congresses and symposia for and with the cooperation partners. An important concern of Gaby Feldmann with IRIA is to encourage young scientists. To this end, she supports programs for young scientists and offers internships as well as the supervision of international fellows.
Prof. Dr. Patrizia Nanz
Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Disposal (BASE) / Governance Lab (CO: LAB)
“It is truly rewarding to see how different applicants are making meaningful contributions towards a more sustainable and equitable world, and it reinforces my commitment to supporting and promoting sustainable initiatives that have a positive impact on our planet and communities.”
Patrizia Nanz is a political scientist and expert on democracy, citizen participation, and sustainable transformations. Since February 2021, she has been vice president of the Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Disposal (BASE) and head of the Collaborative Governance Lab (CO: LAB). Before that, she was the director of the Research Institute for Sustainability (RIFS) and professor of Transformative Sustainability Science at the University of Potsdam. She served as co-chair of the Science Platform Sustainability 2030 was a member of the High-Tech Forum and is the founding director of the “Franco-German Forum for the Future”.
Dr. Shaban Mayanja
GIZ Higher Education for Development, Bonn
“Being a juror during the ISA Interviews made me reflect more on the need to promote synergies between education and development cooperation practice.”
Shaban Mayanja is a policy advisor in the Education Sector Programme in charge of the recently established Servicepoint Higher Education for Development at the GIZ in Bonn. Prior to that, he coordinated the European Universities Alliance Initiative at Paderborn University. He was deployed as a DAAD lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria and at the University of Nairobi in Kenya where he was the coordinator of a DAAD-funded regional German Masters Programme. He also lectured at the Universities of Vienna and Bayreuth. He is a certified translator and interpreter and has supervised many postgraduate students. His research interests include Translation Studies, Intercultural German Studies, and African Literature. He obtained his Ph.D. in Intercultural German Studies with a focus on translation at the Leibniz University Hanover.
Office of the German Council for Sustainable Development (Rat für Nachhaltige Entwicklung, RNE), c/o GIZ GmbH
“I enjoyed being part of the ISA jury. In particular, the inspiring exchange with many highly motivated SDG pioneers is always highly enriching. As a jury, we gained insights into the most diverse projects and are pleased to be able to follow their further development made possible by ISA.”
Felix Meyerhoff works as a scientific advisor for international affairs and development policy at the office of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE), where he also coordinates the Global Forum, a global network of national multi-stakeholder advisory bodies on the SDGs. He holds an M.Sc. in Conflict Resolution & Governance and has previously worked at the liaison office of the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Prof. Dr. Eurídice Leyequién Abarca
Researcher and Advisor
Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences
“I have enjoyed participating in the selection of candidates, and reading their proposals has given me inspiration and the certainty that the new generations will bring accelerated positive change in this world.”
Eurídice Leyequién has been working as a researcher and advisor in the field of global change in forested landscapes and agroecological systems for more than 20 years, focusing on human-driven ecosystems, for example, agroforestry and secondary forests, in national and international arenas. Currently, Eurídice holds the professorship of Management of Forested Landscapes, is the Director of Research and Education of the foundation Rewilding Academy and is an agroforestry consultant at the FAO. She also collaborates with multiple organizations around the world, for example, the African Conservation Foundation, the Climate Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture, and ISA. In her work, she envisions a green landscape where the maintenance and enhancement of ecosystem services can go hand in hand with the economic profit that people ‘harvest’.
Raof Al Waziza
Akkon Hochschule (IRIA) / Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
“As a jury, I enjoyed the well-structured and continuously improving program. I firmly believe that the ISA program is a special program because it provides equitable and fair opportunities for enthusiastic young people from around the globe to excel in managing their projects after being coached and mentored in Germany.”
Raof Al Waziza is a public health specialist. Since 2016, Raof has been engaged in several health and nutrition humanitarian projects, especially in fragile and conflict settings. Currently, he works as a research associate at Akkon/ IRIA, responsible for different tasks, but mainly in a health prevention and WASH project addressing the special needs of rural communities in Yemen. He works in collaboration with Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin on the topic of Malnutrition & Health Systems Strengthening.
Prof. Dr. Jacqueline Loos
Lecturer and Researcher
Leuphana University, School of Sustainability
“I enjoy being a jury at the ISA interviews because it allowed me to meet inspiring, creative, and powerful agents of change.”
Jacqueline Loos is a critical ecologist working in sustainability science. Her main interests are the relationships and responses between the environment, biodiversity, and humans. Through interdisciplinary perspectives, she researches human-nature interactions at conceptual and practical levels. Specifically, she is focusing on Environmental Justice in Development and Biodiversity Conservation, thereby applying a social-ecological understanding of protected areas to scrutinize interdependencies between governance arrangements, management effectiveness, and social-ecological outcomes.
Lecturer & Researcher- Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, Nigeria
Founder & Director- Green Initiative for Humanitarian Aid & Development (GreeniHAD)
“I accepted to join the ISA Jury to contribute my quota in selecting creative minds from around the world with a passion to positively impact humanity and their environment. ”
Onyekachi Chukwu is a lecturer/researcher at the Department of Forestry and Wildlife, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria (since 2019), a humanitarian and an advocate of climate action, peace, and social justice. He has authored over 40 academic research articles; His research interest lies in the application of environmental, biometric, information systems, artificial intelligence, and econometric principles to proffer solutions to conservation, climate change and sustainable development problems.
Onyekachi’s goal is to be a key player in achieving the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Nigeria. Hence, in 2019, he founded a Non-Governmental Organisation, Green Initiative for Humanitarian Aid and Development (GreeniHAD); aimed at promoting the wise use of resources, climate-smart decisions, a cleaner environment, healthier communities, more equitable societies, nature conservation, and sustainable humanitarian response.
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health, Heidelberg University / Institute of Research for International Assistance, Akkon Hochschule, Berlin
“Being a jury at ISA permits me to meet new people and be exposed to new ideas from applicants from all over the world ”
Fekri is a member of the Global Health Policies and Systems Group at the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health at Heidelberg University and the Institute of Research for International Assistance, Akkon Hochschule. He is working on a project to strengthen Health System in Yemen by implementing quality improvement approaches. He is the coordinator of a short course “Diseases Control” at the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health; he worked and published several articles on disease early warning systems in fragile states and the response to outbreaks such as cholera, diphtheria, and COVID-19 in Yemen. He is also working on a research project addressing preparedness and response, disease control, and infodemics management with a focus on developing countries and crisis settings.
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development – BMZ
“I enjoyed being a part of the jury due to the high variety of interesting projects and highly motivated candidates. In my opinion, ISA is a special program, because it links and brings forward young people from all over the world that have an equal goal – to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs “
Carolin Lender is a cultural anthropologist. Before working for BMZ, she was working for different organizations in the NGO sector for about 10 years, supporting German and local NGOs in projects of development corporations and humanitarian aid.
Dr Arend de Haas
African Conservation Foundation – director / GEF CSO Network – Regional Focal Point for Europe
Rewilding Academy – director / Ark2030 – CTO
“Being part of the jury at the ISA I find a deeply enriching experience. It is inspiring to witness the passion and dedication of the applicants, all of whom were committed to making a positive impact on the world.”
Arend de Haas is a conservation ecologist. Since 2001 he has been developing and coordinating conservation programs as a director of the African Conservation Foundation, focusing on the capacity development of organizations and individuals in Africa. Since 2013, he is involved in ecosystem restoration and rewilding projects in Europe and since 2019 he is developing landscape restoration programs in South East Asia. As part of the Rewilding Academy, he is developing training programs and curricula for young professionals, as well as co-leading two UN Decades on Ecosystem Restoration Education Challenges.
Consultant in Knowledge and Technology Transfer
Innovation Contact Service Hamburg
“I am very happy to be involved in the selection of the candidates for the ISA jury: It is wonderful to see how diverse the ideas and projects of the potential ISA scholarship holders are! Each and every one of them is working in his or her own way for a better and more sustainable world. “
Katharina Keienburg works as a consultant in knowledge and technology transfer at Innovations Kontakt Stelle Hamburg and supports companies and scientists in working together. Previously, she worked for an NGO on a climate protection project. She is a volunteer on the board of the Society for International Development Hamburg.
Dr Leonard Ngarka
Consultant Neurologist, Senior Researcher and Lecturer – Yaoundé Central Hospital, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences of the University of Yaoundé I and Brain Research Africa Initiative / Founding member – Organisation Leadership for Environmental Action Development and Health Youth Foundation / Founding President – World Changers Association Yaoundé / Coordinator – Climate Change and Health Working Group 3CWG
“I accepted to participate to be a juror at ISA in order to share my experiences and learn from their team of excellent jury members while contributing to rewarding excellence, creativity and passion. ”
Dr Leonard Ngarka is a Consultant Neurologist and Senior Lecturer and Researcher of Neurology and Neurosciences at the Yaounde Central Hospital, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences of the University of Yaounde I and Brain Research Africa Initiative. He is currently the coordinator of climate change and health working group 3CWG and founding board member of Leadership for Environmental Action Development and Health Youth Foundation and of World Changers Association Yaoundé.
He is passionate about leadership in clinical medicine, teaching, research, and sustainable development.
Ing. Akofa Bart- Plange
Biomedical Engineer – Health Systems Development Consultant
Co-Founder – West Africa Science and Technology Center
CEO – Precision Medical Solutions
“Being part of ISA Jury affords me the opportunity to support the selection of a core group of forward-thinking innovators along with their projects, that may positively impact and drive change in low- and middle-income countries. ISA offers these innovators the opportunity to fine-tune their skills and innovations to make them implementable in their home countries. Lending a helping hand to this process is an honour and brings me deep satisfaction. ”
Akofa Bart-Plange is a Biomedical Engineer and Health Systems Development Consultant. She is the Co-Founder of the West Africa Science and Technology (WAST) Center, an initiative co-founded with the Institute of Research in International Assistance (IRIA) of the Akkon Höchschule, Berlin, Germany and a doctoral candidate at the Biomedical Engineering Department of the School of Engineering Sciences of the University of Ghana Legon. The WAST Center initiative promotes the research, development, and application of evidence-based knowledge in global health to local African problems implemented by African scientists. Ing. Bart-Plange is passionate about supporting young scientists to leverage their scientific skills and knowledge to offer sustainable solutions to local public health challenges of the 21st century.
Founder – Prezantim
“Why I accepted to be a Jury: This experience will help me gain insights into the work done by youngsters around the world. It is also an indirect opportunity for me to contribute to an equitable and sustainable world. ”
Pradeep Yuvaraj is a business storyteller and founder of Prezantim, a presentation strategy and consulting company based out of Coimbatore, India. He is a serial entrepreneur and has been part of 6 ventures, of which 3 failed, 1 went into hibernation and 2, he exited profitably. As part of the storytelling work, Pradeep and his team work with diverse startups and founders from across the globe. They also volunteer their skills for various social sector organisations in India and abroad. Prior to turning entrepreneur, he worked with ExxonMobil and Shell Petroleum. Pradeep is also active in teaching at multiple universities and facilitating workshops for diverse audiences from high school to CXO levels.
Sylvia Sefakor Senu
Economic Analyst – United Nation Development Program
“I am a firm believer that as many challenges there are, there are many opportunities to innovate and impact our world positively. It is a privilege to be part of the panel of jury to interact with candidates for the ISA fellowship. I look forward to some great insights into innovative solutions that will help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. ”
Sylvia Sefakor Senu is an Economist, policy expert and programme coordinator with a strong interest in shaping development through grassroots policy, inclusive development, and private sector inclusion. She is a passionate youth development advocate and advocates the Sustainable Development Goals. She has extensive experience in research and development work with contributions to the areas of Planning, Policy, Research, Advocacy, Extractives, Effective Development Cooperation, Development Financing, Private Sector Development, Trade and Youth. She holds a master’s degree in economics and currently works as an Economic Analyst and the Youth Focal Person with UNDP Ghana.