OUR TEAM

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Bryan WOOD

Chief Financial Director

Bryan Wood holds a (Virginia Polytechnic Institute), and a MBA degree from Harvard University. He is the founder of the venture capital firm Alta Berkeley. Currently, he is also Director at Eleison Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on developing drugs for “orphan” diseases.

As he was able to access to university thanks to a scholarships, he gives even more priority to the growing problem of limited access to higher education for refugees. 

He is a strong believer that education is a powerful tool to enable social uplift. 

Yvelyne WOOD

Ideator & Programs Director

Graduated from the School of the Louvre (BA), Yvelyne Wood is a visual artist whose work is supported by the UN, the UNHCR, the OFCHR and the French Ministry of Culture. Her artworks have been exhibited in the United States, France and Switzerland. Her work focuses on wars and the place of women in wars. 

Yvelyne Wood’s proven experience in the humanitarian field has allowed her to steer UniRef in a pragmatic way as she understands the reality of refugees’ daily life. She has signed all institutional & educational partners’ agreements that have allowed our missions in Burundi, Jordan and Poland. 

She has built all relationships with the UNHCR, IFRC, Isra University, Jordan University. She embodies the NGO on the international humanitarian scene and for the press

Yvelyne Wood created UniRef to tackle discrimination. As she explains: ” A young graduate who leaves the camps (refugee camps nldr) brings with him an average of 5 people. He therefore has to plan a future for himself but also for his family”. 

Through her hard work and the commitment of UniRef’s team, Yvelyne Wood contributes to give young refugees access to studies. 

EXECUTIVE BOARD

Professor Jacques SOPPELSA 

Honorary President of the University of Paris-I Panthéon Sorbonne

Academic Director

Jacques Soppelsa is an Academic Palms and National Order of Merit Officer, and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Malta. As the University’s  Rector of University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, he signed the Magna Charta Universitatum (Great Charter of Universities) in 1988. His lastest book ” La Mondialisation dangereuse” was published by L’Artilleur Edition in 2021. 

In 1987, Jacques Soppelsa co-founded the Erasmus program, he has an extensive experience in educational programs and the difficulties that refugees encounter during their university studies.

He holds the position of Academic Director at UniRef. 

Philippe MONNIER

President of UniRef Think Thank 

Philippe Monnier manages several companies and has developed an expertise in companies international expansion and AR (Augmented Reality) technology.

He contributes to UniRef’s growth as well as the development of its awareness. 

Pr. Ronald CICUREL

Academic Advisor

Mathematician and philosopher, Ronald Cicurel is a former professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland. Author of “Reality is unique to man”

He provides advice regarding the educational programs led by UniRef. 

Jean-Michel DELAPLAGNE

Academic Advisor

Founder and President of Geneva Professional Campus (GPC), Jean-Michel Delaplagne offers a various range of training courses for young adults with the aim to meet the local job market needs. 

His brings a relevant experience and knowledge to UniRef. 

ADVISORS

Dr. Jafaar JAFAAR

Education & Healthcare Director

Dr. Jafaar is an endocrinologist at the University Hospital of Geneva (HUG) and at the Clinique des Grangettes in Geneva. 

He has participated in UniRef’s health vocational training program development in Jordan and Burundi. 

Dr. Jalal JOLOU

Education & Healthcare Co-Director

Dr. Jolou is a cardiovascular surgeon at the University Hospital of Geneva (HUG). Dr. Jolou is also a member of the European and American Societies of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery. 

He practised in India during a humanitarian mission. 

He has contributed to develop UniRef’s health vocational training program in Jordan.

GENEVA STAFF

Nicolas GAY

Research Director

Nicolas Gay is currently studying for a PhD. 

He advocates for Human Rights especially the right of education. 

Nadège MANCINELLI

Communications Marketing  & Public Relations & Digital Marketing Specialist

Graduated from the School of the Louvre (BA), then a Master’s degree in Digital Marketing and Comms Marketing, Nadège Mancinelli also completed a Project Management training course in Geneva.

She has considerable experience working in online media agencies. Before joining UniRef, she held the position of Comms and Digital Marketing Specialist for organizations & NGOs which promote Human Rights. 

She believes education is an effective remedy to confront poverty. 

Claire DULIERE

Programs Manager & Coordinator

Claire Dulière holds degree from the Université Saint Louis Bruxelles (BCsEcon) and a Master in Economics from HEC Lausanne.

She has been involved in humanitarian volunteerism in the Philippines and Senegal. She is a defender of human rights, especially children and education right

Aneta ZARZYCKA

Project Coordinator

Aneta Zarzycka is granted a Master’s degree in Humanities, she has extensive professional experience in education, translation, administration and social work.

Through UniRef she is in contact with refugees, and helps them in their development. She firmly believes in their resilience and courage to cope with adversity. 

Jowita BUKOWSKA

Project Coordinator

Jowita Bukowska is an experienced translator
and interpreter graduated from the School of Interpreters and Translators at Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle, and holding a Master’s degree in Computational Linguistics from Paris Diderot University.

She has strong administrative and project management skills, as well as experience in being a contact person responsible for providing quality information to culturally and linguistically diverse representatives.

She is currently working for UniRef as her ambition is to be part of an organization with a meaningful vocation and to use her attributes in a mission-focused environment. Interested in humanitarian issues and inspired by hope for a better world, she is part of a team that contributes to improving people’s lives.

Oumayya TEGMOUSS

Junior Project Coordinator

Oumayya TEGMOUSS is currently completing her Bachelor of Laws (LLB) with the project of continuing her studies with a Master’s degree in International Law to get specialize in Human Rights.

Oumayya TEGMOUSS was a young ambassador for UNICEF France in 2020. She was a finalist in an advocacy competition aimed at defending individuals who had suffered treatment contrary to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights.

Determined and without hesitation to step out of her comfort zone, she is fully invested in defending human rights, especially for children and refugees. 

MORE INFO

UniRef is a Geneva-based NGO. Our organization relies on twenty active members. Its structural organigram is available here.

Our organization regularly trains interns in various fields such as Human Rights and Refugee programs, fundraising, project management. Please read our Employment & Internships section for more detail.