In Geneva, the UniRef team is composed of young talented university students, motivated by our missions, who are under the supervision of an experienced Senior Board.

This particular combination allows UniRef to approach the issue of education for refugees from a unique perspective.


Bryan WOOD

Chief Financial Director

Bryan Wood holds a BSc in Industrial Engineering Degree (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

Executive 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.


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.

He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (MBA in Finance & Marketing).

Pr. Jacques SOPPELSA

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.


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.

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.


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.




Legal Officer

Nathalie recently graduated with a Bachelor in International Relations with a specialization in law from the University of Geneva. She is passionate about advocating human rights and eager to contribute to advancing UniRef’s mission and commitment.


Antoine LIGNAC

Team Coordinator & Assistant

Finishing his Master’s degree in Political Science, Antoine is motivated to participate in the development of Uniref. As a team coordinator and assistant, he manages the teams and contributes to the progress of the projects.