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.



Executive Assistant

Romane works currently at UniRef as the executive assistant. Finishing her Master’s degree in socioeconomy, she’s willing to be involved in a cause that she finds useful and valuable.


Donor Relations Manager

Passionate about the humanitarian field and in the last year of his Bachelor’s degree in International Business, Benjamin is working at UniRef as a donor relations manager, allowing us to develop our projects in a concrete and sustainable way

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.


Project Manager for Jordan

Zoë Zahariadis is finishing her MA in Development Studies from the Geneva Graduate Institute and joined our team as a Project Manager. She is passionate about advocating for the rights of displaced people and is excited to support UniRef’s mission.


Christina OBEID

Project Coordinator for Jordan

Christina is a Lebanese student at the University of Geneva. She has been interested in humanitarian work from a young age, and as a Project Coordinator for the Jordan mission, is ready to help UniRef as much as possible to carry out its missions successfully.



Project Coordinator for Jordan

Mélissa recently graduated with a Masters degree in Global Studies from the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts in Paris. Human rights are at the heart of her considerations and she is particularly receptive to education issues. She joined UniRef as a volunteer project coordinator.



Project Managerr for Poland

Ilaria is a student of international relations specializing in the study of Central and Eastern Europe. She takes a special interest in humanitarian affairs and sustainable development. She contributes to the work of Uniref as a Project Coordinator in order to ensure that the project is running smoothly and effectively.



Project Coordinator for Poland

Thomas is currently studying in a joint Master’s programme in European Studies between the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, and Sciences Po Strasbourg, Strasbourg. Together with his colleagues Nikolas and Eudes, they are committed to Uniref in Krakow for the Polish mission in progress.



Project Coordinator for Poland

Nikolas is a French student, currently in a double master degree between Jagiellonian University, Krakow and the University of Strasbourg. Specialized in law and political sciences, Nikolas has a high interest in being involved in any mechanism that would result in better integration of refugees in European societies.



Communications Officer

Diego graduated from the University of Geneva with a Bachelor in Economics and Management. Wishing to specialize in communication, he is currently finishing his Master in Digital Communication. By joining UniRef as a Communication Officer, Diego wanted to put his creativity to good use, but also to help the development of the NGO.


Rouqaya NAJJAR

Project Officer for Jordan

Rouqaya Najjar is a student at the University of Geneva who has finished her Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management and wishes to specialize in a Master’s degree in Responsible Management. Passionate about human rights, Uniref is a great opportunity to learn and develop skills in humanitarian work, holding the position of Project Officer.

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Sanjana DADMI

Legal Assistant

Sanjana completed her Bachelors in Law from India. She is currently pursuing LLM in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Her main interests include international humanitarian law and human rights litigation and policy. She is Legal Assistant at UniRef.


Humanitarian Coordinator in Krakow

Félix Bourgon is a Humanitarian Coordinator for UniRef in Krakow. He holds two Bachelor’s degrees, one in History and one in Political Science both from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University.


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 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.


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.