Team

Dr Olivier Menzel, PhD, MBA
Dr Olivier Menzel, PhD, MBA

Chairman and founder 

Olivier Menzel has long been interested in research. Doctor of Science (UNIL, EPFL) from the Swiss Institute for Experimental Research Against Cancer in 2006, he led the Pediatric Surgery Laboratory of the University Hospitals of Geneva for seven years and worked for two years in the Management Team of the Swiss Medical Network, second largest group of private clinics in Switzerland. Since 2018 he is the Head of Strategic Partnerships at the Health 2030 Swiss Genome Center. He also holds an Executive MBA in Health Management (HEC Lausanne). Olivier Menzel created the BLACKSWAN Foundation in 2010, to respond to the lack of interest and resources devoted to rare and orphan diseases.

Stefano Berti
Stefano Berti

Member of the board

Stefano Berti is currently Senior Policy Advisor on Fragility, Conflict and Violence with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Before his recent move back to Bern, he spent 15 years working on development, humanitarian and peace in Haïti, Niger, the occupied Palestinian territories, Sierra Leone, Georgia and Rwanda for the Swiss Government, the United Nations and various Non-Governmental Organisations.

Chiara Ciriminna Swan
Chiara Ciriminna Swan

Member of the board

Chiara Ciriminna Swan is a lawyer by training. She graduated in law from the University of Florence and obtained a Master Degree in International Affairs from the Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) in Milan. Since 2018, she is Project Manager at the EPFL in Lausanne where she is in charge of facilitating funding for scientific research. She has been following for many years yet the activities of the BLACKSWAN Foundation where, from 2012 to 2018, she had the role of Project Coordinator. Previously she collaborated with the St. Camille de Lellis Foundation, a Swiss not for profit organization dedicated to supporting mental and public health in West Africa and from 2005 to 2007 she worked as Electoral Advisor at the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Ivory Coast (ONUCI).

Skander Najar
Skander Najar

Member of the board

Former member of the extended management board at Swatch ltd, Skander Najar, is an experienced design manager, advisor and brand strategy expert who worked and consulted for major global companies and institutions. In 2012 S. Najar founded the award winning communication and consultancy studio Nask, providing creativity and innovation across the marketing industry and organisations. S. Najar is Visiting Professor at the Master in “Integrated Innovation for Product and Business Development” at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland. He has been teaching, lecturing and coaching in various Universities as Tama Art University (Tokyo, Japan), EHL (École hôtelière de Lausanne), SUPSI (University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland, Lugano) as well as in other schools in Switzerland and abroad.

Karima Soudani
Karima Soudani

Member of the board

Karima Soudani graduated from the University of Lausanne in Biology with a Master in Immunology., she has 20 years of Pharma industry experience in different therapeutic areas, Cardiology, Immunology, Intensive Care, Oncology and Pain. Working almost 10 years as European Medical Education Manager at Eli Lilly and Company, then spent 3 years at Correvio International for as a Global Director of Scientific Communication. For 1 year she worked as an independent consultant in Medical/Marketing. Since 2015 held different commercial roles at the Swiss Affiliate of Eli Lilly and Company, first as Brand Manager, then as Business Unit Head and currently as Head of Marketing/CMO.

PD Dr Davide Staedler
PD Dr Davide Staedler

Member of the board

Graduated from the University of Lausanne (Faculty of Biology and Medicine, 2010) with a Master in medical biology and pharmacology, he holds a doctorate in medicinal chemistry at the suit EPFL (2014). Davide Staedler has an expertise both in the academia that in industry. Since 2009 he is the CEO of TIBIO, a company specialized in scientific consulting in chemistry and biotechnology, which he founded during his studies in biology. In 2015 he was appointed Scientific Director of the Scitec Research laboratory, one of the most important analytical laboratories in Switzerland. Passionate about industrial applications, he is Member of the Board of some start-ups in the life sciences. In parallel, he is also Privat Docent in pharmacology and toxicology at the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Lausanne as well as Lecturer at the School of Biology of the same university, where he teaches entrepreneurship for biologists and industrial biotechnology.