Dr. Ilona Schadl is one of the managing directors for GFA Consulting Group. She is responsible for supervising several technical departments along with the HR and recruiting areas. She is a trained economist with a Masters in Development Studies and a PhD in International Relations. Her career includes more than 20 years of experience in the field of international cooperation in Asia and Africa focusing on economic development, both as an expert in the field and as a project manager.
Anja Desai is one of the managing directors for GFA Consulting Group. She owns double degrees in political science and public administration with over 25 years of professional experience. She has been working and living in South Asia and Southern Africa; considering a regional footprint to be an essential ingredient required for international cooperation. Her experience is grounded in the steerage of complex international projects, leading project teams and devising strategic projects. Anja represents GFA in relevant industry working groups and welcomes collaboration.
Dr. Heiko Weißleder is the managing director for Finance, Administration, Quality Management and Compliance of GFA Consulting Group since 2009. His career with GFA began as a consultant for agricultural economics in 1996. In 2000 he became Managing Director of GFA Medica, the Health Consulting company for the GFA Group, which subsequently became a department of GFA Consulting Group in 2005. His versatile consulting experience developed across various African countries, in the Maghreb, the Near East, the Caucasus and Indonesia.
Christian Rake is the director of the Agriculture & Rural Development Department. He holds an M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics and his core expertise covers water and soil resources management, participatory irrigation development, delegated water management, capacity development and funds management. He has been a permanent staff member of GFA for 30 years and has served in different functions, i.e. several long-term assignments as expatriate team leader and countless short-term expert missions in Africa, MENA, Asia and the Balkans. He combines hands-on technical and managerial experience for implementing projects with sound knowledge of donor administrational procedures. He is fluent in German, French and English.
Cristian Ferreri is GFA's Public Finance Department director since October 2019. Prior to this, he worked for more than 10 years as a consultant and portfolio manager in the international cooperation sector and more specifically Public Finance Management, Regional Development, M&E and Private Sector Development, in projects financed by disparate donors. Cristian holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in political science with a specialization in international relations from the University of Rosario (Argentina) and a Master's degree in Advanced International Studies from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna (Austria). Cristian is fluent in Spanish, Italian, English, French, German and Portuguese. He has good command of Russian and basic knowledge of Czech.
“There is no SDGs Financing without Public Finance!”
Afrim Kalanderi is the director of the Water, Sanitation & Waste Management Department. He has 20 years of professional experience in the management of water, sanitation and waste management projects within the context of development cooperation. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration, from the Freie Universität Berlin, with a focus on development finance. His international experience began with the management of financial operations for four water companies within a World Bank project in Albania. He has held responsibility in various institutional strengthening projects to lead multidisciplinary teams in implementing performance improvement measures in areas of water supply and sanitation in different parts of the world.
Joachim Gromotka is the director of the Health Department.
Dr. Mareike Meyn is the director of the Private Sector Development Department and has been with GFA for over a decade. Being a trade economist by training, Mareike had previously worked for GFA as an expert, consultant and Portfolio Manager in the fields of Private Sector Development, Trade and Quality Infrastructure, both at the GFA headquarters and GFA projects. She spent four years working for GIZ as Head of Program in Kosovo and Nigeria and also worked as an EU key expert for a trade project in Bangladesh. Mareike holds a PhD on Development Economics from the University of Bremen, with English fluency and a working knowledge of French.
Paul van der Poel is the director of the Natural Resources Management & Environment Department. During his studies, he focused on social forestry in Indonesia, followed by working in several long-term projects in Colombia on forest management, and agroforestry in Costa Rica. From 1993-1999 he worked as consultant and team leader for GFA in a GIZ-funded Black River Social Forestry Project in Vietnam.Thereafter he became the Head of the Asia Department in Hamburg, while regularly undertaking assignments with KfW on forest project identification and formulation, mainly in East Asia, as well as numerous backstopping missions. Paul holds a Master´s in Agricultural Science with a specialization in tropical forestry from the Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands. While his mother tongue is Dutch, he is fluent in English and German, with working knowledge in Spanish, and some French, Portuguese, Vietnamese and Indonesian.
Inke Hase is the director of the Education, Skills & Employment Department. She is an economist by profession with long-standing professional experience both in Germany as well as abroad. In the field of Technical and Vocational Education, she has a considerable track record in delivering training and the facilitation of multi-stakeholder networks. In recent years, Inke and her team have been exploiting innovative approaches for the digital delivery of TVET. Innovation has been her main driving force throughout her professional career. Inke is fluent in English and has a good working knowledge in French and Russian.
Tomas Keilbach is the director of the Governance Department and head of the Monitoring & Evaluation Unit. He has been with GFA for over 30 years, working mainly on projects in Africa and Latin America, of which 20 years as Department Director. His background is in agricultural economics and general development economics. He has been involved in major feasibility studies covering agricultural and rural development, biodiversity conservation, and adaptation to climate change. His donor experience as a project director includes KfW, GIZ, European Commission, and the African Development Bank.
Diana Cordes is the director of the Financial Systems Management Department. She joined GFA in 2007, before she worked as banking and management consultant in two banks in Mozambique and Angola. Diana has been working within international development cooperation for over 15 years managing, implementing and steering technical assistance projects in the financial sector in Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Her focus areas are Micro and SME Finance as well as Green and Sustainable Finance. Diana holds a Master Degree from the University of Cologne and she is a Certified Professional for Renewable Energy Finance (CPREF), and a Certified Expert for Sustainable Finance.
Ulrich Theuerkauf is the director of the Energy Department since 2019. He is a graduated political scientist with over 30 years of working experience within the international context. He initially worked in the area of adult education, management training and SME development. Ulrich joined GFA in 2006. He was responsible for private sector development projects. He gradually became engaged within the energy sector with focus on energy efficiency, municipal infrastructure programs and energy policies. Ulrich’s vision is for GFA’s energy sector team to recognizably contribute to the global energy transition.
Aurosree Biswas is a portfolio manager in the Energy Department, working for GFA since 2018. He gained his experience in the energy sector since 2010, working in projects in Asia and Africa for the GIZ, CTCN and the UN. He owns a Master’s degree in Energy Technology, as a renewable energy specialist. With his diverse international background, his drive from within GFA is to strengthen business development towards sustainable energy access.
Minnattallah Boutros is a portfolio manager in the Natural Resources & Environment Department. She is an expert on tropical ecology and biodiversity by training (and passion) and leads the NRME Africa portfolio since 2017. Originally, she was mainly working on large international and interdisciplinary scientific projects (funded by BMBF) in West Africa, supporting Capacity Building and the development of sustainable solutions for biodiversity conservation. She joined GFA in 2015, with a strong focus on large KfW conservation projects in francophone, sub-Saharan Africa. Her special duties in GFA include the security task force and business development for Côte d’Ivoire and Togo. In the NRME department, she has additionally taken on the responsibilities as a security backstopper, and is the focal point for Environmental and Social Standards in projects and sustainable procurement.
Dr. Daniel Wahby is the head of GFA’s Climate & Energy Cluster. He has worked with GFA since 2001 and joined the management board in 2019. For much of his career, he worked as an expert and team leader in agriculture and rural development projects in Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia. He joined GFA’s management team in 2008 to lead the regional department Maghreb & Middle East and later Europe, Middle East, North Africa. Daniel currently promotes GFA’s strategy on climate and energy aiming to enhance GFA’s climate change mitigation and adaptation services across GFA Group. Daniel is also responsible for GFA’s sustainability management.
Joachim Schnurr is the director of the Climate Competence Center. During his professional career, he has dealt extensively with emission reduction activities in a number of sectors focusing on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and forestry projects. Since 2001 he has developed renewable energy and carbon financing solutions and established contacts to the private sector and political institutions. He has assisted German export initiatives for renewable energy and energy efficiency technology regarding financing opportunities, and supported implementation of renewable energy financing facilities in South Africa, Russia and Turkey. His consultancy activities also include providing policy advice on climate and energy-related issues to governments and private entities.
Martina Bernauer is a portfolio manager in the Private Sector Development Department, where she oversees project acquisition and implementation, with a focus on Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. She has been with GFA since 2012, and has extensive experience with the EU, GIZ, and Swiss donors. Martina holds a master of science in International Economics and Finance. She is fluent in English and German, has a good grasp of French, and has basic Portuguese skills.
Uwe Gebauer is a portfolio manager in the Natural Resources Management & Environment Department.
Christian Caspar is the manager of the Framework Contracts (FWC) Unit, that was first established in 2018 as a result of increased framework contracts being launched. Christian holds a Master´s in Development Sociology from the University of Bielefeld. He joined GFA as a consultant in 2007 and is working on Framework Contracts since then, first in the Health department, later also in the Education, Skills and Employment department. Christian has more than 20 years of experience in development cooperation and has worked in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Christine Fröhlich is the director of the C³ Unit for Better Learning. She has almost 30 years of experience in development cooperation and works for capacity development projects worldwide. As a trained banker holding a degree in Economic Geography, she was initially engaged in private sector development and micro finance in the first part of her career. During the last two decades, she shifted her focus to better learning and training. An additional Master´s degree in Adult Education has recently reinforced this working experience. German is her mother tongue, but she is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese due to long residencies in various countries.
Dr. Edda Meinheit is the director of the Human Resources Department. She has been with GFA for over 20 years, having previously worked as a specialist consultant on agricultural projects. In the 2000, she contributed to the company’s growth by establishing a professional HR and Recruiting department. In the following years, this became a central pillar of the company, with a focus on the value and the needs of the employees. Trained as an economist with a Ph.D. on agricultural economy from the University of Göttingen, she has a strong generalist background on human resources. She has developed her skills with further education in organizational development, staffing/recruitment, HR information systems, job descriptions and evaluation, compensation and benefits. Edda is fluent in English and French alongside her native German.
Liliana Tiedt is a team manager in the Recruitment Department. Upon graduating with degree in economics, Liliana started her career in development cooperation working for GIZ, EBRD and USAID in Moldova. Complementing the working experience by a master degree in European Studies from the University of Hamburg, Liliana joined GFA for over 20 years. As consultant and recruiter, she participated in identifying and mobilizing the team of experts for a wide range of projects. Liliana is native in Romanian and Russian and has working knowledge of English, German and French.
Isabella Zubrzycka ist the director of the Financial Project Management Department. Shas been working for GFA Consulting Group GmbH since 1998. After completing her commercial training and studying business administration, she started in the FIP department and became head of the department in 2020.
Irish Ann Doray is a team manager in the Financial Project Management Department as of 2020. She began working for GFA in 2017 and owns an eclectic background, being born into the Philippines and raised in Togo. She previously completed an apprenticeship as an industrial clerk before working within business for a decade. She then gravitated toward GFA through a combination of her language skills, that includes French, and her multicultural background. Her philosophy of life is - live life now!
Annika Holdorf joined GFA in 2012 and has been a team manager in the Financial Project Administration Department since 2016. Her strengths lie within the financial administration of projects funded by international cooperatives and research institutions. She enables smart execution of project financing for Hamburg and abroad by coordinating her team’s work. Annika graduated in economics at Hamburg University and she speaks in four languages; German, Dutch, English and French.
Jascha Winter is a team manager in the Financial Project Management Department and has been working for GFA since 2013. He gained his economic knowledge within the context of international cooperation in Latin America where he worked on the administration of the GIZ in Nicaragua. Furthermore, he has supported an NGO in its work function while also having gained further experience as a freelance business consultant and business founder.
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