Meet our global team
Our multilingual team comes from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North and South America. We bring experience working for social impact at global change-making organisations.
Head of Assessment & Principal Consultant
Anabella specialises in global executive searches. As Head of our Assessment Department, she also focuses on the overall behavioural evaluation of candidates.
She joined Mission Talent in June 2018, bringing with her a personal interest in increasing the diversity of leadership within the global nonprofit sector. She has a special interest in the topic of safeguarding and decreasing professional misconduct. With a background in psychology, she founded and leads the Assessment Department at Mission Talent, supporting our efforts to improve our behavioural evaluation of candidates.
Anabella has partnered with organisations such as Amnesty International, Greenpeace International, OPEN Network, Sphere, Acción Contra el Hambre and Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir. She has led searches for global, regional and national positions.
Anabella started her career as a national campaigner and activist in Venezuela where she specialised in community empowerment and collective action for human rights campaigns, supporting national strategies for social mobilisation from a diversity and gender approach.
She holds a Master’s in Intercultural Management at the Alice Salomon Hochschule in Germany, focusing on organizational development in cross-cultural contexts. Originally from Venezuela, she is fluent in Spanish and English and is currently based in Madrid and Berlin.
Bekiwe is a global citizen, but her heart lies firmly rooted in the African continent. She has over 15 years of experience supporting senior executives, and in consulting and programme management.
At Mission Talent, Bekiwe specializes in research for global and Africa-based searches. She has worked for clients such as CBM, the Hewlett Foundation and Amnesty International.
Bekiwe worked in marketing for private and nonprofit organisations to help them achieve their goals by improving their social media presence. She has also worked in public relations and managed a leadership development programme for universities. She previously volunteered in Zambia to help refugees who were coming from neighbouring DRC.
Bekiwe holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with a focus on International Trade and Development from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
She is based in Johannesburg.
Dr Aleksandra Fernandes da Costa
Aleksandra joined Mission Talent in 2020 and supports searches in the DACH region. She has worked on searches for clients including Climate Catalyst, the KfW, Greenpeace, NABU and UNAIDS.
She holds a PhD in International Political Economy from the University of Exeter, and a Master’s Degree in International Politics/ Conflict Analysis from the University of Tübingen. She has several years of international research and teaching experience at universities in Germany and the UK.
Following her academic career, she has gained work experience across different business sectors (maritime and wind, extractive, agricultural and automotive industries), collaborating with a variety of public and private stakeholders, such as NGOs, foundations and government agencies and investors.
After having worked and lived across various European countries, she currently lives in northern Portugal. She speaks English, German, Macedonian and Portuguese.
Head of Research
Emily joined Mission Talent in 2010, and she is proud to have been part of the company’s growth and global expansion. She leads the strategy development for all of Mission Talent searches and specializes in landscape analysis for executive positions.
On a daily basis, she feels privileged and inspired by the leaders she gets to speak with from around the world. She personally brings to Mission Talent, persistence, creativity, and a commitment to increasing diversity within global nonprofit leadership.
Emily has led searches for organisations like Oxfam, Greenpeace, Hewlett Foundation, WWF, World Resources Institute, Amnesty International, and worked across regional markets including Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
She began her career as a youth activist and went on to lead advocacy efforts for women’s rights, working with NGOs at the United Nations in New York. She has also consulted on strategic communications for the United Nations, and she has a special interest in new models of social mobilisation.
She holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Communications from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Development & Creative Writing from the University of Redlands.
Emily recently returned to the United States after living in Germany for nine years and is based in Seattle, USA.
Fida joined Mission Talent in 2021 and supports executive searches focusing on the Middle East and North Africa and Francophone countries.
After living for five years in Paris, Fida is now based in Lebanon with frequent travel to France. She teaches specialized translation at the University level and is a professional translator and interpreter. She is also a researcher in humanities, with several published articles.
Fida holds a PhD in linguistics and translation studies from Université Denis Diderot (Paris VII). She is fluent in Arabic, French and English, and she also speaks conversational Spanish.
Huria has more than 15 years of experience working with senior management teams and global organisations in the areas of peacekeeping, peacebuilding and development. She provides coaching to newly recruited leaders during their onboarding and integration into their new role.
Prior to working as a coach and organisational development consultant, Huria worked on policy development, change management and organisational learning for the United Nations in New York, Sudan and Somalia. Today, Huria is based in Berlin and works with individual clients and organisations worldwide to help them navigate change in complex environments.
Huria holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy and a Diploma in Social Science. She is fluent in English and German.
Janien du Plessis
Janien is responsible for interview reports and the psychometric analyses of candidates. She is a certified Hogan Assessments practitioner and brings a deep insight to human behaviour which supports our robust interview and selection processes.
Janien joined Mission Talent in 2017 and quickly became an integral part of the team. She previously worked as Project Manager at Mission Talent, managing organisational tasks and daily operations, and ensuring the timely delivery of quality outputs.
Before joining Mission Talent, she lectured at Stellenbosch University, and coordinated study abroad programmes in South Africa for the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) and International Studies Abroad (ISA).
Janien holds a BA in Value and Policy Study and an MA in International Studies from Stellenbosch University, as well as an MSc in Land Management and Land Tenure from the Technical University of Munich. Her research areas include food sovereignty, land reform, and spatial justice.
Originally from Cape Town, Janien has spent four years living in Germany. She is fluent in English and Afrikaans.
Director & Owner
Under Katja’s leadership Mission Talent has filled key leadership positions in international development for organisations in more than 70 countries across Africa, Europe, North America and Asia.
Katja’s passion is to search for the best talent according to the needs and the culture of the respective organisation. She is strongly committed to identifying candidates from the Global South and East.
Katja has more than fifteen years’ experience in the field of international development and holds a Master’s Degree in development politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has previously worked in the areas of governance, public participation and natural resource management for a number of civil society organisations in South Africa.
Fluent in English and German, Katja is based in Johannesburg, Berlin or Cape Town and in her free time enjoys exploring local architecture and sustainable design culture.
Lara is Mission Talent’s search lead for the MENA and DACH regions. She has led searches across Germany and Switzerland and the MENA, as well as worked on national and regional roles across Africa and Asia.
Lara has partnered with clients such as Action Against Hunger, Amnesty International, CBM, Humanity and Inclusion, Greenpeace and the Oak Foundation. She has worked on a range of positions, from executive directors, to finance, fundraising and campaigning leadership roles.
Lara is a fast thinker and eternally curious mind who brings ease and cheerfulness to the team, candidates and clients. She joined Mission Talent in 2015, after previously working with local welfare organisations, in financial recruitment and for several NGOs. Over the years, Lara has gained expertise across the nonprofit industry but has a particular interest in work around feminist challenges in the sector, diversity, disability and inclusion.
Lara is based in Berlin, and is fluent in German and English, and also speaks conversational French and Arabic (Syrian Dialect).
Laura joined Mission Talent in 2019 and supports executive searches across a range of clients, with a special focus on Latin America.
She has worked with executive search clients such as Amnesty International, AIDA, Greenpeace Spain, Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, Oxfam México, WWF and Transport & Environment.
Laura previously worked in change management and corporate communications for consumer goods enterprises. She has an interest in social innovation and recently participated in a mentoring program to promote social inclusion for refugees in Spain and has supported communities during humanitarian crises due to natural disasters.
She holds a Master’s Degree in Corporate Communications, focusing on business development and entrepreneurship and a specialisation in Strategic Change Management. Originally from Venezuela, she is based in Madrid, Spain and is fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese.
Lin specialises in senior-level searches in Southeast Asia, where she has worked in international development for almost 20 years. Lin joined Mission Talent in 2012 and is proud to be one of Mission Talent’s longest-serving consultants.
She personally brings attention to detail, rigorous research and an interest in inclusion, the environment and animal welfare. She previously held support roles in human resources, finance and operations for organizations such as WWF, UNDP, CUSO and CARE in Southeast Asia.
She has led the research and outreach processes for clients like CBM, Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids (Indonesia); Right To Play (Thailand) and multiple searches for World Animal Protection and Greenpeace worldwide.
A national of Indonesia, Lin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, certifications in Human Resource Management, Development, and Strategy. She recently relocated to Ottawa, after living in Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Indonesia.
Mwende joined Mission Talent in 2016 and has more than ten years’ experience working in international development. She is passionate about placing local leaders in global roles, and brings a strong network of contacts in East and Southern Africa.
Mwende leads on executive searches in Africa to find national, regional and global leaders to be based in different regions of Africa. She has partnered with Greenpeace Africa, World Resources Institute, UNAIDS, Plan International, WaterAid, ActionAid International, WWF, Amnesty International and Southern Africa Trust.
Mwende lends an African perspective and understanding of African culture and norms that influence the workplace, ensuring top ‘home-grown’ leadership is placed in the global organisations we serve. She is motivated by developing and maintaining positive relations with our clients and candidates, through personalized and open communication.
She has experience working for the United Nations in Nairobi and the African Union Foundation, in various capacities including human resource and operations management, budgeting and finance, project management and development communication. She holds a Master’s Degree in New Media, Governance and Democracy from the University of Leicester in the UK.
Originally from Kenya, Mwende lives in Johannesburg.