Seeking Leaders for Global Change

About Mission Talent.

It’s pretty simple. We are here to help you find great people.

Our clients are global non-profits, foundations, social businesses, campaigns and humanitarian and development organizations. Since Mission Talent was founded in 2007, we have led executive searches in over 61 countries.

We conduct fresh research and analysis for each of our searches and actively approach potential candidates. We manage a smooth and efficient recruitment process, adding capacity and technical expertise to your team. We support you until a hire is made—no matter how long it takes.

We understand that each organization has its own unique culture and faces different challenges. For organizations to succeed they require leaders who can set bold visions, as well as help their staff grow and develop.

The world is changing quickly: environmentally, economically, politically. Funding is becoming tighter, new forms of activism are emerging and organizations are transforming. We find leaders who can adapt and thrive in this environment.

Our consultants bring experience from both the non-profit and private sectors and specialize in international development. We are used to working across cultures and borders, and we have a track record of placing candidates from the global South and emerging economies. Our team is based in South Africa, the UK, France, Germany and Vietnam. With seven nationalities spanning three continents, most of our consultants lives and works outside of their home country. This gives us personal and everyday insights into the benefits—and the occasional difficulties—of life in another culture.


Meet our team.

Our team is based in South Africa, France, Vietnam and Germany. Our consultants have first-hand knowledge of global development and have held senior positions in Africa and Asia, Europe and North America. The combination of our diverse skills helps us to find the right candidate for you.

Katja Schramm

Director & Owner

Under Katja’s leadership Mission Talent has filled key leadership positions in international development for organisations in more than 55 countries across Africa, Europe, North America and Asia.
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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 (LSE). 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 Berlin and Cape Town and in her free time enjoys exploring local architecture and sustainable design culture.

Emily Davila

Head of Research

Emily oversees research strategy at Mission Talent and specializes in landscape analysis for executive positions. She is interested in new models of social mobilization and has led many searches for campaign leaders.
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She began her career as a youth activist and worked in the advocacy office of an NGO at the United Nations in New York. She has also consulted for a number of NGOs and the United Nations on advocacy and communications. Emily joined Mission Talent in 2009 and she is proud to have been part of the company’s growth and global expansion.

Emily is a native of the USA and holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Communications from Columbia University.

Spencer Hamilton

Principal Consultant

Spencer has more than 15 years of international experience as a senior executive in the ICT, energy and legal sectors. He specialises in leadership searches at global, regional and national level, especially in Francophone Africa.
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Brought up in East Africa, Spencer is a change specialist who has inspired and managed transformation for a global multinational where he reported to the board; negotiated contracts for infrastructure projects at a leading London law firm, and also spent a number of years managing projects and teams in some of the world's most inhospitable environments.

An engineer by training, Spencer also holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management.

A UK national based in France, Spencer is fluent in French and English and is a visiting professor at a leading French business school.

Lin Ratriningsih

Principal Consultant

Lin specializes in senior level searches based in South East Asia, a region where she has worked in the non-profit and international development sector for almost 20 years.
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Lin joined Mission Talent in October 2012, and she previously held support roles in human resources, finance and operations for organizations such as WWF, UNDP and CARE in South-East Asia. Lin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Jakarta University in addition to certificates in human resources management and strategy.

Lin is based out of Hanoi with frequent travel to Indonesia and Canada.

Lara Schadt

Principal Consultant

After completing her Master’s degree and working in financial recruitment in London, Lara moved to Berlin to work with the International Civil Society Centre and Action Against Hunger before joining Mission Talent in 2015.
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After a year based in North Lebanon, she now lives in Berlin and specialises in searches in Germany and the Middle-East and North African regions. Lara is fluent in German and English, and she also speaks conversational French and Levantine Arabic.

Lara holds a Master’s degree in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

Mwende Njuguna


Mwende has more than ten years’ experience in the development sector in East and Southern Africa, and previously worked for the United Nations in Nairobi and the African Union Foundation.
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Her background is in human resource and operations management, along with budgeting and finance, project management and development communication. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication and is working towards a Master’s qualification in New Media, Governance and Democracy with the University of Leicester in the UK.

Originally from Kenya, Mwende lives in Johannesburg with her husband and son, and spends her free time chasing the sun and collecting African beaded jewellery.

Janien du Plessis

Project Management

Having joined Mission Talent as an Administrative Assistant in July 2017, Janien has become an integral part of the Mission Talent team. She manages organisational tasks, assists with daily operations and provides research support.
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Originally from Cape Town, Janien is now based in Munich where she is working towards a Master of Science in Land Management and Land Tenure at the Technical University of Munich. She is also currently pursuing a PhD in Development Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Janien holds a Bachelor of Arts in Value and Policy Study and a Master of Arts in International Studies from Stellenbosch University. She is fluent in English and Afrikaans and is learning German.

Anabella Botbol

Associate Consultant: Research

Anabella supports our research and outreach for searches in Latin America. Trained as a social psychologist, Anabella has over ten years of experience in social development, diversity and inclusion.
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Anabella has previously managed programs for collective action and community empowerment in Latin America, and recently advised an organization working with Syrian refugees on how to design spaces that promote childhood development.

She holds a M.A. in Intercultural Management, focusing on organizational development in cross-cultural contexts. Originally from Venezuela, she is fluent in Spanish and English.

Gülsüm Abdo

Associate Consultant: Research

Gülsüm supports our team in searches in the DACH and MENA regions.She holds a master's degree in Asian Studies with a focus on Arabic Language and Translation. Parallel to her studies, she was as a graduate assistant at the Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg at the University of Bonn.
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Gülsüm has also worked as a radio assistant at WDR Funkhaus Europa and as an authorized translator for Arabic and Turkish as well as a German teacher and project consultant in a refugee project at a women's education centre in Cologne. She undertook a tour through Africa and Asia and lived in Istanbul for a short time.

Gülsüm speaks German and Turkish fluently, along with good English and Arabic.

Nihal Zaghloul

Associate Consultant: Research

Nihal supports our research and outreach for searches with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Engineering with a focus on Lean Management.
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Parallel to her studies, Nihal worked as a research assistant for DOX BOX e.V., where she researched Arab documentary films for their project Data is Beautiful. Nihal also worked with the International Civil Society Centre in Berlin where she organised their annual conference Global Perspectives 2018 which focused on engaging a new generation.

She is also the co-founder and previous development manager for Imprint Foundation in Cairo, which focused on creating awareness campaigns and educational material against gender-based violence in public spaces.

Nihal speaks fluent English and Arabic.

Behind the scenes.


Gary S. Chapman

Gary S. Chapman is a photographer for NGOs, non-profits and corporations that wish to capture moments that express their vision as well as help build a community of supporters and donors. He has worked in 65 countries and stands by his core values of dignity of the individual, truth in representation and hope in potential for change.

Website and Video

Studio Alpenglühen


Studio Alpenglühen was founded in 2014 in Berlin. We're three communication experts who present brands and products in the perfect light.

Christian Ridder


Christian Ridder is a business illustrator based in Berlin. At conferences and workshops, his "graphic recordings" help to summarize presentations, to stimulate discussions and to explore new perspectives and strategies.

Philipp Zedler

Maintenance and Web Programming

Philipp is a freelance web developer based in Bruneck, Italy. He prefers work that is not only interesting from a technical point of view, but also helps to spread interesting and relevant content. He is maintaining this site since 2013.