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 organisations. When Mission Talent was founded in 2009, we set our sights directly on placing leaders in and from the global South and, later, the East. In a couple of years, we became one of the best executive recruitment agencies for international development organisations in Africa, and we now regularly conduct high-level searches in Europe, the United States, Latin America and across the Asia Pacific region. To date, we have placed leaders across 69 countries worldwide.

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 organisation has its own unique culture and faces different challenges. For organisations 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 organisations 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 specialise in international development. We are used to working across cultures and borders. Our global team comprises of native speakers of English, Spanish, Swahili, Bahasa Indonesia, and German with consultants stemming from the USA, South Africa, Kenya, Venezuela, Germany, Indonesia, and Macedonia. Registered in South Africa and Germany, we are also based in the USA, Canada, and Portugal. Nearly all of our consultants live and work 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, the USA, Cambodia 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.

Lin Ratriningsih

Senior 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 in Phnom Penh 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

Senior Consultant

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 and daily operations and provides research support.
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Originally from Cape Town, Janien is now based in Munich. Janien holds a Bachelor of Arts in Value and Policy Study and a Master of Arts in International Studies from Stellenbosch University, as well as a Master's in Land Management and Land Tenure from the Technical University of Munich.

She is fluent in English and Afrikaans and is learning German.

Anabella Botbol

Principal Consultant

Anabella leads our research and outreach for senior-level searches and specialises in searches based 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.

Bekiwe Zabane


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, consulting and doing programme management.
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Bekiwe has worked in higher education in the USA, supporting the public relations function of the office of the Vice-Chancellor at a major university. She has also managed a leadership development programme within a private business school in South Africa and worked with refugees in Zambia.

She thrives on research—digging deep and finding things; which is why she loves talking with people and discovering who they are, what they are passionate about and where their gifts lie. Being able to place someone where they will be at their best is what motivates her daily—that and discovering more about her bustling five-year-old.

Bekiwe holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with a focus on International Trade and Development.

Laura Silva


Laura joined Mission Talent in 2020 and supports executive searches across a range of clients, with a special focus on Latin America. For the past twelve years, she has been working in change management, corporate communications and business development for consumer goods enterprises.
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Laura has worked in social innovation and recently participated in a mentoring program to promote social inclusion of 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. Originally from Venezuela, she is based in Madrid, Spain and is fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Huria Ogbamichael


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.
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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.

Aleksandra Fernandes da Costa


Aleksandra joined Mission Talent in 2020 and supports searches in the DACH region. 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.
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Aleksandra 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), effectively collaborating with a variety of public and private stakeholders, such as NGOs, foundations and government agencies, investors, banks, multinationals and small and medium-sized enterprises.

She is a native German/Macedonian speaker, fluent in English, with very good knowledge of Serbo-Croatian and Portuguese.

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.