Governance

Board of Directors

The DAFNE Board of Directors is responsible for making policy and activity proposals to the membership, setting the agenda for the ongoing year and overseeing the implementation of a work programme, overseeing and monitoring the DAFNE budget as well as supervising the Executive Director.  

From left to right: Carola Carazzone, Felix Oldenburg, Beate Eckhardt, Magdalena Pekacka 

Felix Oldenburg is Director General of the Association of German Foundations. He studied philosophy, politics and music at the universities of Bonn, Tübingen and Oxford and holds a postgraduate degree in Policy and Non-Profit-management from Georgetown University. From 2000 to 2002 he worked at McKinsey & Company in London as strategy consultant. Felix Oldenburg was Managing Director of Ashoka Europe for seven years before joining the Association of German Foundations in April 2016. He currently serves on the Board of KfW capital and is a trustee of Alliance Publishing.

Magdalena Pekacka has been Executive Director of Polish Donors Forum since 2006, the country’s only platform for emerging private donors. She holds a Master of Sociology in NGO Management from the Institute of Applied Social Science at Warsaw University. In 2018 she was a Senior Fellow with the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at the City University of New York. Her main areas of expertise are foundation management, data and research as well as legal and fiscal environment. She initiated and ran several programmes aimed to increase organisational philanthropy in Poland and contributed to the development of a more favourable legal environment for the operation of NGOs.  

Beate Eckhardt has been heading SwissFoundations as Managing Director since 2005. SwissFoundations is one of the founding members of DAFNE. Beate Eckhardt studied German linguistics and literature as well as social and economic history at Zurich University. She acquired an Executive Master of Science in Communications Management from the University of Lugano and UCLA. Prior to assuming the management of SwissFoundations, she worked as a freelance communication and project manager, specialising in the fields of education, culture and architecture as well as urban development. In her honorary capacity she serves as Board Member of Swiss public-benefit Association (SGG), of the Neumarkt Theatre in Zurich as well as Member of the Zurich Philanthropy Roundtable. 

Carola Carazzone is Secretary General of Assifero, the Italian national membership association of grant-making foundations, since 2014. She moved to the philanthropy sector after fifteen-year professional experience in 18 countries, working with civil society for the promotion and protection of human rights, at both national and international level. She is an Italian lawyer specialised in human rights at the René Cassin International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg. She serves as Advisory Board Member of Ariadne, the European network of funders for social change and human rights, as Member of the Experts’ Reflection Group of ECFI, European Community Foundations Initiative, and as Member of the Alliance Magazine Editorial Board.

DAFNE team

Max von Abendroth, Executive Director

Max von Abendroth joined DAFNE as Executive Director in 2017. Before he has set up and ran the European Magazine Media Association, EMMA, representing 15.000 press publishers vis-à-vis the EU institutions. He is also the founder of the Future Media Lab. and sits on the Board of FondationEuractiv #Media4EU. He studied Economics and Business Administration at the Witten/Herdecke University in Germany. Twitter: @bxlmax.

Hanna Hanses, Legal Trainee

Hanna Hanses joined DAFNE as a Legal Trainee in September 2019. She recently graduated in International Human Rights Law at the University of Essex, focusing her thesis on climate-induced displacement. In 2018, she received her LLB Bachelor in Law from Ghent University. Hanna brings with her a multi-cultural experience, having lived in inter alia the Democratic Republic of Congo, Switzerland, and Belgium.

Anne Loewenstein, Office Manager

Anne Loewenstein joined the team as Office Manager soon after DAFNE started to operate as an independent organisation in 2019. Before joining DAFNE, she was working for NEF, Network of European Foundations in Brussels. Prior to that, she held roles in Purchasing or Logistics in a variety of private companies as well as for the United Nations in Copenhagen. Over the last ten years, she has managed the offices of several small entities. She studied Marketing in Belgium.

Dr. James Magowan, Co-ordinating Director

Dr. James Magowan is Co-ordinating Director at DAFNE. James has been working par-time with DAFNE since 2015.  He has over 20 years ofexperience in the field of philanthropy, working with the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and the Association of Charitable Foundations in the UK. James is also Director at the European Community Foundations Initiative.

Dr. Hanna Stähle, Project and Communications Manager

Dr. Hanna Stähle is Project and Communications Manager at DAFNE. From 2012 to 2015, she worked with the Robert Bosch Stiftung where she was responsible for media and journalism programmes. She received a PhD in Slavic Cultural Studies (summa cum laude) from the University of Passau in 2018. During her PhD studies she was a Research Fellow at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and gathered professional experience at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – Carnegie Center Moscow. In June 2018, she was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Aleksanteri Institute at the University of Helsinki. Twitter: @hanna_staehle.