Max Jungmann

Founder & CEO

Max is a PhD candidate and lecturer at the Chair of International Relations and Foreign Policy at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. In his doctoral thesis, he analyses the effects of climate change on public health and compares states’ adaptation actions to such risks. In addition to his research, he works at a regional broadcasting station as a freelance journalist. Moreover, he works for the Heidelberg Center for the Environment as a strategic consultant and as the head of the public relations department. Through his past consulting services for governments and especially his volunteer career at National Model United Nations • New York, where he currently serves as Under-Secretary-General for the General Assembly Department, he has gained a thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities of sustainable development. After years of research and continuing dialogue with experts in the field of social entrepreneurship and sustainable development, he is looking forward to passing on his knowledge and experience to current and future generations of global leaders, thereby enabling positive change towards sustainable development.

Martina Vetrovcova

Founder & President

Martina is a PhD candidate at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Originally a Czech citizen, she has been living in Germany since 2013. After completing her bachelor’s degree in international studies and diplomacy at the University of Economics in Prague in 2013 (summa cum laude), she moved to Germany to pursue her master’s degree in political science and sociology at the University of Heidelberg, which she completed with distinction in February 2016. Since summer 2016, she has been working on her doctoral thesis, in which she focuses on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and their understanding of solidarity, especially with regard to migration, climate, and further enlargement of the European Union. Her other areas of research include human rights, sustainable development, and environmental migration, with a particular focus on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and China and its Belt and Road Initiative, as well as diverse foreign and security policy issues. Since 2015, she has been working as a research assistant, office manager, and project coordinator at the chair of Professor Dr. Sebastian Harnisch at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Heidelberg. She has also worked as a research assistant at the Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE), interned at the German Bundestag, and collected vast marketing experience in her previous jobs. For many years, Martina has been an enthusiastic Model United Nations participant and staffer. She has been volunteering at the National Model United Nations • New York for several years and currently serves as the Under-Secretary-General for the Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs Department. Martina loves working in an intercultural environment and is passionate about helping the less privileged.

Michael Valdivieso

Founder & Vice President

Michael Valdivieso obtained a BA in international relations and political science (magna cum laude) with a minor in philosophy and political science at Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. He participated in the National Model United Nations • New York in 2013 and 2014, representing France and Brazil respectively, and he has served as a staff member since 2015. Michael previously served as an intern at UNHCR-Ecuador, where he had the opportunity to learn about migration, human mobility, asylum, human rights, and cooperation. Michael founded an international relations student association at his university in 2014, called Student Committee for International Affairs, where he served as president. He was the editor in chief of “A Different View”, an academic blog published by IAPSS, ending his 18-month mandate in September 2016. Additionally, as of December 2015, he serves as youth representative at a political think tank organised by Participación Ciudadana, one of the largest NGOs in Ecuador. Currently, he is working towards his master’s degree in conflict studies at the London School of Economics. Michael’s main research interests are international conflict, migration, human rights, global and domestic security, political philosophy, and human development.

Jakob Landwehr

Director of Operations and Customer Relations

Since November 2016, Jakob has worked as a research associate at the Professorship of International Relations at Chemnitz University of Technology in Germany and a lecturer for BA and MA students. He holds a BA in European studies and an MA in international conflict analysis, and he is currently pursuing his PhD. His doctoral thesis addresses the success of humanitarian military interventions and combines qualitative and quantitative methods. In addition, his research includes conflict prevention, analysis, and resolution; negotiation and mediation theory; the United Nations; and regional actors. Beyond academia, Jakob has gained work experience at the KfW Development Bank, the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, and the European Union Delegation to the United Nations in New York, and he combines both academic and practical perspectives in his fields of interest. Jakob has worked in Cambodia, the United Kingdom, the USA, and Germany.

Andrea Wong

Director of Programmes

Andrea graduated summa cum laude from the University of Ottawa with a BA (Honours) in English and political science. She subsequently obtained a JD concurrently with an MA in English from the University of Toronto, and she was called to the bar in Ontario, Canada, in 2014. Having worked as a lawyer specialising in civil litigation, Andrea is skilled in advocacy, negotiation, and dispute resolution. She has broad legal experience in diverse areas including human rights, labour and employment, and general corporate and commercial matters. From 2009 to 2018, Andrea served on staff at National Model United Nations, where she gained extensive research, writing, and teaching experience in topics related to sustainable development and human rights in an international context.

Christopher McKenna

Director of Finance and Strategic Development

Christopher McKenna is currently an MD candidate at the University of Queensland. He previously obtained a BA in international studies with minors in political science and anthropology from Ramapo College of New Jersey, as well as a Master of Public Health (MPH) in international health from Boston University School of Public Health. Prior to starting medical school, he worked as a paramedic in a variety of systems in the New York City Metro Area. Christopher has experience with emergency management, public health, and humanitarian response in a variety of locations including Sierra Leone, Somaliland, and the Philippines. He was a member of the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WHO-WPRO) Emergency and Humanitarian Action department prior to and during Typhoon Haiyan. He has also been a staff member with National Model United Nations since 2012, including conferences in New York, Washington, DC, and Banff, Alberta.

Natalie Keller

Director of Business Development

Natalie studied at the University of Bonn, Germany, and is currently attending the University of Vienna, Austria, for her law degree. During her studies, she has specialised in international legal practice and language, as well as international private law with a focus on business law, including corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property law, and antitrust law. She was a staff member with National Model United Nations • New York for four years and has also attended and staffed several German Model United Nations conferences.

Sebastian Woller

Director of Solutions for Business and the Public Sector

Sebastian is currently pursuing a BSc in international management at the International School of Management in Hamburg, Germany. Sebastian’s professional experience includes consulting for multinational and international organisations. His work experience has given him insight into fields as diverse as climate change, agriculture, politics, sustainability, and banking and finance; for example, he previously interned at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, where he analysed EU budgetary issues and investments. From 7-8 July 2017, he served as a Hamburg ambassador at the G20 Summit in Hamburg. During the 2017 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, he was a liaison officer for several delegations. Sebastian also attended the 2017 National Model United Nations conference in New York, where he had the chance to learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals and to meet Max Jungmann. Over the course of his studies, Sebastian has gained valuable international experience through an exchange programme in France, a scholarship programme in Brazil, and an internship at a political think tank in Jerusalem.

Mia Saint Clair

Director of Information Technology

Mia is pursuing a BA in computer science with a focus on technology and politics at Columbia University in New York City. Professionally, she currently contributes to the spread of education through a non-profit organisation that teaches young girls about STEM career paths, as well as through an IGO that teaches youth about the SDGs and promotes sustainable development through sport. She has been an active participant in National Model United Nations since 2015.

Max Lacey

Director of Marketing

Max obtained a bachelor’s degree in politics and international relations from Royal Holloway, University of London. He subsequently worked for over three years as the international marketing manager across North and South America for the University of London, with responsibility for the creation and implementation of numerous international marketing campaigns. Max is currently undertaking a number of freelance projects based on marketing and writing. In addition to his professional background, Max has also served on staff at National Model United Nations • New York for the previous four years.

Ben Wrigley

Director of Participant Management

Ben Wrigley completed his bachelor’s degrees at the University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom, and the University of Siegen, Germany. Due to the binational course of study, he was granted a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from each institution. Most of his studies at Siegen were conducted in German, and there he chose to specialise in energy and environmental science. He is now beginning his master’s degree in economic policy. He has served as a staff member at National Model United Nations • New York since 2016.

César Dro

Director of European Affairs

César Dro is at heart a biologist, passionate about the environment and the place of humans in nature. He initially earned a master’s degree in bionics and biomimetics, focussing on environmental modelling and planning in his master’s thesis, and developing tools and methods for technological integration of natural solutions. As he saw that sustainability would also require political and social will, he also earned a master’s degree in European interdisciplinary studies from the College of Europe, expanding his knowledge of the European Union’s functions and dynamics while remaining focussed on development and environmental peacebuilding. Experienced in advocacy and negotiations, César is enthusiastic to engage society at all levels towards sustainability, placing an emphasis on polyvalence in designing and implementing technical or political strategies with every stakeholder.

Angelina Pienczykowski

Director of Private Sector Relations

Prior to joining the Tinker Foundation as Grants Manager, Angelina worked at Unbound Philanthropy in Grants Management and has also worked in a variety of roles in Office Operations, Communications and Evaluation. She was also a Policy and Research Fellow at the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security. Angelina volunteers her time with National Model United Nations, which holds one of the largest conferences with University students from over 130 countries. Angelina received a Master in International Relations and European Studies from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and a Bachelor in International Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY.

Marleen Schreier

Director of Solutions for Education

Marleen Schreier believes in the transformative power of knowledge empowering communities to shape societies for a better future. She has focused on education and training for Sustainable Development for the past four years and is particularly interested in the nexus of sustainable development and human rights/humanitarian policies. Prior to joining Momentum Novum, Marleen worked at the Tent Partnership for Refugees conducting research to engage the private sector in refugee integration efforts, as consultant for Transparency International on their ‘Land and Corruption in Africa’ program examining the effectiveness of ICTs to address land corruption in Uganda, and at the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC). As Research Fellow at UNSSC (2015-2016) she focused on the sustainable development portfolio, supported the launch of the Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development in Bonn, Germany, and from 2016 to 2018 engaged as online facilitator for the “Foundational Course on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” As research assistant she contributed to the 2017 Situation Report on International Migration published by UNESCWA and a Training Manual for UN Country Teams on Mainstreaming Migration in their UNDAF. She was also a research assistant at the Customised Education & Executive Programme Development Unit of the Hertie School of Governance where she focused on online and blended learning tools. Marleen is a long-term volunteer and Under-Secretary General for Development at NMUN NY. Marleen holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, New York, and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin.

Division for Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans

Mile Misic

Division for Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans

Mile is a 21st-century nomad and a wisdom-seeker. Other than that, he is also a PhD student at the Institute for Political Science at the University of Heidelberg. He has obtained a BA in international relations from the University of Belgrade in Serbia, as well as an MSc joint degree in environmental science, management and policy (MESPOM) from the University of Manchester, Lund University, and Central European University (CEU). His main academic research focuses on energy transitions and governance, but he is also inquisitive about sustainability transition paths for businesses. During his master’s studies, he was involved in a research project for Siemens on the implementation of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive in the Member States of the European Union. He also did an internship at HEXPOL, a Swedish manufacturing company, where he was working on the implementation and monitoring of ISO50001 energy management standard. He is an alumnus of United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s Summer Academy on Green Industry.

Andre Martirosyan

Division for Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans

Andre Martirosyan obtained his undergraduate degree at University College London in politics, sociology and East European studies. In 2017, he worked at Demos, a London-based think tank, assisting with research as a language expert. Previously, he has also worked at the European Parliament for Czech MEP, Jaromir Stetina, who was primarily focused on European security and human rights in the post-Soviet space. Moreover, he has served as an intern for the Czech political party TOP 09, during which he spent one month in the Czech Parliament in Prague assisting the MPs and the party’s campaign manager. In summer 2015, he worked at the Armenian embassy in Prague, Czech Republic, where he gained valuable insight into the work of a diplomat from a post-Soviet country involved in the frozen conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in conflict studies at London School of Economics. His main research interests revolve around resource-based wars and the role of the environment in various conflicts.

Division for East Asia

Luxin Liu

Division for East Asia

Luxin is a PhD candidate at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. She obtained a BA in diplomacy from Renmin University of China and an MA in political science from the University of Heidelberg. During her master’s studies, Luxin earned consulting experience in politics and the public sector through her internships at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin and at Kienbaum Consultants International GmbH in Hamburg. She also served as the Head of the Working Group “Asia and Oceania” at the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research from 2014 to 2016. Besides her PhD research focus on the Sino-US economic relations, she is very interested in environmental and energy policy. Her master’s thesis was dedicated to the study of the environmental and social impacts of China’s foreign direct investments in Myanmar. In the summer of 2017, she joined a student trip founded by the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation to conduct field research on the effects of climate change in South Asia and China’s energy policy.

Andreas Lehrfeld

Division for East Asia

Andreas Lehrfeld is a PhD candidate in Chinese regional studies at the University of Cologne and Westerwelle scholarship holder for the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. He obtained his Master degree in Sinology, Political Science and Public Law at Trier University. Prior to his PhD studies, Andreas gained working experience in the German Bundestag and at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) in Berlin, an independent think tank on contemporary China. Furthermore, he was working in the field of project management in the international affairs department of Stiftung Mercator, a private non-profit foundation located in Essen, Germany. In 2013 he participated in the National Model United Nations conference in New York which led to his passion for global governance issues as well as for intercultural understanding. His main research focus involves Chinese foreign policy and current developments in international law, especially matters concerning the use of force by States.

Division for Central and Southern Asia

Wahid Watanyar

Division for Central and Southern Asia

Wahid Watanyar is a PhD Candidate at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Heidelberg. His main research interests include conflict research, structural analysis of politics, comparative politics, rebel groups and democratization, and South Asian politics. In his doctoral research, he examines the development of political parties in Afghanistan and explores the factors impacting the development of parties’ organization, formation, and disappearance. His doctoral work is sponsored by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

Division for Western Africa

Mariam Bojang

Division for Western Africa

Mariam graduated from the University of Texas at Tyler and holds a BA and an MA in political science and government with a minor in international relations. Originally from The Gambia, West Africa, Mariam currently works for the Seattle Downtown Emergency Service Center, and she is a survivor representative for the Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. foundation. She also gained work experience as the Global Head of Programs for the Youth for Sustainable Development Foundation; interning for the World Affairs Council of Dallas, Texas; and volunteering at pro bono immigration law offices around the greater Dallas area. Mariam dedicates her time to raising awareness on the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM), and through her many years of experience in youth group activities, Mariam has cultivated her passion for advocating for female education and the rights of women. Mariam has appeared in The New York Times, Dallas’s D-Magazine, Fox 4 News on WFAA, KERA radio, and Al Jazeera USA’s Inside Story, among many others. Mariam is also a researcher, community mobiliser, and mentor.

Division for Central Africa

Salima Mahamoudou

Division for Central Africa

Originally from Niger, Salima Mahamoudou is a forester. She works as a Research Analyst at the World Resources Institute in Washington DC and leads their efforts in land restoration in francophone Africa and conducts forest monitoring in the Congo Basin countries. Her work and expertise are centered on national strategy development as well as land management and monitoring in arid /tropical forests. Salima graduated with a master’s degree in Climate Change and Development from the University of London, SOAS and received a B.S in Natural Resources Management from Green Mountain College.

Division for the Americas

Dieyun Song

Division for the Americas

Dieyun Song is currently completing her PhD in history at the University of Miami, Florida. Her primary research interests include modern Latin America, political economy, and non-state actors in diplomacy. Dieyun’s research has received generous support from the Institute for Advanced Studies of Americas and the University of Miami History Department. Prior to her doctoral career, Dieyun obtained her MA in history, BA in economic crime prevention and investigations, and BA in management at the University of Lynchburg, Virginia. Beyond her academic achievements, Dieyun also has extensive experience working with international non-profit organisations, including China Development Brief, Bridging Education and Mobility, Habitat for Humanity, and Thomas Jefferson’s Popular Forest. As a strong believer in civic engagement and advocacy, Dieyun donated over 1,200 service hours during her tenure in the AmeriCorps Bonner Leader programme, and she has served as a member of the National Model United Nations (NMUN) volunteer staff in New York City, Washington, D.C., and China for the past five years. She currently serves as an Under-Secretary-General for the NMUN•NY 2019 conference. Originally from Beijing, China, and having lived in the U.S. for the past seven years, Dieyun is excited to bring her dynamic perspectives and experience to the Momentum Novum team.

Jasym Mireles Venegas

Division for the Americas

Jasym Mireles Venegas was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and moved to the United States at the age of 6. Upon finishing his secondary studies, Jasym attended Lone Star Community College, where he served as the President for the Honors College Student Organization, treasurer of Rotaract, student ambassador for the Center for Civic Engagement, and appointed advisor to the Honors Advisory Board. After completing 2 years at Lone Star, Jasym transferred to the University of Texas at Austin, where he is currently majoring in Finance with an emphasis on International Relations. Over the past three years, Jasym has written over 10 academic research papers, some of which have been presented at regional and national conferences. In January of 2018, Jasym’s research on civil rights leadership was published in the Writing Across the Curriculum scholarly maganize. Aside from his studies, Jasym functions as the co-chair for Campus Vote Project, a national voting rights non-profit focused on increasing civic engagement across college campuses in the United States. Jasym also serves as Director for the 2019 NMUN • NY conference. As a student leader and advocate for humanitarian causes, Jasym looks forward to collaborating with the Momentum Novum team to find sustainable solutions to the world’s problems.