Chaired by Nadja Swarovski, all Trustees are international experts from key fields including human rights, economics, and law. They are tasked with ensuring that the mission of the Foundation is accomplished through the support of initiatives and partnerships within the three areas. After a process of screening of research and due diligence, all Trustees approve every single project the Foundation is involved with.
Nadja is a member of the Executive Board at the world's leading crystal manufacturer, which was founded by her great-great-grandfather Daniel Swarovski in 1895 in Austria. Her career at the family business started in the mid-1990s, when she began showcasing Swarovski's vast product range to the fashion, jewellery, architecture, lighting and home décor industries, encouraging designers to experiment with crystal's creative potential. This laid the foundations for a series of collaborative relationships with exceptional design talents which have established her as one of the 21st century's most significant patrons of design. Nadja is Chairperson of Swarovski Entertainment, whose first feature film was Romeo & Juliet. Nadja has overseen Swarovski's Global Corporate Responsibility efforts since 2012. Consolidating Swarovski's long-term commitment to charitable giving, she established the Swarovski Foundation to support projects which foster creativity and culture, meet social needs and promote wellbeing, and conserve natural resources
Marisa Schiestl-Swarovski is a fifth generation member of the Swarovski Family. She studied international business in Vienna and New York, and graduated from Durham University (UK) with a Bachelor of Business. Her professional career started as an events and marketing manager in Austria, organizing large cultural events for the office of the mayor of Vienna. Marisa completed her education with a master’s degree from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna with a focus on exhibition and cultural communication management. During her master’s degree, Marisa realized several projects for cultural institutions across Austria. In 2010, Marisa founded the Swarovski Family Council, which aims to foster bonds between the widespread members of the Swarovski family, to improve the understanding of the family business among shareholders, and to prepare successive generations for their role as owners.Today Marisa lives with her family in Zug, Switzerland and continues to be involved in several areas of the family business.
HELENE VON DAMM
Ambassador Helene von Damm grew up in a small town in Austria and immigrated to the United States as a young woman. After becoming a US citizen, she became interested in politics and began working at the American Medical Political Action Committee. There she met Ronald Reagan who had just announced his candidacy for Governor of California. Being inspired by his vision for America, she joined his campaign and stayed at his side in a variety positions during his entire political career. They included Personal Secretary, Northeast Regional Finance Director during the 1976 Presidential campaign and, as the first woman, Assistant to the President for Personnel in the White House. She ended her political career with her appointment as US Ambassador to Austria in 1983 before becoming an international business consultant. Helen von Damm attended Northwestern University in Chicago and the University of California in Los Angeles. She has participated in the prestigious Business Executive Seminar of the Aspen Institute in Colorado, and has an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Law from the University of New Hampshire.
As ZSL’s Conservation Programmes Director, Jonathan is responsible for conservation projects focusing on threatened species and their habitats in more than 50 countries. Jonathan’s research focus lies in defining the status and trends of the world’s species and ecosystems, and in 2007 he co-founded ZSL’s EDGE of Existence program which supports young conservation scientists all over the world to manage and protect species and ecosystems that are evolutionary distinct. Jonathan also initiated Instant Wild and Instant Detect, new technology that is revolutionizing biodiversity monitoring, surveillance and the way the public engages with nature. He has also played a leading role in a number of influential documents on the status of the world’s species; is an adviser to a number of funding bodies; and has initiated a series of online courses in conservation leadership. In 2013 he played a major role in the launch of United for Wildlife, a collaboration comprising seven international conservation organisations convened by HRH The Duke of Cambridge. This collaboration is driving the first coordinated global response of the major conservation organizations to the escalating threat of illegal wildlife trade.
Mimma Viglezio is a creative consultant, writer and editor; she currently advises companies, boards and CEOs on matters related to organisation, strategy, product and communications; and has been Editor in Chief of LULA Magazine since June 2015. Born and raised in Lugano, Switzerland, she started her career in marketing advising clients such as Bulgari and Celine. Mimma then went from overseeing global communications for Bulgari to taking over the role of worldwide communications director at Louis Vuitton, and from June 2005 was executive vice president of global communications for Gucci Group, controlling and coordinating the activity of 8 brands. Mimma Viglezio sits on several boards or advisory boards including the Financial Times Luxury Summit. She has recently worked for Mario Testino, ID Magazine, Nadja Swarovski, Canali SpA, and the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (RSI), as well as being a panelist and writing for several publications. She is an adviser of The Fund For Global Human Rights and a Member of the Leadership Committee of Women for Women International.
PAUL VAN ZYL
Paul van Zyl is the Co-Founder & CEO of Maiyet. Prior to founding Maiyet, Paul was known for pioneering new approaches to human rights protection; he has advised countries around the world on how to facilitate transitions to peace and democracy following periods of mass atrocity and human rights abuse.
From 1995-1998, Paul, a South African, served as the Executive Secretary of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was charged with investigating Apartheid-era crimes. He helped to establish the commission, develop its structure and modus operandi, and manage its operations. Paul co-founded the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) in 2001 in response to a growing recognition that facing legacies of past abuse and injustice is crucial to protecting human rights around the world.
Paul has been recognized for his work protecting human rights and promoting peace. He accepted a Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2009 with Juan Méndez, the former ICTJ President, for their pioneering approach to social change through transitional justice. In tandem with his other work, Paul serves as Director of New York University School of Law's Transitional Justice Program, and teaches law both in New York and Singapore. He obtained a BA and an LLB from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and an LLM in International Law from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. Following these studies, he was accepted into the prestigious Hauser Global Scholars Program at New York University School of Law, where he completed a LLM in Corporate Law.
Teri Schwartz is the Dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT) where she has launched a new vision and long range plan that re-imagines entertainment and performing arts education as an interdisciplinary enterprise grounded in humanistic storytelling, social impact, technology and innovation, and global diversity. Prior to becoming UCLA TFT’s new dean, she successfully served as the founding dean of the Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television. Schwartz is an award winning feature film producer whose many films garnered nominations for Academy, Emmy, Golden Globe, Grammy and MTV awards. She is a member of the Producers Guild of America; Directors Guild of America; Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and serves on the Television Academy’s Foundation Board of Directors; the Geffen Playhouse Board of Directors; Women’s Media Center Board of Directors; Savannah Film Festival Advisory Board; Los Angeles Stage Alliance Board of Governors; and the Governing Council of the Los Angeles-India Film Council. Recently, Schwartz received the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award for Feature Film Producing from CAY/FILM; the 2013 American Spirit Award from the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors for her Special Achievement in Educating New Filmmakers; and in 2012, she was honored as Variety’s 2012 Media Mentor of the Year.