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 Swarovski is the first female member of the Executive Board of Swarovski, the world's leading crystal manufacturer, which was founded in the Austrian alps by her great-great-grandfather Daniel Swarovski in 1895. Nadja’s career at the family business started in the mid-1990s, when she began showcasing Swarovski's vast product range to the fashion, jewelry, architecture, lighting and home décor industries, encouraging designers to experiment with crystal's creative potential. Her collaborative relationships with a series of exceptional creative talents have established her as one of the 21st century's most significant patrons of design. Today she drives the brand strategy of the company, which turns over €3.5 billion a year. Since 2012, Nadja has also led Swarovski’s global sustainability efforts, embedding responsible, ethical and environmental standards into the company’s business practices. She continues to advocate for conscious luxury and strives to ensure that sustainability is built into all key business decisions to align Swarovski’s efforts with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Nadja is also Chairperson of the Swarovski Foundation, which she established in 2013 to consolidate Swarovski’s long-term commitment to charitable giving, by supporting projects that foster culture and creativity, promote human empowerment 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 in the UK with a Bachelor of Business. Her professional career began 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 of 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. Helene 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 doctorate in Law from the University of New Hampshire. Her hobbies include mountaineering and reading and she has a single engine pilot's license.
Jonathan Baillie is the Executive Vice President and Chief Scientist of the National Geographic Society. He oversees Grants, Impact Initiatives, National Geographic Labs, Explorer Programs and the International team. Baillie joined the Society in 2016 after 20 years at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), where he most recently served as Conservation Programmes Director, overseein g conservation projects focused on threatened species and their habitats in over 50 countries.As a leader in conservation science, Baillie has authored several key publications on the status and trends of the world’s species and ecosystems. He was instrumental in developing the Living Planet Index, Sampled Red List Index and Wildlife Picture Index. Early in his career, he worked with a network of 8,000 scientists to produce the first International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species using quantitative criteria to assess extinction risk.Baillie completed his undergraduate studies in geography at Queen’s University in Canada. He received a master’s degree in conservation biology from Yale University and a Ph.D. in biology from Silwood Park, Imperial College London. He has been a visiting professor of zoology at the University of Oxford since 2009.
Mimma Viglezio is a creative consultant, writer and editor; she currently advises companies, boards and CEOs on matters related to organization, strategy, product and communications. She is the Editor in Chief of SHOWstudio, Nick Knight’s digital platform. 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 eight brands. Mimma sits on several boards or advisory boards including the Financial Times Luxury Summit. She has 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
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. In 2001, Paul co-founded the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) in response to a growing recognition that facing legacies of past abuse and injustice is crucial to protecting human rights around the world.
Paul accepted a Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2009 for pioneering approach to social change through transitional justice and was chosen as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and served on its Global Agenda Council on Fragile States. He also co-founded Maiyet, a luxury fashion brand that celebrates and cultivates traditional design and culture by partnering with global artisans to incorporate exquisitely handcrafted details into the collections.
More recently, Paul Co-founded The Conduit which serves as a home for those committed to improving the world by harnessing the power of creativity and entrepreneurship. Located in a 40,000 sq. ft. building in the heart of London, The Conduit connects thinkers, leaders and innovators in social change, business and the arts to force impact for the greater good and opened in Summer 2018. Paul was also announced by London Tech Week as one of its 30 Change Makers 2018, celebrating the companies and people harnessing technology to inspire social and economic impact and drive global innovation.
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. Teri is an award-winning feature film producer whose many films have 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; the Swarovski Foundation Board of Trustees; and is a UC Regents appointee to the California State Summer School of the Arts Board of Trustees. Recent awards: the 2018 UCLA Community School Bruin Partnership Award for Service and Dedication; 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 was honored as Variety’s 2012 Media Mentor of the Year.