Jury Members

The members of the jury for the 2018 edition will be disclosed in February 2018.


Jury for the 2017 Geneva Challenge




Jenö C.A. Staehelin (Chair)

Jenö Staehelin is the founder and patron of the Advancing Development Goals contests. He believes in the participation of talented young minds in framing and implementing an international development agenda. Ambassador Staehelin built an impressive carreer in the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs, having served as the former Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN in New York. He orchestrated the referendum by which the people and cantons of Switzerland approved the country's membership to the United Nations. Among other acheivements as activities, he is also a former President of the Executive Board of UNICEF and an honorary member of the International Committee of the Red Cross.



Azita Berar Awad

Azita Berar Awad is the Director of the Employment Policy Department of the ILO. One of her recent achievements include the design and launch of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth in 2016. She is currently the Chair of the Global Initiative which brings together into a unique coalition 22 UN entities, governments, private sector, social partners, academia, youth organizations and other development partners to scale up action and impact to address the global challenge of youth employment, in support of the 2030 SDG agenda. Before her current position, she was the Director of the National Policy Group in the Policy Integration Department of ILO (2002-2006). She has led numerous high level inter-disciplinary missions, is a member of several management and advisory Boards active in development and social and economic policy-making. She is the author of numerous publications in the areas of employment policy, youth employment, informal economy, poverty reduction, gender in development, social development funds and labour market integration of refugees.


Maria Luisa Silva

Maria Luisa Silva is the Director of the UNDP Office in Geneva.  She has over 25 years’ experience in UNDP and the UN system, most recently as UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Peru (2014-2015). From 2009-14 she served in UNEP as Executive Secretary for the Convention for Protection of the Marine Environment in the Mediterranean and its Commission on Sustainable Development. Prior to joining the United Nations, she was consultant on European Affairs with Deloitte at their Brussels office, and teached international law at the University of Seville (Spain). Maria Luisa Silva holds a Master’s Degree in International and Public Law from the University of Seville, and a post graduate certificate on European Integration from the College of Europe, in Bruges (Belgium).


Misan Rewane

Misan Rewane is co-founder and CEO of WAVE. Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Misan is no stranger to the challenges of education and social mobility. When her parents, unable to ignore the education system's breakdown, were compelled to send her to the U.S. for university, she resolved to help transform the region's education system. After graduating from Stanford University, she worked with The Monitor Group, TechnoServe, and the Centre for Public Policy Alternatives. As an MBA candidate at Harvard Business School, she partnered with fellow West Africans who were passionate about  tackling youth unemployment and launched WAVE in 2013.  WAVE tackles youth unemployment by identifying motivated but underserved West African youth, training them on crucial employability skills, and connecting them to entry-level job opportunities. By turning motivated young talent into reliable human capital for local businesses, WAVE inspires positive change in employer attitudes, creating a fairer and more inclusive labour market.



Florian Schatz

Florian Schatz is a development practitioner with a track record in the management, monitoring and evaluation of international development projects. He has completed assignments with multilateral (UNDP, World Bank, OECD), bilateral (GIZ, DFID, Norad, DFAT/Ausaid, GAC/CIDA), private (Itad, Palladium) and non-governmental (Transparency International, Save the Children) organisations in various countries all over the world. He is a specialist in the area of governance, in particular in supporting citizen participation and anticorruption initiatives. Florian serves currently as the technical advisor to the Director General of Madagascar’s national anticorruption office. He studied in Berlin, Paris, New York and London, and earned his Master’s degree in Development Management from the London School of Economics.