Project Office in Bonn
Sönke Kreft

Soenke Kreft leads the work of the MCII hosted at UNU-EHS. His mission is to increase the reach of (financial) protection instruments towards climate affected communities.
He oversees activities of the organization in areas of policy and public sector strategy, risk analytics and climate risk insurance implementation. Soenke has a background in public sector policy, climate policy and global change management, and extensive experience with influencing global policy regimes and global norm setting. He has field experience in creating and strengthening risk sharing and management in more than 20 countries.

Soenke is co-chairing the Impact Working Group of the InsuResilience Global Partnership, and he is also an appointed expert to the UN convened Expert Group on Comprehensive Risk Management. He is teaching in the international MSc Programme “Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security” on topics related insurance related approaches to manage increasing climate related disaster exposures.

See Sönke's profile on the UNU-EHS WEBSITE.

Teresa Arce Mojica

Teresa Arce Mojica works as Project Associate at MCII, supporting Climate Risk Analytics efforts in proposal writing as well as coordinating the GIS analysis and mapping activities in proposal writing and ongoing projects. Additionally, Teresa will be assisting in establishing a network of relevant stakeholders from the private and public sectors in Latin America, decision-makers, and research institutions, among others.

She has experience supporting background research/desk studies on flood and drought risk and adaptation, the collection of economic asset values, and the processing and analysis of data.

Teresa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Financial Administration and Systems from the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, and a dual Master’s in Science on Technology and Natural Resources Management in the Tropics & Subtropics from TH Koeln, Germany, and the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, Mexico. She is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Geography with the University of Passau, researching “The Use of Nature-based Solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction”.

Uzabi Baidar

Uzabi is working as a Project Assistant in the Climate Analytics team implementing the Economics in Climate Adaptation (ECA) methodology in project countries with comprehensive desk research, data collection and analysis on climate risk. Additionally, she supports the team with report preparation, policy review and facilitating side events and workshops abroad.
Prior to this, Uzabi gained in-depth experience in an integrated resilience program focusing on climate-sensitive and asset creation, including watershed planning soil and water conservation within climate-sensitive regions of the Sahel. Additionally, she coordinated multiple projects on environmental impact assessment of energy projects, REDD implementation, environmental education, and disaster risk management within national and international organizations in Nepal.

Uzabi holds a Master's degree in Integrated Water Resources Management from TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences) and a Bachelor´s degree in Environmental Management from the School of Environmental Science and Management, Pokhara University, Nepal. Her research interests include Nature-based solutions, Climate Adaptation, and Disaster Risk Management.

Eike Behre

Eike Behre is a Project Associate at MCII and will support the implementation of several climate risk analysis studies applying the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) methodology. The ECA methodology assists in formulating long-term climate adaptation strategies, including risk transfer solutions. He will be responsible for the overall assessment of climate change adaptation options from the ecosystem service perspective.

Prior to MCII, Eike worked for GIZ in the BMU funded project Advancing Climate Risk Insurance Plus (ACRI+) with the focus to apply an Integrated Climate Risk Management approach to the renewable energy sector in Barbados. At GIZ, he was also responsible for the supervision of a Disaster Risk Finance Toolkit, created in cooperation with the risk modeling company Risk Management Solutions. In addition, Eike has gained valuable experience with forest carbon offset projects (REDD+) in Fiji and Vietnam.

Eike holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from the Wageningen University and a Bachelor’s degree in Forest and Nature Conservation from Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences. Eike's research interests include Ecosystem-based Adaptation, Climate & Disaster Risk Management and Climate Risk Insurance.

See Eike's profile on the UNU-EHS WEBSITE.


Sinja Buri

Sinja Buri leads the Solutions and Practice Partnerships Team at MCII. She is working on facilitating the introduction of innovative climate disaster risk financing and insurance (CDRFI) solutions for the most vulnerable and low-income households as well as building the evidence base and closing existing knowledge gaps for the implementation of inclusive and sustainable CDRFI solutions.

Sinja has worked at the intersection of implementation and research throughout her career. Previously, she worked with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Senegal leading market and survey research work for IFC’s Financial Institutions Group covering Africa and the Middle East. She has over 10 years of working experience and extensive expertise in the areas of disaster risk finance, financial inclusion, results measurement and evaluation, applied research, and private sector development. She led and worked on projects across Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific, and the Caribbean.

Sinja holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Mannheim University as well as a Master’s degree in International Economics from Georg-August-University Goettingen. Her research interests include the design of affordable and inclusive solutions that build the resilience of vulnerable communities to cope with climate risks, the impact of those solutions, and how to scale up their outreach.

David Daou

Dr. David Daou is a Research Manager for Climate Risk Modelling at UNU-EHS, currently working on developing a drought model using machine learning tools, MATLAB and Python. This model falls under  the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) methodology and its modelling tools (Climada). The drought model will then be embedded as a module in CLIMADA.

David holds a PhD. in Remote Sensing from the University of Sherbrooke in Canada, where he applied a synergy of passive and active sensors to create a new inversion to yield atmospheric micro-physics parameters for aerosols and clouds, using data from the AERONET NASA network and CORALNet, the environment and climate change Canadian lidar network.

David previously worked at the Joint Research Centre (JRC-European Commission), as a scientific officer, on Raman Lidar, and as a PI for the Ispra EARLINET station.

David  worked as a research scientist on future ESA-JAXA mission EarthCARE (satellite expected to be launch on 2020), developing the aerosols and Ice particles algorithms for the High Spectral Resolution Lidar onboard the satellite.

Recently Dr Daou was working as a data scientist as a freelancer using deep learning and machine learning tools, for developing models in the business and finance sector.

See David's profile on the UNU-EHS WEBSITE

Linda Du Roy

Linda works as a Project Associate within MCII’s Solutions and Practice Partnerships team. She is primarily involved in the Pacific Insurance and Climate Adaptation Program (PICAP), as well as in the development and implementation of a new global program on Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance.

Linda holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the Sorbonne Institute of Development Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Paris 8 University. Following her studies, she joined the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF) Dakar Regional Office for West and Central Africa as a Partnership Specialist. For two years, she supported UNCDF’s fundraising process at the regional level and took part in the rollout of several projects relating to the digital and financial inclusion of marginalized groups. Linda is a Certified Digital Finance Practitioner and is particularly interested in digitally enabled solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation. In 2022, she was nominated by the African Union-European Union Digital for Development (D4D) Hub to be one of ten young women participating in the #GirlsinD4D initiative.

Rachael Hansen

Rachael Hansen is a Senior Project Associate at MCII hosted by UNU-EHS. Rachael manages the communications outreach for the MCII team including social media management, website management, and the compilation of the MCII Annual Report. Additionally Rachael works to implement MCII's corporate identity through presentation materials, marketing materials and processes. She also contributes to tasks such as new employee onboarding, drafting internal regulations, retreat coordination, creation of team workflows and procedures, etc.

Rachael completed her undergraduate degree at Utah State University in Journalism and Public Relations and her graduate degree at Edinburgh Napier University in International Event Management. In addition to assisting with the different MCII projects, Rachael coordinates all of MCII's events as well as acts as the team's native English speaking editor.

See Rachael's profile on the UNU-EHS WEBSITE.

Dirk Kohler

Dirk Kohler is the Insurance Advisor at MCII. His main focus will be on complementing the work of MCII in the Caribbean by adding his long years of profound insurance industry experience to the implementation of two climate risk insurance solutions in Saint Lucia, Grenada, Jamaica, Belize and Trinidad & Tobago. He will also join the MCII team providing technical advice to the G7 initiative on climate risk insurance (InsuResilience) run by GIZ and BMZ.

Dirk was founder and CEO of CarbonRe AG, a Swiss based expert insurance, specializing in climate change, carbon markets and clean energy technologies. With a background in applied economics (chartered insurer), environmental risk management and insurance, Dirk has been associated with GERLING Group of Insurance companies and GERLING Consulting Group since 1987. In 1998 he initiated the GERLING Sustainable Development Project GmbH (GSDP) to move GERLING into visionary fostering of Sustainable Development. He took over GSDP in a Management Buy Out in 2003. Dirk was a founding partner of United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), its climate change working group, and was accredited by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at COP 6.5 and 15. Dirk was awarded World Finance Carbon Market Awards 2011 for Best Overall Contribution to Insurance (Global). He is a German with strong roots in France and experience in the Mediterranean Regions and North Africa.

See Dirk's profile on the UNU-EHS WEBSITE.

Alexandra Mieth

Alexandra Mieth is Associate Project Manager at MCII. In her role as Policy Support of the V20 Secretariat, she is working on the V20 Group's financial protection agenda - especially on the V20 inputs to the Global Shield against Climate Risks, formerly InsuResilience Global Partnership. Additionally she manages the V20 and MCII contribution the V20 Sustainable Insurance Facility. She is part of MCII's Policy, Governance and Strategies Team, which aims to foster international cooperation, governance and system-building for climate and disaster risk financing and insurance solutions, while amplifying the voices and needs of climate vulnerable countries and communities.

Prior to joining MCII as Project Associate, Alexandra gained experience in climate policy while working on the topic of Human Mobility and Climate Change as intern at GIZ, as working student in evaluation of climate change adaptation and residual risks at the Competence Centre Methods of Deval, as portfolio management and external relations intern at GIZ China, as working student in the climate protection division at Stiftung Mercator.

Alexandra graduated with a Master's Degree in International Relations and Development Policy from University of Duisburg-Essen and a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from University of Freiburg.

Magdalena Mirwald

Magdalena Mirwald is a Project Associate at MCII. She is the focal point of the Multi-Actor Partnership on climate and disaster risk financing and preparedness in the context of the InsuResilience Global Partnership project. As part of the Policy, Governance and Strategies team, Magdalena engages with political stakeholders and partners to support MCII’s agenda of strengthening the disaster risk management - resilience nexus.

Magdalena is interested in combining qualitative and quantitative methods in the fields of climate adaptation, CDRFI and (climate) migration. She holds an MSc in Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security from the University of Bonn and UNU-EHS, where she investigated the inclusion of human mobility in national adaptation policies for her master’s thesis. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Geography from Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, where she specialized in conflict studies and climate policy. She has completed internships at the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) working on climate risk insurance, at the German Red Cross in disaster management and at the Ministry of Environment of the Mexican State of Jalisco. Magdalena has also previously worked as a student assistant at MCII in the project ‘MAIN Germany: Economy of Climate Change - new MAnagement INstruments to mitigate the risks of climate change in state and economy’ and at the German Development Institute.

Nazaruddin (Raja) 

Nazaruddin (Raja) is a Project Manager at MCII supporting  the Climate Risk Adaptation and Insurance in the Caribbean (CRAIC) project. Raja has a background in economics and environmental management; he has worked for over 10 years in disaster risk management, climate mitigation and adaptation projects in Indonesia. He holds a master's degree in International Management of Resources and Environment from the Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Syiah Kuala University, Indonesia.

Raja's first job was working for shock response and post-disaster projects after the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004. Before joining MCII, he worked for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on sustainable urban transport and environmental related interventions. On In his last assignment, he worked together with UNU-EHS and MCII to support the Indonesian Government in developing a national strategy for Adaptive Social Protection which is the interface of Disaster Risk Management, Social Protection, and Climate Change Adaptation.

Mariam Parekhelashvili

Mariam works as Project Associate at MCII and in her new role, she will be contributing to ongoing work in the CRAIC and PICAP projects, which seek to address climate change, adaptation, and vulnerability by promoting index-based insurance as a risk management instrument in the Caribbean and Pacific region.

Before joining MCII, Mariam worked for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) where she was responsible for the financial monitoring and reporting component of the BIRD (Bildungsraum Digital) project, which seeks to develop an IT-Infrastructure for the first-ever national digital education platform in Germany.

Previously, Mariam has gained an in-depth understanding of disaster risk financing and insurance products while working as an Underwriting Assistant at Liberty Mutual Reinsurance. Building on her hands-on experience, she is enthusiastic to leverage her technical knowledge of insurance products and processes to develop instruments to reduce the adverse effects of climate change for the most vulnerable communities.

She is also a Co-Founder and an Executive Board Member of the non-profit organization "Cooperation for Peace and Progress" in Georgia. In her capacity as a project manager between 2014 and 2018, she had an opportunity to implement numerous initiatives to raise awareness of socio-political issues among the youth, including climate change, in the south Caucasus region.

Mariam has obtained her Master´s degree in Political Science from the University of Cologne and Bachelor´s degree from Tbilisi State University, where she specialized in Political Science and International Relations.

Alvaro Rojas-Ferreira

Alvaro Rojas-Ferreira joins MCII as a Senior Project Associate for the ECA Studies team supporting with stakeholder engagement and data collection through the different workshops required within the ECA methodology. Additionally Alvaro will be assisting with research tasks related to the recommended adaptation measures, and reporting for the different partners of the project.

Alvaro holds an MSc in Natural Resources Management from the TH Cologne and an engineering degree from the Universidad de los Andes, Colombia. He has experience supporting project implementation and evaluation in the fields of GHG mitigation and climate risk management with ICLEI and GIZ, respectively. As part of interdisciplinary and multicultural teams, he has worked in project coordination including monitoring systems for activities and goals, stakeholder engagement, capacity building through workshops and online tools, and ensuring appropriate reporting and documentation. Alvaro is particularly interested in how to integrate adaptation measures to boost synergies in different contexts.

See Alvaro's profile on the UNU-EHS WEBSITE

Maxime Souvignet

Dr. Maxime Souvignet is a Project Manager for MCII. The project ("Promoting Integrated Mechanisms for Climate Risk Management and Transfer") aims to develop a strategic framework for low income countries and emerging economies in finding ways to implement climate risk insurance solutions in an integrated climate risk management approach.

He holds a PhD. in Climatology and Hydrology from the University of Leipzig in Germany, which was conducted in close collaboration with the Center for Advanced Studies in Arid Zones (CEAZA) in Chile. Dr. Souvignet has a broad interest in climate change adaptation, climate risk modelling and uncertainties related with natural catastrophes. Much of his work focuses on developing concepts and methods for the spatial assessment of risk in the context of climate change and natural perils. In previous project work, he adapted the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) methodology and its modelling tools (Climada) in order to assess climate adaptation potential in poor urban areas in San Salvador.

See Maxime's profile on the UNU-EHS WEBSITE.

Florian Waldschmidt

Florian Waldschmidt is a Senior Project Associate at MCII supporting the implementation of climate risk analysis studies applying the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) methodology in different settings. Florian's responsibilities include the identification and valuation relevant assets, the definition of corresponding damage curves, as well as social- economic scenarios.

Florian holds an MSc in Economics and Development Economics from the University of Nottingham, UK and a BSc in Economics from the University of Kiel, Germany. He is also a certified expert in micro-insurance form the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.

He has previously worked with KfW, GIZ and Sparkassenstiftung für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (SBIFC). At his previous position as an advisor with the GIZ, his role was both coordinative as well as technical. As country focal point in Ghana, he prepared the Ghana-Roadmap, including an economic and risk analysis focusing on the agricultural sector and a recommended implementation plan toward an integrated climate risk management. His responsibility also extended to supporting the development of the agricultural insurance market in Ghana as well as the exchange with the African Risk Capacity during Ghana’s accession process as part of the comprehensive risk management approach developed. He has technical skills in econometrics and is a trusted user of STATA and Eviews. His analytical skills combined with his technical knowledge of the topic at hand area great asset to the team and the position.

Florian has a broad interest in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, climate finance including climate risk transfer, as well as actively leveraging unavoidable effects for productive and sustainable purposes, especially for particular vulnerable population groups.

See Florian's profile on the UNU-EHS WEBSITE

Christina Natalia Widjaja

Christina Natalia Widjaja works as a Project Associate in the Climate Risk Analytics Team at MCII. She is supporting project management activities for several donors such as UNOPS and GIZ. She is currently conducting comprehensive climate risk analysis studies applying the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) methodology across diverse landscapes. Additionally, she is building a collaborative alliance with UNU-EHS to strategically identify relevant project proposal calls and contribute to fundraising.

Prior to this, she gained experience in Disaster Risk Management, Climate Change Adaptation, and Social Protection while working as a student assistant at VARMAP/MCII since March 2020 for the Adaptive Social Protection (ASP) Roadmap project and the Climate and Disaster Risk Analytics Tool for Adaptive Social Protection (CADRAT) project. Both projects are part of the "Social Protection Programme" in Indonesia led by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in close collaboration with the Indonesian Government. One of the main results is the Hazard, Exposure, and Vulnerability assessment across regions and provinces in Indonesia, in which she co-authored.

She holds an MSc. in Natural Resources Management from the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics, Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Germany, and a BSc. in Chemistry from Universitas Indonesia. Before starting her master’s studies, Christina had built a successful career spanning nearly 11 years in operations’ project and change management, strategic planning, budgeting, reporting, monitoring, and evaluation within a multinational company with international exposure such as in Hong Kong and Switzerland.

Michael Zissener

Michael Zissener is the Initiative Coordinator for the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII). As an expert on the application of different types of risk transfer tools, such as index-based approaches, microinsurance, regional risk pools, Michael’s focus lies on the resilience and livelihood security of people and communities vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

Michael is well-versed in linking different stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds (incl. the UN-system, private sector, academia, NGOs, etc.) to distill objective-driven results. He has substantive experience in project management of different types of projects, including working with international partners and a variety of different donors. Michael mainly worked on the projects “Innovative Insurance Solutions for Adaptation to Climate Change” funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); and “Climate Risk Adaptation and Insurance in the Caribbean”, funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).

See Michael's profile on the UNU-EHS WEBSITE.

Sabrina Zwick

Sabrina Zwick is a Programme Associate at MCII hosted at UNU-EHS. She is responsible for the management of grants and contributes to the project "Promoting Integrated Mechanisms for Climate Risk Management and Transfer". This project aims to develop concepts for the integration of insurance solutions into climate risk management approaches in low income countries and emerging economies.

Sabrina Zwick holds a Master in Public Policy and Management from the University of Konstanz in Germany. She previously worked for UN-Water and the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP). Furthermore, her work experience includes the implementation of technical assistance projects in developing countries and countries in transition with a focus on public administration and environment.

See Sabrina's profile on the UNU-EHS WEBSITE.

Altanzul Zorig

Altanzul Zorig is Project Assistant (administrative) at MCII. She engages in the Multi-actor partnership on climate and disaster risk financing and preparedness in the context of the InsuResilience Global Partnership project as well as other projects as a finance and administrative assistant. Altanzul (Zula) holds an MSc in Agriculture and Food Economics from University of Bonn. She majored in Agribusiness and her minor specification is Resource and Environmental Economics. She completed her undergraduate degree at National University of Business and Commerce in Bank Economics, in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia.