Advisory Board members


Anna Eliasson Schamis, Senior Advisor, Fundraising and Business Development

Anna Eliasson Schamis, a founding principal of ACET Group, LLC, is a senior fundraising and business development consultant.  She works with institutions ranging from non-profit start-ups to global companies.

Previously Anna served for more than five years as Vice President of Development and External Relations at the Atlantic Council, a leading think tank in Washington, D.C., where she was responsible for the Council’s entire fundraising, thought leadership and event management operations. Anna helped quadruple the Council’s revenue and secure the participation of global leaders ranging from presidents and heads of state to global business leaders and celebrities.  Under her leadership, Anna created engagement platforms and programs for Fortune 500 companies and dramatically grew the quantity and quality of the Council’s corporate partnerships.  Anna also oversaw the $25 million fundraising campaign for the creation of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council.

Annika Rembe, Director-General of the Swedish Institute

The Swedish Institute (SI) is a public agency promoting Sweden abroad. SI seeks to establish cooperation and lasting relations with other countries through active communication and cultural, educational and scientific exchanges. SI’s operations are carried out in close cooperation with Swedish and foreign partners, as well as with Swedish embassies and consulates around the world

Cecilia Hertz, CEO and Founder, Umbilical Design

Cecilia founded Umbilical Design in 2001 and has since then worked with space design in collaboration with NASA and the European Space Agency. During her years as design student she spent much of her training at NASA and the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where she took part of various projects. Down to Earth for Tourism is based on a methodology developed by Umbilical Design, where technology and knowledge transfer from space is used to create new innovations and products.

Cordula Wohlmuther, Project Coordinator ´Tourism and Peace´

Cordula coordinates the project “Tourism and Peace”, an initiative by UNWTO together with the University of Klagenfurt, Austria, and its center for peace research and peace education. Tourism is a tool for creating economic growth, but according to Cordula it is even more important to look at how tourism can be used as a peace-building instrument, which she is working with in the project “Tourism and Peace.” Cordula was during the years 2000-2006 Deputy Regional Director for Europe of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Daria Akhutina, General Director, Association for cooperation with Nordic countries NORDEN

Daria Akhutina has since the foundation of the Association for cooperation with Nordic countries in 1996 been working as the director of the organization. The aim is to develop and support international co-operation in the Region of the Baltic Sea: between North-Western Russia, and the Nordic and Baltic countries in the field of culture, education, humanitarian and professional relationships. Daria has initiated a number of international projects in the field of education, cultural heritage and cultural tourism.

During the last year she has been involved in the process of the synchronization of the strategies: European Union Strategy for Baltic Sea region and Russia’s strategy for NW Russia -to identify joint priorities for EU-Russia regional cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region.

Dave Van Smeerdijk, Head of Marketing and Sales, Wilderness Safaries

Dave has a bachelor of economics and MBA and based in Cape Town.  He has worked in the travel industry for 25 years, specializing in operating and marketing eco-lodges and camps in East and Southern Africa as well as the Indian Ocean.