Per Heggenes - Chief Executive Officer
Per became the IKEA Foundation’s first CEO in June 2009. Previously, Per was the Global Head of Corporate Affairs and member of the Global Executive Team for the shipping and logistics company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics. Before joining WWL, he was the UK President and CEO for the global public relations firm Burson-Marsteller and Co-CEO for Europe. He also held different global roles for Burson-Marsteller based in their New York headquarters. Per served in the Norwegian Air Force and graduated from the University of Augsburg in Germany with a “Diplom Oekonom” (MBA).
Vandana Verma - Programme Director
Vandana Verma, as IKEA Foundation’s Program Director, leads and oversees our long term social programmes in Asia and Africa. She takes the lead in fostering new and innovative thinking, oversees all program development and is responsible for some of the largest global partnerships of the Foundation. In her additional role she supports IKEA business teams in South Asia on issues pertaining to the prevention of child labour. Vandana joined the company in 2001. Prior to joining IKEA, she has worked with ICRIER, The World Bank and International Labour Organisation (ILO) on issues such as competitiveness of the Indian export industries, child labour, women’s entrepreneurship in more than six Asian countries. An economist by training, Vandana is an Indian who lives in Delhi with her husband and two children.
Petra Hans - Programme Manager
Petra manages and oversees programme partnerships, and manages our Soft Toys for Education campaign.
Petra has extensive field experience and has worked several years abroad with various non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Before joining the IKEA Foundation, she was with Oxfam, where she specialized in educational projects and was responsible for large collaborations and programs.
Petra is fluent in Dutch, Nepali, French, English and Spanish and is currently learning Arabic.
Els Remijn - Programme Manager
Els manages and oversees programme partnerships. She joined the IKEA Foundation in June 2012.
Previously, she worked for UNHCR, International Rescue Committee, the Dutch Parliament, the National Committee of UNICEF and Metakids Foundation in countries around the world, including the Netherlands, Pakistan, Russia and Ethiopia. Her work focused on issues related to refugees, education, and the protection and well-being of women and children. She has a degree in international relations from the Universiteit Utrecht specializing in political science and international law, and she speaks Dutch, English and French.
Nayana Chowdhury - Programme Manager
Nayana started working for the Foundation as a Programme Manager in February 2013. Based with our team in Delhi, she manages programmes from a wide variety of partners in India and South Asia.
Nayana has a Master's degree in social work from the University of Delhi. Before joining the IKEA Foundation, she worked with Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, one of the largest and oldest Indian philanthropic donor organisations, for seven years. Prior to that, she had five years of experience with the Society for Rural Urban and Tribal Initiative (SRUTI), an NGO that helped her gain grassroot experience of living and working with tribal communities in remote rural areas. She has also worked with a innovative project to help improve teaching in government schools.
In her free time, she loves to travel, and books are her constant companion on her journeys.
Shambhavi Sharma - Programme Assistant
Shambhavi works in our Delhi office analyzing the progress of our programmes and partners.
She did her Bachelor's degree in psychology/organizational behavior from Delhi University and her Master's in transnational entrepreneurship/corporate social responsibility. Both degrees are from Vrije Universiteit van Amsterdam.
She's fluent in Dutch, Hindi and English, and in her free time she volunteers with charities that help stray animals in Delhi.
Shanti Mahabier-Kalicharan - Programme Assistant
Shanti helps coordinate the Foundation's IWitness programme, which sends small groups of IKEA co-workers to visit our partners' projects in developing countries. She also supports the communications team, CEO and programme managers on a wide variety of projects.
Shanti studied Business Aministration at Erasmus University and did a Master of Science degree in Global Business and Stakeholder Management, focussing on corporate social responsibility. She also completed a corporate responsiblity traineeship at Ernst & Young.
In her free time, she focuses on her own foundation, Develop Today, which she helped set up to focus on sustainable development and education for children in villages in India.
Jonathan Spampinato - Head of Communications & Strategic Planning
Jon leads the Foundation’s communications planning and activities, and coordinates strategic communications with grantees and stakeholders within the IKEA Group. Jon has had a wide-ranging career developing communications and public affairs programmes for some of the world’s most recognized brands including Pfizer, Ford Motor Co., Visiting Nurses of America, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Jon was deputy political director for US businessman Mitt Romney's successful gubernatorial campaign, and served as deputy director of the Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation for former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld.
Jon has an MPA in international public and non-profit management from New York University.
Katrina Crew - Writer/Editor
Katrina writes and edits content for the IKEA Foundation's website, social media channels and publications. She joined the Foundation in November 2011 as the Digital Content Manager. During her year as the Digital Content Manager, she relaunched the website, developed our IWitness blog and grew our Facebook audience from 30 to 15,000.
Before joining the Foundation, she spent six years in London, where she was the web editor for the British Red Cross and earned her Master's degree in human rights from the University of Essex.She also taught English in Prague for three years and coordinated an active group of volunteers for Amnesty International Czech Republic.
Julika Riegler - Digital Communications Manager
Julika Riegler oversees the IKEA Foundation's website and social media channels and works on the Soft Toys for Education campaign. Juli joined the Foundation in November 2012 after working for four years at Inter IKEA Systems, the owner of the IKEA Concept and worldwide IKEA franchisor.
She earned her Master's degree in communication sciences from the University of Mainz in Germany, accompanied by studies of media law and politics at the University of Otago, New Zealand.
Chris Williams - Communications Manager
Chris is the Foundation’s Communication Manager working out of Leiden, Netherlands. He joined the Foundation in November 2012 after working as the Marketing and Communication manager for the Department for Education, England, where he led flagship behaviour change campaigns aimed at children and young people. Chris has also volunteered in the Netherlands working for an NGO empowering consumers to makes sustainable purchases and has worked in a variety of communication roles throughout his career.
In his spare time, you can find Chris riding his bike around the Dutch countryside and traveling to as many new places as possible, whilst attempting to speak the local lingo.
Jeroen Wopereis - Finance Director
Jeroen is responsible for the Foundation's finances and works closely with our partners to deliver and monitor grants. His background is in business economics, international management, and finance. For several years he worked with Ernst & Young as part of the audit and financial due diligence teams in the Netherlands, Mexico and Spain. Before joining the IKEA Foundation, he was with Oxfam, which gave him valuable understanding of development issues and finance within a non-profit organization.
Annemieke Tsike-Sossah de Jong - Project Controller
Annemieke works closely with our partners to deliver and monitor grants and is responsible for the Foundation’s in-kind donations.
Before joining the team, she was a forestry programme assistant for stichting TerraVitalis, and worked for the Dutch Central Bank as assistant to the Intervention & Enforcement department. She has experience in working with NGOs at the local level, with a focus on human rights, and has contributed to the work of the Ghanaian Commission on Human Rights & Administrative Justice by supporting their research in the field of rape within marriage and on child labour in fishermen’s villages in the Western Region.
In her spare time, she acts as a board member for stichting ACIPP West Africa, which works through volunteerism to better the positions and build the capacities of young people in Western Africa. Annemieke has a Master’s degree in international law, is fluent in Dutch and English, and is currently learning Ewe.
Savitri Thissen-Sattoe - Finance Manager
Savitri is responsible for the Foundation's internal finances and human resources. She joined the Foundation in September 2012.
Her background is in finance, human resources and project management. She has extensive experience in these disciplines within several international companies.
Savitri is fluent in Dutch, English and Hindi.
In her free time she leads a yoga school in The Hague and conducts courses and trainings. She believes living in awareness and consciousness increases the quality of whatever we do in daily life.