Vanessa Beary

Dr. Vanessa BearyYL 2016

Executive director

Dr. Vanessa Beary was appointed executive director of the American Swiss Foundation in 2023. Dr. Beary, who participated in the 2016 Young Leaders Conference hosted by Syngenta in Basel, began working for the Foundation in 2018.


As executive director, Dr. Beary works together with the Foundation’s Co-Chairs, Robert J. Giuffra, Jr. and Markus U. Diethelm, and the Foundation’s Board of Directors to strengthen the longstanding friendship between the United States and Switzerland.


Dr. Beary's background is in international education, development, and diplomacy. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as a Senior Advisor for Youth Entrepreneurship in the Office of Commercial and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and as an Adjunct Professor at American University’s Kogod School of Business. She began her career working for the U.S. Department of Defense and received the Outstanding Civilian Service Award, the third highest public honor that the Army can grant to a civilian, for her work in Iraq.


Dr. Beary holds an Ed.D. from Harvard University, an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge, and a B.A. with honors from Brown University. She currently serves on the Board of the Harvard Alumni Association.


Rachael Reardon

PROGRAM Manager u.s.

Rachael manages all U.S. programming for the Foundation. She supports the Executive Director to advance the mission of the Foundation, to bring together promising young leadership from the U.S. and Switzerland to strengthen relations between both countries.

As Program Manager, Rachael supervises the annual Young Leaders Conference and oversees U.S. nominations processes. She facilitates in-person events in New York, DC, and Switzerland, as well as virtual programming. Rachael coordinates event logistics, maintains communication with corporate stakeholders & sponsors, and onboards new employees. In addition, Rachael manages the New York office. Rachael began working for the Foundation in 2021.

Rachael graduated from Seton Hall University with a degree in International Relations and Diplomacy and French Language Arts.

Kaufmann, Sarah

Sarah Kaufmann

PROGRAM manager switzerland

Based in Zurich, Sarah implements programs and operations in Switzerland and supports membership outreach and fundraising. She is also responsible for executing the marketing and communications strategy. 

Sarah holds degrees in Social Political Science and International Relations from the University of Technology Sydney and was a Visiting Student of the University of Zurich and the London School of Economics and Political Science. She previously worked for the British Embassy in Bern and for WorldSkills International. A dual Swiss-Irish citizen, she speaks German, English, and Italian. She also holds multiple Swiss national records in Powerlifting. 

Bella Way

Bella Way

PROGRAM Assistant

Bella assists with administration, communications, event management, and member engagement. Previously, she interned for the U.S. Department of State. Bella has a master's degree in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a bachelor's degree in Government & Legal Studies from Bowdoin College.