We, as a team of philanthropists, have a strong will to help Timor-Leste rebound its growth and economic success. Therefore, we assist in creating local investment opportunities and fostering education and healthcare. We would like to use our strong network in the international organization and European corporate scene to create a long-term impact in Timor-Leste.


Dr. José Ramos-Horta, President

Dr. José Ramos-Horta, president of the Timor Foundation, was born in 1949 in East-Timor. In 1996 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with his countryman bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo for their engagement in East-Timor. After the independence in 2007, Dr. José Ramos-Horta became president of the democratic republic of Timor-Leste.

Dr. José Ramos-Horta feels responsible towards his country and supports all its development and reconstruction.


Barbara Lietz, Founder and CEO

Barbara Lietz, CEO of Scope Asia AG Switzerland and Scope Asia Timor LDA, former Chairwoman for Timor-Leste of Swiss Asian Chamber of Commerce initiated the Timor Foundation with H.E. Dr. Ramos-Horta in 2012 during his official visit to Switzerland. 

She studied medical technology at the Institute of Natural Science and Technology (Germany). After different management jobs in the IT industry working for the healthcare sector she became an entrepreneur in the medical sector, focusing on the integration of traditional Chinese medecine in Germany and Switzerland. Furthermore she worked as Managing Director for different companies and for various non-government organizations in Europe and Asia, mainly in the healthcare sector, focusing on business development.
In 2011 she initiated Lietz Consulting International, with its focus on development of business network and collaboration in South India, China and Indonesia, co-operation support for institutions ind India, China and Timor-Leste and export and import consulting for European companies in the healthcare sector.
After the incorporation of Timor Foundation in collaboration with José Ramos-Horta, she initiated Scope Asia AG Switzerland and Scope Asia Timor LDA in 2014. Scope Asia focuses on development of smart solutions for major infrastructure challenges in Asia.

During the last 20 years she has been working in different fields in Asian countries. She gained a lot of insight about how to deal with different cultures, religions, and business-challenges. Her special field today is Business Development in South Asian countries. Based on this experience she developed the concept of the Timor Foundation. Her passion and engagement inspired other people to support her goals. Today she supports all the projects of the Timor Foundation in Timor Leste and spends 70% of her time there.


Max R. Hungerbühler, Co-Founder and Board Member

Max R. Hungerbühler was born in 1945 in St. Gallen/Switzerland. After his studies he has been active in the textile field and presided over the reputable Bischoff Textil AG, St. Gallen embroidery company (until summer 2015). During this time the firm developed from a Swiss to a global enterprise with manufacturing plants in Thailand, Turkey and Sri Lanka, employing more than 1000 people. From 1997 to 2003 he was president of the chamber of commerce and industry St. Gallen-Appenzell. 2005 he became the head of the Swiss Textile Federation and in this capacity he was responsible for various international textile organisations. With his international contacts and global network he is in the position to assist the Timor Foundation in a great variety of ways.


Prof. Dr. Roger Moser, Co-Founder and Board Member

Prof. Dr. Roger Moser is Assistant Professor of International Management and Director of the ASIA CONNECT Center-HSG  as well as the India Competence Center (FIM-HSG), at the University of St.Gallen (HSG). In addition he acts as visiting and adjunct faculty at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore and Udaipur and has been living in China and India for several years. His research focuses on business development in Asian markets and access-based business models for infrastructure solutions in rural emerging markets including water, logistics and healthcare as well as networking practices during internationalization projects. Moreover, Dr. Moser also works on decision intelligence in strategic management. With his regional experiences, his extensive networks as well as his cultural and market understanding he supports the Timor foundation in exploring the best opportunities for a sustainable economic development in Timor-Leste.


Prof. Dr. phil. habil. Manfred Pfiffner, Board Member

Manfred Pfiffner is professor of pedagogy in vocational educational and training (VET) at the Zurich University of Teacher Education (PH Zurich), Switzerland. There he works in the field «formation – vocation – science» and participates in the construction and development of the interdepartmental vocational education and training research cluster. The research focus includes the core curriculas for general education and Federal Vocational Baccalaureate, job-specific learning models and qualification procedures and their implementation as well as teaching and learning methods for vocational education and training programmes. Manfred Pfiffner is also a trained vocational school teacher. He taught nearly two decades at several vocational education and training schools and secondary schools in Switzerland.

With his international expertise and extensive networks he supports the Timor foundation in exploring the best opportunities for a sustainable development of vocational training in Timor-Leste.


Prof. Barbara Haller Rupf, Board Member

Barbara Haller graduated in geography, economics, sports and education from the Universities of Zurich and Basel with master degrees. Between 1998 and 2005, she was engaged in different tourism research and consulting projects as well lecturing at the colleges (Höhere Fachschule) of Tourism in Samedan and Lucerne. As a lecturer, she developed several education programs for college students and tourism companies.
After many years as a teacher and lecturer, from 2005 to 2012 she was vice principal at the secondary school in Aarau (Switzerland) and director of the technical college.
Her leadership experience was completed with a Master of Business Administration with focus on service management and a thesis about public relations of public schools in Canada and Switzerland.
Barbara Haller Rupf has been Director of Studies for further education and lecturer since May 2012.
She is a member of the International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism AIEST and the German Association of Tourism Sciences.


Uschi Menzi, Co-Founder and Accountant

Uschi Menzi was born in the french part of Switzerland. After school and studies she has been employed by different companies in Canton St. Gallen and Germany as accountant manager. In 1997 she founded her own company. Uschi is a very competent and socialized person. Her creative solutions for different challenges, her personal engagement to help Timorese people, makes her to a very valuable partner of the Timor Foundation.



Prof. Dr. Joseph Osterwalder, Health Care Projects - Internal Medicine

Prof. Dr. Osterwalder offers a unique professional expertise in establishing health care systems in developing countries. After his graduation in 1978 at the University of Zurich, Dr. Osterwalder joined the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) and was sent abroad for humanitarian missions in various war zones. His first mission brought him to Timor-Leste in the aftermath of the Indonesian invasion. For several months he improved the horrible physical state of the population there, who had fled from war into the mountains and suffered not only extreme hunger but also lethal deseases.

The experiences he gathered in Timor made him get reconnected with the country and support the officials in establishing a comprehensive health care system with a focus on education. After 11 years of ICRC missions (including Liberia, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Burundi and Lebanon), a Master of Public Health at Harvard and various teaching assignments, the long-time head of the Emergency Department of the Cantonal Hospital in St Gallen/Switzerland now shares his expertise in order to imrove the conditions in the country which shaped him significantly


Dr. Karlmeinrad Giesinger, Health Care Projects - Orthopedics and Traumatology

The Austrian doctor Dr. Karlmeinrad Giesinger finished his medical studies in 2002 in Innsbruck (Austria) and Freiburg (Germany). During this time he had the opportunity to pass medical electives in Nepal, Oxford and Nottingham. After finishing his dissertation about adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, he decided to start working, first in Italy, then in Austria.

In 2006 he completed a Master of Science degree at the Department of Orthopedics at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland). Upon graduation he started to work at the Kantonsspital St. Gallen (Switzerland), but continously gathered international experience by participating in Fellowship programs around the world, including Mongolia, Western Australia and Edinburgh. He now acts as consultant at the Kantonsspital St. Gallen and offers his wide experience, orthopedic and traumatological expertise and strong commitment in order to serve the Timorese people as well.


Beat Wicki, Hospitality and Tourism Management & Vocational Training

Beat Wicki is a Swiss entrepreneur and hospitality manager. After 20 years in his own consultancy, focussing on education and 6 years as CEO of a Swiss tourism school, he decided to create the "Swiss Hospitality Academy". Mr Wicki intends to contribute to a sustainable tourism development not only in Switzerland, but also abroad.

After having visited Timor-Leste, Beat Wicki was impressed both by the untouched nature and by the heartwarming attitude of the Timorese people. He realized that with these strengths in mind, Timor has a yet undeveloped potential to become a major touristic attraction. In order to change that, Mr Wicki is conducting educational and vocational training projects in partnership with local officials.