wise is managed by Etienne Eichenberger and Maurice Machenbaum, each with more than 15 years' experience in the humanitarian and social fields as well as in the interface between the social and private sectors.

Etienne Eichenberger
Managing partner

Etienne EichenbergerPrior to setting up wise - philanthropy advisors, Etienne worked for 10 years in the field of international development and foundations. He began his career with the Swiss Agency for Co-operation and Development, before joining the Avina Foundation in Latin America. He then became for 5 years Senior Manager at the Centre for Strategic Insight (part of the World Economic Forum). He worked directly with individuals and their families in shaping their endeavor in philanthropy across Europe and in selected emerging markets. He is currently board member of numerous foundations including the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation and he is vice-president of Sustainable Finance Geneva.

Maurice Machenbaum

Maurice MachenbaumMaurice is a social development and project management expert. Prior to setting up wise - philanthropy advisors, he founded and was for several years, Programme Director at Casa Alianza Nicaragua, an international NGO dedicated to the defence and rehabilitation of street children. He was subsequently in charge of research on the topic of child soldiers at the International Committee of the Red Cross, and later became Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at Terre des hommes Lausanne. Maurice draws on a broad and multifaceted experience in the social development field and has visited or collaborated with over 300 projects in over to 35 countries. He was treasurer of The World Scout Organisation for 6 years and board member of Médecins du Monde in Switzerland. He is currently board member of Swiss Philanthropy Foundation and Cansearch.

Martial Paris
Director strategy & impact

Martial ParisMartial has been managing projects in fields such as local economic development and human rights in South East Europe and Caucasus. He used to work, first as Field Director in Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina, then as Regional Coordinator for the Association of Local Democracy Agencies (AADL). He managed a team of 22 project managers from 6 different countries implementing projects sponsored by the European Commission; different Foreign Ministries and Swiss Agency for Development.

Mael Steiner
Program manager

Mael SteinerMaël, after studying sociology, anthropology and management of social and humanitarians organizations, worked more than 10 years in the social development field. Initially with Médecins Sans Frontières, in Nicaragua and Switzerland, then with the Terre des hommes-Lausanne foundation where he managed jointly more than 15 development and emergency projects in 7 countries of Latin America and the Caribbeans, related to child relief thematics.

Balasz Szalay
Project manager

Balasz SzalayBalazs has worked for the past three years in the field of philanthropy after having completed an MBA program specializing in International Organisations at the University of Geneva. Most recently, he was a Project Manager for the Rolex Awards for Enterprise at Rolex’s philanthropy division. He has over 12 years of experience in the private and non-profit sectors. Prior to his MBA, he worked in Geneva and Budapest in the hospitality and editorial sectors. In parallel, he dedicated all of his free time to a small consultancy firm specialised in health procurement related assignments mandated by international and non-governmental organisations.


«(…) you have changed my life - or at least you have allowed me to respond to a plea for help I have long wished to answer: to be at the service of those less fortunate, in a world where sharing is so difficult.»