Christina Senn-Jakobsen takes over her new position from Fathi Derder, who has been leading early implementation of the SFNV’s work for the past 18 months.
Food has always played a central role in Christina Senn-Jakobsen’s life. Hailing from a family with agricultural roots in Denmark, her interest in health and nutrition led to studies in food science and technology, and from there to a varied career in food innovation – including 12 years at leading consumer goods company Mondelez International in roles spanning R&D, innovation management, marketing and strategy. She has now been appointed as the new Managing Director of the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley (SFNV).
“I always say food is the best thing in the world,” says Senn-Jakobsen, smiling as she recalls some of the best meals of her life. “People can relate to that: food brings us together. Notice how now, in the time of Covid-19, what most of us miss most is sitting around a table with friends. We bond over food. Whatever the celebration, there’s always food! Food allows us to travel, so even sitting here in Zurich, I can experience a piece of Spain by eating paella, or Japan with a bowl of udon noodles.”
Food is why the Danish native, who has called Switzerland home for the last 14 years, pursued a Master’s in European Food Studies from Wageningen University: “Food nurtures our bodies, it helps children grow into healthy adults, and allows athletes to perform to the best of their abilities. The right food helps us focus, gives us energy and boosts our immune system. Good food really does nurture soul, body and mind.”