Jessica Berlin
Founder & Managing Director

Jessica Berlin is a German and American foreign policy expert turned entrepreneur with a knack for turning ideas into reality. She has worked over ten years with public, private, academic, and nonprofit organizations in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, and founded CoStruct to forge new approaches to international business and development innovation. She holds a Master of Science in Political Economy of Emerging Markets from King's College London and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Tufts University.

Alexander Schwarzer
Chief Operating Officer

Alexander Schwarzer is a German political scientist with a passion for narrowing the technological, cultural, and economic gaps between industrial and developing countries. He has extensive professional experience with businesses and governments in international development and private public partnership management in Asia, Africa, and Europe. He holds a Master of Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of Geneva.

Riley Brandt
Technical Advisor

Riley Brandt is a mechanical engineer and materials scientist specializing in renewable energy and medical devices. He is especially interested in leveraging the rapid growth in inexpensive computing hardware to design low-cost tech solutions and renewable energy, and has co-founded a medical device start-up. He holds a Ph.D. and Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.


Liana Newton

Liana Newton is a communications strategist with a background in public relations and business development. Her experience includes creating, editing, and publishing communication materials for the world’s largest defense contractor and supporting attorney/client relations for a major global law firm. Liana holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Corporate Public Relations from Drexel University.

Thomas Dünwald
Research Assistant

Thomas Dünwald is an environmentalist and passionate about ideas that have the potential to make the world a bit better. He holds a Master of Science of Environmental Management from the University of Kiel and a Bachelor of Science of Geography and Urban Planning from the University of Hamburg. Thomas has lived and worked in several countries and has experience as a social worker and teacher in Germany.

Garrett Hemann
Technical Advisor

Garrett Hemann is a robotics engineer focusing on long-range mobile autonomy.  His technology background fuels his passion for education and bringing tech to a larger audience. He is co-founder of an educational technology startup that measures collaboration of students in group projects. Garrett has a Master of Science in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from MIT.