Karen Hitschke

Chief Operating Officer
WHO Foundation

Karen Hitschke is the Chief Operating Officer at the WHO Foundation, an independent grant-making organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland that identifies and funds catalytic initiatives to improve world health. She was previously the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Funds at Yunus Social Business (YSB) Global Initiatives, where she still serves as a Board Member. Karen has extensive expertise and experience in fund structuring, early stage investing, and fundraising.

Prior to YSB, Karen was the Chief Financial Officer at Affectis AG, a German biotech company developing innovative treatments for depression, as well as an advisor to Swiss Business Angel Network B-to-V where she is also a member of the Investor Circle. Karen served for several years as an investment manager at Apax Partners in the life science sector where she initiated and build the Continental European activities for Apax Partners. She started her business career as a consultant at McKinsey & Co in Munich, Germany. 

Academically, Karen holds an MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau (France), and a M.Sc. in Biology from the University of Constance, Germany. She is also a recipient of the German National Scholarship Foundation, awarded to candidates for outstanding academic achievements.