The Innovation Foundation, empowered by the Adecco Group

The Innovation Foundation helps underserved populations increase their employability and access to labour markets to secure sustainable livelihoods. That is our mission. We see a future where everyone can access the world of work. That is our vision. Our mission and vision both come to life through the process of the Social Innovation Lab, with which we operate.


The first step is to identify the people who are falling out of the workforce and their unmet needs. We then develop solutions to meet those needs, working with experts and end-users. Finally, our prototypes are taken out into the world with the right partners on the ground - helping to make a world where everyone can access sustainable and fulfilling work.


As the world’s leading talent advisory and solutions company, creating social value is in the DNA of the Adecco Group. We connect people and companies with opportunity and help them find their paths. But we also have a wider responsibility to society – to advocate and act for a better, fairer world of work. We do this through the Innovation Foundation, with the full support of the Group’s leadership.

Our Team

Our Board

Cynthia Hansen

Managing Director
Cynthia Hansen
Managing Director

Cynthia drives the overall strategy, delivery, and impact of the global Innovation Foundation, leading the team to drive social innovation and to serve as a hub of new ideas for the wider Adecco Group.


Following a career in the private and non-profit sectors, Cynthia Hansen joined the Adecco Group in 2017 to start the Innovation Foundation (then called the Adecco Group Foundation) and spearhead social innovation. Cynthia’s areas of expertise include strategy, change management, social impact and partnership. Prior to joining the Adecco Group, she spent nine years at the World Economic Forum, in leadership roles across Strategic Partnerships, Professional Services, Financial Services, Civil Society, and Content Strategy. Previous roles include Director of Management Consultancy at boutique consulting firm Action Planning, Director of the US State Department’s International Visitor program for the State of Washington under the World Affairs Council, and Head of Admissions for Amity Institute. Cynthia has served on a number of non-profit boards and advisory bodies. She holds an MSc in Management of NGOs from the London School of Economics and a double BA (Hons) in Asian Studies and English Literature from the University of Puget Sound. Cynthia was also a Global Leadership Fellow of the World Economic Forum.

Camille Demonchaux

Innovation Project Manager
Camille Demonchaux
Innovation Project Manager

With the objective of combining her previous work experiences from the private and social sectors, Camille oversees all aspects of the Social Innovation Lab projects from planning through implementation and impact assessment.


Camille’s areas of expertise lie in business development, social innovation, entrepreneurship, and impact. Before joining the Adecco Group, she completed a fellowship at a social impact accelerator in Guatemala helping start-ups develop and succeed. Prior to that, Camille worked at leading corporations including over two years at Salesforce in business development roles and a year at W.L. Gore & Associates in marketing. While at Salesforce, Camille supported the company’s foundation with the coordination of educational programmes and wrote her master's thesis in the area of shared value creation. Camille has lived on three continents and speaks English, French, German and Spanish. She holds an MSc in Management from HEC Lausanne (Switzerland) and a BSc in Business Administration from Bishops University (Canada).

Garrett McKenna

Communications Business Partner
Garrett McKenna
Communications Business Partner

Garrett oversees internal and external communication activities for the Innovation Foundation - raising awareness, driving the messaging, and crafting engaging stories.


Garrett has over ten years of experience working in the field of communication. During his career, he has brought exciting and inspiring stories to life for businesses of all sizes. Topics and sectors include design and furniture, jewellery, learning and development, technology, fashion, and HR. A gifted communicator and confident presenter, Garrett also has experience in radio, video, and voiceover. His areas of expertise include campaign planning, copywriting, relationship management, and stakeholder engagement. He has a global perspective thanks to a career and life journey that spans over four different countries and is fluent in both English and Italian. Garrett graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in Speech and Communications.

Liana Melchenko

Head of Innovation Insights
Liana Melchenko
Head of Innovation Insights

Liana oversees research and innovation, focusing on identifying the needs and priorities for underserved populations and is responsible for partnerships with research institutions and innovative data providers, as well as building internal research capacity.


Previously, Liana was Head of Thought Leadership and FU.SE (an annual future of work event and platform) with the Adecco Group. Prior to joining the Innovation Foundation, she held multiple roles leading knowledge management, macroeconomic and finance research, public-private partnerships and engagement at the World Economic Forum. She joined the World Economic Forum as Global Leadership Fellow. She holds a Master of International Affairs degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York, a master’s degree from Lund University in Sweden, and a law degree from Kaliningrad State University, Russia.

Rob James

Strategic Advisor
Rob James
Strategic Advisor

Rob is a Strategic Advisor on key Innovation Foundation projects.


He joined Adecco in 2016 as Group CIO and led an IT transformation to modernize the company’s technology platforms. His career has spanned over thirty-five years working in senior IT management positions at leading international companies. Previously, Rob was Group CIO for Novartis, based in Switzerland, where he worked for twelve years. He began his career in IT at Xerox, in Europe, followed by thirteen years at Procter and Gamble. He is a native from the UK and studied Mathematics at University College London.

Shareena Hatta

Head of Social Innovation Projects
Shareena Hatta
Head of Social Innovation Projects

Shareena oversees the portfolio of social innovation projects.


Blending her experience in the non-profit and private sectors, Shareena Hatta joined the Innovation Foundation to head the CEO for One Month programme and their Youth Employability Solutions. Over the course of her career, her path has led her to form expertise in the broadcast media, finance, and education industries underpinned by the purpose of creating social value. Originally from Malaysia, she grew up criss-crossing the world through Myanmar, Indonesia, the US, Belgium, and Hong Kong before ending up in Switzerland. Cross-cultural understanding and the global reach of impact and scale are continuous drivers for any work that she undertakes. Arriving in Switzerland, Shareena managed Hult International Business School’s Alumni Affairs department, creating and implementing global strategies to build thriving local alumni communities. Soon after, she moved to the World Economic Forum, heading the Young Global Leader’s Alumni Community and Programming portfolio.

Veronika Bílá

Team Coordinator
Veronika Bílá
Team Coordinator

Veronika is responsible for team and cross-programme coordination and for the improvement of processes and systems.


Prior to joining the Innovation Foundation, Veronika worked in a client-facing role in education management, crafting and executing short-term global residency programmes for major universities and business schools. Her further professional experience is varied, spanning across corporate, start-up and non-profit sectors, and includes supporting global open innovation projects, coordinating large international events, new business development and content writing. A quick learner and a patient listener, Veronika is committed to investing her energy in meaningful projects that create positive and lasting impact. Prior to settling back in Europe, Veronika lived, worked, and studied in the US and in India. She holds a BSc in International Business from Prague University of Economics and Business and speaks Czech, English, Tibetan and some German and Hindi.

Jean-Christophe Deslarzes

Chairman of the Innovation Foundation Board
Jean-Christophe Deslarzes
Chairman of the Innovation Foundation Board

 

Chairman of the Innovation Foundation Board since June 2020

Chairman of the Adecco Group


A Swiss national, born in 1963, Jean-Christophe Deslarzes has been a member of the Adecco Group Board of Directors since April 2015. He has been Chair of the Adecco Group Board of Directors since April 2020 and a member of the Governance and Nomination Committee since April 2018. He was Chair of the Compensation Committee from April 2018 until April 2020 (member since April 2016) and a member of the Audit Committee from April 2015 until April 2018. His one-year term of office ends on the day of the next Annual General Meeting of Shareholders.

Jean-Christophe Deslarzes holds a master’s degree in Law from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

Jean-Christophe Deslarzes began his career in 1991 as a tax and legal consultant at Arthur Andersen in Switzerland. From 1994 to 2010, he worked at Rio Tinto and its predecessor companies, Alcan and Alusuisse, in human resources and general management roles in Europe and Canada, including as Senior Vice President Human Resources and member of the Executive Committee of Alcan Group as well as President and CEO, Downstream Aluminium Businesses, Rio Tinto, based in Canada. He served as Chief Human Resources and Organisation Officer and member of the Executive Board at Carrefour Group, based in France, from 2010 to 2013. From 2013 to 2019, Jean-Christophe Deslarzes was Chief Human Resources Officer and member of the Executive Committee of ABB Group, based in Switzerland.

From February 2018 until February 2021, he was Chairman of the Board of Directors of ABB India Limited1, India. Since January 2021, he has been Special Advisor to the Board of Directors of Constellium* (NYSE, headquartered in France) with the Constellium Board’s expectation to put forward his nomination as member of its BoD at Constellium’s next AGM in 2021. Since January 2021, Jean-Christophe Deslarzes has been a Member of the Executive Faculty at the University of St. Gallen.

* Listed company

Alain Dehaze

Member of the Innovation Foundation Board
Alain Dehaze
Member of the Innovation Foundation Board

Member of the Innovation Foundation Board since November 2017

Chief Executive Officer of the Adecco Group


Chief Executive Officer of the Adecco Group since September 2015, Regional Head of France from August 2011 to August 2015, and Regional Head of Northern Europe from October 2009 to July 2011. Member of the EC since October 2009.

A Belgian national born in 1963, Alain Dehaze joined the Adecco Group in September 2009 as Regional Head of Northern Europe. He trained as a commercial engineer at the ICHEC Brussels Management School, Belgium.

From 1987 until 2000, Alain held senior positions in a number of European countries at Henkel and ISS. In 2000, he became Managing Director of Creyf’s Interim in Belgium (now Start People). From 2002 to 2005, he was Chief Executive Officer of Solvus. Following the acquisition of Solvus by USG People, the Netherlands, in 2005, he became the Chief Operating Officer of USG People, with overall responsibility for operations, including the integration of Solvus. From September 2007 until 2009, he was CEO of the staffing services company Humares, the Netherlands.

Alain was on the board of the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) and previously served as its Chairman. Furthermore, Alain Dehaze was Vice President of the Board of the World Employment Confederation Europe and member of the Board of the World Employment Confederation between December 2010 and December 2015. Since August 2017 he has been a member of the newly formed ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work.

Gordana Landen

Member of the Innovation Foundation Board
Gordana Landen
Member of the Innovation Foundation Board

Member of the Innovation Foundation Board since June 2020

Chief Human Resources Officer of the Adecco Group


Gordana is a Swedish national, born in 1964. She graduated from Stockholm University with a BSc in Human Resource Development and Labour Relations. Gordana joined the Adecco Group in 2019 and has been a Member of the Executive Committee since January 2019.

Before joining the Adecco Group, she served as Chief Human Resources Officer at Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) in Amsterdam from November 2015.

Between 2008 and 2015, she was Senior Vice President for Human Resources at Swedish paper manufacturer SCA.

Gordana spent fifteen years working for Swedish telecoms company Ericsson in Sweden, the UK, and the US. She was Vice President for Human Resources, Organisation and Business Services from 2006 to 2008, having risen through the ranks with a wide range of human resources roles, including Regional HR Manager and Director for Human Resources and Organisation.

Ory Okolloh

Member of the Innovation Foundation Board
Ory Okolloh
Member of the Innovation Foundation Board

Member of the Innovation Foundation Board since June 2021


Before joining the Adecco Group Foundation Board, Ory was the Managing Director of the Omidyar Network and Luminate Group in Africa, both part of The Omidyar Group. She is currently engaged in advisory work in several fields including impact investing, philanthropy, and technology policy.

She serves on the Board of Directors of several organisations including the Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company, the East African Breweries Limited, Deloitte Africa, the Board of Trustees of the Van Leer Group the Harvard Africa Advisory Group and is the Chair of the Stanbic Bank Kenya Foundation. She is also an Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) Fellow.

Prior to this, Ory was Google’s Policy and Strategy manager for Africa. Ory was also at the forefront of developing technology innovation as a founding member of Ushahidi. She was the organization’s Executive Director from inception until December 2010. Ory is also the co-founder of Mzalendo, a website that tracks the performance of Kenyan MPs and Asphalt & Ink, a strategic advisory firm. In 2011, Ory was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and one of Africa's most Powerful Women by Forbes Magazine. In 2014, she was named Time 100's most influential people in the world.

Ory earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh.

Virginia Wilson

Member of the Innovation Foundation Board
Virginia Wilson
Member of the Innovation Foundation Board

Member of the Innovation Foundation Board since June 2021


Leading private and social enterprises for over 25 years in multilateral, culturally diverse environments, Virginia is passionate about bringing to life innovations that impact our society. Virginia is the Chief Executive Officer of the Shared Value Initiative Hong Kong. Previously, she was Global COO of OneSky and Chief Executive of The Child Development Centre.

Virginia has a demonstrated track record of securing strategic partnerships between corporations, governments, and non-profits to deliver on social impact projects. She started her career in telecommunications, building satellites, and the distribution of free-to-air television across 60 countries in Asia.

Seeing the uptake first-hand, Virginia focused on education, believing that investing in people is the key driver for impactful change. Bringing together diversity and crossing cultural divides is a pathway to create shared value in our world.

Formerly, she served as a Member of the Management Board of the Vocational Training Council, a board member for the English Schools Foundation, and the Education Committee Chair for the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.