About us marc 28. Oktober 2021

We provide tailor-made consulting and project management services

BiRD (Bureau for Institutional Reform and Democracy) was founded in 1998 as a limited liability company in Munich, Germany, where we are still headquartered. Aspiring to make a real difference and convinced that properly functioning democratic institutions are at the core of societal and individual well-being, development and fulfillment, our founders laid their focus on the then still new governance sector. During the early days of the company, we implemented mostly short-term technical assistance (TA) projects, but soon started partnering for and even leading long-term TA projects commissioned by the European Commission. And still today, we engage in strengthening democratic institutions, promotion of the rule of law, support to civil society – to only name a few – while always extending our fields of activities in the various sectors, we work in. Next to our TA projects, a second pillar has always been central to our work: conducting evaluations, analyses and studies in various development-related sectors for NGOs, public institutions and multilateral organisations.

Our team
Dr. Markus Brunner has been working with BiRD since the founding of the company in 1998, initially as a Senior Programme Officer, then as Deputy Director, since 2008 as Director. In this capacity, Markus has both participated directly in the implementation of projects and missions as key expert, and has been involved as Project Director and principal backstopper on the consortium level for the implementation of larger-scale EDF-projects. He is also in charge of business development, including the building of consortia, drafting and submission of proposals and liaising with clients, partner companies and experts. Markus holds a masters degree in Economics and a PhD in Political Science and has more than 20 years of work experience, among them four years in Nigeria and periods of three years in Kenya, Syria, Turkey, and Estonia. Currently, he is based in Vienna, Austria.
Markus Brunner
Dunja Speiser holds a M.A. in Political Science and has more than 15 years of professional experience in the area of governance, democratisation, state building and post-conflict reconstruction. She is responsible for the preparation, management and realisation of governance related projects as well as the firm’s business development and human resource management. Before having joined BiRD as Project Manager on a permanent basis in 2010 and as Deputy Director since 2016, she has worked for the company on a freelance basis for many years. Numerous projects and evaluations for different bi- and multilateral donors have been directly implemented by Dunja as key expert. She provides specific working, research and living experience in fragile and conflict-affected countries, particularly in the Central and West African region.
Dunja Speiser
Deputy Director
Silke Williams is a Project Coordinator at BiRD and has been working with the company since 2008. She is in charge of the preparation and coordinaton of short- and long-term projects, the acquisition of consultants and administrative tasks within the company. Before her return to Munich, she lived in the US for six years where she gained comprehensive professional experience working with international corporations such as Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems, Google, Autodesk and Sony in California as German Translator/Administrative Specialist and Project Coordinator. Silke Williams has graduated as Translator/Interpretor for German, English and French with a focus on economics and international relations.
Silke Williams
Project Coordinator
Altynai Maganbetova is a Project Support Manager at BiRD. Her responsibilities include the support regarding the management of short- and long-term projects mainly through the acquisition of experts and databank management. Altynai holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Finance as well as a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. Before joining BiRD, she worked as a special assistant to the Chief Information Officer at the American University of Central Asia. Furthermore, Altynai has worked at a Telecommunication Company holding the position of lead economist. She is a Kyrgyz native and is fluent in Russian and English.
Altynai Maganbetova
Project Support Manager
Hanna Stadler is Project Manager at BiRD. Her responsibilities include the technical and administrative project management of BiRD’s short- and long-term projects in the governance and justice sector. She holds a Master’s degree in International Relations with a specialization in Public International Law and International Politics as well as a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Sociology. Due to her research and various professional experiences, she has gained expertise in foreign and security policy, especially with regard to China. Before having joined BiRD, Hanna interned among others with the FES China Office in Shanghai and the German Embassy in Paris. She is a German native and is fluent in French and English and has elementary knowledge of Chinese.
Hanna Stadler
Project Manager
Benjamin Schmich is Project Manager at BiRD. His responsibilities include the technical and administrative project management of BiRD’s short- and long-term projects in the governance and justice sector. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Security from Aarhus University and a double-major Bachelor’s degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology and Geography. Before having joined BiRD, Benjamin worked as a research fellow with ICRAF Vietnam on the topics of climate change adaptation and disaster-risk-reduction. Furthermore, Benjamin has worked with NGOs in development cooperation for more than 10 years in an honorary capacity. In addition to his native German, Benjamin is fluent in English and French.
Benjamin Schmich
Project Manager
Daniel Stroux is the founder and sole shareholder of BiRD. He has a long-standing experience as election and governance expert with a special focus on electoral assistance, parliamentary and civil society support as well as evaluations. Currently, he is working as the Chief Technical Advisor of the United Nations Electoral Support Team within the UN Support Mission in Libya. Between 2013 an 2015, he coordinated a UNDP Electoral Assistance project in Egypt, following a period of four years as Deputy and Interim Director of the Electoral Division of the Peacekeeping Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) and four years as Chief Technical Advisor for a UNDP project supporting the Congolese transitional institutions. For BiRD, Daniel has participated on all levels of project, programme and business management, while also being part of project implementations and missions as key expert. Daniel holds a Masters Degree in Political Science.
Daniel Stroux
Walanga Nabi is a project support manager at BIRD. Her responsibilities include support regarding the management of short-and long-term projects mainly through the acquisition of experts and database management. Before joining BiRD, Walanga worked as interpreter and English and Russian language instructor at the TOEFl Center, and interned with UNDP and the Afghan Embassy in Bishkek. She holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights and Democratization and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. In addition to her native language Pashto, Walanga is fluent in Russian, English, Persian and Hindi.
Walanga Nabi
Project Support Manager