New Managing Director: Interview with Sylvia Becker

Sylvia Becker has been the new managing director of the ECARF Institute the since the beginning of April 2017 and the director of the fundraising department of the non-profit ECARF Foundation.

Becker has a degree in business and financial administration and considers her job at ECARF as the ideal opportunity to develop innovative strategies and implement them successfully. She has over 20 years of business experience and has held management positions in various companies.

We asked her how she came to join ECARF and what her plans are for the future.

  • Ms Becker, what made you decide to join ECARF?

I was looking for a new challenge and wanted to get into a new field. Allergies are a growing concern, and I hope to be able to make a difference for people with allergies in my new job. My aim is to create lasting change with what I do. Together with the ECARF team, I would like to continue building on the strong foundation already in place.

  • What were you doing before, and what is your background?

I studied business and financial administration and was in charge of the commercial divisions at various companies. Just before this, I held a management position at WWF Germany, where I was responsible for finance, HR, IT and administration.

  • What does it take to be a good managing director?

A good managing director needs to have strong communication and leadership skills, and is someone who can think strategically and in terms of business, has a vision, and is willing to take certain risks. It is also important to be a good team player. Openness, honesty, trust and learning from one’s mistakes are the keys to good teamwork.

  • What are the current opportunities and challenges in fundraising for the foundation?

I think a lot of people are prepared to help as long as they can be sure that the intended goals are being achieved with their donations. Organisations therefore need to be trustworthy and transparent. It is important to generate awareness of the issue and to provide honest insight into the work, the projects and their success.

  • What lies ahead for the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation?

Allergies are affecting an increasing number of people. Within this context, research, education and new therapy options will become even more important. I believe that the ECARF Foundation has a significant contribution to make in these developments.

Our thanks to Sylvia Becker, who was interviewed by Bernd Janning and Dr Cosima Scholz.