Taylor Institute Advisory Board

The Taylor Institute Advisory Board and ex offico members serve as a compact, informative and prestigious think tank, both reflective and trendsetting while shaping a global ecosystem for entrepreneurship under FUS academic leadership

Enrico Sasson

Enrico Sassoon

Graduated in Economics (1973), Political Science (1980) and History (2010). He is editor-in-chief of Harvard Business Review Italy and CEO of its publishing company (StrategiQs Edizioni).


He is Chairman of Eccellenze d'Impresa and of Global Trends Research and Communication. He began his professional career at the Pirelli Research Department (1974-1977). From 1977 to 2003 he has worked with Il Sole 24 Ore Group in positions of increasing responsibility: editor-in-chief of Mondo Economico, L'Impresa and other publications; Group Scientific Director (1997-1998); Head of Il Sole 24 Ore Digital Edition (2000-2001).


From 1998 to 2006 he has worked as CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy. He was founder and editor-in-chief of the online review Affari Internazionali of the International Affairs Institute (2006-2008). He has been president of The Ruling Companies from 2010 to 2018.


He has published over 2,000 articles in Il Sole 24 Ore, Mondo Economico and other publications, over 100 essays in academic journals and 12 books on economics, international trade, environment and the future.


He is a member of the Board of Directors of listed and unlisted companies.

Kim Polman - Author

Kim Polman

Kim Polman was born in the United States but has resided in various European countries all her adult life.

The guiding principle most dear to her heart has always been The Golden Rule: ‘Treat others and the planet as you wish to be treated’, embracing the environment from an early age. She co-authored her first book on this very philosophy, Imaginal Cells - Visions of Transformation.


The book, a collection of essays from thought leaders and change agents from all walks of life, embraces the Golden Rule as the starting point with which to collectively address the most pressing issues of our time and offers a roadmap for humanity. Following the publication of Imaginal Cells, Kim co-founded Reboot the Future foundation. She has become a public speaker.

Kim is also co-founder of the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust, a charity dedicated to improving literacy in blind and visually impaired children in east Africa. As a polymath, she has initiated research on expats, ran a community-based website for the expat community, and helped organize a regional community arts project across northern England. As an accomplished cello player, she performs in various ensembles, organises concerts, and has served on the board of various orchestras.

She raised three sons with her husband while moving multiple times internationally, learning several languages along the way.

Giovanna Lagutaine

Giovanna Lagutaine

Giovanna is a Managing Director at Rothschild & Co. Her career in private banking combines her great passion for finance with a deep commitment to positive interpersonal dynamics. Giovanna grew up in a multicultural environment spending part of her youth in Iran, Australia and Egypt with her family.


After completing one year at the American University in Cairo, Giovanna returned to Italy where she earned a Law Degree Magna cum Laude at the University of Genoa, followed by the Bar Exam in Milan. Her continued pursuit of international settings brought Giovanna to Zurich, where she currently resides with her husband and two young adult sons.

Giovanna’s personal interests and engagements encompass the arts, sport and philanthropy. At Rothschild & Co, Giovanna leads initiatives promoting communication and collaboration in the philanthropic space, with particular focus on women. Further, Giovanna also donates her experience and financial expertise as a board member of the JHS Foundation, a service and education focused organization. Fluent in Italian, French and English, Giovanna is now also proficient in German.

Giovanna is proud to serve on Taylor Institute Advisory Board, inspired not only by Franklin University’s extraordinary educational impact, but also by its legacy and commitment to future generations of global leaders and thinkers.

Tamara Erez

Tamara Erez

Tamara Erez graduated in law from the university of Bern. Since 2018 she is CEO of the Centro Studi Villa Negroni, Lugano, a lifelong learning institute for the banking and financial sector in Ticino.

She started her career as a lawyer specializing in banking and financial law. She worked for several years as a legal consultant and compliance officer for various financial intermediaries and as a mediator in economic, administrative and environmental matters in Lugano and Zurich.

With a passionate interest in education, she currently also serves as a teacher, sharing her knowledge and experience for sustainable, ethical and quality professionalism.

Francesco Tronci

Francesco Tronci

Currently Senior Vice President at Investindustrial (a leading ESG-responsible private equity group with over €10bn of raised fund capital) and serves on the board of multiple international companies. Prior to that, he worked for Barclays Capital’s investment banking division in New York, for Novartis CH and for The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Milan. 

Passionate about technology and impact, Francesco holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School (class of 2010) and for over a decade has been volunteering for several non-profits operating across the US, Europe and Africa.

Among others, serving as President and Secretary of NOVA-MBA (a US nonprofit uniting 2,000+ MBA alumni with Italian heritage from the top global business schools), he expanded NOVA’s reach and social impact, promoting give-back initiatives like Mentors4u, the largest pro-bono mentorship program in Europe for college students.

He is also a co-founder of Sardinia in Business and Finance (bringing executives to teach pro-bono to students in the island), a Young Ambassador for AFS-USA (fundraising to support intercultural exchange programs) and an advisor to the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance (leading network of African entrepreneurs) and to the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Hub in Lugano.

Cheryl Benini

Cheryl Benini

Senior Vice-President and Head of Strategy of Siemens Smart Infrastructure, headquartered in Zug, Switzerland.  She has been with Siemens for more than 20 years, starting in Munich, Germany in 1997.  She held a variety of leadership roles in Strategy, including mergers & acquisitions, corporate venture investing, strategic alliances and developing digitalization strategies.


She graduated in 1989 from the University of Michigan and in 1991 left Ford Motor Company to join an automotive supplier in 1991 in Ticino.  She attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1995-97 and finished with Masters degrees in Engineering and an MBA, as part of a selective program to develop “Leaders for Global Operations”. 


Benini enjoys working with technology companies and spent 2 years on the Expert Committee of the Swiss Federal Technology Fund, which financially supports start-ups bringing CO2 reductions.  She also mentors women at Siemens, specifically those with a technical background and working mothers.  She is currently a member of the Ticino Chapter Board of the Swiss American Chamber of Commerce and splits her time between Lugano and Zug.

P Gregory Warden PhD

P.Gregory Warden PhD

Former President and Professor of Archaeology at Franklin University Switzerland. An award-winning teacher (Meadows Foundation Distinguished Teaching Professor and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor), he has taught at the University of Texas, Bowdoin College, the University of Pennsylvania, and SMU, where he is University Distinguished Professor Emeritus. He is Executive Editor of Etruscan Studies, Vice President of the Etruscan Foundation, Consulting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology, an elected member the Istituto di Studi Etruschi e Italici, and an International Fellow of the Explorers Club. In 2012 the Republic of Italy awarded him the title of Cavaliere in the Order of the Star of Italy for contributions to Italian culture.


Author or co-author of five books and over 100 publications, Warden’s research interests, in addition to Mediterranean archaeology, are heritage, architectural conservation, and the application of digital technologies to issues of preservation. As a former museum director he has organized exhibitions in the US and Europe, and has given keynote lectures at numerous universities and museums, including the Getty and the British Museum. His work has been supported by the Kress Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


A native of Italy, Warden is the founder, Principal Investigator, and co-Director of the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project and excavations at Poggio Colla, a joint mission of SMU, Franklin and Marshall College, the University of Texas, the Open University (UK), and the University of Pennsylvania. The Project has been featured in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, in the European media, and on the Discovery Channel.

Wikipedia page

Kim Hildebrant

Kim Hildebrant

A native of Denmark, Kim Hildebrant has lived in Lugano for over 25 years, and is currently the President of Anchorage Group PLC, a global consultancy with offices in London & Zurich.

Hildebrant graduated from Franklin University Switzerland in 1990 with a B.A. in International Relations, and then went on to forge a career in the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Copenhagen. He has travelled extensively living and working on every continent, where the cultural skills acquired whilst at Franklin, came in useful in understanding and appreciating the diverse nature of our multicultural world.

He returned to Franklin to serve in the role as Chair of the Board of Trustees for Franklin to give back to its staff, faculty and students. His experience and knowledge of an international education and career is invaluable in ensuring Franklin remains a leader in innovation, vision and connectivity with our global peers.

Hildebrant is also the Chair of CMC Cybersecurity & Management Challenges Symposiums, which take place annually at Franklin.

Christoph A. von Arb Phd

Christoph A. von Arb PhD

Executive Vice President for Strategic Development and International Outreach – In 2008 he founded and is currently President of Swiss based International Initiatives Inc. - TRIPLEYE, a private consultant firm with a specific focus on Education, Research and Innovation at the interface between industry, academia and government.


From 2002 to 2008, Dr. von Arb was Consul General and Director of the world’s first Digital Science Consulate called swissnex in Boston, a novel concept of Diplomacy based on public-private partnership, which he initiated and implemented, while he was Head of International Affairs in the Office of the State Secretary of Education, Research and Innovation. He also negotiated a number of bilateral agreements including Switzerland’s full participation in the EU-Research Framework Programs.


His diplomatic service began with a 5 year posting at the Swiss Embassy in Washington D.C., where he was a member of the Swiss Delegation negotiating the launch of the International Space Station. Dr. von Arb is a frequent lecturer at universities and public events and serves on various boards of research-oriented organizations. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biology in 1984 from the University of Berne.

Carlo Giardinetti MBA - Co-Director Taylor Institute

Carlo Giardinetti MBA - Co-Director Taylor Institute

Carlo Giardinetti is an expert practitioner of self-organization principles and a certified Leadership coach.


After a career as a professional soccer player in Italy, Carlo moved into a fast-advancing career in the hospitality industry, managing hotels and resorts in Italy, Tanzania, Kenya, Maldives, Egypt, and Ukraine. 


Now "living his third professional life", he works in the education management space as Dean of Executive Education and Global Outreach at Franklin University Switzerland.


He is also an Instructor at the Harvard Division of Continuing Education teaching the course “Collaborative Leadership: Building the Organization of the Future”. Carlo earned his MBA from Manchester Business School and IE Madrid.

Branko Sain PhD - Co-Director Taylor Institute

Branko Sain PhD - Dean of Executive Education and Innovation - Director, Taylor Institute

Dr. Branko Sain has been described as an educational entrepreneur with extensive experience in academia combined with entrepreneurial drive and pragmatic wisdom.

Throughout his professional career, he has worked as an academic, consultant and senior administrator in businesses and academic institutions across 4 continents. Fluent in 5 languages and exquisitely international, he brings a wealth of experience in managing institutions, designing learning programs, and accreditation in higher education.


He has been also a driving force in several educational projects, including the creation of learning programs for underprivileged children in Europe, the USA and Africa, and the founding executive of a major private school in Switzerland.

He holds a PhD and a Master degree in business strategy and marketing and a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. He was managing the Integrated Marketing research center in the UK and has published a number of papers, case studies and book chapters on relationship marketing, cross-cultural communication, and branding.

Dr. Branko Sain is Dean of Executive Education and Innovation Franklin University Switzerland and also a Director of the Taylor Institute.

He is a licensed ocean skipper and a certified sommelier. He enjoys playing with his 3 kids, sailing, ski-mountaineering, hiking and cooking.