Mission 21 is an international mission organization with over 70 partner churches and partner organizations on four continents. Our headquarters are located in Basel in the historic mission house of the Basel Mission. In Switzerland, we are supported and carried by the Reformed regional churches of German-speaking Switzerland and the three sponsoring associations Basler Mission (BM, founded in 1815), Herrnhuter Mission and Evangelical Mission in the Kwango (EMIK). The international cooperation with our partners is reflected in our structure: Our highest body is the Mission Synod, where once a year delegates from four continents decide on the strategy and direction of Mission 21's work.
Board of Directors
Johannes Blum-Hasler, Prof. Dr. med.
President of the Board
Johannes Blum (b. 1955) was elected by the synod on June 10, 2015, as the new president of the board of which he has been a member since 2012. Previously, he served as president of the Mission 21 supporting association Evangelical Mission in the Kwango, EMIK. Johannes Blum worked as a tropical doctor with training function at the Hôpital de Vanga in the DR Congo from 1987 to 1991. Since 1991 he has been working at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, currently as senior physician and head of the polyclinic. He is a lecturer at the Medical Faculty of the University of Basel. Johannes Blum undertakes annual missions to the DR Congo and other African countries for medical training and research.
Andrea R. Trümpy
Member of the Board
Andrea R. Trümpy (born 1946) is the former mayor of Glarus and was a church councilor of the Protestant Reformed congregation of Glarus-Riedern (department of music and culture). She is involved in voluntary work, among other things as a delegate to the Continental Conference Europe of Mission 21, as a member of the financial advisory board of CPCE/Community of Protestant Churches in Europe, and as vice president of the board of directors in the communications organization "Reformed Media Switzerland".
Dr. Gerhard Bütschi-Hassler
Member of the Board
Gerhard Bütschi-Hassler (born 1955) is an independent management consultant in the field of marketing and communications. He has been a lecturer in communications management in Switzerland and abroad, as well as a consultant to the Tanzanian government for training courses for those responsible for communications in the presidency and ministries. Gerhard Bütschi is a church councilor of the Reformed Church of Aargau and a synod member of the EKS.
Dr. Claudia Hoffmann, Pastor
Member of the Board
Claudia Hoffmann (born 1977) is a research assistant at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Basel and an active volunteer in the KinderKirche of the parish of Basel-West. She worked in different research projects on various topics. She dealt with the mission history of the Gereja Kalimantan Evangelis, with intercultural issues facing the Swiss church landscape due to migration movements and interreligious contact zones in Basel, Hamburg and Milan.
Michal Maurer, Pastor
Member of the Board
Michal Maurer Pfenninger (born 1993) has been pastor in the diaspora parish in Sargans, Mels, Vilters-Wangs since 2020. She studied at the universities of Zurich, Basel and Strasbourg and was involved in the YMCA for a long time. Interested in languages and people, she has traveled extensively. Michal Maurer-Pfenninger is connected with Mission 21 through an encounter trip to Cameroon and through her work as a youth ambassador.
Frieder Vollprecht, Pastor
Member of the Board
Frieder Vollprecht (born 1960) is pastor of the Herrnhut Societies of Basel and Bern and works in the House of Religions in Bern. Frieder Vollprecht worked in parish ministries in Herrnhut, Berlin and Neuwied am Rhein. From 1997 to 2002 he was parish pastor and lecturer in church history at the theological seminary of the Brethren community in Paramaribo (Surinam). In addition, he looks back on twelve years in the Herrnhut church leadership for continental Europe. He has been associated with Mission 21 for many years, among other things as a member of the board of the supporting association "Herrnhuter Mission".
Roland Plattner-Steinmann, Dr. iur. utr.
Member of the Board
Roland Plattner-Steinmann (b.1959) was elected as a member of the board at Synod 2022. After various stations in the service of the public administration (most recently as Secretary General of the Education, Culture and Sports Directorate BL), he has been working since 2015 at the Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Basel-Landschaft as Head of the Staff Office for Church and Community Development. In various stages of his career, he was also involved in international development tasks (SDC, Osthilfe Schweiz/Ukraine) and as a legal advisor with military peacebuilding in the international network. Plattner has been a member of the board of the Basel Mission, the supporting association of Mission 21, since 2020.
Jochen Kirsch, Pastor
Jochen Kirsch has led Mission 21 as director since September 2019. Previously, he was head of the International Relations Department at Mission 21. From 2004 to September 2014, he held various positions in this department: team leader for Africa, program officer for Cameroon, Nigeria and South Sudan, and thematic officer for HIV and theological education. Most recently, Kirsch was also responsible for the area of religion and development.
Magdalena Zimmermann, Pastor
Deputy Director, Head of the "Education Exchange Research" Department
Magdalena Zimmermann has been working at Mission 21, formerly Basler Mission, since 1997 and is head of the Education Exchange Research department. After training and working as a nurse, she studied theology in Basel and Bern.
Head of the "Marketing and Communication" department and contact person for media inquiries
Gaby Ullrich has been Head of Marketing and Communications at Mission 21 since May 2019. Gaby Ullrich originally studied business administration and marketing and has many years of diverse management experience in marketing, communications and fundraising in the private sector (airlines, advertising, financial services) as well as with well-known Swiss NPOs. She completed further studies in Nonprofit Management and Law at the University of Basel in 2015 and is currently studying Ethics at the University of Zurich.
Head of the "International Relations" Department
Katharina Gfeller has headed the International Relations department since September 2019. Prior to that, she was Team Leader Asia, responsible for projects and programs in Indonesia, Hong Kong and Malaysia. With a degree in social geography, she worked for two years as a peace specialist in Indonesia and completed an MAS course in nonprofit management.
Head of personnel
Myriam Pellet has been working as Head of Human Resources at Mission 21 since November 2016. In addition to training as a business economist and further training as a human resources manager, she has many years of diverse professional experience in the field of human resources in an international environment.
Dr. Barbara Heer
Head of Staff Office Women and Gender
Barbara Heer has been working at the Mission House since June 2021. She holds a doctorate in ethnology and has conducted research on cities in southern Africa, taught at the University of Basel, and worked in intercultural and interreligious dialogue at the parish level. As a member of parliament in the canton of Basel-Stadt, she is committed to gender justice.
Women and gender
Since Mission 21 was founded in 2001, the ministry has had a Women and Gender staff unit. Gender justice is a guiding principle for all Mission 21 development programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Attached to the Directorate Department, the staff unit therefore works in close cooperation with the International Relations Department towards a world free of gender-based discrimination and violence. The task of the staff unit is to guarantee that the concerns and living situations of women are taken into account in the planning, design and implementation of programs.
Advisory Board Gender Justice
The Advisory Board Gender Justice advises Mission 21 as an expert body. Its task is to support the strategic orientation of Mission 21 for gender justice and gender mainstreaming. The four coordinators of the Continental Assemblies, representatives of the Mission 21 Board of Directors, and external gender experts participate in the Board. The board meets online three times a year and works on a voluntary basis.
The Advisory Board is intended to further strengthen Mission 21's work for gender justice and to increase its international focus at the strategic level.
Until spring 2023, the Expert Commission Women and Gender (FaKo) supported the staff unit as a dedicated body for many years. The members of the commission during the last term of office can be found at here.
Regional office Bern
The Berne regional office of Mission 21 is integrated into the "Ecumenical Mission and Development Cooperation" (OeME) department of the Reformed Churches of Berne-Jura-Solothurn. The Bern Regional Office makes the World Church tangible in Bern parishes. In particular, the focus is on educational and project work with youth and young adults.
Mission 21 is present with competent experts in the 20 project countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. As coordinators, these international staff members network Mission 21's program work with the partner churches and partner organizations on the ground. Specialists from Switzerland and Germany are also active in the projects. They work as doctors or theologians, as technicians or designers. These specialists are deployed at the express request of Mission 21's partner churches and partner organizations. They sharpen their intercultural competence through their assignment abroad and contribute significantly to the international network of Mission 21.