Learn more about the people behind DWIH San Francisco and the work that helps us achieve our mission.  

Zahar Barth-Manzoori is the Director of the German Center for Research and Innovation (DWIH) in San Francisco. After completing her doctorate in Islamic Studies at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel – supported by a scholarship from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation – she began working at the DAAD in Bonn in 2011 as head of the Events and Visitor Programs Department. In 2015, she took over the position as Head of Section Joint Scholarship Programs Middle East, North Africa, returning to her professional roots. From May 2020 until her departure for San Francisco, she played a leading role in setting up DWIH San Francisco as head of the DWIH management office at DAAD. As an experienced science manager and passionate networker, she is particularly looking forward to initiating international university collaborations, fostering knowledge transfer between research, business and society, and supporting research-based innovation in San Francisco.  
Zahar Barth-Manzoori
Hanni Geist is a professional in higher education, fostering exchange between the US and Germany. Originally from Berlin, Hanni now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and represents the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in the San Francisco office. Since 2013, Hanni supports students and researchers to study, intern, and research in Germany. Hanni is responsible for all activities in the Western region of the US. To increase Germany alumni engagement, Hanni created the podcast Coffee Connections to highlight the diverse experiences in and with Germany. Hanni has presented at NAFSA, the Forum on Education, and Diversity Abroad conference on study, intern, and research opportunities in Germany under the lens of DEI. As a professional in the field of International Education, Hanni focuses on topics related to mental health.
Hanni Geist
Evan Gong is the Communications Officer at DWIH San Francisco. He is responsible for program planning and public affairs, and is excited about expanding DWIH's newest location in the U.S. West Coast. Evan graduated with high honors from UC Berkeley and previously worked as a Political Intern for the United States Embassy in Berlin, Germany. He is particularly interested in history, politics, and economics and enjoys improving his foreign languages in his free time.
Evan Gong
Brenda Lamboy started the Program Officer position with DWIH San Francisco in December 2022 and has previously worked with the DAAD New York office as the Social Media and Marketing Assistant. She is originally from the Los Angeles area and received both her bachelor’s and master’s degree at California State University Long Beach. Brenda is currently working on her PhD at the University of Cincinnati on the topic of Jewish Hip-Hop in Germany.
Brenda Lamboy