Board of Directors

Noémie Njangiru
President

Noemie Njangiru is the head of the Goethe-Institut San Francisco. She recently initiated a new concept for an agile cultural Institut and is currently working on it’s implementation together with her team. Areas of interest also include alternative memory cultures, new and inclusive art&tech collaborations and social justice issues. She currently serves as president of Berlin&Beyond as well as director of board to TheGrid (a EUNIC Cluster initiative). She is the former regional head of creative industry projects for the Goethe-Institut Sub-Sahara Africa, where she also served on the board of the Music In Africa Foundation. During her time in Johannesburg she founded several projects for the region still running and two new offices serving cultural dialogue and exchange in the field of culture and creative industries. Prior to her deployments abroad, Noemie served as film consultant for the Goethe-Instituts worldwide which she enjoyed a lot, as it meant touring all German film festivals, meeting interesting film makers and watching a lot of films as part of her official duty.

Dennis M. Sullivan
Secretary and Treasurer

Bio Coming Soon

Jale Yoldas

Jale Yoldas was born in Hamburg, Germany. She moved to Istanbul, Turkey in 1984. After completing High School in Istanbul she moved to Heidelberg, Germany to study German Literature, Linguistics, and Education. She holds a Masters of Arts in German Literature. From 1996 to 2000 she was a broadcast journalist for the German Radio Broadcast Company SWR (Suedwestrundfunk). In 1999 she was part of the initial leadership team at DaimlerChrysler TV, where she led a group of producers and translators, creating their daily internal news program in six languages. In 1999 she became the first director of the German-Turkish Forum in Stuttgart. Under her leadership this organization, which was initially funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation, grew into a major non-profit, which continues to offer a variety of programs and projects in the fields of culture, education, and politics always in support of cultural awareness and immigrant rights. In 2008 she moved to San Francisco and was first the Program Curator of the Goethe-Institut SF. Since 2018 she is the Cultural and Public Diplomacy Officer at the Consulate General of Switzerland in San Francisco. 12 years after her departure from Stuttgart she was invited back to receive the Manfred-Rommel-Honorary Award by the German-Turkish Forum in appreciation for the formative role she played in the organization’s success. She is married, lives in San Francisco and has two children, Maurice and Mavi.

Elena Vera Simms

Elena Simms is a career diplomat. She currently serves as Deputy Consul General to the German Consulate General in San Francisco. She holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies from the Leuphana University in Lüneburg. Before joining the German Foreign Office, she worked as a Junior Expert for the GIZ (German Development Agency) in Vietnam. Other professional deployments include Head of the Cultural, Press and Political Department of the German Embassy in Peru and Desk Officer for Strategy and Planning of the German foreign cultural and educational policy at the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin. Elena Simms is furthermore a cinema enthusiast, who led the student cinema club at her former alma mater.