Our Team

Our headquarters are based in Berlin, Germany and we also have team members based in Cologne, Ireland, the UK and US. Key strategic decisions are taken by the Strategy Committee consisting of Philipp Hirche, Laureen van Breen, Theresa Heithaus, and Ethan McCutchen.

Laureen, coming from the Netherlands, joined the WikiRate team in Berlin in 2016. She leads the organization, overseeing its operations, developing and implementing its strategy, setting up organizational structures, advocating for open data practices, and securing funding that enables the organization to flourish.

After working with the organization on several European Commission projects, Vasso joined the WikiRate team in 2021. She is an expert in data mining, relational databases, SQL, and object-oriented programming, and developed the algorithm currently in use to extract semi-structured datasets for company relationship mappings. Vasso is from Greece and is based in our Berlin headquarters.

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Theresa Heithaus
Senior Program Manager

Theresa joined WikiRate in 2016 and manages program development focusing on topics including Climate research, the Sustainable Development Goals and corporate accountability to Legislative and guidance frameworks. In addition, she supports securing new partnerships and resources, and advocating for shared, open data on corporate sustainability performance. Theresa comes from Oregon and resides in Berlin.

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Philipp Hirche
Founder and Chairman

Originally from Berlin, WikiRate’s Founder and visionary Philipp Hirche currently resides and works in London. As well as working in the field of renewable energy advisory, he supports the team with the development of the organization's strategy, managing resources, and developing strategic partnerships.

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Tom Howie
Content and Communications Manager

Tom joined the WikiRate team in Berlin in 2021 as Content and Communications Manager. Working closely with all teams, he shapes and leads communications that show WikiRate’s unique position at the intersection of research, open data, innovation, and collective action. He comes from the United Kingdom.

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Lucía Ixtacuy
Community and Data Manager

Lucía joined WikiRate in 2018 as Project Manager. Currently, she is maintaining and growing our academic engagements and developing a community of WikiRate contributors. She is responsible for improving data quality in public data sets on WikiRate. Lucía comes from Mexico and lives in Berlin.

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Philipp Kühl
Lead Developer

Philipp is the lead developer for WikiRate and the Decko platform on which it is built. Philipp is based in Cologne. 

Ethan is the chief architect for WikiRate and the Decko platform. WikiRate is built using Decko, a free and open-source platform for building web systems from simple wiki-inspired building blocks. Ethan is based in Pennsylvania.

Richard spent almost five years as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the University of Cambridge, initially in the Department of Psychology and then in the Department of Sociology. Richard's main research interest is in online peer production communities, and he has a PhD in Applied Social Statistics focusing on peer production sites with voting mechanisms. Through WikiRate, Richard discovered a strong interest in and enthusiasm for developing and participating in peer production endeavors.

Aileen joined WikiRate in early 2018 and leads the work of our Transparent Value Chains and Benchmarks programs. She leads our relationship mapping projects and the development of tools that open up data on working conditions in supply chains. Through the Benchmarks program, she works to translate benchmark scoring mechanisms and data into an open WikiRate format. Aileen is based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Melanie, based in Berlin, joined WikiRate as a UX/UI Designer in 2021. In her role, she analyzes, conceptualizes and develops designs solutions to increase the usability and quality of WikiRate's websites and applications. Her purpose is to creatively solve problems that make the world a better place.

Manali is a Business Analyst at Sustainometric and has an experience of 2 years in ESG Research. She works intensively on projects based on Impact Research, Modern Slavery Statements, and Gender Equality from various industries including Technology, Fashion, FMCG, Oil, and Gas. She holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from Banaras Hindu University.