Awarding of EMBA diplomas


Institutional Communication Service

18 March 2024

The graduation ceremony of the 11th USI Executive Master in Business Administration (EMBA) was held on Saturday, 16 March 2024, at the West Campus Lugano Auditorium. The diplomas were awarded to 14 professionals of 5 different nationalities.

The ceremony began with the inaugural address by the Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Giovanni Pica, and the Director of EMBA, Professor Paulo Gonçalves. Prof. Gonçalves holds a PhD in Management Science from MIT Sloan and has been a full Professor of Management at USI for the past 15 years. His main fields of research are System Dynamics Simulation, Behavioral Experiments, and Econometrics, which he uses to understand how managers make decisions in humanitarian contexts.

During the event, Karolina Frischkopf delivered a keynote speech on leadership and the importance of taking on responsibilities, regardless of whether you're fully integrated into a company or not. Following this, graduates were recognised and awarded their diplomas. The ceremony also highlighted the success stories of two USI EMBA alumni, Fernandez Pablo, who serves as e-business manager at CSCS, and Otavio Kehdi, who serves as EMEA quality manager at Amcor.

Karolina Frischkopf, USI EMBA1 graduate, started her career at the Swiss Foundation for the Protection of Children, passed the "concours diplomatique" in 2008 and joined the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) in 2009. She worked at the Swiss Embassy in Mexico, the Swiss Mission to the WTO and EFTA, the Swiss Embassy in China and the Directorate of Resources in Bern. In 2019, she took up the post of Deputy Director of the Swiss Red Cross. Between December 2022 and February 2024, she intermittently led the Swiss Red Cross during a turbulent period.

On 1 March, Karolina Frischkopf took up her new post as Director of HEKS/EPER. She is the first woman to lead the organisation in its almost 80-year history. With its 2023-27 strategy, HEKS/EPER has set the framework for a process of consolidation, focus and transformation to continue to respond to the increasingly rapid changes in political, economic and social conditions. The new operational management will work with HEKS/EPER in Switzerland and around the world for a more just future in which the dignity of all people and peace are respected values.

Karolina studied International Relations and Political Science in Geneva, and attended the Master in Economics and International Politics (MEPIN 2006), the Master in Intercultural Communication (MIC 2007); and the Executive Master in Business Administration (first edition EMBA 2012) at USI.



New graduates at the finishing line, new students at the starting line

The twelfth USI EMBA started on 23 September, with the Study Tour in Boston, USA, in collaboration with Swissnex, which includes visits to Harvard, Boston University (BU) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This edition has fourteen participants.

EMBA students are part of a vibrant network of highly motivated national and international professionals with access to a wide range of high-profile positions. A particularly significant figure is the return on investment in their careers, with 80 per cent of participants changing corporate positions and 74 per cent joining a new company. The average age of course participants is 39, with an average of 15 years of professional experience.

The objective of the USI EMBA is to enrich the skills of the managerial class, or of those who are preparing or intending to advance in their careers, through an approach that allows them to easily translate cutting-edge academic knowledge into practice in their field of work.

The USI EMBA boasts an international faculty with experience at top universities and business schools. The faculty members are selected for their research activity and publications in leading international journals, as well as for their consulting experience in the public and private sector. Their mission is to guide managers in applying the latest management theory at work, adopting a multidisciplinary approach.

The next edition of the USI EMBA will start in November 2024 and will be held on weekends, with lectures on Saturdays and Sundays, one weekend per month for 14 months, plus one day of lectures delivered asynchronously. This will allow participants to obtain the EMBA degree in their own time.


Below is the list of graduates with their nationality and place of work. 

  1. Bottani Enrico, Switzerland
  2. Capoferri Joanna, Poland, Switzerland
  3. Cuomo Rosa, Italy, Switzerland
  4. Giampà Michele, Switzerland
  5. Guzzi Elia Antonio, Switzerland
  6. Hitz Christoph, Switzerland
  7. Hutter Thomas, England/France, Switzerland
  8. Rigamonti Simona, Italy, Switzerland
  9. Sampietro Liliana, Switzerland
  10. San Antonio Alonso Maria, Spain, Switzerland
  11. Stocker Benjamino, Switzerland
  12. Tundo Danilo, Switzerland
  13. Zari Malacrida Federico, Switzerland
  14. Zuber Enea, Switzerland