About STF

Get to know the people at STF. The team has over 30 years of combined experience in open source funding and brings diverse backgrounds from startups, NGOs, research organizations and corporations.

Adriana Groh she/her


Adriana leads strategy and organizational development at the STF and is responsible for networking with stakeholders from politics and society.

Fiona Krakenbürger she/her


Fiona implements the tech strategy, oversees the investments and engages with the tech community and stakeholders.

Tara Tarakiyee


Tara is a public-interest technologist working on designing support mechanisms and mobilizing resources to encourage, sustain and maintain the FOSS ecosystem.

Powen Shiah he/him

Communications Manager

Powen is responsible for explaining the technologies, investments, and STF's mission so that everyone can understand them.

Abigail Garner

Program Manager

Abigail reviews and selects open source technologies for investments and guides them through the contracting process.

Paul Sharratt he/him

Project Coordinator

Paul is responsible for quantitative research and coordinates the Bug Resilience Program at the Sovereign Tech Fund.

Susan Trinitz she/her

Operations Manager

Susan leads all administrative processes at STF and is responsible for purchasing and contracts.

Mirko Swillus he/him

Program Manager

Mirko works on the full lifecycle of technologies and projects, from reviewing applications through contracting to successfully finishing projects.

Lara Bokor they/them

Office Manager

Lara is responsible for office management, meeting organization and purchasing at the STF.

Jacqueline Bender

Program Administrator

Jacky provides support with administrative processes and coordinates contracts and payments.


The Sovereign Tech Fund works with external experts in different capacities to appraise technologies and provide additional technical expertise and varying perspectives on the FOSS ecosystem.

Ben Cotton

External reviewer for Contribute Back Challenges

Ben Cotton has been active in Fedora and other open source communities for over a decade. His career has taken him through the public and private sector in roles that include desktop support, high-performance computing administration, marketing, and program management. Ben is the author of Program Management for Open Source Projects, a contributor to the book Human at a Distance, and has published articles in The Next Platform, Opensource.com, Scientific Computing, and more.

Isabel Drost-Fromm

External expert for general investments

Isabel Drost-Fromm is chair of the board of directors of the InnerSource Commons Foundation as well as (former board) member of the Apache Software Foundation. Interested in all things search and text mining with a thorough background in open source collaboration, she works at Europace AG as Open Source Strategist. True to the nature of people living in Berlin, she loves giving friends a reason for a brief visit - as a result she co-founded and is still one of the creative heads behind the conferences Berlin Buzzwords and FOSS Backstage.

Dr. Dawn Foster

External expert for general investments and reviewer for Contribute Back Challenges

Dr. Dawn Foster works as the Director of Data Science for CHAOSS where she is also a board member / maintainer. She is co-chair of CNCF TAG Contributor Strategy and an OpenUK board member. She has 20+ years of experience at companies like VMware and Intel with expertise in community, strategy, governance, metrics, and more. She has spoken at over 100 industry events and has a BS in computer science, an MBA, and a PhD. In her spare time she enjoys reading science fiction, running, and traveling.

Dr. Jochen Klar

External expert for general investments

Dr. Jochen Klar is a software developer and scientist specializing in the management and publication of research data. Originally an astronomer, he now supports projects and institutions in various fields on technological and organizational aspects of data management and open science. He is the lead developer of RDMO, a tool for creating data management plans, and of the ISIMIP repository at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research Science. He is a member of the editorial board of forschungsdaten.org and co-organizer of Open Knowledge Lab Berlin.

Katharina Meyer

External expert for general investments

Katharina Meyer is a researcher and analyst exploring the interplay between immaterial goods like the digital commons and the supply chains, social groups, external forces (like regulation), practices, or technologies that shape, break, or reinforce them. Trained as a historian of science and technology, she primarily investigates code, standards, policies, and norms. She currently serves as inaugural Director of the Digital Infrastructure Insights Fund that supports research on open digital infrastructure. Prior, she was Head of Research at the Sovereign Tech Fund. She advises the NGI Commons project and has reviewed for entities including Invest in Open Infrastructure and the German Ministry of Research and Education.

Kurt Seifried

External expert for general investments

Kurt Seifried has been deeply involved in Linux, Open Source, and Information Security for over 25 years. He currently contracts for the Cloud Security Alliance, serving as their Chief Innovation Officer with a heavy focus on AI usage and security. He also hosts the weekly Open Source Security Podcast with Josh Bressers, now in its 8th year.