The Challenges Forum International Secretariat

The Challenges Forum International Secretariat (CFIS) is the executive body of the Challenges Forum and acts on the behalf of the whole Challenges Forum Partnerhip. Since 2003, the CFIS is hosted at the Folke Bernadotte Academy – Swedish Agency for Peace and Security, and located in Stockholm, Sweden.

CFIS leads, plans and coordinates the daily work of the Challenges Forum Partnership. CFIS is responsible for developing the agenda and proposals for the Challenges Forum and for supporting the Partnership in reaching the strategic objectives decided by the Partners’ Meeting. The Director leads CFIS’ work and reports to the Partners’ Meeting.

Benoît Pylyser, Director

Benoît Pylyser has an extensive experience working with peace and security the past 20 years. He joined the Challenges Forum International Secretariat (CFIS) as Senior Strategic Adviser in 2020. Before that, he worked in various UN positions with peace and security, humanitarian coordination and sustainable development for 15 years. Prior to joining CFIS he served as Political Advisor to the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region supporting the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSCF). Prior to this Mr. Pylyser served as Humanitarian Advisor to the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (DSRSG) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) providing liaison between the humanitarian community and the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO).  Mr. Pylyser also served as Desk Officer for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in New York and as Humanitarian Affairs Officer in Madagascar, Zimbabwe, and the Regional Office for Southern Africa in Johannesburg. He started his career with the UN Development Program (UNDP)in Rwanda as Associate Program Analyst on Access to Justice. Mr. Pylyser holds a master’s degree in European Public Administration from the University of Leuven and a master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Ghent. He speaks French, English, Dutch and Swedish.

Jonas Alberoth,
Principal Senior

Jonas Alberoth has served in several international positions for the UN, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Swedish Armed Forces. He has more than twenty years of overall experience worked on issues relating to politics, leadership, cooperation, conflict resolution and statebuilding. In addition, Mr. Alberoth has a long withstanding engagement with the Challenges Forum and its partners since the onset of the platform.

Susanna Ahlfors, Senior Event & Communication Specialist

Susanna Ahlfors has more than 20 years’ experience of working with Communication, and she has a broad knowledge of multilateral systems, global development cooperation and aid. Before joining the Challenges Forum, she worked as a communications officer at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Her role involved working with strategic communications as well as the role of project leader, writer, editor and moderator. In addition, she was the program administrator to the UNDP’s office in Sweden, administrating the funding for their communication projects. Prior to working for Sida, Ms. Ahlfors worked at a communication agency, carrying out various assignments for eg. the Swedish Governments offices, UNU-Wider, WHO, Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society, Sida, Olof Palme International Center and the Public Health Agency. Ms. Ahlfors holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Gothenburg University, Sweden. She speaks English, French, Spanish and Swedish.

Fanny Wellén, Officer

Fanny Wellén holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations and Conflict Resolution from Copenhagen University and a Bachelor Degree in Peace and Conflict from Malmö University. She has previously interned at the Swedish Embassy in Bogota, Colombia. During her internship she participated in and supported the work of both the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) as well as the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). During her internship she mainly focused on the peace process, the Swedish feminist foreign policy and the regional context of Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador. Previous her studies Ms. Wellén worked as a Financial Language Editor at an international financial company in Argentina. She speaks Swedish, English and Spanish and is supporting CFIS as consultant.