Natascha Cerny Ehtesham holds a BA in Oriental and African Studies from the Institute of Asian and African Studies of Lomonosov Moscow State University, where she majored in history and Chinese language. She spent a summer at Beijing Culture and Language University as well as a semester at Peking University, before beginning her MA in Legal Studies at Fribourg University, where she also received training in mediation.
Under the Swiss (2014), Serbian (2015) as well as German (2016) Chairmanships of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) she has been active in strengthening the role of civil society through organizing and coordinating civil society activities such as the annual OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conferences as well as workshops relating to the OSCE Human Dimension commitments in close cooperation with an international NGO-network called the Civic Solidarity Platform.
Due to her language skills (German, English, Russian, French, Chinese and some Spanish, Persian and Italian) she also worked as a freelance interpreter in the fields of trade, politics, culture, medicine and sports. In addition, she has interned at RIA-Novosti (Russian News & Information Agency) and worked for Bern Tourism. Natascha currently works as a swisspeace program officer in the Policy and Platform program.