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Our Leadership

The UN Foundation is led day-to-day by our President and CEO Kathy Calvin, and an innovative and experienced team. Our senior leadership includes:

 

Kathy Calvin

President and Chief Executive Officer
Kathy Calvin is President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation. Her career has spanned work in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. She is a passionate advocate for multi-sector problem-solving, U.S. leadership on global issues, and the inclusion of women at all levels and in all sectors.

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Elizabeth Cousens

Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Before joining the UN Foundation, Elizabeth Cousens served as U.S. Ambassador to the UN Economic and Social Council and Alternate Representative to the UN General Assembly (2012-14). She previously served as Principal Policy Advisor and Counselor to the Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, Susan Rice (2009-12).

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Richard S. Parnell

Chief Operating Officer
Rick serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the United Nations Foundation and Better World Fund. Rick oversees all aspects of the Foundation’s operations, including finance, grants, budget, HR, operations and board liaison.

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Andrew Axelrod

Chief Strategy Officer
Andrew Axelrod serves as Chief Strategy Officer where he guides organizational strategy development, resource allocation, strategy execution, and operational effectiveness for the UN Foundation.

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Susan Myers

Senior Vice President
Susan Myers is the UN Foundation's Senior Vice President. Ms. Myers has served as Executive Director of the New York office of the United Nations Foundation since 2000. As a member of the Foundation's leadership team, she provides overall guidance and participates in the development of long-term strategy for the organization.

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Peter Yeo

President of the Better World Campaign and Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy at the United Nations Foundation
As President of the Better World Campaign and Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy at the United Nations Foundation, Peter Yeo leads the Foundation’s strategic engagement with Congress and the Administration to advance policy changes that support the UN’s work for global progress.

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Walter Cortés

Chief Financial Officer
Walter Cortés serves as Chief Financial Officer of the United Nations Foundation and Better World Fund. In this role, Mr. Cortés manages the accounting operations and staff of the Foundation.

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Pete Ogden

Vice President for Energy and Climate Strategy
Pete Ogden serves as the United Nations Foundation’s Vice President for Energy, Climate and the Environment. Pete serves as chief strategist for the Foundation’s work with the UN and other partners to combat climate change, promote sustainable energy solutions, and advance critical environmental priorities.

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Kate Dodson

Vice President for Global Health Strategy
Kate Dodson is the Vice President for Global Health Strategy at the United Nations Foundation. In this role, Ms. Dodson works to ensure that the UN Foundation is delivering on its commitments to address the health-related Millennium Development Goals, and builds synergies with UN agencies and other key multilateral partners.

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Shamir Shahi

Head of Executive Office
Shamir is Head of Executive Office for the United Nations Foundation and Better World Fund. In this capacity, he serves as the point person for liaising with the President/CEO’s office. In addition, he also serves as the focal point for Board of Directors’ engagement and interaction at the Foundation, and is responsible for planning, implementing, and managing Board activities.

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Caleb Tiller

Executive Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Caleb Tiller is the United Nations Foundation’s Executive Director of Communications & Public Affairs, and brings over a decade of experience in communications, marketing and public relations to the position. He helps manage an award-winning team of more than 30 communicators, shaping the conversation about the Foundation’s work to connect people, ideas and resources to help the UN take on the world’s most pressing challenges.

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SENIOR STAFF

 

Natalie Africa

Senior Director for Private Sector Engagement
atalie Africa is Senior Director for Private Sector Engagement for the UN Secretary-General’s Every Woman Every Child multi-stakeholder movement, where she mobilizes and manages business commitments globally in support of women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health.

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Mike Beard

Executive Director, United Nations Foundation Advocacy and Global Health
Mike Beard serves as the Executive Director, United Nations Foundation Advocacy and Global Health. As Executive Director, Mike facilitates the Better World Campaign’s overall portfolio, which includes grassroots advocacy, coalition-building and legislative outreach.

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David Burton

Executive Director, Business Services, Budgets, and Reporting
David Burton serves as the Executive Director of Business Services, Budgets, and Reporting for the United Nations Foundation and the Better World Fund. In this capacity, he directs and manages the overall BSBR team and its functions, prepares and analyzes UNF’s budgets and management reports, reviews and controls all financial and contractual agreements, and provides strategic support and tracking for all proposals and donor reporting.

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Leslie Cordes

Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships
Leslie Black Cordes is Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships for the Foundation where she is responsible for developing new relationships with the philanthropic, international donors, and private sector communities. She previously held positions with the Environmental Protection Agency, the non-profit Alliance to Save Energy, the US Agency for International Development, and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

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Reid Detchon

Senior Advisor for Climate Solutions
Reid Detchon is the Senior Advisor for Climate Solutions at the United Nations Foundation. He is also the Executive Director of the Energy Future Coalition, a broad-based non-partisan public policy initiative supported by the UN Foundation that seeks to bring about change in U.S. energy policy.

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Edima Elinewinga

Executive Director, Information Technology
Edima Elinewinga is the Executive Director of Information Technology at the UN Foundation, where she provides leadership and overall management of IT operations. Edima develops and execute Information Technology strategies to support the mission of the UN Foundation. In this role, she oversees the IT infrastructure, information security, applications and systems design and development, telecommunications, and audio & visual systems.

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Geeta Rao Gupta

Executive Director of the 3D Program for Girls and Women and Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation
Geeta Rao Gupta is currently Executive Director of the 3D Program for Girls and Women and Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation, as well as Visiting Scholar at Stanford University. She also serves as co-Chair of the Gender-Based Violence Task Force of the World Bank and member of the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO health emergencies.

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Jordie Hannum

Senior Director of the Better World Campaign
Jordie Hannum serves as Senior Director of the Better World Campaign. Jordie has 15 years of legislative, analytical, and advocacy experience, including key roles on Capitol Hill, political campaigns, and within NGOs.

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Daniel Hayden

Senior Director of Business Operations , DIAL
Since June 2016, Daniel has served as the Senior Director of Business Operations at the Digital Impact Alliance.

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Melissa Kilby

Senior Director, Girl Up
Melissa Kilby is Director of Girl Up — an innovative campaign of the United Nations Foundation that works to build and maintain a constituency dedicated to improving the lives of the world’s hardest-to-reach girls.

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Ryan Hobert

Senior Director for Energy and Climate Change
Ryan Hobert is the Senior Director for Energy and Climate Change at the United Nations Foundation, an organization created in 1998 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner to connect people, ideas and resources with the UN.

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Seema Jalan

Executive Director, Universal Access Project & Policy
Seema Jalan is Executive Director of the Universal Access Project and Policy, Women and Population, at the United Nations Foundation. In this role, she leads the strategic and business planning processes for the initiative and oversees the management of the U.S. policy angles.

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Sandra Jordan

Senior Director, Global Advocacy, Rights and Youth for FP2020
Sandra Jordan serves as Senior Director, Global Advocacy, Rights and Youth for Family Planning 2020.

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Ilze Melngailis

Senior Director, Global Partnerships and of the Business Council for the UN
Ilze Melngailis’ career has focused on applying business approaches to international development – accelerating gains in health, gender equality and poverty alleviation. She designs and develops innovative corporate partnerships at the United Nations Foundation, where she is Senior Director, Global Partnerships and of the Business Council for the UN. She also leads private sector engagement with the UN and in particular companies’ participation in the UN’s historic Sustainable Development Goals.

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Minh-Thu Pham

Executive Director for Policy
Minh-Thu Pham is Executive Director for Policy at the United Nations Foundation, where she develops and leads strategic initiatives to strengthen the UN’s ability to solve global problems and brings together governments, civil society and thought leaders to help reach global agreements.

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Rachel Pittman

Senior Director of Membership and Programs, UNA-USA
Rachel Bowen Pittman serves as Senior Director of Membership and Programs, UNA-USA. She is an association management professional with 18 years of experience working for domestic and international organizations.

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Jem Porcaro

Senior Director, Energy Access
Jem Porcaro is the UN Foundation’s Senior Director for Energy Access. He oversees the Foundation’s work to expand access to modern energy services and build synergies with UN agencies and other key multilateral partners, especially Sustainable Energy for All.

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Emily Courey Pryor

Executive Director of Data2X
Emily Courey Pryor is Executive Director of Data2X. Hosted at the UN Foundation, Data2X promotes more and better gender data and its use to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.

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Martha Rebour

Senior Director of Shot@Life
Martha Rebour serves as the Senior Director of Shot@Life. In this position, Martha oversees the campaign, manages the communications and marketing, and manages the campaign team members.

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Caleb Tiller

Executive Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Caleb Tiller is the United Nations Foundation’s Executive Director of Communications & Public Affairs, and brings over a decade of experience in communications, marketing and public relations to the position. He helps manage an award-winning team of more than 30 communicators, shaping the conversation about the Foundation’s work to connect people, ideas and resources to help the UN take on the world’s most pressing challenges.

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Mary-Frances Wain

Executive Director of Philanthropic Investments
Mary-Frances Wain serves as Executive Director of Philanthropic Investments for the United Nations Foundation. As the organization’s chief engagement officer for individuals and families, Mary-Frances works with philanthropists who wish to have a global impact by supporting the work of the United Nations.

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Chris Whatley

Executive Director
Chris Whatley serves as Executive Director of the United Nations Association of the United States, a program of the United Nations Foundation.

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Kate Wilson

CEO, DIAL
Kate believes that digital technology products, new technology policies and updated business model practices are required to make transformative change in the lives of the under-served and decrease the growing digital divide. Kate joined DIAL in February, 2016 as its CEO to fulfill this vision.

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Jeff Wishnie

Senior Director, Platforms and Services, DIAL
Jeff Wishnie works to increase the pace of innovation of digital platforms and services for the underserved. Jeff joined DIAL as its Senior Director, Platforms and Services in June 2016.

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SENIOR FELLOWS

 

Alaka Basu

Senior Fellow, Reproductive Health
Alaka Basu is Senior Fellow, Reproductive Health with strong interests in public health. Basu has published widely in the areas of reproductive health and family planning, gender and development, child health and mortality, and the context and politics of population policy.

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Mayra Buvinic

Senior Fellow, Women's Economic Empowerment
Mayra Buvinic, an internationally recognized expert on gender and development and social development, is a Senior Fellow with the UN Foundation.

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Mohamed T. El-Ashry

Senior Fellow, Energy and Climate
Mohamed T. El-Ashry is Senior Fellow, Energy and Climate with the UN Foundation and Facilitator of the Global Leadership for Climate Action (GLCA) which he organized in 2007. Its membership includes 13 former Presidents and Prime-Ministers and 12 other global leaders.

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Melinda L. Kimble

Senior Fellow, Executive Office
Melinda Kimble is Senior Fellow, Executive Office, and oversees our International Bioenergy Initiative. She joined the UN Foundation in May 2000.

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John E. Lange

Senior Fellow, Global Health Diplomacy
Ambassador John E. Lange (Ret.) is Senior Fellow, Global Health Diplomacy and serves as the primary focal point for the UN Foundation’s global health diplomacy activities. Prior to joining the Foundation in July 2013, Lange spent four years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation working with African governments to improve public health. He has served as co-chair of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s Polio Partners Group since its launch in April 2012.

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Thomas Lovejoy

Senior Fellow, Biodiversity and Environmental Science
Thomas Lovejoy, an accomplished conservation and tropical biologist, serves as a Senior Fellow of the United Nations Foundation where he advises Foundation leaders on biodiversity and environmental science.

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