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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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Richard S. Parnell

Chief Operating Officer
Rick Parnell serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the UN Foundation and Better World Fund and is responsible for ensuring the effective and efficient allocation of the organization’s US$150 million annual budget.

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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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VICE PRESIDENTS

 

Andrew Axelrod

Vice President, Strategic Planning and Implementation
Andrew Axelrod serves as the Vice President of Strategic Planning and Implementation at the UN Foundation, where he leads the Foundation’s strategic planning, project management, and monitoring and evaluation functions.

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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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Reid Detchon

Vice President for Energy and Climate
Reid Detchon is the Vice President for Energy and Climate 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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Kate Dodson

Vice President of Global Health
Kate Dodson is the Vice President of Global Health 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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Elizabeth (McKee) Gore

Resident Entrepreneur
Elizabeth Gore is the first ever Resident Entrepreneur at the United Nations Foundation bringing innovation into the United Nations and chairing the UN Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council. She builds global partnerships and cause marketing strategies implemented in programs and campaigns supporting the humanitarian issues of the United Nations. Ms. Gore previously served as Vice President of Global Partnerships at the UN Foundation, and founded strategic grassroots efforts such as Nothing But Nets Girl Up, and the Shot@Life global vaccines campaign. Additionally, she manages partnerships with Fortune 100 companies and with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Jennifer Kim Field

Vice President, Global Partnerships
As Vice President of Global Partnerships, Jen Kim Field leads partnership efforts to contribute towards the sustainability of the UN Foundation and support the work of the United Nations. She brings fifteen years of experience to the senior leadership team in the areas of business development, corporate community involvement, program management, communications, sales and strategic planning.

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Susan Myers

Vice President, UN Relations
Susan Myers is the UN Foundation's Vice President for UN relations. 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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Aaron Sherinian

Vice President, Communications & Public Relations
Aaron Sherinian is Vice President for Communications and Public Relations for the UN Foundation. He leads the Foundation's public relations efforts, media relationships, strategic outreach, and online presence.

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Peter Yeo

Vice President for Public Policy
As Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy, 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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SENIOR STAFF

 

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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Valerie DeFillipo

Director, FP2020
Valerie DeFillipo is passionate in her belief that women and girls, no matter where they live, should have access to the reproductive health services and contraceptives they want. As the director of Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), Ms. DeFillipo leads the global effort to enable an additional 120 million women and girls to access contraceptive information, services and supplies by 2020.

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Rebecca Einhorn

Senior Communications Director, UN Foundation Policy and Advocacy
Rebecca Einhorn has over 10 years of strategic communications, grassroots, and advocacy experience, including key roles in Congress and within private sector consulting firms, coalitions, and NGOs. In her current role as Senior Communications Director, UN Foundation Policy and Advocacy, she guides public relations efforts that build and showcase U.S. support for the United Nations.

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Edima Elinewinga

Executive Director
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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Kirsten Gagnaire

Executive Director
Kirsten Gagnaire is the Executive Director of the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA). Before joining MAMA, Gagnaire was the Ghana Country Director for the Grameen Foundation and led the initial implementation of MOTECH. She was the Founder of the Social Enterprise Group (SEG) and Sustayne, and has a depth of experience and passion for addressing social and environmental issues through profitable business ventures.

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Andrea Gay

Executive Director of Children's Health
Andrea Gay is the Executive Director of Children's Health at the United Nations Foundation, where she oversees projects to improve the survival and health of children in developing countries, particularly those under five years of age. She joined the UN Foundation when it was created in 1998.

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Zain Habboo

Senior Director for Digital and Multimedia Strategy
As the Senior Director for Digital and Multimedia Strategy at the United Nations Foundation, Zain develops and oversees digital, video, photo, and mobile strategy for the Foundation and its 17-plus worldwide campaigns and initiatives.

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Christopher Helfrich

Director, Nothing But Nets
Christopher Helfrich is the Director of the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets, a global, grassroots campaign to raise awareness and funding to fight malaria, a leading cause of death among children in Africa.

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Melissa Hillebrenner

Director, Girl Up
Melissa Hillebrenner 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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Mark Hopkins

International Energy Efficiency Director
Mark is an internationally recognized expert in energy efficiency, with more than 30 years of experience in policy and program development. He is the former Executive Vice President of the Alliance to Save Energy, where he developed an international program that helped to improve energy efficiency in 20 transitional and developing countries.

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Seema Jalan

Director, Universal Access Project & Policy
Seema Jalan is 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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Kawanna Duckett Jenkins

Senior Director, Human Resources
Kawanna joined the UN Foundation in May 2009 as the Human Resources Manager, providing Human Resources support and services to our staff. Prior to that, Kawanna worked with several organizations providing human resources, strategic planning and performance management services.

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Allison MacEachron

Director of the Business Council for the UN
Allison is Director of the Business Council for the UN, which she joined in 2009. Formerly Allison was in the advertising industry where she handled the Fortune 500 client relationships at New York’s largest agencies.

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Radha Muthiah

Executive Director, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
Radha Muthiah is Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, where she leads efforts to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.

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Minh-Thu Pham

Senior Policy Director
Minh-Thu Pham is currently Senior Policy Director at the United Nations Foundation, where she leads strategic initiatives to strengthen the UN's ability to solve global problems, including UNF's effort to support the formulation of the next set of global development goals or the "post-2015 development agenda."

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Eric Porterfield

Senior Communications Director, Campaigns and Initiatives
Eric Porterfield is the Director of Global Health Communications at the United Nations Foundation. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he did a year of service with Americorps and worked as a research assistant at Duke University.

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Emily Courey Pryor

Senior Director
Emily Courey Pryor is the Senior Director of Women and Girls Initiatives for the Women and Population team at the UN Foundation.

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Danielle Ramacciotti

Executive Director, Campaign Strategy and Operations
Danielle Ramacciotti is the Executive Director, Campaign Strategy and Operations, of Global Partnerships at the United Nations Foundation.

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Anita Sharma

Senior Director, Millennium Development Goals Initiatives
Anita Sharma is the Senior Director of Millennium Development Goals Initiatives at the United Nations Foundation.

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Robert Skinner

Associate Director, New York Office
Robert Skinner is the UN Foundation's Associate Director of the New York Office. In this role, he assists in managing daily operations and activities of New York staff in conjunction with the Washington, DC office.

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Maxine Griffin Somerville

Executive Director, Administration & Human Resources
Maxine Griffin Somerville serves as the Executive Director, Administration & Human Resources of the United Nations Foundation and Better World Fund. In her role, she manages the daily operations of the organization and oversees the human resources function.

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Devi Ramachandran Thomas

Director, Shot@Life
Devi Ramachandran Thomas joined the UN Foundation in May 2011 as Director of Shot@Life, to manage the campaign and oversee the daily programmatic, communications, marketing, and fundraising needs of the campaign.

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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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Richenda Van Leeuwen

Executive Director, Energy and Climate, Energy Access Initiative
Richenda Van Leeuwen is Executive Director, Energy and Climate, Energy Access Initiative, overseeing the UN Foundation's work on energy access. She joined the UN Foundation in 2010 from Good Energies, a global renewable energy investment company. A sought out speaker on energy access and poverty issues, she has over 20 years of executive management experience with the UN, private sector and non-profits on several continents.

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SENIOR FELLOWS

 

Alaka Basu

Senior Fellow, Reproductive Health
Alaka Basu is a social demographer 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, Womens 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 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, Global Fund
Melinda Kimble is a senior vice president, 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.) 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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John W. McArthur

Senior Fellow, MDGs
John W. McArthur is an international development economist and Senior Fellow with the UN Foundation.

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Gillian Sorensen

Senior Advisor and National Advocate
Gillian Martin Sorensen, Senior Advisor at the United Nations Foundation is a national advocate on matters related to the United Nations and the United States-United Nations relationship, addressing audiences as diverse as Rotary International and the Air Force Academy; university students; staff and Members of Congress; journalists and leaders of civil society.

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