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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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Aaron Sherinian

Chief Communications and Marketing Officer
Aaron Sherinian is the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer for the UN Foundation. He leads the Foundation's public relations efforts, media relationships, strategic outreach, and online presence.

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Reid Detchon

Vice President for Energy and Climate Strategy
Reid Detchon is the Vice President for Energy and Climate Strategy 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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Patricia “Patty” Padilla

Executive Director of Global Events
Patty Padilla serves as the Executive Director of Global Events for the United Nations Foundation. In her role, she leads a team that produces over 300 events a year focused on creating global impact and social good

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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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Eric Porterfield

Senior Communications Director, Campaigns and Initiatives
Eric Porterfield is the Senior Communications Director of Campaigns and Initiatives 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 of Women and Girls Initiatives
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

Executive Director, New York Office of the United Nations Foundation
Anita Sharma is the Executive Director of the New York Office at the United Nations Foundation, where she oversees strategic initiatives to strengthen the United Nations' ability to solve global problems, particularly in health and development, peace and security.

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Devi Ramachandran Thomas

Senior 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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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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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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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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