Meet Our Team
Executive Director -
Paula Boland is an attorney specialized in environmental issues and international affairs. Although born in the United States, she received most of her academic and professional experience in Argentina. Paula worked for three years on regulatory and corporate compliance issues at the law firm of Klein & Franco in Buenos Aires. Her strong interest in the protection of the environment led her to the LL.M. program in Environmental Law at Vermont Law School, from which she graduated cum laude. Following a clerkship with the Environmental Enforcement Section of the US Department of Justice, Paula assisted a number of environmental nongovernmental organizations in the development of conservation projects to be carried out in Latin America.
Soon after joining UNA-NCA, Paula was appointed Chair of the Young Professionals for International Cooperation (YPIC), where she provided volunteer opportunities and engaged professionals and students in dialogue on the UN and international affairs. In early 2004, UNA-NCA nominated Paula for the UNA-USA Global Young American Award in recognition of her dedication and leadership. In July 2004 Paula joined the UNA-NCA staff on a full-time basis, serving first as Program Director, and then as Executive Director. Paula oversaw a doubling of the operating budget and successfully increased and diversified sources of funding in a challenging economic environment. She has played a significant role developing and nurturing strategic partnerships and expanding program activities.
Director of Membership and Programs -
Hanna’s background is in non-profits and peacebuilding, with experience in the areas of membership, communications, dialogue, and intercultural communication. She most recently worked at the Alliance for Peacebuilding, where she worked with more than 100 member organizations, maintained the organization’s social media presence, and was crucial in planning a 3-day conference drawing in nearly 500 participants from civil, military, business, nonprofit and education. Prior to that, Hanna worked with CONTACT - a professional and academic program in conflict transformation – supporting the academic and social development of participants across ethnic, national, religious, and cultural divides. Hanna has also worked at the Colorado African Organization and the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning.
Hanna recently completed her Master's Degree in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation at SIT Graduate Insitute, presenting her capstone research on racism and white privilege among millennials. Hanna received her BA in International Studies from the University of Denver with minors in Mandarin Chinese and Religious Studies. Her areas of academic focus are human rights, community development, and building positive peace.
Hanna moved to Washington, DC in 2015. Prior to that, she lived in Brattleboro, Vermont, and is native to Colorado. In her free time, Hanna enjoys writing, walking, and learning new languages.
Director of Global Education -
Megan Penn is the Director of Global Education with UNA-NCA. Before joining UNA-NCA andGlobal Classrooms DC (GCDC), she was a research intern at the Center for a New American Security in the Technology and National Security program, and a former curriculum specialist with UNA-NCA. Megan has professional experience in business development, aviation, and has been published in Canada and the U.S. on cyber security policy, mobile technology, and cybercrime.
Megan received a M.A. in Security Policy Studies from the George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs. She concentrated on transnational security issues and cyber security policy. Her final co-authored capstone offered policy recommendations for the U.S. government in countering violent extremism online.
Before moving to Washington D.C., Megan received a bilingual honours B.A. in International Studies from York University, Glendon College in Toronto, Canada. While at Glendon College, she focused on human security, humanitarian intervention, and Responsibility to Protect. Megan’s passion for Model United Nations started in high school, where she attended the Southern Ontario Model United Nations Assembly, and has since her involvement has grown, holding vice-president and president positions with the Glendon Model United Nations Club, acted as a high school Faculty Advisor, and has co-organized and chaired Model United Nation conferences.
Global Classrooms DC (GCDC) Program Manager -
Nicole Bohannon is the Program Manager for UNA-NCA's flagship education program Global Classrooms DC (GCDC). Before joining UNA-NCA and GCDC, Nicole worked as a Finance Assistant on Congressman Patrick Murphy's senatorial campaign in Florida, helping to fundraise for the candidate.
Nicole previously acted as GCDC Program Coordinator, in addition to interning at various non-profits, think tanks, and consulting groups while studying at The George Washington University. She completed a Bachelor of Arts from the Elliott School of International Affairs as semester early, and focused on European and Latin American affairs.
Nicole brings with her seven years of Model UN experience, serving as a delegate and running large conferences. She was born and raised in Washington DC, and in her free time likes to watch classic movies and go for runs in Rock Creek park.
Una Chapman Cox Fellow, and U.S. Foreign Service Officer - Luis F. Mendez
Luis recently served at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City where he lead a team that conducted analysis and public relations for Mission Mexico's $2.3 billion security assistance program, the Merida Initiative.
Prior to Mexico, Luis served overseas in Dakar, Senegal, where he managed U.S. refugee protection and assistance programs for some 1 million refugees, IDPs, and conflict victims in West and North Africa. Luis also worked in the Department's Bureau of African Affairs, where his portfolio included responsibility for managing U.S. relations with Nigeria. He has served in the Operations Center, the 24-hour crisis management and communications center of the State Department, and worked overseas in Casablanca, Morocco and Accra, Ghana.
Luis is with UNA-NCA supporting the Global Classrooms DC (GCDC) program for the 2016-2017 school year to discuss the importance of Model United Nations and serve as a mentor to selected schools, his experience as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, and professional mentoring for students interested in pursuing similar careers.
He holds a Masters degree from Columbia University's School of International Affairs. Luis, a native of New York, graduated from Saint Peter's College in New Jersey. He is married to a Foreign Service Officer and has two children. During his spare time, he enjoys long distance running, watching romantic comedies, and performing slam poetry.Spring 2017 UNA-NCA Program Assistants
- Ana Ancheta
- Timothy Buensalido
- Dae Young Kim
- Yi Ren
Spring 2017 Global Classrooms DC Program Assistants
- Eleanor Hume
- Adarsh Mahesh
- Bradley Wiggins