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09 September 2020

Charity in the Age of a Pandemic


At a time when everyone around the world is grappling with unprecedented changes and challenges in their lives, one of the most fundamental values that continue to make positive changes in our lives is generosity. The inevitable quality of giving continues bringing individuals of all backgrounds regardless of their languages, ethnicities, races, faiths, opinions together across the globe. We have witnessed various shades of generosity as they are implemented as a means of standing together in unity. Whether that’s through educating ourselves on social issues, raising awareness about humanitarian causes, supporting communities through monetary contributions or reaching out to a neighbor next door or across the continents, every act of goodwill has touched people’s lives. In this time of uncertainty, there’s a fundamental truth that gives us hope – that together we can do extraordinary things. Together.

In 2012, September 5th was designated the “International Day of Charity” by the UN General Assembly to commemorate the anniversary of the passing away of Mother Teresa, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace.” In this spirit, on September 9th, UNA-NCA and the Rumi Forum would like to invite you to a virtual panel highlighting how individual and/or collective initiatives keep us connected.


  • Katherine Marshall, Senior Fellow, Georgetown University Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs
  • Jerome Tennille, Manager, Social Impact & Volunteerism, Marriott International
  • Kim R. Ford, President & CEO, Martha`s Table

When: Wednesday, September 9, 6:00-7:00pm
Where: Online
Cost: Free, but registration is required

Register Here

02 September 2020

International Data Sharing and Artificial Intelligence Cooperation in Global Health Emergencies: Virtual Roundtables


Join the UNA-NCA Peace and Security Committee for a series of three panels this August-September. The virtual roundtable, "International Data Sharing and Artificial Intelligence Cooperation in Global Public Health Emergencies," will provide a platform for discussion among global health experts, data scientists, researchers, AI and machine learning practitioners, and privacy advocates.


Governments and private actors are leveraging the power of big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to monitor and contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Secure, timely and reliable data collection and sharing on a global scale are critical to understanding how the virus spreads, maximizing the effectiveness of government policies, and promoting international cooperation in the race to create and distribute therapies and vaccines.

A demand for closer, forward-looking international collaboration has emerged from the current crisis. Yet, national governments have not always approached the pandemic with a spirit of cooperation. In many instances, the COVID-19 crisis has sharpened great power rivalries and exposed rifts between allies.



  • What are the opportunities and challenges to international data cooperation during global health emergencies?

  • To what extent have transnational data-sharing and AI cooperation strengthened the global response to COVID-19?

  • And how can national government and international actors advance data privacy as we battle a global pandemic?


Panel I: Opportunities and Challenges to International Data Cooperation in the COVID Era


Venue: Zoom


Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2020


Time: 12:30 PM-2:00 PM EDT


Panel II: Data Sharing, AI Cooperation, and the Transnational Response to COVID-19


Venue: Zoom


Date: Wednesday, September 2, 2020


Time: 12:30 PM-2:00 PM EDT


Panel III: Protecting and Advancing Data Privacy as We Battle Global Pandemics


Venue: Zoom


Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2020


Time: 5:00 PM-6:30 PM EDT


02 September 2020

Panel #2: Data Sharing, AI Cooperation, and the Transnational Response to COVID-19



This session is dedicated to the issue of transnational collaboration among researchers racing to support the response to COVID-19.


The participants will discuss topics such as: what are the legal, political, institutional and cultural barriers to transnational AI cooperation among health researchers? What are the best practices in sharing COVID-related tools and data? And to what extent should national government and private actors promote international cooperation in the race to create and distribute therapies and vaccines?


Venue: Zoom


Date: Wednesday, September 2, 2020


Time: 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM EDT




Register here

19 August 2020

Panel #1: Opportunities and Challenges to International Data Cooperation in the COVID Era


This session is dedicated to a discussion of the opportunities and challenges to health-related data sharing and AI cooperation between national governments.

The panelists will have an opportunity to share their perspectives on the Global Partnership for AI (GPAI), the race for AI dominance, the European Union’s pursuit of digital sovereignty, and how those developments could affect the global response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Venue: Zoom

Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Time: 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

Cost: $5 for Members and Students; $15 for Non-Members 


Mr. Patrick Realiza, (Moderator), UNA-NCA Peace & Security Committee Co-Chair
Dr. Ellie Graeden, Center Affiliate & Adjunct Faculty, Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security
Mr. Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Director, European Center for International Political Economy, Brussels

Register here

28 July 2020

Final Coffee Chat of the Summer!

UNA-NCA Coffee Chat: Youth at the Forefront of Change


Join us on Tuesday, July 28 from 1:00-2:00pm EST for the final Coffee Chat of the summer! 

UNA-NCA Coffee Chats have successfully brought together global, national, and local leadership- as well as hundreds of UN advocates across the country- through this series of dynamic and engaging discussions, all centered on the Sustainable Development Goals. 
Our upcoming series installment will explore the critical role that youth advocates and leaders play in driving change at all levels, analyze the challenges that lay ahead, and most importantly- how we keep the spirit of hope alive.


Jay'Len Boone
8th United States Youth Observer to the UN
Jay'Len Boone is the founder and executive director of Sustainable Youth in Action, a nonprofit organization that trains and equips students with opportunities and tools to help turn their ideas into sustainable solutions for global issues, such as extreme poverty and climate change. He is a Global Citizen Curtis Scholar, Cultural Vistas Fellow, and a winner of the 2016 Gates Millennium Scholarship. His desire to combat global challenges and help underserved populations has taken him across the globe, on the ground with communities in Hong Kong, South Africa, and Japan. The most critical role of the Youth Observer is to engage young Americans in the work of the UN, empowering them to be active participants to foster a greater global impact.

Thomas Liu
Executive Director, Global Innovation Challenge at William & Mary (WMGIC)
Thomas (Huan-Cheng) Liu is a Gates Scholar and a junior at William & Mary double majoring in Government and Business Analytics (Data Science) with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. On-campus, Thomas is the Executive Director for the Global Innovation Challenge (WMGIC), a premier international and sustainable development case competition, and he also serves as the official student voice on the school-wide Committee for Sustainability. Thomas is passionate about Sustainable Development and aspires to work in the field of Global Development Finance and or Development Consulting.

Nursena Oktem
UNA-NCA Student Representative, Board of Directors

Nursena Oktem was born and raised in Turkey. In her time there, she volunteered for Syrian refugees and witnessed refugee oppression firsthand, which initiated her interest in social change and advocacy. After she finished her sophomore year in law school, she and her family decided to leave the country due to increasing political tensions. When she arrived in the United States, she started from scratch. After finishing two years in Community College as an honor student, she transferred to Georgetown University. Her strong interest and multiple experiences working with displaced communities enabled her to assume the director position in the Leadup Greece Project, where she and her team aim to support refugees in Greece through fundraising events and online English classes. She is also a part of a mentorship program, Core-Es Education, where she guides senior high school students academically and morally. She is currently a rising senior, majoring in Government and minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies.

Marco Fabian Sanchez
Youth Engagement and Advocacy Coordinator, UNA-USA
Connecting American youth with the work of the United Nations is the core of Marco Fabian Sanchez’s work as the Youth Engagement & Advocacy Coordinator for the United Nations Association of the USA. In his current role, Marco helps to build grassroots support for the United Nations in the U.S. by empowering UNA-USA’s national network of advocates to take action. Marco also helps to manage UNA-USA’s advocacy priorities by connecting UN advocates with their Members of Congress and working with Better World Campaign to help UNA-USA members build strategic relationships on Capitol Hill. Throughout his academic career at California State University, Fullerton, Marco was a former UNA-USA campus chapter leader, where he helped to lead grassroots advocacy efforts in the Southern California community. In addition to advocacy, Marco has a personal interest in human rights and international economic development given his previous role as a policy consultant for the World Bank Group. Through his experiences in advocacy, organizational development and public leadership, Marco has been able to successfully engage everyday Americans and lawmakers by educating communities about the United Nations, and the importance of a strong U.S.-UN partnership.

Megan Schleicher
Senior Associate, Policy & Communications at Alliance for Peacebuilding
Megan is the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP)’s Senior Associate for Policy and Communications. Megan is leading AfP’s work on the Youth, Peace, and Security (YPS) Act, conflict sensitivity, and locally-led peacebuilding. She also works on AfP policy initiatives such as the Global Fragility Act (GFA) and the integration of peacebuilding and conflict sensitivity into programming and budgets. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2016 with a double degree in International Business and Anthropology. She then graduated from George Washington University in 2018 with a master’s degree in International Affairs, and concentrations in conflict resolution and international development.

Register here

Coffee Chats will return this September- contact us at takeaction@unanca.org for the latest updates on all things Advocacy. 

24 July 2020

Careers in the United Nations

Have you ever thought about working for the United Nations or one of its agencies?  In partnership with The Fund For American Studies, UNA-NCA is proud to present a panel discussion on Careers in the United Nations.  The panel will feature speakers from two different UN Agencies and the UN Association of the USA sharing their experience and insider's perspective of not only working for the United Nations, but also working towards the UN goals from the grassroots.

Friday, July 24th from 4:00 to 5:00pm

Where: Zoom Webinar
Cost: $5 for members and students; $15 for non-members

Panel Featuring:


Laura Blyler (Moderator), Vice Chair of Young Professionals, UNA-NCA
Farah Eck, Senior Director, UN Association of the USA

Sarah Jackson-Han
, Adviser for Communications, Partnerships, & Policy, UN Development Programme

Kristi Pelzel, UNA-NCA Graduate Fellows Program Alumna

Stefania Piffanelli
, Deputy Director, UN Information Center-Washington



16 July 2020

Coffee Chat with UNDP, IFAD, Bread for the City and more!

UNA-NCA Coffee Chat: Food Insecurity & SDG 1: No Poverty

Join us on Thursday, July 16 from 1:00-2:00pm for our collaboration with leading experts in sustainable development. 
UNA-NCA will be joined by leadership from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Bread for the City, and more. 

We'll explore the scope of stakeholder work related to food security and poverty alleviation while offering critical insights into the impact of COVID-19 on poverty and development. 


George Jones
Chief Executive Officer, Bread for the City

Yesim Oruc
Deputy Director, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Rafael Tapia Jr. 
Vice President of Programs, Partnership with Native Americans (PWNA)

Joanna Veltri
Chief, Americas Liaison Office at International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Register hereStay tuned for updates about our speakers and partner organizations.


Enjoying our Coffee Chat series? You can find highlights from our latest sessions below.

07 July 2020

The UN’s Impact in The Middle East: Perspectives from Young Leaders


Join us
on Tuesday, July 7 from 12:00-1:30pm for an exploration of the United Nations’ role in peacebuilding in and around the Middle East by providing the perspectives of Israeli and Palestinian youth who have first-hand experience with the UN’s work.

UNA-NCA will be joined by the New Story Leadership (NSL), a Washington, D.C. based non-profit that brings Israeli and Palestinian youth leaders to Washington, DC every summer for leadership, community service, business development, and narrative training.

John Callaghan
Co-founder of New Story Leadership and alumn of the Washington Ireland Program

Tom Bradley 
Moderator, UNA-NCA Vice Chair of Programs

Mahmoud A.
Co-founder of Leaves of Canaan

Meshi C.
BA student at Ben-Gurion University

Doron G.
Project manager for regional cooperation at Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

Tareq J.
Active member, project manager, and facilitator of Encompass Trust

Register Here!

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