Careers in International Environment & Climate Change


Have you ever thought about careers in the international environment and climate change fields? On Wednesday, May 19th, 2021, UNA-NCA's Young Professionals (YP) Program invites students and young professionals to participate in its "Careers in International Environment & Climate Change" event. The panel will feature professional speakers working in the international relations and global development space. Each speaker will offer career advice and guidance, and share personal stories of experience in their particular fields.

Event Speakers:

When: Wednesday, May 19th from 12:00 to 1:00pm
Where: Zoom Webinar
Cost: Free, but registration is required

Register here
Successful Virtual MUN Weekend Prepares Delegates to Change the World
By Nicole Herman, Spring 2021 Program Assistant

Watch our Spring Conference coverage.

On April 16th and 17th, 2021, 131 students, 22 educators, and 37 volunteers gathered for the first virtual spring and 17th annual Global Classrooms DC Spring Model UN Conference in partnership with the U.S. Department of State. The COVID-19 pandemic could not prevent the eager delegates from participating from their homes in Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Venezuela. 

The conference welcomed students grades 5 through 12 to discuss pressing global issues as delegates representing countries from around the world. Just as they would in person, the delegates debated, worked together, and proposed solutions in the five committees: 
  • Migration & Mobility - International Organization of Migration 
  • Safety & Health at Work - International Labour Organization 
  • The Impacts of Climate and Air Quality on Diverse Communities  - United Nations Environment Programme 
  • The UN at 75 - the Future of UN Peacekeeping - United Nations Security Council
  •  Combat Religious Discrimination - United Nations Human Rights Council. 

The conference was opened by U.S. Secretary of State Blinken (below), who encouraged the delegates and “tomorrow’s leaders” to use
 their conference experience to learn how to reduce conflict, build cooperation, and solve problems. Deputy Assistant Secretary Jane Rhee (right) also offered insight into the history and reminded attendees of the importance of the United Nations and the impacts of its diplomats.DASJaneRheeOpeningRemarks_English_Thumbnail

The State Department representatives were also joined by remarks from Paula Boland, President of UNA-NCA, and keynote speaker Dustin Liu, the 9th U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations. Paula expressed thanks to the UNA-NCA community, partners, and sponsors for their help in raising awareness, promoting the vital work of the UN, and building a strong UN-US partnership through their collaboration with the conference and delegates. She acknowledged the difficult year of 2020 and called for delegates to use their skills to address current and future challenges.

Dustin Liu (left) activated the young audience by describing the significance of being a part of the generation that implements the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, focuses on fundamental human rights, and 75 years after the beginning of the United Nations - builds a world that they want to live in. He called upon the delegates to practice, collaborate, and construct through critical thinking and imagination societies that have the capacity to be equal and inclusive. Liu connected the delegates to the realities they face today and pushed them to utilize their skills to step up to the challenge and change the world for the better.

IMG_0707Lastly, the conference opening held remarks from Eden Shaw (left), who was selected as the 2021 GCDC Student Secretary-General. An impressive 6th grader from Cabin John Middle School, Eden motivated the delegates to step up and facilitate change through innovative solutions to issues of gender inequality, inequalities based on race and religion, malnutrition, poverty, forced migration, and climate change. She emphasized that Model UN is not about argumentation, but rather collaboration. Eden ended her remarks by opening up the committee sessions.

With that, the delegates were off to their Zoom rooms, where they kicked off committee session 1. The ILO, IOM, and UNEP committees were welcomed by remarks from UN experts including  Steve Moody, Director, Office of International Labor Affairs; Luca Dall'Oglio, Chief of Mission of the IOM; and Hilary French, Programme Officer at UNEP. During the session, delegates started off by stating their country’s positions in their committees and debated possible solutions to important international issues. By the end of Session 1, delegates began forming country blocs and drafting resolutions. 

In Session 2, which took place on April 17th, the student delegates primarily continued working with others to draft resolutions that outlined their ideas and solutions to solve their committees' respective challenges. Many Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs, who are college students and professionals with extensive Model UN experience, shared their positive feedback on students; the Chairs and Vice-Chairs were extremely impressed by the students' preparation and the quality of their performance. Throughout both days of the conference, educators, sponsors, and guests were also welcomed to witness students in action. 

This year’s Open House took place prior to Opening Ceremonies. UNA-NCA President Paula Boland greeted the guests and Senior Global Education Manager Jaiya Lalla shared this year's program highlights and thanked this year's conference sponsors and partners. GCDC would like to express its gratitude to Stephen F. Moseley, Robert Schott of AIRSCHOTT, Billie Ann Day, Roger Griffis, Amb. Don Bliss, and Rajesh Gupta who donated through the GCDC Support a Delegate program for their generous support!

GCDC also partnered with UN agencies to bring students a tangible learning experience for the Spring 2021 Conference.  For the 2020-2021 school year, GCDC partnered with the International Organization for Migration to sponsor a full curriculum unit and conference topic on the issue of migration and mobility, with a focus on COVID-19. GCDC also partnered with the International Labour Organization to sponsor a unit, and the conference delegates talked about safety and health at work, focusing on changes to work brought on by the pandemic. Last but not least, GCDC worked with the UN Environment Programme to cover the impacts of climate and air quality on diverse communities.

The closing ceremony included a guest appearance from António Guterres (right), the UN Secretary-General. He expressed gratitude 
for the rising generation’s ability to address the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, gender inequality, and climate change. The ceremony closed with awards announced by each committee’s volunteers.

In its 17th year and despite the pandemic, the GCDC Model UN Conference continued to provide opportunities for young students across the DMV and around the world to fully immerse in global education, discussing some of the world’s most pressing international issues. Delegates from diverse backgrounds had the chance to learn from the top U.S. Diplomat and other leaders in the field of foreign affairs and in turn apply this knowledge to their virtual debates throughout the weekend. Their performance as diplomats was skillful, intellectual, and inspiring.

Thank you to the dedicated committee chairs and vice-chairs, educators, and other volunteers for taking part in this virtual conference that gave the next generation the ability to refine their skills to soon become the leaders we look up to.

To our keynote speakers - thank you for your time and wisdom and a very special thank you to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Organization Affairs for the continued support throughout the years, even through a global pandemic!

Lastly, the UNA-NCA would like to thank Stephen F. Moseley, Robert Schott of AIRSCHOTT, Billie Ann Day, Roger Griffis, Amb. Don Bliss, Rajesh Gupta, and our other Support A Delegate donors. A huge thank you to UNA-NCA and GCDC Staff, Program Assistants, and volunteers – the GCDC Spring 2021 Model UN Conference was an incredible success and would not have been possible without your diligence!

Employment Opportunities
We are no longer accepting applications for the Advocacy & Outreach Manager position. This page will remain regularly updated with new employment opportunities at UNA-NCA. 

Advocacy & Outreach Manager
REPORTS TO: UNA-NCA President Paula Boland 


Position Overview

The Advocacy & Outreach Manager leads the development, execution, and evaluation of UNA-NCA’s advocacy work, and partners closely with member agencies and in numerous strategic collaborations to influence legislative and budget outcomes that strengthen the US relationship with the United Nations. This position serves as a liaison and overseer of the work of partners (Better World Campaign, UN Foundation, UNA-USA, etc.) to ensure that priority positions and targeted local, state, and national advocacy outcomes are effectively achieved. The Advocacy Manager collaborates and coordinates across UNA-NCA departments to ensure advocacy priorities align with UNA-NCA’s strategic vision and the needs of UNA-NCA’s membership. 

The role works closely with the President of UNA-NCA, the Vice President of Advocacy, the SDG Policy Advisor, and the Chair of the UNA-NCA Board of Directors to ensure the strategic focus of UNA-NCA continues to address the needs and priorities of the National Capital Area. 


Essential Functions

  • Create and execute quality programming, trainings, and briefings to (1) mobilize UNA-NCA’s membership (2) engage the broader NCA community and (3) spread awareness for UNA-NCA’s advocacy priorities
  • Influence and partner with senior leaders to define city, state, and national policy strategy aligned with UNA-NCA’s strategic plan
  • Remain informed and responsible in strategy and outreach to policy developments that impact the sector and present opportunities for UNA-NCA to take a leadership position
  • Measure the effectiveness of policy work/initiatives; define and lead change to meet objectives
  • Effectively collaborate with GCDC, Program Committee Leaders, and UNA-NCA teams to enable and facilitate UNA-NCA advocacy alignment and expansion
  • Serve as ambassador of UNA-NCA’s mission and policy and advocacy priorities; develop and maintain relationships across constituents (faith-based, Board of Directors, legislative staff, etc.)
  • Collaborate with the Vice Chair of Advocacy in the management of the Advocacy Committee through the facilitation of advocacy training, briefings, and Congressional visits


Required Qualification

  • Bachelors degree in policy, public administration, international relations, law or related field preferred
  • 1+ years of relevant experience in nonprofit or public sector preferred, but not required
  • In-depth understanding of city, state, and federal legislative and budget processes
  • Strong, proactive project management skills with solid experience managing and coordinating high-impact advocacy campaigns
  • Deep commitment to human rights, policy advocacy and research 
  • Skilled relationship manager to secure partnerships with internal and external stakeholders in undertaking common goals to build campaigns and coalitions to impact advocacy at the local, state and national levels
  • Effective written and verbal communicator 
  • Strategic, flexible, creative, energetic leader unafraid of challenges


Supervisory Responsibility

This position manages the advocacy, digital communications, legislative, and creative design program assistants.  


To apply, submit a cover letter, resume, and relevant writing sample to Shayna Vayser (shayna@unanca.org) with the subject “Advocacy & Outreach Manager”. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We encourage you to submit your application prior to May 25th for priority review.
2021 UNA-NCA Human Rights Awards Nominations
The United Nations Association of the National Capital Area’s (UNA-NCA) annual Human Rights Awards Reception commemorates the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by presenting the Louis B. Sohn Human Rights Award, the Perdita Huston Human Rights Award, the F. Allen “Tex” Harris Diplomacy Award, and the Community Human Rights Award to individuals and organizations that have made substantial contributions in the field of human rights.  This year, we are excited to announce a new Emerging Leaders Award, to be presented to persons under 40 who advocate for respect for human rights and the SDGs.

We invite you to submit your nominations for the 2021 UNA-NCA Human Rights Awards. This is an opportunity for you to honor those you know who are working to further human rights, and we are excited to see who this year’s recipients will be.
UNA-NCA Coffee Chat: Global Health Challenges
On Thursday, February 25th from 1:00-2:00pm ET, join UNA-NCA for the latest installment of our Coffee Chat Series. 

We've explored through this series how COVID among other factors are impacting facets of sustainable development, from poverty, hunger, housing, to innovation. This discussion on Global Health Challenges will look specifically to how COVID is impacting other longstanding or emergent health challenges.

Will the global pandemic response ultimately serve as a positive model and allow us to mitigate the harm of future crises? Has it raised public consciousness of the importance of proactive, well-funded and coordinated health interventions? Or has COVID been too great a setback in the broader scheme of vaccinations, or in managing preventable illnesses worldwide?  

Launched in 2020, UNA-NCA's Coffee Chat series has brought together the foremost leadership on sustainable development  alongside hundreds of participants from around the world. Together, we engage with the most pressing challenges of our time, identifying our shared goals and new opportunities for collaboration. Dynamic and genuine, Coffee Chats offer participants unprecedented access to high-profile decision-makers from across sectors. 
Register here.

Dr. Roopa Dhatt, Executive Director of Women in Global Health
Dr. Roopa Dhatt is a passionate advocate for gender equality in global health and a leading voice in the movement to correct the gender imbalance in global health leadership. She is also a practicing Internal Medicine physician in Washington, D.C. Dr. Dhatt is particularly committed to addressing issues of power, privilege, and intersectionality that keep many women from global health leadership roles and to opening up spaces for the voices of these women to be heard. Determined to build a movement to transform women’s leadership opportunities in health, Dr. Dhatt co-founded Women in Global Health in 2015. Today, Women in Global Health has more than 24+ chapters, 35,000 supporters in more than 90 countries, and continues to grow. She advises the WHO on matters of the health workforce, gender equity, and universal health coverage. Dr. Dhatt was recognized in the Gender Equality Top 100, the most influential people in global policy 2019.

Mark P. Lagon, Chief Policy Officer at Friends of the Global Fight 

Mark P. Lagon is Chief Policy Officer at Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as Distinguished Senior Scholar in the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. He was Centennial Fellow in the SFS 2016-2017. Previously he was President of Freedom House. Lagon served as the Executive Director and CEO of the leading anti-human trafficking nonprofit, Polaris Project, which operates the U.S. Government's national anti-trafficking hotline. From 2007 to 2009, he served as Ambassador-At-Large, directing the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) at the U.S. Department of State.

From 2004 to 2007, Lagon served in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs at the U.S. Department of State as Deputy Assistant Secretary. In this capacity, he had lead responsibility for United Nations-related human rights and humanitarian issues, UN reform, and outreach. Lagon previously served as a member of the Secretary of State Colin Powell's Policy Planning Staff, where he focused on UN, democracy and human rights (2002-2004). Dr. Lagon is a Founding Board Member of the Global Business Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking (gbcat.org), which includes as members Carlson, Coca Cola, Delta Airlines, Google, LexisNexis, and Microsoft. He is on the Board of Foreign Policy for America, founded by MSFS alumni. He on Advisory Boards of the Center for Victims of Torture, UN Watch, and ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking). 

Sarah Craven, Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Washington D.C.
A policy advocate and attorney with experience in global health and human rights, Sarah Craven currently serves as the Director of the Washington Office of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. In this role, Ms. Craven advocates for UNFPA's mandate which envisions a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person can live to their full potential. Ms. Craven has worked on advocacy campaigns focused on empowering women and girls and ending harmful traditional practices including child marriage and female genital mutilation. Prior to her work at UNFPA, she held positions at the U.S. Department of State and on the legislative staff to U.S. Senators Tim Wirth of Colorado and Spark Matsunaga of Hawaii. She served as policy advisor to CEDPA during the 1994 International Conference on Population and the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. She holds a B.A. from Macalester College, a M.Phil from Cambridge University (UK) and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center where she was a Public Interest Law Scholar. In 2010, she was named one of Macalester College’s Distinguished Citizens.  

Mike Beard, Global Health Director at Better World Campaign
Mike Beard is the Global Health Director for the Better World Campaign. In these roles, Mike directs BWC’s global health initiatives and the advocacy portfolio of the UN Foundation’s signature campaigns, including Nothing But Nets, Shot@Life, Girl Up, and the Universal Access Project. Over the past eight years at the Foundation, his portfolio has included malaria and global immunization programs, girl’s empowerment, women and girls’ health issues, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Through these campaigns, the team has seen unprecedented support for United Nations and its activities in Congress and in the Administration.

From funding for the UN through appropriations bills to securing bipartisan support for the passage of the Girls Count Act of 2015, Mike and his team have achieved several major legislative successes. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2009, Mike worked for five years under Congresswoman Jackie Speier and the late Congressman Tom Lantos on both his personal and Foreign Affairs Committee staffs. Mike holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego.
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