Home :: News & Events :: Upcoming Events
21 September 2021

Human Rights in the Practice of Diplomacy


Join your UNA-NCA Colleagues for an exclusive off the record virtual conversation on Human Rights in the Practice of American Diplomacy, on September 21, at 5:30 PM. Speakers will discuss their experiences as a human rights officer in an American Embassy overseas and as a UN Human Rights Advisor from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights who has experienced postings in developing countries. Ample time will be provided for UNA-NCA members to join the conversation. 
When: Tuesday, September 21st at 5:30pm
Where: Online 
Cost: Free but registration is required

Register Here

27 September 2021

UNA-NCA Open House

Looking for ways to build connections, engage on topics you care about, and grow as a professional? Please join us on Monday, September 27 from 6-7 pm ET for a virtual open house with representatives from each UNA-NCA committee, including: Human Rights, Peace and Security, Sustainable Development, DC for CEDAW (gender equity), African Affairs, International Law, Young Professionals, Advocacy, Communications, Governance, Membership, and more! During the open house, you’ll hear from representatives from each UNA-NCA committee, learn about opportunities to join their work, and be invited to small group discussions with your committee(s) of interest. While UNA-NCA membership is required to join a committee (join today!), this event is open to members and nonmembers alike who are interested in learning more about UNA-NCA’s committee opportunities.

Date: Monday, September 27 from 6:00 to 7:00pm
Where: Zoom
Cost: Free, but registration is required

Register Here

30 September 2021

Graduate Fellows Program

We celebrate the accomplishments of the Graduate Fellows Program and are proud to present its first Annual Report!  It is through focused support and hundreds of hours from skilled volunteers that we can continue this excellent program – guiding the next generation of international leaders.

Applications for Spring 2022 are now open!  Apply here by September 30.


IMG_0236With the help of over 2,000 members, volunteers, and supporters in the greater Washington D.C. area, the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA) works to build public knowledge, strengthen U.S.-UN relations, and aid the UN in achieving its goals. Within this larger framework, the mission of the Graduate Fellows Program (GFP) is to help Fellows develop an understanding of UN issues, policies, and organizations while assisting them in preparing for UN-related careers. Since its founding in 1991 by UNA-NCA, the Graduate Fellows Program has brought together the resources of UNA-NCA with over 500 students and 40 international public and non-governmental organizations.

The Graduate Fellows Program offers all graduate students studying at a university within the DC-Maryland-Northern Virginia (DMV) region the opportunity to participate; learning to view the world through a “UN lens” alongside like-minded peers, experienced faculty, and foreign affairs professionals. Please note that graduate students who are temporarily residing in the DMV region but attending a school outside of this region may also apply. Part-time students, and student interns in the DC area who are employed in fields relevant to the Program are also welcome to apply.

Program seminars will focus on contemporary global issues related to the United Nations and will be supplemented by both mentoring opportunities as well as professional development support that draws upon UNA-NCA's extensive professional network. UNA-NCA’s access to the United Nations system of agencies, in addition to its diverse range of professional relationships, is a cornerstone of the GFP’s success.


IMG_0227UNA-NCA Graduate Fellows must be enrolled graduate students during spring 2022 in the Washington, Maryland, or Northern Virginia area studying international affairs, trade, development, or a discipline related to the United Nations.  Commitment of four hours per week is expected from each Fellow – 2 hours for the seminar and 2 hours for seminar preparation and career strategy and mentoring. Part-time students and interns, including young professionals in part-time employment in a related area, are especially encouraged to apply.  Students not from the Washington Metropolitan Area may apply with approval of the Graduate Fellows Program Director.

American citizenship is not a requirement and we encourage international students to apply!

The application has five parts:

  • The online application
  • A one page statement of interest for graduate fellowship program
  • A copy of the applicant's unofficial graduate transcript*
  • A letter of recommendation
  • An updated resume
*If you are currently in your first year of graduate school, so do not yet have a transcript, please provide a copy of your unofficial undergraduate transcript along with a current letter of enrollment for your graduate program

All supporting materials must be submitted in PDF format

Components of the UNA-NCA Graduate Fellows Program

We recognize that everyone must navigate this ongoing crisis in a manner that ensures their health and well-being. Therefore, if  in-person gatherings become a safe, viable option during the course of the 2021 spring semester, we will continue to provide accommodations for those not yet willing or able to attend, in-person.

Weekly Seminar

  • A weekly seminar held each Friday during the spring semester during which Fellows examine pressing global issues utilizing a ‘UN lens’ alongside prominent guest speakers from across the UN system. Whether seminars will be hosted in-person or via webinar during the upcoming spring semester will depend upon the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Thematic areas include: 
    • Economic Development and Economic Policy
    • UN Budget and Finance
    • Gender
    • Human Rights, Education, and Social Development
    • Energy, Sustainable Development, and Climate Change
    • Conflict Prevention, Conflict Resolution, and Peacekeeping
    • Refugees and Migration
    • The UN’s Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Fellows will be required to complete a series of readings/listenings/viewings prior to each seminar. We recognize that Fellows are likely to have a full course load in addition to a full-time or part-time professional commitment. With that in mind, GFP faculty pay close attention to the amount of time that weekly assignments require.

Professional Development 

  • Career support for Fellows will include sessions on career strategy, preparation and review of resumes, and mentor-matching arranged by UNA-NCA with seasoned professionals operating in fields relevant to Fellows’ interests. 
  • Other opportunities will include:
  • Free membership in the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) - A network of more than 180 chapters and divisions throughout the country comprised of people passionate about the mission of the United Nations.
  • Membership in the UNA-NCA Young Professionals Program, which includes invitations to networking events. Fellows must attend at least one UNA-NCA sponsored event during the Spring 2021 semester to earn a certificate of completion.
  • *Fellows may wish to participate in the Program for academic credit with their home university. UNA-NCA will gladly assist Fellows with such arrangements, including, if acceptable to the given university, offering Fellows the option of completing a term paper under faculty supervision in order to receive academic credit.* 

Certificate of Accomplishment 

Those who complete the program will be awarded a certificate by the UNA-NCA. 
Selection Process/Timetable

The UNA-NCA Fellows selection will be based upon a student's application and an interview with members of the UNA-NCA Graduate Fellows faculty.

Apply Today


13 October 2021

Eleanor Roosevelt Virtual Happy Hour 2021

Join UNA-NCA's Human Rights Committee for a virtual happy hour in honor of Eleanor Roosevelt!

Register Here!

Come join UNA-NCA members, staff, and volunteers for a happy hour celebrating Eleanor Roosevelt's birthday and her legacy of human rights advocacy on Wednesday, October 13th.

This year, our virtual happy hour will feature a presentation of Eleanor Roosevelt's life and accomplishments, a trivia contest, and an opportunity to meet and interact with fellow UNA-NCA members and individuals who are interested in international affairs and UN work!

When: Wednesday, October 13; 5:30 - 7:00 pm 
Virtual (Zoom)
Cost: Free, but registration is required

Register Here!