December 19, 2023
I began my journey at the UN Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA)-an organization dedicated to mobilizing support for the UN’s vital work - as a young professional. It was through my volunteer experience that I found an outlet for my passion for international cooperation and an appreciation of the need to advocate for a strong U.S. leadership role in the international community.

I was fortunate to have had access to quality education and opportunities while growing up in Latin America. At an early age, I benefited from living abroad and learning from other cultures. This made me value the important work of the UN in promoting access to quality education for all, particularly for women and girls, and the incredible impact that investment has over time in strengthening communities and lifting them up from poverty.

I started my journey with UNA-NCA’s Young Professionals (YP), leading its Latin America Committee initially and then elected to serve as YP Chair on the Board of Directors. During that time, I strengthened the participation of young people through leadership and professional development opportunities, initiated partnership collaborations with local groups and the Pan American Health Organization, launched new programs and expanded membership.

After volunteering for a few years, the chapter hired me as its program director. I worked closely with leaders and partners through programming aimed at providing quality education, advancing human rights and bringing understanding on relevant global issues and their impact at the local level.

Becoming the organization’s chief executive was not something that I had planned or envisioned as I thought I would go back to practicing environmental law. However, the opportunity came my way and I benefited greatly (and still do!) from the advice and mentoring of long-time leaders.

During the past years, we strengthened the organization’s diversity, developed and nurtured strategic partnerships, expanded programs such as our Global Classrooms Model UN, which is implemented year round in DMV area schools; launched new initiatives like Global Goals at Home; and strengthened our advocacy efforts at the national and local levels, successfully influencing budget appropriation processes and passing legislation to advance the principles of CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) in the District of Columbia.

Among my fond experiences, are the annual participation at the United Nations in NY, representing UNA-USA in several forums and as a delegate to the World Federation of UN Associations, and serving as UNA-USA Regional Representative and National Council Chair.

What I treasure the most about being a UNA member is its intergenerational engagement, the chance to interact and learn from likeminded individuals, the opportunities for leadership development as well as mentor and being mentored.

UNA-NCA provides a platform for members and leaders to advocate for important issues such as global peace, sustainable development, and human rights. Whether you are a new or current member, I strongly recommend you get actively involved with the chapter. We have several committees and programs you can lend your expertise and help grow. There are always opportunities to lead and start new projects if you have the commitment and willingness to make things happen!

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