April 22, 2024
1. What brought you to UNA-NCA?
UNA-NCA was a good fit for me since I worked in UN agencies – at the UN itself in NYC and at the World Bank (yes, the World Bank is a UN agency!) for almost my entire career. UNA-NCA provided a community of colleagues sharing common values. UNA-NCA gave me ways to continue my UN engagement into my retirement years.

2. How long have you been involved with UNA-NCA?

More than 30 years. I have seen UNA-NCA grow and change over time, as external circumstances evolved and its leaders changed.

3. How has your involvement in UNA-NCA evolved over time?
My engagements in UNA-NCA have been many and varied; they have changed over time as my work status and personal circumstances permitted. Signal contributions that I have made to UNA-NCA include co-founding the Graduate Fellows Program with the Dean of the Elliott School at GWU in the 1990s and co-leading it in recent years; creating the Florence Pepper Schott Endowment Fund with former Board Chairs Edison Dick and Florence Pepper Schott; saving the GCDC program from collapse when UNA-USA cut its prior 100 % cost support by one half and writing a GCDC evaluation study completed in 2009; and service as UNA-NCA Board Chair, including its decision to expect Board members not just to comment about what others should do but to contribute personally and financially to the work of the organization. Service as UNA-NCA Board chair led me to the National Council chair, service on the Board of UNA-USA, and then to employment as UNA-USA CEO, with the mandate to lead it into its present alliance with the UN Foundation. Unless my memory fails me, I have been a Board member of UNA-NCA since sometime in the mid-1990s; as my roles and offices in UNA-NCA shifted, this justified my continuing Board service. I was engaged as a briefer of UNA-USA delegations visiting the UN while I was a junior diplomat at the US Mission to the UN in the 1960, so you can see it’s been a long evolution!

4. What has been your favorite part of being a member of UNA-NCA?
Getting things done! This has occasionally made me a seemingly excessively demanding colleague, but I can assure you that I have been equally or more demanding of myself, in UNA-NCA and beyond.

Mentoring also has been great fun.

Continuing to deepen my learning about the UN has been enriching. UNA-NCA has made me a lifelong student of the UN.

5. Do you have any tips for new or current members?
Engage! Talk with others, of varying experiences in UNA-NCA, don’t be intimidated by others’ experiences or titles, and then decide how you wish to contribute. Remember that you can create new activities and programs, if you are prepared to lean in and make things happen. Great things can and will happen if you make them happen. If you don’t, you may just be a passive member and fail to get the personal benefits and satisfactions of accomplishment and, possibly, the spin-offs in contacts and resume strengthening that can come with membership.

6. What has been your favorite experience or memory with UNA-NCA?
There are many favorite experiences and memories: Developing friendships with other UNA-NCA leaders, the privilege of serving in many different leadership roles, including service as Board Chair, the excitement of creating a new program for graduate students in the 1990s and seeing it change and grow into a well-regarded and highly competitive opportunity for graduate students in Metro DC, communicating the importance of the entire UN system to a wide range of audiences, creating very current new material for UNA-NCA Graduate Fellows, knowing the satisfaction of the Graduate Fellows with the wide range of study, networking, and mentoring opportunities offered to them.

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