Leadership & Executive Committee

WFUNA’s leadership structure is outlined in our constitution and includes the roles of President, Vice-President, Secretary-General, Treasurer and Executive Committee members.

President - Shawn Chen

Shawn Chen

As an advocate of lifelong learning, Dr. Chen’s educational career has lasted for over 35 years and has embraced education, business, and entrepreneurism in different countries. Dr. Shawn Chen is the Founder and the Chairman of the Board of Sias University, an innovative educational institution through which students, leaders, and scholars from East and West can meet and profit from an exchange of ideas expressed in multiple languages and cultures. Previously, Dr. Chen to served as the President of the Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific (AUAP). Under his leadership, AUAP successfully implemented institutional reform by designing and implementing membership benefit programs which resulted in the swift growth of the association. Dr. Chen currently serves as the Treasurer and President-Elect for the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP). He is also the co-founder of Plug and Play in Silicon Valley. Dr. Shawn Chen is an American citizen who holds a BA from Chongqing University, an MBA from Willamette University, and an MA in Education from Linfield College. He also received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of West Los Angeles, the University of the Cordilleras, and the University of Caucasus.

Aziel Philippos Goulandris

Aziel Philippos Goulandris is the Secretary-General of the World Federation of United Nations Associations since October 2023. He holds M.A.s of Geopolitics and International Relations from King’s College London and the University of Bordeaux as well as a B.A. in Law. He served WFUNA for 10 years as Education Officer, Director of the Geneva Office and Deputy Secretary-General and has been instrumental in expanding the outreach capacity of the Organization as well as many programs. His past work experience include, inter alia, serving as Human Rights and Humanitarian expert for the Greek Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, Legal Advisor, as well as Legal Officer for the French Coast Guard Service. He is fluent in Greek, French, English and Spanish.
Treasurer - Ramaz Aptsiauri (UNA Georgia)

Ramaz Aptsiauri

Ramaz Aptsiauri is a civil society professional with 27 years of leadership experience. Ramaz co-founded a UNA in newly-independent Georgia in 1995, when democratic institutions and standards had yet to emerge, and steered UNA-Georgia into a non-profit that makes critical contributions to Georgia’s democratic transformation. Mr. Aptsauri continues to play an active role in the strategic management of UNA-Georgia. He is also a founding partner of Buckswood International School Tbilisi, one of Georgia’s most successful education institutions. Having obtained a Masters in International Relations, he has served as a visiting professor at one of Georgia’s top graduate institutions, Ilia State University, and authored several publications including the first Georgian edition of the UN Handbook.Ramaz. Mr. Aptsiauri has strong ties with local state and non-state organizations, national and international government institutions, political and academic communities, think tank groups, media, and other stakeholders locally and internationally. He has been an active member of WFUNA since 2003 and has served on different elected positions including WFUNA’s Treasurer (2003-2009), Executive Committee Member and Chair of Finance Committee (2009-2012), and Deputy Chair of Executive Committee from 2018. Notably, Mr. Aptsiauri was awarded the World Tolerance Award by the Friends of the United Nations in 2003.
Vice President

Armine Podosyan

Armine Podosyan is the President of the United Nations Association of Armenia (AUNA), and in 2012 was elected as a member of the Executive Committee of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) at the 40th WFUNA Plenary Assembly. She started with AUNA as a co-founder from the very establishment of the organization in 2005. She has more than twenty years of progressively responsible experience in various organizations such as the UN Association of Armenia, Center for Health Services Research & Development of the American University of Armenia, Armenian Center for Integration and Democratization NGO, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies/International Post-Traumatic Rehabilitation Center. Key professional competencies are in the areas of public health, community development, civil society development, capacity building, training coordination, training curricula development, grants, project monitoring and evaluation, and administration of the programs of the organization. The most recent expertise focuses on community development by liaising with different actors including international organizations and governmental agencies.
Vice President

Alexei N Borisov

Alexei Borisov served as the first Deputy Chairman of the Russian United Nations Association.
Vice President

Cissa Wa Numbe

Cissa Wa Numbe has been as adviser to the the UN Secretary General’s special representative to UN-Africa Union led International Conference for Peace, Security and Development for the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
Katrhyn White UNA Canada
Vice President

Kathryn White

Kate has successfully led UNA-Canada since 2004, meeting its important national mandate to education and engage Canadians in the work of the UN and to grow global citizens, with twenty-five staff, twenty volunteer Branches and 25 000 members and donors across the country. UNA-Canada is a results-based, disciplined and historic civil society institution that has grown significantly under her watch.
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Vice President

Jay Jethwa

Jay is a medical research scientist (UK and Australia) as well as being admitted as a lawyer to the Supreme Court (Vic) and High Court of Australia. He has founded, or holds directorships of several healthcare companies in Australia and overseas. Jay is the Australian UNA representative to WFUNA, and has been involved in the UN System since 1997. He was first elected to the Executive Board of WFUNA in 2009, having also served as its Vice-Chair previously. He was elected WFUNA Vice-President in 2022. Jay’s principle interest lies the interplay between international relations and multilateralism, and how this can promote dialogue and collaboration among countries to forge more peaceful and prosperous future for all. He is actively involved in the development of collaborations between the United Nations System and university affiliations globally, particularly as it relates to Sustainable Development Goals. Jay is appointed to the Advisory Board of the Association of the Universities of Asia and the Pacific, which represents more than 290 universities globally. He is appointed Senior Reviewer/Referee at the JLU University School of Law’s Journal on Contemporary Research. and is also admitted a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Jay travels extensively promoting and advocating the core values of the United Nations. He has founded a charitable organisation, and actively participates in numerous other charitable initiatives.
Vice-President - Helena Laukko (UNA Finland)
Vice President

Helena Laukko

Helena Laukko is the Executive Director of the UN Association of Finland. She has fifteen years of experience in development cooperation work, including fieldwork in Uganda, and served as Executive Director of the International Solidarity Foundation.
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Chair of Executive Committee

Teta Banks

The Honorable Teta V. Banks, Ed.D. has served on the WFUNA Executive Committee since 2018, and been a member of the Budget Committee, Code of Conduct Committee, and Credentials Committee. She has been active in the UNA movement throughout the USA for over 25 years. She has held various levels of leadership including National Chair of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) which has 20,000 members and 200 chapters working to connect American communities to the mission and work of the United Nations and advocating for US funding for UN agencies; President of UNA-Houston and Vice-President of UNA-Philadelphia. Under her leadership, the programs, partnerships and impact of the UNA in USA have increased and expanded. Dr. Banks is also President of International Forum, Inc., Vice-President of the Council of Organizations (COO – 100 human rights organizations), former Consul General of the Republic of Liberia, and President of the Consular Corps. Dr. Banks is a university professor and administrator, as well as human rights advocate. She serves on several international affairs boards including the following: Advisory Board of the U.S.- Africa Bilateral Chamber of Commerce, Houston International Development Council, US-Caribbean Chamber of Commerce, President of the Houston- Monrovia (Liberia) Sister Cities Planning Committee, Mayor’s Office of African and Caribbean Affairs (Philadelphia), Chair of International Trends and Services Committee of the The Links, Incorporated (TSCC), and Advisory Board of North American University. She is the recipient of many awards and recognitions, including recognition as a Global Goodwill Ambassador, Honorary Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Humanitarian Award by U.S. Institute of Diplomacy and Human Rights, The International Trade Center Humanitarian Award, Human Relations Commission Chairman’s Award, and G7 International Human Rights Organization Award. She attended Wellesley College, Howard University, Wayne State University and Oxford University. She holds certifications in Human Rights Education Training from US Institute of Diplomacy and Human Rights, The Sustainable Development Goals – A Global Transdisciplinary Vision For The Future from University of Copenhagen, Global Diplomacy – Diplomacy in The Modern World from University of London, and International Organizations Management from Université de Genève.
Vice-Chair of Executive Committee

Joy Dunsheath

Joy Dunsheath MNZM JP has contributed to human rights, justice, gender equality and sustainable development in New Zealand and internationally. She is an Honorary Life Member of UNA NZ and a Justice of the Peace. Joy was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to human rights, women, and education which is an honour reflecting her contribution to New Zealand and its people.

Joy is an experienced leader with a demonstrated history of working with civil society, NGOs and on boards. She has held various positions at UNA NZ including Vice-President, National President, and Conference Chair. She was a Board member of UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand. Through her on-going advocacy, she has widely promoted Agenda 2030 and increased understanding and public awareness of the SDGs. She was elected as a committee member to the GWI Hegg Hoffet Fund and worked internationally for seven years to assist refugee and displaced women to study towards academic qualifications. She has represented New Zealand at WFUNA and was elected to its Executive Committee in 2018. Joy has been an active member of the New Zealand Ministry for Women’s International Caucus for more than ten years. She has promoted debating and public speaking for young New Zealanders. She was President of the Friends of the New Zealand Portrait Gallery Committee. She is a mother of two sons and has four grandchildren. Joy is a graduate of Victoria University and now a retired teacher.

Exco member- Suresh Srivastava (UNA India)
Vice-Chair of Executive Committee

Suresh Srivastava

Suresh Srivastava is the Secretary General of the Indian Federation of United Nations Associations. He was the Vice-Chair of World Federation of United Nations Associations Geneva and was the Vice President of WFUNA. Under his leadership, the 36th Plenary Assembly of WFUNA was held on 16-18 April 2000 at Kolkatta, India. Also under his leadership were the WFUNA 8th Asia Pacific Regional conference and the WFUNA Executive Committee meeting which were also held in India. Mr. Srivastava was a Student Leader, President of Students Union, Delhi University graduate, and former President of United Nations Students Association of India. He is a practicing Lawyer in Delhi High Court and was President of Tax Bar Association, Delhi. Mr. Srivastava was Standing Counsel in Delhi High Court of NCT, Delhi, and Senior Standing Counsel of Central Government in Delhi High Court. Suresh Srivastava has organized various seminars, symposiums, workshops, and conferences on various National and International issues. He has contributed Articles in various News Magazines and News Papers on topics such as Law, Human Rights, and Peace and Development. He has been appearing regularly in Electronic Media, National Channels in the programs for Legal Advice and program relevant on social and current issues. Additionally, Mr. Srivastava is publishing ‘People and UN’ News Magazine regularly from India.
Ali Kiyaei
Executive Committee Member

Ali Kiyaei

Ali Kiyaei serves as an Executive Secretary General of the United Nations Association of South Africa since 2011 and is on the board of two business start-ups. He joined the UNA about 5 years ago through a university chapter. Through UNASA he advocates the role of societies taking responsibility of their own communities through the ideas of the UN Millennium Development Goals.
Exco member - Richard Baguma (UNA Uganda)
Executive Committee Member

Richard Baguma

Richard Baguma is the current Secretary General of UNA-Uganda, and is the current Vice Chairperson and Ag Treasurer for WFUNA. He is an advocate for Peace, sustainable development, and youth inclusion. A broadcaster with a passion for peace and development, Richard Baguma has been a member of WFUNA Task Force on WSIS, Regional Coordinator for the UN DPI/NGO Exec Committee, Founder and board member UNA Uganda. Mr. Baguma was chief host for the WFUNA Regional Academy for Africa bringing African UNAs and other UNAs to Uganda. Additionally, he holds an MSC in Project Planning and Management and a BA Journalism and Mass Communication. Mr. Baguma has worked with various UNAs from Africa, Europe and Asia, and has a passion towards ensuring that East Africa and Africa make strides towards sustainable development.
Executive Committee Member

Ho-Jin Lee

Ambassador Ho-Jin Lee has served the Republic of Korea as a career diplomat over three decades since 1974. His diplomatic service covered the US, Europe and East Asia, mainly specializing in the ROK-US alliance, regional security and economic cooperation in East Asia, global disarmament and export control, and nuclear enterprise.
Executive Committee Member

Reginald Munisi

Reginald Munisi has served as both Chairperson and Secretary-General of UNA-Tanzania. He was also an active member of the WFUNA Youth Network, contributing to several initiatives, during his time. Nationally, he was actively involved in the formulation of the national Millennium Development Goals’ implementation strategy, and continues to be actively engaged in national, regional and international processes on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Executive Committee Member

Ray Brathwaite

Ray Brathwaite is the current President of UNATT and the former President of JCI Senators of the Americas and Caribbean. He was also formerly the Deputy Chairman of Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority.
Executive Committee Member

Torleif Jonasson

Mr. Torleif Jonasson has been a member of the Danish UNA since 1991 and has been involved in all areas of work.
Executive Committee Member

Keneth Luis

Datuk Kenneth Luis was appointed the Executive Secretary of the United Nation Association Malaysia (UNAM) in February 2015. He retired from the Malaysian Administrative and Diplomatic Service in July 2010, having contributed 34 years as a civil servant in the public sector. His last posting was as the Malaysian Ambassador to UNESCO, in Paris, France, where he served for three years and a half, until his retirement in July 2010.
Executive Committee Member

Catharina Bu

Catharina Bu is the Secretary General of the UN Association of Norway. She has more than ten years of experience from international development cooperation, including Save the Children and the Norwegian Council for Africa. Before joining UNA Norway, she worked for the think tank Agenda, where she published policy reports and hosted a popular podcast on international development. Ms Bu is also board member of Christian Michelsen’s Institute (CMI). She holds a MSc in Development Studies from SOAS, London.
HU Wenli
Executive Committee Member

Hu Wenli

Ms. HU Wenli has assumed the post of the Vice-President and Director-General of United Nations Association of China (UNA-China) since July, 2021. Ms. HU graduated from School of Economics, Peking University. She used to work in Policy Planning Department of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chinese Embassy in the United States of America and Chinese Embassy in Australia. Before she joined UNA-China, Ms. HU acted as the Deputy Director-General of Department of International Economic Affairs of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China, and was deeply involved in preparatory work of many prominent diplomatic events, such as Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, G20 Hangzhou Summit, BRICS Xiamen Summit, and China’s participation in Annual Meeting of World Economic Forum and “Summer Davos” (Annual Meeting of the New Champions).
Exco member- Norma Goicochea Estenoz (UNA Cuba)
Executive Committee Member

Norma Goicochea Estenoz

Norma Goicochea Estenoz has been the President of UNA-Cuba since February 2022. She has followed a long diplomatic career with the Cuban Foreign Ministry. She has notably served as: Permanent Representative to the UN in Vienna and Ambassador to Austria, Croatia and Slovenia, Permanent Representative to the European Union in Brussels and Ambassador to Belgium and Luxemburg, Expert in various Advisory Committees to the UN in New York, Vice-President of the 5th Committee of the GA, Advisor to the Cuban member of the High Level Panel for the SDG, and Advisor to the Cuban Member of the Cairo +20 Conference.
Exco member - Teona Lebanidze (UNA Georgia)
Executive Committee Member

Teona Lebanidze

Teona Lebanidze is a non-profit management professional with 17 years of experience in managing the national and cross-border projects in Georgia, South Caucasus, and the wider Middle East region. Ms. Lebanidze joined UNA-Georgia in 2007 and is currently the Deputy Executive Director as well as UNA Georgia’s Team Leader for the high-priority projects and collaborations, including the strategic cooperation with UNA Sweden and the European Union. In the past 10 years of her tenure as UNA Georgia’s Deputy Executive Director, Ms. Lebanidze has played a critical role in implementing important and cutting-edge methodologies and practices at UNA Georgia. Ms. Lebanidze is UNA Georgia’s focal point on implementing human rights-based approaches, gender-sensitive programming, complexity-aware theory of change, logical modelling, and MEL frameworks organization-wide. As one of Georgia’s leading HRBA and GESI practitioners, Ms. Lebanidze provides training and coaching assistance to non-profit organizations in Georgia, South Caucasus, and Central Asia. Ms. Lebanidze also led UNA-Georgia’s efforts in co-organizing WFUNA’s 16+ Forum in Tbilisi in 2017. She has strong working relationships with local and international non-profit organizations, youth organizations, women’s rights institutions, as well as other key stakeholders locally and internationally.
Exco member - Annelie_Börjesson (UNA Sweden)
Executive Committee Member

Annelie Börjesson

Annelie Börjesson has been engaged in UNA-Sweden, a civils society organization and a peoples’ movement that brings both organizations and individual members together, for 16 years at all levels. These levels of involvement include the local chapters, the regional chapters, the national board, and as President for the organization. She has held the Presidential position since 2018, and has been very active and appreciated throughout her engagement in UNA-Sweden . Ms Börjesson holds a Master of Science in Communication, a Bachelor of Arts in Pedagogy, and has also studied English, French and Russian at advanced levels – skills that have been valuable in her work for the UN movement. Ms Börjesson is especially devoted to the rights of girls and women, education, and the 2030 Agenda and Our Common Agenda. In regards to UNA-Sweden, she is well versed in the history and broader range of activities that encompass it. She is a true friend of the United Nations and multilateralism and has an excellent global (the UN system, embassies, parliaments, diplomats, academia, other organisations) which is useful in many contexts. UNA-Sweden and Ms Börjesson would be honoured and proud to contribute to the work of WFUNA.
Exco member - RUbna Begum Daureeawo Daood (UNA Mauritius)
Executive Committee Member

Rubna Daureeawo

Mrs. Rubna Beghum Daureeawo Daood is a practising barrister in Mauritius, having called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2010. She envisages a broad practice, extending across a wide range of law areas, with specialization in arbitration. She is an actor for national and multinational corporations in criminal, civil and commercial matters before the tribunals and courts, including the Supreme Court of Mauritius. Mrs. Rubna Begnum Daureeawo Daood also has experience in resolving matters through negotiation and mediation. She has been a part-time lecturer at the University of Mauritius and other international university branches across the island. Currently, she is pursuing a Doctorate in Law (PhD), with specialization in International Arbitration. Mrs. Rubna Begnum Daureeawo Daood is involved in social, voluntary, and humanitarian works. She is working for a peace and unity focused Mauritian Nations free from exploitation, and an overall better and global world society.
Exco member- Kristi Cina (UNA Albania)
Executive Committee Member

Kristi Cina

Kristi Çina is one of the founding officers and the incumbent president of United Nations Association Albania (UNAA). Since 2016, he has contributed to shaping the organizational architecture of UNAA and its youth chapter, as well as the vision and programmatic work of the association. Mr. Cina counts around 6-years of professional experience in different sectors such as legal consultancy (Deloitte Legal Shpk), international organizations (the OSCE Presence in Albania) and non-profit organizations (UNAA). During his on-going career, he has worked on projects related to youth empowerment, gender issues, civil society, rule of law and the sustainable development goals. Mr. Cina is also the founder and manager of the Albanian Youth Delegates to the UN Programme (UNYD) and has served as a youth adviser within the National Delegation of the Republic of Albania to UNESCO’s 40th General Conference. In recognition of his contribution to the civic space in Albania, he was invited in 2019 to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Programme – the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program – on “Youth and Civic Engagement” and in 2020 was selected “WFUNA Leader of the Year” by the World Federation of United Nations Associations. He is also a member of the UN Youth Advisory Board in Albania and the Commission for Sustainable Development and Integrity which were established by ICC Albania. Additionally, Mr. Cina is fluent in English, Italian and Romanian.
Exco member - Robert Hilty (UNA Switzerland)
Executive Committee Member

Robert P. Hilty

Robert. P Hilty grew up in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and has lived and worked as an independent entrepreneur in German-speaking Switzerland for over 20 years. His professional activities focus on lobbying, security consulting and standardisation. He has been lobbying the EU in Brussels and the Swiss Parliament in Bern since 1994. He is the most experienced UN related person at UNA Switzerland. He joined in the early 80s. Was trained as first Swiss Officer at the United Nations Military Observer College (UNMOC) in Niinisalo (SF) as UNTSO observer. Then joined the Swiss UN Election Supervisor Team in Namibia (UNTAG). He was a passionate supporter of the UN accession, what ended successfully in March 2002 by a peoples vote. He was then part of the Swiss Delegation when Switzerland joined the UN Family in September 2002. In 2013 he joined the Swiss Diplomats Zurich Network. He was elected board member of UNA Switzerland in 2014 and appointed 1st Vice-President in 2016, where he is responsible for international relations. In 2022 he initiated the founding of UNA Liechtenstein.
Honorary President - Christos Theodoulou (UNA Cyprus)
Honorary President

Christos A. Theodoulou

Dr. Christos A. Theodoulou, President of the UNA of Cyprus since 2002 and Honorary President of WFUNA since November 2022, is a renowned Cypriot political scientist, international lawyer, international relations lecturer, eminent European Patent Attorney, historian, author, speaker and columnist, who has played a prominent role in the promotion of the principles and goals of WFUNA and of the United Nations Organization. He has been President of the UNA of Cyprus since 2002, being a member, Organizing Commissioner and later Vice-President of the same since 1969. He was elected and served as a member of the ExCo of Wfuna for two consecutive terms (2003-2009 and 2009-2015) and in 2015 he was elected and was serving as Vice-President of WFUNA up to November 2022. In the elections of 10th-11th November 2022 he was elected Honorary President of WFUNA. In 2016, he was honoured for his services towards the UN causes by the Hellenic UNA (UNA of Greece), by electing him as an Honorary Member of that UNA. His works include books and numerous articles on the United Nations Organization, history and Intellectual Property. He has served or is serving on various government advisory boards, national and international associations and civil society organizations. He is the founder and President of the charitable family foundation, The Theodoulou Foundation. He was a UN Staff member in New York in the Division of Human Rights (1971-1973).

Honorary Presidents

  • Hans Blix
  • Klaus Hüfner
  • Rhyl Jansen
  • Gregory M. Kovrizhenko
  • Doug Roche
  • Rena Shashua Hasson
  • Mihaly Simai
  • Christos A. Theodoulou
  • Androula Vassiliou

In Memory of…

  • Hashim Abdul Halim
  • Malcolm Harper
  • Mogens Hasdorf
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Ram Niwas Mirdha, M.P
  • Hilkka Pietilä
  • Horace Pereira
  • Arthur Ross
  • Maurice Strong
  • John C. Whitehead
  • Axel Wüstenhagen

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