Staff & Interns

Leadership Team


Houry Geudelekian (NGO CSW/NY Gender Program Coordinator)

Houry is the Gender Program Coordinator at NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY and the UN Coordinator of Unchained At Last, an ECOSOC accredited US based organizations that fights to stop early marriage in the US. She recently ended her term as Co-Chair of Working Group on Girls and Co-Chair of NYC4CEDAW. Born in Beirut, Lebanon into an Armenian family, she moved to New York City in the late 70’s with her husband and together they started a business that grew to over 30 employees and 2000 clientele in the competitive market of Manhattan. Her professional expertise is in Project Management, Marketing and Public Relations with a passion for Human Rights. Houry has been involved with many non-profits and academic institutions, chaired major events and fundraised for special events. In her capacity as UN Coordinator for Armenian Relief Society (2011-2016), she served as Executive Committee member of NGO CSW NY for two terms, Co-Chaired NGO CSW Forum Planning Committee, MC’d two Consultation Days and Chaired Women of Distinction Award for CSW57/58. As a board member of NGO CSW NY she was a founding member of the Cities for CEDAW campaign as well as Beijing Platform for Action+20, working closely with UN Women. She is always actively looking to partner with international organizations to bring gender equality to global attention while mentoring young adults to be inspired and care about Human Rights. She has also facilitated and partnered with UN Member States, UN Women, UNDP to bring about positive change globally through panel discussions and projects. 



Ilana Gelb (Former NGO CSW/NY Coordinator and Training Supervisor)

Ilana graduated from the City University of New York with a duel degree in Violence, Conflict, and Human Rights and Sustainability.  Prior to joining NGO CSW/NY, Ilana worked with various organizations to support survivors of mass violence, including refugees, survivors of human trafficking, and survivors of domestic violence. These organizations include the International Rescue Committee in New York, where Ilana  supported resettled refugees in achieving food security; Guria in Varanasi, India, where Ilana conducted research on the effectiveness of an art therapy program as a means to reduce the trauma of children living in the red light area; and La Cometa in San Jose, Costa Rica, where Ilana served as an ESL teacher in a local slum. Ilana also founded Avasara: Students Against Human Trafficking, which organizes students, organizations, and communities to join in the fight against modern day slavery. Her areas of expertise include: gender based violence, intersections between human and environmental violence, refugees and forced migration, and a specialization in South Asia. Ilana speaks conversational Hindi, Urdu, and Spanish, as well as basic French. Ilana is extremely passionate about human rights, gender equality, and sustainability.

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Tanitra Partivit (Database & Web Administrator)

Tanitra has ten years of experience working with various non-profits, implementing online marketing campaigns, as well as managing social media and website content. Her professional experience includes working with various non-profits including Friends of UNFPA, Advancing Human Rights, and HIAS. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations with a concentration in Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, and Security of East Asia. She is a native Queens New Yorker with a lot of pride in her community.  She still lives on the same block she grew up on. Additionally, Tanitra is a classically trained chef and a graduate of the International Culinary Institute.


2018 Summer Interns

Efua A-H Owusu

Efua is a journalist with a passion for social issues, and a recent graduate of the Columbia Journalism School. Originally from Ghana, Efua’s goal is to work in collaboration with NGOs to produce compelling feature stories about the work these organizations do and how they impact society. Efua hopes her internship with NGO/CSW will be a gateway into how NGOs work, and how media can play an active role in bridging the gap between policy, governments and society.

Jennifer Shang

Jennifer is a rising third-year at the University of Richmond, in Virginia, with a double major in International Studies and Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law with a minor in Business Administration. She has a focus in world politics and diplomacy. Jennifer is originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, but has been studying in the United States since she was 16. Throughout her life she has worked with various organizations on issues relating to poverty, education, and gender equality. She is excited to be a part of such an amazing organization where she can continue to learn about and act upon the important issue of women empowerment. Jennifer loves to travel and explore new cultures and cuisines; in addition, she is fluent in English and Indonesian, and has knowledge of French and Latin.

Zoe Potter

Zoe is a former financial services regulatory lawyer from Australia where she worked at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (the equivalent to the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Financial Services Regulatory Authority) in consumer protection, and then in international cooperation for four years where she managed the exchange of information and evidence with foreign financial services regulators. Since moving to New York in 2015, Zoe has worked in business development and marketing for two top-tier law firms. Zoe graduated from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia with Bachelors of Laws (the LLB equivalent) and Arts, and has completed post-graduate certificates in both Applied Finance and Communications. Zoe is a member of the Australian Women in New York communications team and also of the Volunteer Referral Center Young Professional Committee. Zoe speaks basic French and Spanish and has a love of travel which has taken her around the world. Zoe loves living in New York with its vibrant and diverse culture, and also enjoys escaping the city to explore new landscapes.


2017/2018  CSW62 Interns 

Saeeda Rizvi

Saeeda is a graduate from the University of Chicago, where she studied International Relations with a focus on human rights protection and political security. Originally from Pakistan, she has worked with various NGOs and government organizations in South Asia on issues related to human rights and women empowerment. Saeeda hopes to continue advocating for minority groups in South Asia and intends to work on research related to gender and political conflict. Fluent in Urdu and passionate about food, Saeeda is excited about exploring the multicultural realm of New York City.

Sunayana Limbu

Growing up as an indigenous girl during the civil war era of Nepal, Sunayana witnessed gross human rights violations, especially against women. She moved to the United States when she was 13 years old and has since been a dedicated human rights and women’s rights advocate. She has had a history of work experience at organizations from the United Nations to Amnesty International USA. Sunayana is a senior currently majoring in International Criminal Justice and minoring in Public Administration at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Her passion for gender equality and human rights led her to join NGO CSW NY as an Intern. In addition to that, she also works as an Editorial Associate at Qrius (The Indian Economist), where she edits high-quality commentary and scholarly articles in the categories of Politics, Policy, Economics, World and Culture. In order to develop her global competency skills, Sunayana studied Conflict Transformation at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland. She is also the New York Representative of Friends of Women Protection Center Nepal. Sunayana has served as a Youth Delegate at the Youth Assembly of UN and has taught English to economically disadvantaged women, both in New York City and Nepal. She was a Direct Response Intern at Amnesty International, a Co-Director of Communications and Media at TEDxCUNY and an Investigative Intern at US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at New York District Office. Sunayana pursues a career in global peacebuilding, quality education and gender equality. She speaks fluent Nepalese, Hindi, Urdu, conversational French and basic Hangul.

Andre McDonald

Andre is a graduate student at Columbia University, School of Continuing Education. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution with a dual concentration in Ombuds Practice and Mediation. Receiving a certificate in International Law and Justice from the Fordham School of Law he is a Leitner Center Fellow.  During his fellowship, he analyzed human rights issues facing groups vulnerable to human rights abuses such as women and children, the LGBTQ community and persons with disabilities. Since his fellowship, Andre has decided to further his education by obtaining more certificates which encompass sexual and reproductive health and global humanitarism to name a few. Currently, Andre is on the Young Professionals Board of ECPAT-USA where he is helping to trailblaze the efforts to end the war against women and children in trafficking. Andre’s human rights studies have included international fieldwork completed in both India and Cuba. He investigated the Sonagachi Red Light District in Kolkata, India and interviewed the survivors of sex trafficking. The primary focus of the study was the battle between the criminalization of versus decriminalization of sex work.  In Cuba, he analyzed the international instructions and mechanisms utilized to protect economic, social, and cultural rights. Andre has a special interest in gender and the LGBTQ community. In his utopian world women would not be considered inferior to men and the entire LGBTQ community would have equal rights. Based in New York, New York, Andre is dedicated to helping individuals overcome adversity in their lives.

Elise Bragard

Elise is originally from Manchester, England and is pursuing her MA in Women’s and Gender Studies at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her research interests include the psychology and sociology of girlhood, global girls’ rights, and girls’ sexuality. Elise intends to pursue a career as a scholar-activist and is excited to be joining the Working Group on Girls while interning at NGO CSW/NY. Elise was formerly a public school theatre teacher in Massachusetts and received her Master’s in Theatre Education at Emerson College, Boston. She is also the Assistant Director at a residential summer camp where she is responsible for programming that promotes leadership, creativity, community, and empathy among children and teenagers. She has helped to develop girls’ leadership camps at ASAPROSAR, a rural health organization in El Salvador which focuses on school dropout prevention and child labor eradication. Elise is passionate about musical theatre, food, traveling, and she also speaks Spanish.

Alexandra Lukamba

Alexandra is a Congolese woman who recently graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relation & Global Affairs, Spanish, and Political Science. Her passion for changing the perception of the African woman has led her to be part of a small NGO in the Democratic Republic of Congo named Soeur, Leve Toi; where she helps with the personal development of young women and fundraises for their meritocracy scholarships. Due to her passion for different cultures, Alexandra speaks four languages (French, Lingala, English, and Spanish), which have helped her volunteer for organizations such as Operation Smile. She aspires to pursue her passion for the development of women by bettering the education system in the DRC. Therefore, she started her internship with NGO/CSW in September 2017 as a first step to acquire experience in the field she intends to continue.

Ching-Kang Wang (Ken)

Ken was originally from Taipei, Taiwan. He moved to New York City in 2016 to pursue an MA degree in Women’s and Gender Studies from the Graduate Center, City University of New York with an expected graduation date of May 2018. He has a background in journalism and English literature and worked as a journalist for several prominent news agencies in Taiwan. As a feminist and LGBTQ rights advocate, Ken’s primary interest is on LGBT and Queer studies, as well as sex and gender equality education. He expects, by working at NGO CSW/NY, to expose himself to issues effecting women and girls, and later expand to more minority groups who seek social justice and visibility. Later, he intends to advocate women’s and LGBTQ rights in Taiwan and Asia in general. In his free time, Ken enjoys reading, writing, singing and walking around New York City. In addition, he is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and English, and has knowledge of French.

Francesco Palumbo

Freshly established in the Big Apple, Francesco is a new intern at NGO CSW/NY and CoNGO. He moved to New York City with a financial award from the European Commission, and he has just started to work in the United Nations field, where he is focusing on Women’s Rights and Sustainable Development issues. Francesco is a Research Fellow at the University of Roma Tre, in Rome (Italy), where he graduated in Environmental and Development Economics. During his studies he got the opportunity first to live in Brussels (Belgium) to do a student exchange program for several months, working for European Parliament projects, and then to live in Vilnius (Lithuania) for his research thesis about another European Commission project. He created an economic performance indicator of enterprises working in the sustainable development field. Later on, he published a paper about his research that is presented at important European economic conferences. He is a volunteer for UNICEF Italia and is passionate about human rights and sustainable development issues, such as food security and food safety, and the role that women play in agricultural development. Francesco speaks Italian, English, and Spanish.

Dayana Perez

In 2013, Dayana started her career in activism as a freshman at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), participating with New York Public Research Group (NYPRIG). At NYPRIG, she learned about rights to education reform, environmental justice, better transit, and consumer protection. Perez is now an undergrad at City College of New York (CCNY) majoring in International Studies and Minoring in Psychology. She feels compelled to learn about global mental health rights since she is a survivor of severe depression and anxiety. Perez is still active in her current campus life. For instance, in January 2017 she became a Staff Writer at The Campus Magazine from CCNY. As a Staff Writer, she has networked with her community at CCNY and Harlem. Perez is passionate about studying the intersectional perspectives of women’s rights after taking courses such as Transnational Feminism, Gender, Conflict and Dialogue, Women’s Theater, Theories of Social Foundation, Research to the UN and National Model UN. Most of all, Dayana wants to become a social worker, educator, professional researcher and/ or journalist focused on women’s and children’s rights in the mental health industry. Dayana is a Colombian American, who resides in Queens, New York. Growing up, she has traveled every other summer to Colombia to learn more about her family’s roots and culture. Dayana is fluent in English and Spanish, and speaks basic French and Italian.