Staff & Interns

Leadership Team


Ilana Gelb (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.

2017/2018 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 and worked as a reporter for several media companies in Taiwan. As a feminist and LGBTQ right advocate, Ken’s primary interest is on gay rights and gender equality education. He expects, by working in NGO CSW/NY, to expose himself to issues effecting women and girls, and later expand to more groups of people who seek equality and justice. Eventually, he will contribute himself to the advocacy of gender equality and gay rights in Taiwan. He also enjoys reading, writing and walking in New York City.

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.

2016/2017 Interns     

PilarPilar Gallardo

Pilar joined the NGO CSW/NY in 2016. She has a background in business administration and has worked for several financial institutions. Before joining the NGO CSW/NY she worked at Instituto Cervantes in New York, one of the most renowned Spanish cultural organizations devoted to the promotion and expansion of the Spanish cultural heritage. There, Pilar was involved with topics related to culture development and women empowerment in Hispanic countries as well as overseeing the overall functioning of the Institute. She is fluent in Spanish and loves hiking and watercolor.

Griffin Stevens

Griffin got his Bachelor’s from Haverford College, majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Political Science, with a concentration in Middle East Studies.  He aims to become an educator.  He has worked in several educational roles, including the Education Department at the Met, as well as the Office of Admission at Haverford.  Further, influenced by Haverford’s focus on social activism, Griffin cultivated his academic interest in studying humanitarian and social justice issues, as well as his personal commitment to effecting positive change with respect to these.  He hopes to meaningfully bring together his dedication to academics, education, and social activism by working in the public sector.  In researching professional opportunities after graduating from college, this naturally led Griffin towards CSW: he is very excited for the opportunity to contribute positively to such a meaningful set of issues while learning about the professional world of NGO’s.


Olivia Lin

Olivia is originally from China, she lived in both Beijing and Hong Kong. She studied abroad in the United States since age 16 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development from the College of Community and Public Affair at Binghamton University. As an undergraduate, she worked at the American Civic Association in Binghamton, New York. They assist with helping immigrants and refugees start a new life in local community while preserving their cultural and ethnic diversity. In addition, Olivia was the Vice President of an Asian-American cultural organization at Binghamton University. They focus a lot on providing community service and promoting cultural diversity on campus. Olivia is fluent in Chinese, both Mandarin and Cantonese. With her passion for feminism, gender equality, social justice, young women’s leadership, fashion and sustainability. Olivia is extremely excited to be working with the NGO CSW/NY to make sure women’s voices are heard, and actions are taken.


 Nikki Trutter

Nikki is a senior majoring in Film and Television at Tisch School of the Arts, at NYU. She is a Politics and Creative Writing Minor, with a focus in Political Documentary. She has interned at the Weinstein Company, and Magnolia Pictures. As a feminist, her real passion is women’s rights, and social justice issues. Nikki understands the power of media in a globalized society, and is looking forward to working at NGO CSW/NY in order to blend politics and the arts in the continual struggle for women’s rights. She also enjoys long walks on the beach, bleak French films, and other useless pastimes.


 Christian Porter

Christian graduated from Kean University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from the College of Business and Public Management. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Public Administration from Kean University with an expected graduation date of May 2017.  For the last three years, Christian has fulfilled various positions in the public sector.  Most recently he served as the Administrative Assistant to the Department of Public Works Director in his hometown of Seaside Park, NJ.  In this role, he worked with senior management to provide effective, efficient, and responsible public services to the borough and gained personal experiences that allowed him to realize he was passionate about helping others.  Prior to working in municipal government Christian held a position as a Resource Interpretive Specialist for the state’s Division of Parks and Forestry in Island Beach State Park. His interests within the field of Public Administration include public & environmental policy, human rights, and sustainability. Christian also has a passion for volunteer work and civic engagement, in the past, he has worked with Parents of Autistic Children (POAC) and Clean Ocean Action.  While enrolled in his graduate program, Christian learned of the opportunity at the NGO CSW and is excited to combine his personal interests with his professional/academic skill set.


Aleksandra Aultman (Sasha)

Aleksandra has entered her last semester at The City College of New York. She is a full time student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Studies with two minors in Anthropology and Public Policy. Aleksandra moved to the United States from Russia in 2007. The experience of starting over in a new country has instilled confidence in her along with the importance of hard work and responsibility. She is interested in global events, human rights, gender equality and culture. Aleksandra is native Russian speaker and have a basic knowledge of the French language. She loves traveling and experiencing other cultures. Aleksandra believes that promoting reproductive rights, securing women’s economic empowerment and ending discrimination and violence against women are areas that need to have more attention directed towards them. With NGO CSW/NY, she is hoping to learn more about the tools and resources available for women who want to stand up and make a difference, and prove that they are strong and competitive.


Alvaro Galassi

Alvaro graduated in International Relations from the University of Roma Tre, Italy.  During his time at university he studied for six months in Belgium, at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. His interest in languages and in different communities led him to travel and meet new people. Since March, he has been working at the Institute of Higher Studies in Geopolitics and Auxiliary Sciences for the Africa and Latin America Programme. As a collaborator, Alvaro has to write articles about human rights in some of the African countries. This issue has driven most of his studies and his efforts. He speaks Italian, English and basic French. He is looking forward to starting his internship with NGO CSW/NY and thanks them for giving him the possibility to carry on his project “Working For a More Equal World”.


Beata Samel

Beata Samel is a senior at Hunter College studying Religion and Public Policy. Interested in international affairs and women’s rights, getting the chance to intern at NGO CSW was the perfect opportunity for her. As an undergraduate student she became interested in studying religion as backdoor to understanding global politics, history and the way people think. Beata plans on obtaining a J.D./Masters in International Relations duel degree and wants to work in the field of immigration law. Beata has interned and volunteered with various non-profits and legal service providers including the Anti-Defamation League, Women for Afghan Women and immigration law firms. She is excited to get to work on the NGO CSW61 Forum and take part in this annual event. Beata speaks Slovak, Polish, Russian and some Spanish.

img_1946Juliana Emmanuelli (Jules)

Jules is in her final semester at Baruch College in the Macaulay Honors Program. She majors in Computer Information Systems with minors in English, Spanish, International Business, and New York City Studies. Holding strong beliefs in interdisciplinary studies, she hopes to integrate her knowledge of technology with her passion for human rights into promoting and advocating for sustainable development and innovation within the developing world. Jules is also a proponent for equal education and is has held certifications as an ESL tutor. She has worked at her university teaching English, as well as volunteered with organizations such as Sanctuary for Families and Let’s Get Ready Manhattan. In her volunteer positions, she has worked in promoting educational equality along with women’s rights. In learning about educational inequality, she has traveled as a volunteer and worked in an educational program in Cusco, Peru. Jules hopes to continue learning about opportunities promoting educational equality for girls, as well sustainable development, while at NGO CSW. She plans to attend law school in the future, and wants to advocate for the use of technology in driving forward progress. For fun, Jules is an avid traveler and writer. She has visited over twenty countries in the pst three years, is an editor of a literary magazine at her university, and publishes and performs poetry.

Vanesa Treersimg_0079-3

Vanesa, originally from Colombia, has worked in London for the Latin American Women’s Rights Service empowering Latin American women living in the UK and the St Michael’s Fellowship writing reports of families with children at risk.  Vanesa is pursuing a MS degree in Development Management from the Open University in the UK and also holds a graduate diploma in Psychology from Kingston University, London. In 2015, as the Sustainable Development Post-2015 Fellow NY, Vanesa supported the Women’s Environment and Development Organization’s role in the Women’s Major Group during the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda process. Most recently, Vanesa has worked at the Open Society Foundation on grant administration supporting social justice.  Her fields of interest are women’s human rights, gender equality and sustainable development. Vanesa is fluent in Spanish and English.