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2018 Orientation and Workshop for NGO Youth Representatives to DPI - 12 April 2018

Audience at DPI NGO Youth Representatives Younited Event

Orientation and Workshop

Date: Thursday, 12 April 2018
Time: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: Conference Room 1, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Watch webcast here

The Orientation aims to provide newly designated and currently serving NGO Youth representatives to the United Nations Department of Public Information (ages 18 to 32) relevant information, tools and resources to strengthen the advocacy and communication capabilities of their respective NGOs formally associated with DPI in their global advocacy and communication efforts on behalf of the United Nations. Additionally, the session aims to equip NGO Youth Representatives with a better understanding of the UN agenda and its engagement of young people in civil society.   

Meetup for NGO Youth Representatives to DPI 

Time: 1:15 - 3:15 p.m.
Location: DPI NGO Resource Centre, 801 UN Plaza, 2nd Floor, New York
Watch Facebook live

This session will include an informal dialogue with the Ms. Alison Smale, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications.
The meet-up session will also feature a Youth Media Hub that you can participate in and talk more about your work and interests in the UN.
Light refreshments will be provided.

Orientation and Workshop Materials


Orientation and Worshop Programme

Orientation and Workshop



10 a.m. - Opening Remarks

  • Jeffrey Brez
    Chief, NGO Relations, Advocacy & Special Events, Department of Public Information

  • Jadayah Spencer
    Co-Chair, DPI NGO Youth Representatives Steering Committee, NGO Youth Representative to International Youth Leadership Institute

Interactive Ice Breaker – Know Your SDGs 

10:15 a.m. - Introduction to the DPI NGO Youth Representatives Programme and Youth Steering Committee

ModeratorJeffrey Brez
Chief, NGO Relations, Advocacy & Special Events, Department of Public Information

  • Alpha Diallo
    NGO Youth Representative to DPI, ENDA

  • Modou Cham
    NGO Youth Representative to DPI, World Information Transfer

  • Dena Mekawi
    NGO Youth Representative to DPI, Women’s National Book Association

10:50 a.m. - Networking

Moderator: Alpha Diallo
NGO Youth Representative to DPI, ENDA 

11 a.m. - Introduction to the UN Department of Public Information (DPI)

Moderator: Felipe Quiepo
Associate Public Information Officer, NGO Relations, Advocacy and Special Events, Outreach Division, Department of Public Information

  • Ben Malor
    Chief, Radio Unit, News and Media Division, Department of Public Information 

  • Devi Palanivelu
    Public Information Officer, Department of Public Information

11:30 - Leveraging the United Nations to Foster Meaningful Relationships

Moderator: Earlene Cruz, NGO Youth Representative to DPI, Servas, Founder of Kitchen Connection

  • Saphira Rameshfar
    NGO Youth Representative to DPI, Baha’i International Community  

  • Upasana Chauhan
    Representative from United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth

12:15 p.m. - Have Your Say!
Strengthening DPI’s Outreach to Young People 

  • Hawa Diallo
    Head of Unit, Public Information Officer, NGO Relations, Advocacy & Special Events, Department of Public Information

  • Earlene Cruz
    NGO Youth Representative to DPI, Servas, Founder of Kitchen Connection

12:55 p.m. - Closing Remarks

  • Hawa Diallo
    Head of Unit, Public Information Officer, NGO Relations, Advocacy & Special Events, Department of Public Information

  • Subhajit Saha
    Co-Chair, DPI NGO Youth Representatives Steering Committee, NGO Youth Representative to DPI, Dayemi Foundation

Networking Session
@theYouthReps Meet-up & Youth Rep Media Zone
(NGO Resource Centre)

1:15 p.m. - Welcoming Remarks

  • Hawa Diallo
    Public Information Officer, NGO Relations, Advocacy & Special Events, Department of Public Information 

  • Youth Media Facilitator: Nishat Mirza
    NGO Youth Representative to DPI, Voices of Bangla

2:30 p.m. - One-on-One with Alison Smale
Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, UN DPI

Moderator: Subhajit Saha
Co-Chair, DPI NGO Youth Representatives Steering Committee, NGO Youth Representative to DPI, Dayemi Foundation

Facebook Live 


Alison SmaleAlison Smale is the Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, United Nations Department of Public Information. Chief of Bureau of The New York Times in Berlin since 2013, Ms. Smale brought to the position almost 40-years of journalism experience gained in an international career. She has a proven track record as reporter, editor and senior leader. Appointed Executive Editor of the International Herald Tribune (IHT) Paris, in 2008, she is the first and only woman to have held that post. Ms. Smale went to the IHT in 2004 as Managing Editor from The New York Times, where she had been Deputy Foreign Editor since 2002, having joined The Times in 1998 as Weekend Foreign Editor. Earlier in her career Ms. Smale reported for United Press International and The Associated Press as Bureau Chief for Central and Eastern Europe, Vienna (1986-1998) and Correspondent, Moscow and Bonn (1983-1986, 1978-1983).

Jeff Brez, Chief, NGO Relations, Advocacy and Special Events, DPIJeffrey Brez is the chief of NGO Relations, Advocacy & Special Events at the Department of Public Information. He oversees the relations with non-governmental organizations, the Messengers of Peace Programme, the Creative Community Outreach Initiative and Special Events. His work in international humanitarian aid and development assistance has spanned more than a decade and covered a range of issues including children’s and women’s rights, refugee assistance, child soldiers, health, education, sustainable agriculture and food security, environmental sustainability, anticorruption and climate change. His experience includes all aspects of strategic communications and campaign planning, social media, video and photography, development of knowledge products and events as well as global, multistakeholder policy consultation processes and relations with civil society.

Hawa DialloHawa Diallo, Head of Unit, Public Information Officer, NGO Relations, Advocacy & Special Events, Department of Public Information, began her United Nations career in 1986 with the Department of Public Information in New York. From 1992 to 1994, she served in two United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Cambodia and Somalia. In 2000, Ms. Diallo joined the Office of the Deputy Secretary-General before she moved to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHabitat) in Nairobi, where she served as an Associate Human Settlements Officer. Ms. Diallo also worked as a Partners and Youth Officer at UNHabitat, before she moved to the Agency’s New York Liaison Office in 2010. Currently, she serves as a Public Information Officer in the NGO Relations and Advocacy section in the Department of Public Information. NGO Relations office facilitates the exchange of information and develops partnerships with civil society to enhance their interaction with and understanding of the work of the UN. 

Felipe QuiepoFelipe Queipo began his United Nations career at the NGO Relations & Advocacy Section of the Department of Public Information (DPI) in 2008. He currently serves as the Officer responsible for outreach, engagement and global communications with civil society organizations for the Section. Felipe is also the focal point for faith-based organizations within DPI. In this capacity, he leads the team that organizes the "Focus on Faith" briefings within the Department, an initiative that studies the links between faith traditions and religious organizations, and the work and mission of the United Nations. The Focus on Faith Series has explored, amongst other themes, the role that gender plays in religious institutions, the contribution of religious organizations in preventing violent extremism, as well as the efforts to address the refugee and migrants crises around the globe and the resettlement work of governments and faith-based civil society. 

Modou ChamModou Cham is from The Gambia and was raised in Norristown, Pennsylvania. He is currently studying for a Masters of Science in Sustainability Management at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. Prior to Columbia, Modou worked as the Chief Administrative Officer for World Information Transfer (WIT). WIT is an NGO in general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, promoting environmental health and literacy. He was responsible for assisting the CEO in all functional and organizational matters, including office, personnel, information, and conference management. Principally, in office management, his duties included, drafting and processing office correspondence to senior UN officials. It also included managing conferences and inviting renowned scientist to present on the growing clinical evidence supporting the link between degrading environments and diminished human health. While working for WIT, Modou served as the Executive Secretary on the board of the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development from December 2013 to December 2016, through which he helped influence the Post-2015 Sustainable Development negotiation to mainstream climate change in the agenda. Modou holds a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. After Columbia, he intends to move back to West Africa and work for The Gambian Government. 

Dena MekawiDena Makawi is a Women and Youth Representative at the United Nations for Women’s National Book Association. Dena has been working closely with media and those influencing culture, to create more inclusiveness within corporations and private sector. Dena has challenged the status quo, from co chairing the youth committee at the United Nations, engaging more millennials to the United Nations, to coorganizing one of the first sustainable fashion shows at the United Nations, to securing major deals with Cadillac for Style & Resilience partnership with the Global Goals World Cup, which uses sports as an advocacy tool. Style & Resilience engages through a creative dialogue, creating impactful initiatives 

Ben Dotsei MalorBen Dotsei Malor is currently the Chief of UN Radio in New York. He has served as the Moderator and Master of Ceremonies at several High-Level UN events, including for the General Assembly and at the annual Global South-South Development Expos in Geneva, Rome and Vienna. Mr. Malor has more than 20 years of top-level experience, accomplishments and reputation in the fields of International Broadcasting, International Relations, Media and Public Information, Speechwriting, as well Strategic Communications, through his extensive work across the United Nations and also at the BBC World Service, where he was a well-known radio presenter and Deputy Editor. Within the United Nations Mr. Malor has served as the Communications Adviser to the President of the Sixty-Sixth Session of UN General Assembly, His Excellency Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar 

Devi Palanivelu joined the United Nations in 2002 and has worked in a variety of offices across the Department of Public Information (DPI), from the UN Visitor Centre to UN Multimedia to the Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General. She has also worked in media relations at the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, including in the field in Lebanon reporting on the Syria refugee crisis. She currently works at the Development Section within DPI’s Strategic Communications Division, particularly on issues relating to gender, youth and health. Prior to the UN, she worked on television programmes commissioned by Singapore’s national broadcaster, Mediacorp. She holds a M.S. in Urban Studies and a B.A. in Journalism. 

Upasana Chauhan is a small town girl from the state of Haryana, India. STEM Girl - Working withe Fortune 500 Companies and Iternational Banks since last 9 years. Her dream and passion is to encourage and empower every girl next door to be courageous to DARE TO DREAM and be her own superwoman to get those dreams. She is on the drafting committee for the Newyork City for CEDAW bill. This bill is a bill for rights of women. CEDAW is an international treaty adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly.She is also a blogger and writes with World Pulse with er articles published in TIME Magazine, Huffpost. She is also on advisory committee of PLS - NGO in Rajasthan India working on Girl's education who never had the opportunity to go to school.She is also a member of the working group of UNIANYD taskforce.And she loves to travel and believes in living life in Awe and enjoy every drop of it. 

Earlene CruzEarlene Cruz is a true francophile with a penchant for connecting people from all corners of the world. A voyage on a ship inspired her social venture, Kitchen Connection, which is a hub for people of all cultures to come together and learn or teach live, online and interactive cooking classes, with some of all of the proceeds contributing to Action Against Hunger and Whole Food’s Whole Planet Foundation. This venture led her to pursue Master’s Degree at New York University, focusing on food studies and social entrepreneurship. Her work has recently earned her a James Beard Award and a nomination as an envoy on youth under the United Nation’s Secretary General. 

For BIOs of Jadayah Spencer, Subhajit Saha, Alpha Diallo, Saphira Rameshfar and Nishat Mirza please visit DPI NGO Youth Representatives Steering Committee