Meet The Team

Our team tirelessly makes a positive impact on global quality education. We have a strong culture that values empathy, innovation and creativity, teamwork as well as a drive to deliver Education for Sustainable Development by 2030.  

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Sam Loni

Director, Global Schools Program

Sam Loni is a young leader and social entrepreneur who has spent his career leading social impact organisations around the world. He has been recognised as a young peace-builder by the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, by Forbes Magazine as one of Asia’s top under-30 social entrepreneurs, and by the NAEEA as a 30-under-30 fellow.

 

Since 2015, Sam has served as a Program Director at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) – a research and policy organisation, working under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary-General, Antònio Guterres. During his time at the SDSN, Sam has worked across a range of projects, including development finance, innovation systems, sustainable cities, and more recently, education for sustainable development, under Global Schools and Mission 4.7.

 

Sam was also the founder of SDSN Youth, one of the world’s biggest networks of young leaders dedicated to action on sustainable development, operating across 80 countries and 22 regional centres. Sam is currently based at the University of Oxford, Christ Church College, undertaking graduate studies as part of the Oxford 1+1 Programme.

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Emmanuel Michael Emechete

Project Officer (Advocacy)

Emmanuel Michael Emechete is a SDG Advocate and a Technology enthusiast. He is the founder of a business and career Consulting firm called Anointed Consult, and Orupa, a renewable energy and climate change organization, which focus on the use of technology in achieving the SDGs and solving global issues; one of their recent initiatives is called STEM for SDGs (#STEM4SDGs). He also served as the Regional Focal Point for SDG8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth, and was one of the first set of Advocates at the Global Schools Program for the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (Youth).

 

He has Represent the UN MGCY at ILO workshop in Nairobi; Kenya,  Abuja; Nigeria, and several other events within Africa. He is presently serving as the Regional Focal Point for SDG7 (Clean and Affordable Energy) Youth Constituency at the UN MGCY. Over the last three years he has been actively involved in the technology and innovation sectors, both as a STEM trainer, Robotics instructor, digital skills and literacy expert, a web designer and code instructor.

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Kannan R Nair

Project Officer (Advocacy)

Kannan R Nair is a Project Officer (Advocacy) at Global Schools Program, UN-SDSN from India. Mr. Nair is an MSc Asian Studies student and Graduate Research Assistant at S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Mr Nair is a member of the 2020 cohort of Young Leaders Program, Pacific Forum, a Honolulu based think tank.

 

His opinions have appeared in the Australian Institute of International Affairs, South Asian Voices-Stimson Center, Lowy Institute Interpreter, 9dashline, The Geopolitics, etc. Mr Nair primarily focuses on developments in International relations of Southeast Asia and India’s Foreign Policy. Prior to this, he worked with the Institute of Chinese Studies(ICS), New Delhi and National Institute of Advanced Studies(NIAS), Bangalore.

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Felix Mmeka

Project Officer (Advocacy)

Felix Mmeka currently serves as a Project Officer (Advocacy) within the Global Schools team at the UN SDSN. Within the Social-Economic Development space, he has previously held various advocacy and development roles including being a Local Pathways Fellow at UN SDSN-Youth, a Global Schools Ambassador at UN SDSN-Youth, a sports officer & trustee at Swansea University Students’ Union, and a Program Coordinator (Port Harcourt) at Slum2Schools Nigeria, etc.

 

These experiences gave him an appreciation of how championing the SDGs can significantly impact people’s lives. His passion for the SDGs, especially SDG1 (No Poverty) and SDG4 (Quality Education), was inspired by his opportunities positively impacting and giving back to his local community and has been developed by working brilliant young professionals. Felix has a Masters and Bachelor’s degrees in Civil Engineering from Swansea University, UK and completed the Green Economy Program at Ryerson University, Canada.

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Oluwayemisi Ojo

Project Officer (Content)

Oluwayemisi Ojo (Yemisi) currently serves as a Project Officer at the Global Schools Program - an initiative of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). She is a Policy fellow at the Nigerian Global Affairs Council where she curates policy ideas and simplifies Acts and Agencies of Nigeria. She is the founder of iVolunteer Benue an initiative that trains youths in 21st century skills and connects them to organisations for practical work placements. Since 2018, Yemisi has worked in both community and state levels as SDGs advocate promoting the knowledge of SDGs among youths in Secondary Schools.

 

During her National Youth Service, she won the award for Excellence in Leadership as the President, Sustainable Development Goals Community Development Service group, establishing SDGs School Clubs in 10 Secondary Schools and training about 100 teachers on the SDGs. Yemisi has a background in media and storytelling.

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Samantha JiHye Lee

Project Officer (Content)

Samantha Lee is a Content Project Officer at Global Schools, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Driven by her passions and interests in curriculum development, mathematics content, and domestic and international education, she served as a program leader at ECUC 21st Century – UC Berkeley Graduate of Education during her undergraduate career.

 

She believes in equality for all and was involved in the Accessible Icon Project where she served as an ambassador in Los Angeles to collaborate with the Los Angeles Department of Disability on changing the universal handicapped sign to a new symbol on public infrastructures and transportations. To follow her passions, she will be pursuing a master's degree in math education at Northwestern University in the coming year.

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Dorpaima Lumban Gaol

Project Officer (Marketing)

Dorpaima Lumban Gaol is a professional humanitarian worker and SDG Enthusiast. She experienced working in international NGOs, private and government sectors. 

 

She has been working for several years in PR/communication for development field. Recently she work at Save the Children International and experienced serve at World Vision Indonesia and the Global Peace Foundation Indonesia.

 

She was received a scholarship from the Embassy of Indonesia for People's Republic of China for Indonesia Young Diplomat Program 2018. She started her career in a multinational banking company in business development.

 

Presently, she is enrolling in her master's degree in Politics and International Relations, specializing in International Development.

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Keunseon Park

Project Officer (Marketing)

Keunseon Park is a Project Officer for the Marketing Team for UN SDSN’s Global Schools Program and a social activist who aims to develop sustainability in people’s lives. Keunseon achieved a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and Finance in 2019 and is currently working in the IT field in a business strategy role. Keunseon believes education can change people’s lives and has joined the Global Schools Program of UN SDSN to support educators and schools.

 

As a social activist, she also has been working as the Executive Director and a member of the Board in Raise Uganda Now, an international youth-led NGO working for holistic care, education, and sustainable development of vulnerable kids and communities in Uganda. She is engaged in various youth and climate actions mostly based in the Asian region as well. Keunseon is hoping to study and experience more to achieve her goal to create real social impacts to support more people, mostly through education and local business. She welcomes anyone who has similar interests!

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Brenda Garcia Millan

Project Officer (Research)

Brenda Garcia Millan is a Research and Policy Analyst at a San Diego-based organization called Climate Action Campaign, where she researches innovative local policy solutions to the climate crisis affecting Southern California residents. She is a Project Officer (Research team) for the Global Schools Program. Before joining SDSN Youth / Global Schools Program in November 2020, Brenda interned for ten months at the United States Senate where she engaged with foreign relations and climate policy teams.

 

She is also a 2018-2019 Fulbright Scholar, having run a high school Model United Nations program in Madrid, Spain. Brenda earned her Master's degree in Global Studies from the University of Oregon, and her Bachelor's in International Security from San Diego State University. In addition to the United States and Spain, Brenda has living, research, and learning experience in Mexico and the UK, she is fluent in English and Spanish, and can also communicate in French, Italian, and Portuguese.

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Mary Margaret Gilliam

Project Officer (Research)

Mary-Margaret Gilliam currently works as a Program Analyst at the Institute of International Education in New York City. As a former teacher, mentor, and teacher trainer in Japan, she aided in implementing an English immersion curriculum for ELL students and children who had lived abroad. Her main research interests center around language rights, multilingual education, international assessments, and international educational policy as it relates to these topics. She graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University with an MA in International Educational Development.

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Amanda Abrom

Program Manager, Global Schools Program

Amanda Abrom is the Program Manager of Global Schools, an initiative of the SDSN. She is currently completing her Masters Dissertation via Columbia University and the London School of Economics on the intersection of SDG 4.7, teacher professional development, and K12 education.

 

Previously, she worked as a teacher in Spain where she led the Model UN Global Classrooms project and taught English, Geography, and History for students aged 12-16. She also taught at a public school in Chile with the Chilean Ministry of Education and was a program assistant for the US Department of State’s international exchange programs for students from 13 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa and the MENA region.

She also has experience running extra-curricular English camps in South America for the British Council. She is recognized as a current UNCTAD Youth Delegate and a Global Ambassador for SDG 4 on behalf of UNA-USA and the UN Foundation. She is a Fulbright Scholar and has completed Master’s level internships for UNICEF’s Education Cannot Wait Fund, the UN SDSN, and worked as a Research Assistant at the Columbia Earth Institute.

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Fikayo Agha

Project Officer (Advocacy)

Fikayo Agha currently serves as the Project Officer, Advocacy of the Global Schools team. Prior to that, she served an Advocate for the Global Schools Program in Nigeria. She is a final year law student at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, an SDG4  (Quality Education) Advocate and an International Development enthusiast. From 2019-2020 she served as the Welfare Secretary and Program Manager of a gender and development Organisation, In Our Hands Development Initiative. Also served as the Director of Creative Content at a student led children's charity organization, Arms of Clemency.

 

She has volunteered for several youth led initiatives and charitable functions, interned at the Lagos State Ministry of Justice Office of the Public Defender and runs an opportunity clinic for students and young graduates in search for global opportunities. When not working, she loves listening to classics, watching Korean drama, and reading.

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Kendra-Lee Heney

Project Officer (Advocacy)

Kendra-Lee Heney is a Global Schools Project Officer (Advocacy) from Toronto, Canada. Her main interest is empowering children and youth with disabilities through quality education to ensure that they are actively included and involved in their local communities.  Kendra has a Master’s degree in Children, Youth, and International Development from Brunel University in the United Kingdom as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Disability Studies from Western University in Canada. She has 8 years’ experience promoting inclusive education, both within the classroom as well as through outdoor education organizations. She has worked with schools and education-based NGOs in Canada, the United Kingdom, Rwanda, and Uganda to promote inclusive curriculum, capacity building, and teacher training. She is currently working with Hope and Healing International as a Child Development Curriculum and Research Specialist to implement a Resiliency Curriculum within schools in Africa.

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Elizabeth Lerman

Project Officer (Content)

Elizabeth Lerman is a finance consultant at Deloitte who graduated in 2020 with an international Bachelor of Arts in Economics. She is passionate about education and sustainable development where she seeks to join or learn about organizations that are working towards empowering others and reducing inequalities.

 

She's joining the SDSN Global Schools Program as a Project Officer in the Content Team. She's hoping to use her experience from AIESEC and other non-profit organizations to help drive initiatives and progress the new Teachers Advocates Program. In her spare time, Elizabeth loves learning about new languages and cultures, and continues to practice Russian, Spanish and French.

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Tanha Emita

Project Officer (Content)

Tanha Emita is an activist and writer. She is a professional curriculum developer for STEM curricula, and also a Trainer with UNESCO on meaningful youth engagement. She is doing her masters in Nutrition, and someday she hopes to work for the UN.

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Kindong Eric Kinchi

Project Officer (Operations and People & Culture)

Kindong has over five years’ experience in the nonprofit sector and earned a Master of Law degree from the University of Yaoundé II, Cameroon and a Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Development and Human Rights from the University of Antwerp, Belgium. He currently serves as Project Officer for Operations for the Global Schools Program. He is also serving currently as a Selection Board Application Reviewer and Interviewer with the Atlas Corps, a non-profit organisation that promotes innovation, cooperation, and solutions to address the world’s 21st-century challenges.

 

Previously, Kindong served with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Cameroon, a leading international organization in conservation with a mission to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the environment. As a Law Enforcement Intern, he assisted in the implementation of WWF strategy in support of local partners (the government and local communities) in the fight against poaching and illegal wildlife by providing technical support, capacity building and empowering local communities to enhance their participation in wildlife protection, conservation and improve their livelihoods through sustainable practices.

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Raquel Armendariz

Project Officer (Marketing)

Raquel Armendariz is an International Relations graduate from Spain. She also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Policy from the University of California Riverside and is currently studying a Masters in Political Communication. She is a trained Climate Reality Leader and has experience working for human rights organizations in the US and Spain.

 

Her interests lie in political advocacy, environmental justice, women´s rights, and the promotion of international cooperation, and she likes to write articles about these topics to promote awareness. She would like to spend her professional career advocating for human rights and fighting climate change for the United Nations or the European Union.

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Nandini Tanya Lallmon

Project Officer (Marketing)

Upon her graduation from law school in her native Mauritius, Nandini Tanya Lallmon engaged in advocacy for wider legal systems reform in favour of social justice, but also to ensure that such legislation is properly implemented. To bring her stone to the building of the new literature, she is focusing her doctoral research at UNICAF University on methods to revamp historical customary law principles. Appointed as African Youth Charter Hustler for Mauritius by the African Union Office of the Youth Envoy for the 2020-2022 period, she empowers marginalized minorities through access to learning, dialogue and development spaces that are crucial to their social inclusion.

 

In her role of legal lead of the #Reform53 campaign, she lobbies against discriminatory laws on behalf of the Commonwealth Youth Gender and Equality Network under the Royal Commonwealth Society. Additionally, she contributes her advisory expertise to the Steering for Greatness Foundation, Global Peace Chain, International Human Rights Advisory Council, Agents of Peace Kenya, YouthLead and CIVICUS. She is about to complete her one-year tenure as country director of the local chapters of the Youth Advocacy Council, International Youth Council, International Youth Society, International Youth Development Society and African Network of Youth Policy Experts. 

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Lian Sabella Castillo

Project Officer (Research)

Lian Sabella Castillo is an IT professional from the Philippines. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and a masters in Information Studies. She had previously handled professional projects in culture-based conservation and blended learning. She will soon be working on her PhD in Sustainability Science with The University of Tokyo. Aside from her day job, Lian enjoys painting and participated in a number of group exhibitions at her local city. As a volunteer, she has been with the Global Schools Program since 2017 as part of the first cohort of Ambassadors. She has then been an interim lead for the outreach team from 2019-2020, and will be joining the research team beginning 2021.