MORE ABOUT NYLESA  | How we work


NYLESA is managed by a Steering Committee (SC) comprising of six members: Chairperson, Co-Chairperson, Treasurer and 3 working group Coordinators. 

All of these positions are democratically elected by the association members at the Annual General Meeting, and any regular member has the right to stand for election. 

SC members serve one-year term (April - March), on a volunteer basis. Inevitably, due to relocation or other reasons, active SC member(s) may withdraw from the postition. In this case, replacement will be arranged by additional election or in case of short remaining term, be appointed by the SC. 

 2018-2019 Steering Committee
(Left to right: Eric Pasqualli, Zein Dudha, Francine Afane, Davina Solomon and Tuba Durrani; absent: Hong Xiao)

SC 2019 candidates

  • Chairperson: Davina E. Solomon

  • Co-chairperson: Alejandro Torrealba

  • Treasurer: Siham Bloch

  • Welcome Coordinator: Francine Afane

  • Career Support Coordinator: Hong Xiao

  • Communication Coordinator: Gabriel Amsellem

Bios of 2018-2019 Steering Committee members 

Chairperson: Tuba Durrani

Tuba Durrani is from Pakistan. She is an entrepreneur and has several years of experience in local and international NGOs. In addition to an MBA with majors in Finance with Cum Laude and a double-Masters in Women and Gender Studies from UK and Hungary, she has strong understanding of the concerns, needs and issues of UN spouses – having followed her husband around the world in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. The values of UN are close to her heart. With strong communications skills, she believes in respect for others, loyalty, responsibility for personal actions, generosity and kindness.

Co-Chairperson: Davina E. Solomon

I have been an educator on three continents, have developed curricula and taught a diverse group of students Math, Social Studies and Science in three educational systems, which has made me appreciate the opportunities for interaction with different people, provided me avenues for educational innovation and helped me engage in highly productive and collaborative team-work. I enjoy people, working towards goals and developing creative solutions. Mentoring adolescents, has helped create, I think, vast reserves of empathy and patience. I have been a member of NYLESA for two years. My educational background includes Masters degrees in Education, Sociology and Botany. I enjoy research, am a voracious reader, am multilingual, a blogger, poet, a bread baking enthusiast and an avid listener of Opera and Indian Raga.

Treasurer:  Eric Pasqualli

I am national of Brazil and I have been working in Telecommunication Companies since 2004 mainly in the field of Revenue Assurance, Marketing and Business Intelligence. My wife started to work with UNICEF in 2014, since than we lived in Angola and now in New York City. I love to travel, discover new cultures, photography, mountain bike and play with my two year old daughter.

Career Support Group Coordinator: Hong Xiao

Hong Xiao serves as NYLESA Career Support Coordinator. Having been living in New York for almost eights years, she now calls New York City her second hometown, cherishing each opportunity of meeting new friends and new cultures within and beyond NYLESA. Leading a small group of dedicated volunteers, Hong, as well as the Career Support Working Group, strives to organize career related seminars, meets, and training for NYLESA members, as well as build and strengthen the professional presence of NYLESA members within and outside the UN system. She welcomes new ideas and suggestions, and appreciate help from fellow NYLESA members!

Welcome Group Coordinator: Francine Afane

I have been in New York for the past four years. Holding a BA in Business Administration, I work as a Licensed Life Insurance Agent and Online Marketer.

Communication Group Coordinator: Zein Dudha

Zein has a Marketing degree and has always been keen on figuring out effective
communication strategies for marketing purposes. He considers himself a Jack
of all trades, but a master of none…


Functions of the Steering Committee

  • to take all appropriate measures to further the Purpose and Objectives of NYLESA in accordance with the Bylaws, and with the NYLESA Regulations;

  • to implement decisions taken at Annual General Meetings and General Meetings;

  • to create and adopt and implement policies, guidelines, rules and regulations for the effective day-to-day management of the affairs of NYLESA;

  • to develop the NYLESA Annual Work Plan for approval at the Annual General Meeting;

  • to implement the activities of the Annual Work Plan;

  • to develop and present an Annual Report and a Financial Report for approval at the Annual General Meeting; and

  • to provide relevant information to the Membership on the activities of NYLESA via the NYLESA website, and to maintain this information updated;

Responsibilities of the Steering Committee Members


  • promote all affairs of the Association within the International Civil Service;

  • prepare, in consultation with the Steering Committee, agendas  for Annual General Meetings, Special General Meetings, General Meetings and Steering Committee Meetings;

  • chair Annual General Meetings, Special General Meetings, General Meetings and Steering Committee Meetings;

  • support, coordinate and enhance the work of Working Groups;

  • maintain relationships with the Global Expatriate Spouse Association (GESA), with contacts within the various International Civil Service entities in New York and other partners relevant to promoting and advocating the NYLESA’s Purpose and Objectives;

  • guide, in consultation with the Working Group Coordinators, the development and updating or revision of NYLESA’s Annual Work Plan;

  • draft the NYLESA’s Annual Report; and

  • report regularly to the Steering Committee on his/her activities.


  • support and/or deputize for the NYLESA Chairperson in his/her responsibilities;

  • disseminate all relevant information to NYLESA members;

  • maintain an accurate record of NYLESA Members

  • prepare and send out meeting invitations for NYLESA Annual General Meetings, Special General Meetings, General Meetings and Steering Committee Meetings;

  • draft, circulate and maintain a record of minutes of NYLESA Annual General Meetings, Special General Meetings, General Meetings and Steering Committee Meetings; and

  • report regularly to the Steering Committee on his/her activities.


  • manage monies and money transactions held by or on behalf of NYLESA;

  • maintain a detailed record of all income and expenditure; and

  • draft NYLESA’s annual Financial Report; and

  • report regularly to the Steering Committee on his/her activities.

Working Group Coordinators

  • further the Purpose and Objectives of NYLESA in accordance with the Working Group’s mandate;

  • report regularly to the Steering Committee on his/her activities, and those of the Working Group;

  • prepare written contributions on the activities of the Working Group for inclusion in the NYLESA Annual Report;

  • to provide information on the Working Group’s activities to the Members of NYLESA; and

  • participate in the management and guidance of NYLESA in the Steering Committee.

We wish to acknowledge the hard work and time spent by previous Steering Committees building our organization into the vibrant and active group it is today.

(CWG=Communication Working Group, CSWG=Career Support Working Group, WWG=Welcome Working Group)

2018 - 2019

Chairperson: Tuba Durrani

Co-chairperson: Paola Triolo (March - October) / Davina E. Solomon (November - March) 

Treasurer: Eric Pasqualli 

Welcome Coordinator: Pierre Tamer (March - October) / Francine Afane

Career Support Coordinator: Nessreen Bahaa Edin Abuzeid (March - May)/ Hong Xiao

Communication Coordinator: Shivani Berry (March - August) / Davina E. Solomon (Acting co-ordinator) / Zein Dudha  (November - March) 


Chairperson: Tuba Durrani

Co-chairperson: Paola Triolo

Treasurer: Eric Pasqualli

Welcome Coordinator: Odalea Freire

Career Support Coordinator: Nessreen Bahaa Edin Abuzeid

Communication Coordinator (external): Nina Eneroth / Yen Nguyen (Acting co-ordinator)

Communication Co-ordinator (internal): Fiorella Vitale (March - November) / Davina E. Solomon - Weekly Agenda (January - March)


Chair: Banu Chediek

Co-chair: Teresa Lago

Treasurer: Pascal Commovick

CWG: Rosalía Galan

CSWG: Saionara König-Reis

WWG: Nada Pottinger


Chair: Michelle Negreros

Co-chair: Florina Aldeas

Treasurer: Carlos Martinez

CWG: Clare Robertson

CSWG: Ruwanthika Geeganage

WWG: Annette Wolter/Nada Pottinger

Chair: Olivier Caudron
Co-chair: Michelle Negreros
Treasurer: Francesca De Cesare
CWG: Julia Tilinga
CSWG: Cristina Bertarelli
WWG: Florina Aldea

Chair: Olivier Caudron
Co-chair: Michelle Negreros
Treasurer: Teresa Sola
CWG: Paul Henderson
CSWG: Elizabeth Nash
WWG: Florina Aldea

Chair: Angela Bamblett
Co-chair: Teresa Sola
Treasurer: Francesse Bertrand
CWG: Sirkku Lakkonen
CSWG: Dorian Lacombe
WWG: Olivier Caudron

Chair: Mayank Jain
Co-chair: Lora Davis & Dorian Lacombe
Treasurer: Elsa Begne
CWG: Sirkku Lakkonen
CSWG: Ravi Kumar Gandham
WWG: Teresa Sola


NYLESA is functioned by member active contribution, we encourage members to participate voluntarily in one of our three working groups: 

Welcome Working Group (WWG)

The Welcome Group organizes NYLESA's regular monthly social gatherings (coffee, cocktail etc) and other social events. It oversees the membership team, and also helps assist new members as they settle into New York.

Career Support Working Group (CSWG)

The Career Support Group works to support and promote our members' professional development and assists with networking and job-search information both within and outside the UN. It also hosts a variety of language practice tables and job-related seminars and workshops.

Communication Working Group (CWG)

The Communication Group provides the association with communication and marketing tools. This group creates, publishes, monitors and updates content for the website and social media platforms as well as creates newsletters, brochures and other promotional materials.


NYLESA is managed and functioned by volunteers and thus always welcomes any volunteer contribution. Whether you want to gain experience working in a non-profit association, or would like to share your expertise or time - for event-based, short or long term, do let us know by completeing the volunteeer form or write to

Coffee Gathering Coordinator:  Concha Iborra Garcia, Katherine Arana

Cocktail Gathering Coordinator: 

Nylesa Connect Coordinators: Davina E. Solomon and Natalia Chernysh

Special Events Coordinator: Lora Wiley

Support Group Coordinator: 

Membership Team: Tanya Marinova (Coordinator), Natalia Chernysh, Kausar Ovais, Candice Yu

Monthly Career Seminar Lead: Hong & TBD

Seminars: Tinatin Janghiava

Roster Manager: Yun Li, Idah Nyambauro

Language Tables Coordinator: Mariia Gonchar

Dutch Table: Stef Stevens

English Table: Jenny Nasser

French Table: Natalia Chernysh

Italian Table: Elena Giachetti

Portuguese Table: Sailifa Nzwalo

Russian Table: Mariia Gonchar

Spanish Table: Liliana Rodriguez

Turkish Table: Banu Chediek and Gulen Unalan

Urdu Table: Saliah Kiyani, Tuba Samih


Linkedin Group Lead: Eszter Horvath & Audre Oliveira

Linkedin Manager: Rhona Clarke



Website and Mailchimp: Yen Nguyen, Gabriel Amsellem

Branding Strategy: Yen Nguyen, Yamrote Alemu, Gabriel Amsellem

Social Media/Facebook Team(Business Page, Private Group and Marketplace): Davina E. Solomon, Yen Nguyen, Zein Dudha

NYLESA Weekly Newsletter Team: Davina E. Solomon, Jenny Nasser (Editor), Eirik Solheim Nesdal

Communication Platforms Admin and Manager (Website, Google Suite, Mailchimp): Zein Dudha

Policy Team: Eirik Solheim Nesdal, Yen Nguyen

Podcast Team: Martin Haro, Zein Dudha

NYLESA Photographers: Lin Qi, Eric Pasqualli, Alexandre Tolipan, Gulen Unalan