Title: Senior Counselor,New York Coordination Office of the World Intellectual Property Organization
Topics: International Law and United Nations Overview
Mr. Todd Larson serves as Senior Counselor at the New York Coordination Office of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), based at United Nations Headquarters. Mr. Larson undertakes extensive outreach throughout North America on behalf of the WIPO. He has been with the United Nations system for nearly 20 years, previously serving in various countries with both the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
Mr. Larson served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo from 1983 - 1985. He received his Master’s Degree and his Juris Doctoris from the University of Washington, Seattle, where he was also named ‘Distinguished Alum’ in 2007.
Title: Chief of United Nations Population Fund, Western and Central Africa Branch
Topic: Political Affairs General, HIV/AIDS, Africa, and Economic Development
Mr. David Lawson is Chief of UNFPA Western and Central Africa Branch. He oversees 23 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cap Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Senegal, Sao Tome & Principe, Sierra Leone and Togo. Along with his team, Mr. Lawson provides policy, managerial, strategic, and programmatic guidance to UNFPA country offices. Mr. Lawson has worked with bilateral agencies in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and North America, the European Commission, UNESCO, UNIDO, FAO, UNAIDS and UNFPA. He has a long standing career in intergovernmental and inter-agency affairs, specifically the AIDS global response, advocacy, strategic planning and governance.
Title: Former Chief, Social Perspectives on Development Branch, Division for Social Policy and Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, New York.
Areas: Economic and Social Development; Poverty, Youth Employment, Cooperatives
Donald Lee began his career at the United Nations with the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand. He later moved to New York to the Division for Social Policy and Development to head its work on poverty and employment – development issues that have defined his major contributions as an economist in the United Nations. Donald went on to head the Social Perspectives on Development Branch which focuses on issues of social development, in particular poverty eradication and employment, and was responsible for preparing DESA’s flagship publication Report on the World Social Situation.
He helped establish the Youth Employment Network in 2001 and was -- until his retirement from the United Nations in 2011 -- a member of its Steering Committee.
In the United Nations he has worked on a range of development-related issues, including transnational corporations, foreign direct investment, economic and social development policy, sustainable development, poverty and youth employment policy.
In recognition of his contribution to poverty issues in the United Nations, he was invited to join the International Committee for October 17th which was established to promote and support the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. He was appointed Chairman of the Committee in 2012.
Before joining the United Nations, he was Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Commerce, Deakin University, Australia.
He continues to be an advocate for poverty eradication, social justice and environmentally sustainable economic development through his research, publications and blog.
Donald has a PhD in Economics from University College London.
Title: Secretary, High-Level Committee on Programmes of the Chief Executives Board
Topics: United Nations Overview, Civil Society, and Humanitarian Assistance
Ms. Phyllis Lee is currently the Secretary of the High-Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) of the Chief Executives Board (CEB). Her role is to organize the agenda and to discern priorities for the UN system as a whole on the programme side. She has been with the UN since 1980, in varied positions. She was the editor for the Bureau for Programme Policy and Evaluation, an External Relations Officer for the Division for External Relations and the Governing Council Secretariat in the UN Development Programme, a Programme Officer for the Programme Planning and Coordination Office in the Department for Economic and Social Development, an Economic Affairs Officer for the Division for Policy Coordination and ECOSOC Affairs in the Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development, and the Chief of the Advocacy and External Relations Section in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Title: Corporate Engagement Manager, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Topics: Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Assistance, Partnerships, and Peace Building
Mrs. Christelle Loupforest is Corporate Engagement Manager at the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). In this capacity, she is responsible for OCHA’s corporate sector strategy and manages relationships with the corporate sector. She has developed an online inter-agency guide to help businesses identify effective ways to support international disaster relief efforts. Previously, Mrs. Loupforest worked as an adviser to the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and worked on addressing humanitarian crises around the world including Colombia, Chechnya (Russian Federation), DPRK, Georgia, Indonesia and Sudan. From 1995 until 1998, she worked in the field of human rights in Haiti.
She started her career with the World Health Organization in Geneva in 1994 after graduating from the Institute of Political Sciences of Grenoble, France. She obtained her Masters Degree in Political Sciences after completing her studies at Trinity College, Dublin. She is fluent in French and English and speaks some Spanish, Creole and German. She is an UNDAC member, a UNITAR fellow in peacemaking and preventive measures, and a trainer in early warning and preventive measures with the UN Staff System College.
Title: Senior Political Affairs Officer, Department of Political Affairs, United Nations Secretariat
Topics: Political Affairs General, Electoral Assistance, and Peacekeeping
Ms. Robin Ludwig is Senior Political Affairs Officer in the Department of Political Affairs, United Nations Secretariat. She currently manages the Policy and Best Practices Unit of the Electoral Assistance Division. In the past year, she has also been responsible for United Nations activities relating to the 2008 presidential elections in Zimbabwe and preparations for Moldova’s 2009 parliamentary elections. Since joining the Electoral Assistance Division, she has assisted with elections in the Gambia, Indonesia, Kenya, Kosovo, Malawi, Tanzania and Timor-Leste.
During her UN career, Ms. Ludwig has also carried out a variety of special assignments including the design and management of UN Dialogue with the Global South. She also served as Special Advisor to the first UN Deputy Secretary-General in 1997.
Ms. Ludwig holds a Ph.D. in World Politics from the University of Michigan and a Masters of International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University.