2018 Steering Committee Candidates

Tuba Durrani - Chair Position

Tuba has already served as the Chairperson of NYLESA for the year 2017. She 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.

As a member of the Steering Committee last year, I have a good understanding of the challenges that the association faces. I will be focusing more to overcome as many of those challenges as possible in 2018.

Paola Triolo - Co-Chair Position

Paola is Italian, has lived abroad for more than twenty years. She has been working in managerial positions in the non-profit, public and private sector in several countries. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies and is passionate about Environmental and Sustainable Development issues. She has managed development projects on four continents and enjoyed the challenge of working with people from all walks of life, from local farmers to heads of state. She has been a New York resident for a year now. Paola has also been acting as NYLESA Co-chairperson for the last five months and as Membership Team Coordinator for the last year.

I feel I can contribute with strategies for improving teamwork and communication among members of working group.

Eric Portas Pasqualli - Treasurer Position

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 then we lived in Angola and now in New York City. I love to travel, discover new cultures, photography.

I am the current Treasurer, for this year I am planning to improve our budget for creation of new events and satisfaction of NYLESA members.

Nessreen Bahaa edin Abuzeid  - Career Support Coordinator Position

Nessreen moved to New York from Cairo, Egypt in 2015. She has a Master degree in Television Journalism from the American University in Cairo (AUC). She was a Senior Anchor/Correspondent at Nile TV, Egypt and a part time lecturer of Broadcast, at a Private University in Cairo. Nessreen contributed many stories to daily and weekly newspapers while, still studying at AUC. After graduating, she joined a Local Radio station in Cairo as an anchor, and later Nile TV International as an anchor/correspondent and was assigned the training of reporters. Nessreen has been Career Support Coordinator from Oct. 2017 to Mar. 2018.

I have worked on an ambitious plan for Career Support that aims at involving our members in UN activities and community service through volunteering. This will help introduce NYLESA to UN community as a professional active entity.

Shivani Berry - Communication Group Coordinator Position

I am a creative and motivated designer seeking to be part of the communications team in NYLESA. I have innate creative design skills enhanced by formal design education in NYC. I possess a wide range of design experience ranging from fashion design, in-store layout design, logo design, as well as designing marketing promotional materials such as brochures, banners etc and PR when I worked in marketing for media companies in India and London.  Furthermore, my knowledge of the Adobe Creative Cloud/ Suite and Sketch, WordPress and a Master’s in International Marketing has given me the skills and experience which I can use to assist the Marketing/Communications team.

I would love to be more actively involved with NYLESA, and work as a part of the communications team and help them achieve their communication goals for the year.

Pierre Claude Tamer - Welcoming Group Coordinator Position

Pierre is a French/Syrian Safety Adviser with over 15 years experience in both the private and non-profit sectors. He arrived in NYC in June 2017. He holds a BA in English-Arabic-English translation, 3 diplomas in humanitarian security and logistics, as well as being a graduate gemmologist and jewelry designer. Pierre started his work as a humanitarian with Lebanese refugees in Syria, and has been deployed to many countries including Afghanistan, South Sudan, and the DRC since. He speaks French, English and Arabic. Having travelled constantly over the last few years, Pierre understands the challenges and adventures that come with such a lifestyle, and is committed to supporting those newly arrived.

Coming from different cultures, and having moved around a lot, I understand that it takes different approaches to make sure everyone feels welcomed and a part of NYLESA. I will bring creativity and ideas to diversify events, and consult so that we cater to all those who are or could be members.

Touring Brooklyn’s Waste Recycling Facility

By NYLESA member Stef Stevens

Late January, we joined a tour organized by NYLESA’s own tour-leader to the SIMS waste recycling facility in Brooklyn.

We were all amazed to find out how everything worked. The facility, opened in 2013, is a state of the art recycling plant that receives the contents of all the residential recycling bins of the entire city of New York. Through an ingenious separation process which uses sifters, filters, magnets, cameras and airflow, recyclables are sorted into separated flows of different types of plastic, metals and glass. At the end of the separation process each material is pressed into large blocks. These blocks are then transported to specialized factories as a source material for production processes or for further recycling.

Considering that every bottle, can, plastic tray or milk carton and such thrown somewhere in the city into a recycling bin ends up at this facility, the initially huge looking plant seems however rather disappointing in size for such a metropolis as New York.

This visit motivated me to go online and look up some data on waste generation and recycling percentages in New York City. Regarding the generation of waste, this city amazes me in a negative sense. The convenience searching behavior has gone so far in this city that very few people think twice when ordering another single use cup, food-container or utensil even when they drink or eat at the establishment.

It is estimated that New York City generates a mind boggling 11,000 metric tons of domestic and institutional waste and 13,000 tons of commercial waste per day. In New York City only 17% of household waste is recycled and most of the remaining waste is trucked out to landfills far outside the city (including other states like PA, OH & VA) at considerable cost (approximately 300 million USD annually) and environmental impact. The potential for recycling is of course much, much higher than the 17% and much can be gained by raising this percentage.

There are a number of promising initiatives in the city to raise awareness and encourage people to recycle, but New Yorkers are creatures of habit and behavioral changes tend to take a long time. Doing a tour of the waste recycling facility in Brooklyn is an excellent way to make people aware of the scale of the waste problem in the city and to initiate behavioral change; I can totally recommend a visit. On the ‘Education’ part of the SIMS website you can find information opening hours and tours.

Become a Candidate for 2018 Steering Committee

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) for 2018 is arriving and it is now time to present the candidacies for the new Steering Committee, which will be elected at the AGM.

The NYLESA Steering Committee comprises a Chairperson, a Co-Chairperson/Secretary, a Treasurer and the Coordinators of Working Groups. Currently NYLESA has three Working Groups: Welcome, Career Support and Communication.

» Read more

City Explorations: Bracing the cold to tour Greenwood Cemetery

By Pierre Vallet. 

Pierre Vallet, a NYLESA member since 2016 is the association's off-the-beaten-track explorer and tour leader. Late January, he led a group of 22 members on a walk through Greenwood Cemetery, once the second most visited landmark in the city.


What can you do when it was your idea to suggest a weird tour on a freezing January day? I could not cancel with the message: “Too cold today, cats lying on the sofa, the Italian coffee maker sounds like Verdi, I will stay home”. I had no choice but to go.

The day started slowly – extremely slowly – as I rode the local R train, slower than an arthritic turtle, to the meeting point. WhatsApp let me know that friends were either shivering outside the Greenwood subway station or lost in other areas of Brooklyn. Great!

Inside Greenwood Cemetery after an hour of 'exploring', we stood on top of a small hill covered with patches of snow and some tombs. The sun was out, and Lady Liberty peeked out from behind the naked trees as the wind and cold fought with my history lesson about the Battle of Long Island.


My phone, map and notes took us on to other points of interest. Members wandered between the graves and Roberto helped keep everyone moving – team work at its best! Even when the wind froze my uncovered fingers, my heart stayed warm.

On top of another hill, alongside trees blowing in the wind, graves sunken deep into the ground were a reminder of Hurricane Sandy that swept across the city almost six years ago.


I took a few seconds for myself and let my mind wander to a small and neglected cemetery I had visited in Connecticut … A moment later I was back to reality and realised I had a choice to make. Could I push the group to the next hill, or was it time to leave?


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