Current Steering Committee

NYLESA is managed and guided by a Steering Committee, renewed yearly and which works on a volunteer basis. The Steering Committee is comprised of a Chairperson, a Co-Chairperson, a Treasurer and the Coordinators of the various Working Groups: Internal Communication, External Communications, Career Support and Welcome.

All of these positions are democratically elected among the association members and any regular member has the right to stand for election. The current 2017–18 Steering Committee is composed of the following people (from left to right above):

Chairperson: Tuba Durrani
Co-chairperson: Angela Picon
Treasurer: Eric Pasqualli
Welcome Coordinator: Odalea Freire
Career Support Coordinator: Svetlana McCandless
Communication (Internal) Coordinator: Fiorella Vitale
Communication (External) Coordinator: Nina Eneroth

Bios for the Steering Committee 2017-18

Chairperson: Tuba Durrani
I strongly believe that both my skills and personal attributes match the requirements sought for the role of the Chair for NYLESA. 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, I have strong understanding of the concerns, needs and issues of UN spouses – having followed my husband around the world in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. The values of UN are close to my heart. With strong communications skills, I believe in respect for others, loyalty, responsibility for personal actions, generosity and kindness. I believe that my strengths in assets and funds management would also be of great asset to NYLESA. The job of a Chair requires strong values (such as trust and honesty) – complemented with putting solid systems and processes in place to ensure transparency and accountability. I strongly believe (and as my references will validate), I have both.

Co-Chairperson: Angela Picon

Angela Picon, is a Colombian political scientist with a masters in Diplomacy and International Relations, is the Co-Chair of the NYLESA Steering Committee. Angela has experience in humanitarian and political affairs both with the UN, where she worked as reporting officer with OCHA, and as a national officer in the OAS Mission to support the Peace Process in Colombia. Angela arrived in New York three months ago and is enthusiastic about becoming a part of the NYLESA community and contributing to supporting UN spouses and families moving to NYC.

Career Support Group Coordinator: Svetla McCandless

Svetla has 10 years of international work experiences. For the past few years she worked on a new international Bachelor in Laws degree (@The Hague University Law School). Her administrative experience includes program administration and case handling. Previously Svetla worked for EY and British Council in Bulgaria.

Svetla graduated from Leiden University, The Netherlands (LL.M. in Business Law, 2007) and Sofia University, Bulgaria (Bachelor's Degree, 2004).

Welcome Group Coordinator: Odalea Novais Freire
I lived 10 years in Bangkok and there I had the opportunity to participate in social groups for expats. I worked as chairperson for the Brazilian Association for 4 years, and I was part of the steering committee of the International Women Club in Thailand for two years before I moved to New York in 2015. Those experiences make me feel ready to join NYLESA Committee. I would like to apply for Welcome Coordinator because I understand the importance of this support when we are arriving in a new city, and I would like to return the help I found in this group when I got here.

Communication Group Coordinator (External):  Nina Eneroth
Nina Eneroth is a Communications Officer from Sweden and who arrived in New York February 2017. For the last six years Nina has been working for the City of Malmö Environment Department. The City of Malmö is one of the world’s top cities for urban sustainability and Nina´s main responsibility was strategic communication for EU-funded projects. Nina has a Master in International Media and Communication and enjoys working in a global environment. She has previous work experience from the World Food Programme and has done field studies in South Africa and India. Last year she took an additional master's degree in Communication for Development. Nina loves to travel, has a strong interest in politics and can´t live without her weekly workout routine. The coming year she is looking forward to exploring New York and its surroundings with her husband Arbër and 2-year old son Elvin.

Communication Group Coordinator (Internal): Fiorella Vitale
Fiorella Vitale de Ferrari is an Italian, professional journalist, wife of an UN staff member and mother of two teen daughters. Her native language is Italian, of course, but she speaks quite well also English and French. She is a graduate from “Carlo Chiavazza” School of Journalism in Turin. Her passions are theatre performances and art exhibitions; they are also topics for her job activities, as she has been writing about cultural events since December 1988. She has worked in a national interest Dance Foundation for five years as Communication Agent, she has also worked for an important Italian Press Agency for five years and has written for several local and national magazine and newspapers. She is still collaborating with an Italian daily newspaper.  She still loves the fragrance of fresh ink on the paper...

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.



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

The responsibilities of the NYLESA Chair are to:

  • 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.

The responsibilities of the NYLESA Co-Chair are to:

  • 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.

The responsibilities of the NYLESA Treasurer are to:

  • 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.

The responsibilities of Working Group Coordinators are to:

  • 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.