The UNAC-V Board of Directors consists of a varied group of professionals, all operating in a volunteer capacity.

Each member holds their own passions and interests, and through our sub-committees, this comes together through various events the team hosts in Vancouver annually.

Jessica Steele Co-President
Jessica Steele Co-President

Jessica Steele (she/her/elle) is a climate justice activist, ocean conservationist and youth engager, striving to tread lightly and with intention on the unceded, traditional and ancestral lands of the Coast Salish Peoples. After completing a BSc in Biology (Specialization in Marine Biology) from UVic in 2015, Jessica did an International Youth Internship Placement (IYIP) with the Institut Africain de Gestion Urbaine in Dakar, Senegal where she worked on waste management projects. In 2017, Jessica joined Ocean Wise Conservation Association’s national ocean education initiatives working as an Educator on the Mobile Programs team and as a Program Coordinator for Ocean Bridge/Portail Ocean. She is currently a Sr. Referrals Analyst with səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation) where she upholds Indigenous Rights through Consultation on environmental assessment projects.

Jessica sits on the PWRDF National Youth Council and on the KAIROS Canada Ecological Justice Circle. In 2018, she attended the UNFCCC’s COP24 on behalf of KAIROS Canada and she is part of the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC)’s delegation to the 2020 UN Oceans Conference (postponed due to COVID-19). Jessica loves jumping in the ocean, riding her bike, summer picnics and backpacking backcountry trails.

 

Jessie Sunner Co-President

Jessie K. Sunner was born in Melbourne, Australia and raised in Surrey, B.C. Jessie is In-House Legal Counsel for the Hospital Employees’ Union, where she specializes in labour relations, employment, and human rights law. Jessie received her B.A. in Criminology from Simon Fraser University and her Juris Doctor from the University of Calgary. During law school, Jessie was a criminal justice intern with the United Nations Office on Drugs in Crime in Bangkok, Thailand. In her role at the U.N.O.D.C., Jessie worked on legislative amendments, including developing amendments and safeguards for child protection laws in Thailand and drafting anti-human trafficking laws for Laos. Through her work with the United Nations, she has also had the privilege of attending various conferences and speaking engagements in Bangkok, Thailand and Vancouver, Canada. One of these opportunities included partaking as a youth delegate in the 2017 U.N. Defence Ministerial Youth Forum which took place in Vancouver, B.C. Jessie participated in consultations with over 100 youth from around Canada and addressed issues most pertinent to youth regarding national peace and security. The findings of these consultations were presented to various National Ministers during the youth forum and also compiled into a formal report that was presented to the Minister of Youth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In addition to her role as Co-Vice President for the U.N.A.C. – Vancouver Branch, Jessie also serves on the Board of Directors for the Surrey Police Board and the Surrey Women’s Centre. She has also previously volunteered with a number of national and international organizations including Level, Pro Bono Students Canada, and Help, Learn and Discover.

 

Nora Sahatciu Co-Vice President

Nora is a development practitioner with project management and sustainable development experience. Nora worked in Western Balkans countries, Latin America, Central Asia and Canada coordinating, managing and facilitating strategic processes for the UN, civil society, private sector and the government. Her work spans from humanitarian and post-conflict settings to peace-building context of supporting institutions to advance national and global development agendas.

Nora currently serves as a Sustainable Development Officer with the UN Regional Development Coordination Office for Europe and Central Asia, in Istanbul, Turkey. Prior to that she served as the Head of the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Kosovo; a Manager for UNDP and UNOPS projects as well as a consultant on sustainable development for the UN globally and BCCIC in Canada.

With civil society and private sector, Nora assisted communities build bridges through mediation as a Deputy Director for Center for Conflict Management, coordinated refugee/emergency programs with World Vision International in Kosovo and Albania; and worked as a Junior Architect with Integra Architecture in Vancouver, Canada and with Pro-Arch Planning in Prishtina.

Nora holds a Master’s Degree in Economy of Culture, University of Rome, Tor Vergata, Italy; Specialization on Gender and sexuality studies, Dartmouth College, US and a Master’s in Architecture, University of Prishtina, Kosovo.

Nora serves as a Co-Vice Chair of the UN Association Canada, Vancouver; a Founder/Board Member of a family philanthropic “Foundation Salih and Isa Nushi”, providing bursaries to the most vulnerable university students in Kosovo; and a Member of the Association of Kosovo Architects.

US Congressman Eliot Engel awarded a Recognition Letter to Nora for her leadership to enabling Kosovo’s government eligibility to access USD 49 million for economic development and transparent governance from the US Millennium Challenge Corporation in 2015.

 

(Sue) Soon-Lan Lee Switzer Co-Vice President

Soon-Lan is an educator in higher education. She is certified as a Career Development Practitioner, Human Resources Management, and has completed an Essential Skills Practitioner Training Certificate. Soon-Lan is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in higher education administration and leadership at the Royal Roads University. Soon-Lan focused on learner-centred education and learner’s learning experiences as an educator, instructor and career development facilitator.

Soon-Lan has facilitated the Sustainable Employment and Environmental Directions (SEED) program for three years, a federally funded program designed to help vulnerable youth at-risk find and keep employment. Soon-Lan believes that continuous learning and a positive attitude are key aspects of her career philosophy.

Born and raised in South Korea, Soon-Lan has moved to Canada in 2007. As a refugee committee member, Soon-Lan supported refugee families from Syria and Burma through settlement and community services. Soon-Lan dedicated her time to supporting immigrant youth through the Vancouver School District and is currently a mentor to professional immigrants through the Immigrant Employment Council of BC. Soon-Lan continues to expand her contributions so her footsteps will be meaningful.

 

Koyali Burman Secretary

Koyali Burman is an accomplished community engagement and economic development strategist. She has a decade of expertise in research, strategic planning, monitoring, and evaluation locally and internationally. She is an experienced researcher and educator for sustainable local and international development. She has a background in community Originally from India, she holds a Master of Arts in Adult & Higher Education from UBC. She has held various board of directors and advisory positions in Canada, advising strategic paths and advancing development causes. These have included sustainable local economic development; gender-sensitive strategy for ICT in open Schooling; Entrepreneurship a strategy for local economic development; mentorship for women and girls; Global Citizenship and workplace diversity and inclusion. She holds a leadership position and have spoken about international migration and community economic development in Vancouver and India.

In 2018, she received a prestigious Pan Asian Recognition award for her leadership role in supporting Pan Asian communities in British Columbia, with a curiosity about the global community. Koyali is passionate about supporting the United Nations Association in Canada and support the Sustainable Development Goals to build strong, safe, and resilient communities that will be inclusive and innovative for decades to come.

 

Rosio Godomar Treasurer

Rosio Godomar was born in Peru and now lives in Vancouver, Canada. She is a nutritionist and keen amateur photographer, having worked with UN World Food Program and UN Food and Agriculture Organization for more than 20 years. Additionally, Rosario worked in humanitarian and emergency programs in Africa (Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Sudan, Ethiopia and Liberia) and the Middle East (Iraq), as well as South Asia (Pakistan and Afghanistan). She has studied nutrition in Lima, Peru and Germany, with an MSc in Human Nutrition from the Federal University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In 2014, Rosario started the Education Girls Network (EGN) initiative to sponsor young female students from under privileged rural families in Maryland County, Liberia, West Africa, to complete their education in order to become teachers. This initiative was created based on the challenges facing girls who want an education in Liberia. Rosario changed course and from 2011 to 2017 worked as the food service supervisor in the Burnaby Hospital with Fraser Health. Currently Rosario volunteers as a mentor with MOSAIC Workplace Connections Program in Vancouver, in addition to the Treasurer of the Board of the United Nations Association, Vancouver Branch.

 

Greg Neumann Past President

Greg Neumann is a Social Studies teacher with 30 years of experience in the Burnaby School District. As a department head at Byrne Creek Community School, he is part of a progressive team of dedicated teachers committed to educating future voting citizens to be critical thinkers in the most diverse community of students in the world. He brings experience in online course development, school technology liaison, and a Masters in Curriculum, Teaching & Learning with an emphasis on Computer-Mediated Communication to the Executive.

His experience spans school-based Professional Development, Technology, and Finance Committees as well as district-level assessment committee work. Greg is an administrator for summer school in Burnaby and Vice-President of the BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association. A team sports enthusiast Greg stays healthy marathon running. His preoccupation though is family – his wife Darlene, and daughters Maxine and Kennedy.

Deirdre Moore Past-President

Deirdre is a long-time public school teacher and tech enthusiast. She has dedicated her personal and professional life to promoting global awareness. Even as one person in the face of unimaginable global issues, Deirdre believes she can make a positive difference.

Deirdre’s professional life is centred around assisting people to meet their potential, and has included time with the BC Ministry of Education and a stint as a Faculty Advisor in Professional Development Programs at Simon Fraser University. Currently, she has the role of Indigenous Success Teacher at her urban secondary school. Her work with Model United Nations education, videoconferencing and staff development resulted in receiving a National Technology Innovation award, VANOC Olympic Committee recognition, Social Studies Teacher of the Year and the Gibbard Memorial Award.

Her alma mater is the University of British Columbia where she earned a BA in International Relations and an MA in Curriculum Studies.

She loves the sport of rowing but was pleasantly surprised to discover the joy of hiking and beautiful views under Covid-19 restrictions.