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ACUNS Vienna

The Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) is a global professional association of educational and research institutions, individual scholars, and practitioners active in the work and study of the UN, multilateral relations, global governance, and international cooperation.

Dr. Alistair D. Edgar of Wilfrid Laurier University is the Executive Director. When the Centre for Trust, Peace & Social Relations at Coventry University becomes the ACUNS host institution in July 2018, Professor Math Noortmann will assume Executive Director responsibilities.

The ACUNS Vienna Liaison Office actively covers Femicide and other areas of violence against women. It is engaged with the Regional Academy on the United Nations and organizes the annual ACUNS Vienna Conference. The Vienna Liaison Office is led by Max Edelbacher and Michael Platzer.

The 2018 UN Vienna Conference has been organized by a diverse team of volunteers representing multiple nationalities, backgrounds, and areas of interest.

2018 UN Vienna Conference Organizers

Heather Wokusch

Conference Coordinator

    Heather’s international career in education and cross-cultural training has spanned 30 years, four continents and multiple fields. She authored two books reaching Amazon’s top ten for political activism, and her NYC-based television series has won multiple national awards. An expert in eLearning, Heather will spend 2018 building an online information / community / activism project connected to nuclear topics.

    Mona Zaher

    Conference Co-Coordinator

      Mona is jurist/lawyer and criminal scientist and works for the public service in Vienna. She joined ACUNS in 2013, volunteering in different projects, events and conferences and becoming the Vienna Liaison Vice-President in January 2016. Besides her interest in national law she also focuses on human rights, juvenile justice and deradicalization. She is pursuing her second Master Degree in Criminal Science at the University of Vienna. Mona

      Márta Dunay

      Panel Coordinator

        Márta has worked at different NGOs based in Budapest, London and now Vienna. Her fields of interest are human rights, poverty, segregation and discrimination. She has a degree in law and is currently studying social economy and social work. She joined ACUNS a year ago, volunteering in different projects, and becoming the Vienna Liaison General Secretary in March 2017.

        Jasmine Adu-Atwere

        Panel Coordinator

          Jasmine is a social scientist with a BA in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Vienna, an MA in Spatial and Clinical Social Work from the University of Applied Sciences, and an MA in Development and International Relations from Aalborg University. She has supported organisations such as Asyl in Not and has coordinated ACUNS Vienna Liaison Femicide team activities since 2017.

          Mila Kirilova

          Conference Administrator

            From Bulgaria, she moved to Vienna 10 years ago. She completed a BA in Political Science and MA in Human Rights from the University of Vienna. She gained valuable knowledge by working for several human rights orientated organizations such as Amnesty International, Austrian Commission for UNESCO, ACUNS Vienna and International Peace Institute. She is deeply committed to the full realization of all human rights for all peoples.

            Marion Mitter

            Program Officer

              Marion gained cross-cultural experience during her years working at the Royal Thai Embassy. As a research administrator, she worked at a university in the field of education and was also responsible for organising events. She contributes to the ACUNS femicide team and to the awareness-building process focused on creating change.

              Andrew Hoang

              Panel Coordinator

                Andrew joins our team from Toronto, Canada. He graduated from the University of Waterloo majoring in Economics, and spent several years at Canada’s largest bank specializing in custodial banking services. The move to Vienna has opened Andrew up to new opportunities to pursue his passion projects and volunteering. He brings creativity and a worldly perspective to the team.

                Jennifer Sassmann

                Panel Coordinator

                  Pursuing her BA in Political Science at the University of Vienna, Jennifer works at the Student’s Union for the International Office and the Office for Social Policy. She completed internships at UN Austria Association in 2016 and at the Representation of the European Commission in Austria in 2017. During a semester in Ireland, she specialized in European Politics, International Organizations and International Relations.

                  Billy Batware

                  RAUN Sessions Coordinator

                    A Consultant at UNODC responsible for crime and drug prevention and counter-terrorism projects, Billy is the Executive Director of Forum for Young Internationalists (FYI), the umbrella association for RAUN. In his spare time, Billy works on educating and empowering young people and advocating for better human rights, equitable development, and awareness about environmental issues.

                    Samuel Ebner

                    Program Officer

                      While studying abroad in Canada, Samuel discovered his interest in global political and environmental issues and transcultural communication. For two years, he and other students collaborated with their school to offer German classes for refugees. Currently, he is working at the Arbeiter-Samariterbund, an aid and welfare organisation engaged in civil protection, rescue services and social welfare services.

                      Roman Hoffmann

                      RAUN Sessions Officer

                        Since 2012, Roman has been a PhD candidate in Economics at the University of Vienna; he is also a research assistant at the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Science. Roman’s research focuses on issues related to poverty, health, and the environment in low and middle-income countries.

                        Cecilia Vera Lagomarsino

                        RAUN Sessions Officer

                          Cecilia holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Milan, Italy and is currently pursuing a PhD in Political Sciences with special focus on Gender Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria. Prior to joining RAUN, she worked at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly as a Research Assistant.

                          Beyza Aksu

                          Conference Support

                            Angelo Slawik

                            Conference Support

                              Media Team

                              Ramesh Jaura

                              Editor in Chief

                                Ramesh Jaura is a professional journalist and an experienced moderator and facilitator specialising in inter-cultural communication, globalization, international development cooperation, nuclear disarmament, culture of peace, and civil society. Since 2008, he has been Director of IPS-Inter Press Service Deutschland under the umbrella of Global Cooperation Council.

                                Helen Hemblade


                                  Based in Austria, Helen is Editor of the FEMICIDE publication series from ACUNS and assists in organising events to raise awareness of the widespread killing of women and girls. She also works in communications at a European medical society.

                                  Darline Giraud


                                    Darline is Co-founder of Women at UN-Accountability Buddy Network. The Network is comprised of a Facebook group of over 600 professional women; it provides support, promotes gender equality and empowerment of its members who are striving to obtain a position within the UN system.

                                    Ourania Roditi


                                      Dr. Ourania Roditi holds a doctorate from the University of Sussex, UK. A human rights advocate for the past fifteen years, she worked for 10 years with the OSCE missions in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since July 2016 she works on the integration of refugees in the Vienna area. In November 2017 she joined the ACUNS, Femicide team.

                                      Krista Price


                                        Formerly a paralegal from Florida, Krista is currently a graduate student of International Relations at Webster Vienna Private University. Her focus on human security and human rights was reflected in her internship with the Florida Holocaust Museum and undergraduate studies in history and law. She works in Webster’s Marketing Office and will soon be producing Webster’s International Relations podcast,The 1020.

                                        Julia Zimmerman


                                          A graduate student at Webster Vienna Private University, Julia is writing her Master’s Thesis on how foreign military intervention impacts sexual violence towards women during conflict. She recently interned with the NGO CARE on a project working to end child marriage in Bangladesh and Nepal. She is passionate about combating GBV globally.

                                          Christopher Aguilar

                                          Communications Specialist

                                            Christopher was born in Mexico City and raised in Miami, Florida. While completing his studies at Webster Vienna Private University, Christopher won the Austrian syndicated television show, Popstars, subsequently signing with Sony Music BMG. Since 2015, Christopher has been sharing his unique and enriching alma mater with the world by working in the Marketing and Communications Department of Webster Vienna.

                                            Cecilia Vera Lagomarsino


                                              Cecilia holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Milan and is currently pursuing a PhD in Political Sciences with special focus on Gender Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria. Prior to joining RAUN, she worked at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly as a Research Assistant.

                                              Helene Kiessling

                                              Social Media Support

                                                She is18 years old and currently studying Law at the Juridicum in Vienna. Furthermore, she is very interested in travelling and even studied in the US for a semester during high school. She’s looking forward to making new connections at the Conference and excited to learn about the globally-important issues and topics that will be covered.

                                                Liv Hameder

                                                Social Media Support

                                                  A student at Vienna University of Economics and Business, she is enrolled in the Bachelor´s program of International Business Administration. Liv also participated in an exchange program and spent a high school semester abroad in Oregon, USA.

                                                  Lamin K. Janne

                                                  Media Specialist

                                                    A Gambian national, Lamin is a Director, Editor, and Producer of film and television. He served as a consultant to various Gambian institutions including the Office of the President and has produced media aimed at creating societal awareness of various topics. The CEO of Better Future Production, a multimedia company, he is pursuing his PhD in International Development / Communication Science at the University of Vienna.

                                                    Julia Karner

                                                    Social Media Support

                                                      She is 19 years old and studies international economy at the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

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