Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Samantha has always had a love of animals and the environment. Growing up – reduce, reuse, and recycle were some of her family’s golden rules. To help the planet even more, she became vegetarian at 13 years old and became vegan at 18 years old. She currently attends Portland Community College with the goal of getting her Associate’s in Environmental Studies, and will go on to complete her Bachelor’s at Portland State University. While career searching at PCC, she discovered she could be a great fit for the UN’s Environmental Programme, as well as chapters here and abroad. Samantha is passionate about making the earth a better place for everyone to live as well as the health and well-being of all it’s global citizens. She looks forward to being an integral part of the UNA community now and for years to come.


Elaine Nelson was on the seven member Steering Committee to reinvigorate the UNA Portland Chapter in 2003 and has been in leadership roles in the Portland Chapter ever since. For the past several years, Elaine has been Treasurer, Chair of the Membership Committee, and on the Education Committee. Elaine is a retired Elementary School Teacher who was raised in Portland. Her parents, Len and Eleanor Hunting, were involved in the San Francisco Conference that drafted the United Nations Charter in 1945 and active in Portland and Oregon UNA.


Siobhan is the current UNA Portland chapter president.  Bio coming soon.






Miss Nnennaya Udochu is a tech-savvy lady who has experience with top tech companies such as Cisco Systems and Intel Corporation. She is an alumna of Wichita State University (BSc) and University of Texas, Arlington (MSc). Miss Udochu focuses in the field of power and customer relations with a passion for robotics and environmental studies where she has published papers and advocates for the fight against malaria in Africa and important topics addressing the issue of refugees in society. Miss Udochu serves on the Steering Committee for Engineers without Boarders and is the founder of the local UNA Young Professionals. She hopes to create awareness among young adults to address world pressing issues governed by the United Nations.


Originally from California, Dannine obtained her Juris Doctor and Master of Laws at the University at Buffalo, New York, where she took courses in International Human Rights Law, with a particular interest in women’s rights.  While a law student, she was selected for a summer human rights internship in Nairobi, Kenya, and volunteered for a summer as an English teacher in Costa Rica.  She also spent a year working in New Zealand.  Dannine is a registered attorney in New York and Oregon, and currently works as a litigation officer for a regional Pacific Northwest bank.  She loves the Portland area, and is happy to be back home on the West Coast.  She considers it serendipity that she discovered the UNA-USA Portland chapter in a random downtown conversation the day after she arrived in Portland, and is glad to get back involved with her original interests in human rights.  She also volunteers at the St. Andrew Legal Clinic as an intake attorney for family law matters.






Yashar is the immediate past president of UNA Portland and a member of the national UNA-USA National Council.  He was born in Tehran in the midst of the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980’s.  As the UN was facilitating the treaty which eventually ended the 8 year conflict, Yashar’s family fled Iran in pursuit of peace and security.  Years later, channeling his experiences, Yashar went on to become the Executive Director of the Iowa United Nations Association from 2010-2014 and was the recipient of the Iowa City International Award in 2014.  He has since served in development roles at a number of non-profits including United for Iran, Portland Story Theater and the Community Cycling Center (currently).


Originally from Syracuse, New York, Karen grew up as one of 4 daughters of an activist Episcopal priest and his wife who had committed their lives to the civil and human rights of all. This unique and inclusive environment was a powerful influence leading to Karen’s own dedication to the global and multicultural education of children from the earliest age. Karen is a graduate of Syracuse University and San Francisco State University, where she received her Elementary Teaching Credential. Karen taught in San Francisco’s inner city until moving with her husband and children to Portland. In 1987 Karen founded the award-winning Global & Multicultural Resource Center, now the centerpiece of the World Affairs Council’s K-12 Education Program. Karen is the recipient of the World Arts Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and the United Nations Association – Oregon Division’s Outstanding Service Award.