Global Mentors for Youth Leaders

Our vision is to continue to facilitate the friendship, support and mentorship between generations of gender equality activists. We hope to encourage a mutually supportive learning relationship with youth and experienced advocates and foster an ongoing conversation where together we can create a community and inclusive culture that facilitates the emergence of a strong intergenerational movement of activists for gender equality.

See the list of Global Mentors and some information about them below.

Saphira Rameshfar

YLYP Co-Chair
Representative to the UN,
Baha'i International Community,
New York City, USA

Saphira Rameshfar currently serves as a Representative of the Baha'i International Community to the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Her areas of work include gender equality, youth empowerment and peace and security. Saphira currently serves on the Executive Committee of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women in New York and as Co-Chair of the Young Professionals NGO CSW. Ms. Rameshfar has worked for over a decade on projects aimed at the empowerment of young people in Australia as well as in communities throughout the Asia Pacific region and North and South America. She has worked at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) in New York and for the Australian Federal Government in Canberra.

Saeeda Rizvi

YLYP Co-Chair

Devan Zingler

YLYP Co-Chair
Program Manager,
NGO CSW/NY
New York City, USA

Devan (she/they) is the Program Manager and one of the Co-Chairs of the Youth Leaders & Young Professionals (YLYPs) at NGO CSW/NY. She is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College with a Bachelor’s degree in Politics & Human Rights and a minor in Religious Studies. During her senior year, she was an intern with NGO CSW/NY where she helped plan for the NGO CSW64 Forum. She became Program Manager at NGO CSW/NY after her internship ended. She was also the Civil Society Advisory Group (CSAG) Coordinator for the Generation Equality Forum (GEF). Devan’s main interests are gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, criminal justice reform, climate justice, and the relationship between human rights and religion.

Mabel Bianco

President,
Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Mabel Bianco MD, MPH, specialist in Epidemiology and Medical Statics. President of Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer since 1989. Co-coordinator of Women Won’t Wait, a global campaign to eliminate VAW and HIV and Coordinator of the International Women AIDS Caucus. Board member Latin American and the Caribbean Women Health Network (1991- 1999). In 2000/2001 she was Chief of the HIV/AIDS National Program in MOH and Coordinator of WB Project. UNAIDS Reference group on HIV and HR member (2002-2011), and representing LAC NGOs in UNAIDS PCB. Civil Society Regional Advisory Committee UNWOMEN, member 2012/16. CoNGO CSW LAC Co Chair since 2012. W20 Argentinian Delegation Chief since 2018. WMG member elected OP for LAC 2019-20. She is author and editor of 10 books and more than 150 papers and articles.

Yu Ping Chan

Senior Programme Officer,
SG Office on Technology,
United Nations
New York City, USA

Yu Ping Chan is a Senior Programme Officer in the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology at the United Nations. She coordinates and oversees the team’s work on follow-up to the Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and High-Level Panel; as well as advocacy, engagement and coordination efforts to strengthen global digital cooperation and work on other emerging technologies. Yu Ping previously led the Policy and Regional Support teams in the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism. Prior to this, she worked in the UN’s Department of Political Affairs, and in the New York Office of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Before joining the UN Secretariat, Yu Ping was a diplomat in the Singaporean Foreign Service. She served at the Singapore Mission to the United Nations in New York and before this posting, in the Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ department handling the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and regional political and strategic issues. Yu Ping has a Bachelor of Arts (magna cum laude) from Harvard University, and a Masters of Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Mary Luke

Vice President,
UN Women USA Board of Directors
New York City, USA

Mary Luke is Vice President of the UN Women USA Board of Directors and Senior Advisor to UN Women USA NY board. She is Vice President of PowHerNY, a coalition promoting gender and racial justice in New York State; Advisor to Women of Color (WOC) in Fundraising and Philanthropy, and former Co-chair of NYC4CEDAW Act. Luke is a global leader in women’s reproductive health and rights. She was Executive Director at Planned Parenthood San Francisco and then went on to a 25 year career in women’s health where she designed and managed programs in 20 countries in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America.

Laurie Richardson

UN Liaison,
Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas
Vienna, Austria

Laurie Richardson is the UN Liaison for FAWCO, leading a team of UN Representatives engaged in advocacy on gender equality, climate change, human rights and migration. She served as Chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women Vienna from 2018 - 2021. Her early career was in international development; she lived and worked in Colombo, Sri Lanka and held assignments in India and Pakistan. She has a Master's degree in non-profit management from Yale University and a Bachelor's in international affairs from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

Soon-Young Yoon

Chair of the Board,
Women's Environment and Development Organization
Hoboken, NJ, USA

Soon-Young Yoon is Chair of the Board at the Women’s Environment and Development Organization and author of “Citizen of the World: Soon-Young and the UN”. In 2021, she was appointed to the Council on Gender Equality convened by H. E. Ambassador, Abdhulla Shahid, the President of the 76 the UN General Assembly. During her past tenure as chair of the NGO CSW/NY, the committee launched the Cities for CEDAW campaign in the US. She was a Social Development officer for UNICEF in the Southeast Asia office as well as the Social Scientist at WHO/SEARO in New Delhi. She serves as a board member of the International Foundation for Ewha Womans University and on the Global Advisory Board of the Harvard AIDS Initiative. She is also a founding member of the Women Mayor’s Network in association with the National Democratic Institute. A former columnist for the EarthTimes newspaper, she is co-editor with Dr Jonathan Samet of the WHO monograph, “Gender, Women, and the Tobacco Epidemic.” Yoon received her A.B. in French literature with honors, a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan and has a certificate in computer graphics from the Pratt Institute of the Arts. She is married to Richard M. Smith, former Editor-in-Chief and President of Newsweek and current President of the Pinkerton Foundation.

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