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Bios for Speakers and Panelists,

United Nations Day, October 25, 2020

Kristen Timothy Lankester had a 30-year career at the United
Nations, and in the 1990s was Deputy Director of the UN Division
for the Advancement of Women. She served as Coordinator for
the UN Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China
in 1995, where she promoted access by civil society to the official
deliberations and the use of digital technologies to enable women
around the world to attend the conference “without leaving
home”. Her UN career included work with the Commission for
Social Development, the Commission on the Status of Women

Kristen Timothy and the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of

Discrimination against Women. In the late 1980s she was Senior
Advisor to the UN Development Programme in Bangkok, Thailand.

Lankester After retiring from the UN, she became Senior Fellow at the
National Council for Research on Women and co-chair for the
Rockefeller Foundation-funded project on Globalization, Gender
and Human Security.
She was co-founder of the Association for Women’s Rights in
Development (AWID) and was one of the first women to be a
member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She was a member
of the Feminist Economists and the Women’s Foreign Policy
Association. She has an MA in African Studies from Makerere
University in Uganda, an MA in Public Administration from the
Kennedy School at Harvard and a BA in Political Science from Tufts
Ambassador Francis G. Okelo, born in Uganda, had a
distinguished career serving the United Nations in countries
around the world, including as Deputy United Nations Special
Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process; the Secretary-
General’s Special Envoy to Sierra Leone and earlier to
Afghanistan. Prior to his positions at the UN, he served as
Uganda’s Ambassador to the European Union and

Ambassador concurrently to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg,

and later to Kenya. Ambassador Okelo is now retired and
resides in New Rochelle where he continues to be active in a
Francis G. Okelo number of charity and volunteer causes in the community.
He is a Paul Harris Fellow and served as President of the New
Rochelle Rotary Club in 2018-2019. He is also a member of
the Board of Trustees of the Westchester Library System,
representing New Rochelle. Ambassador Okelo holds an
honors degree in economics, history and philosophy, from the
then University of East Africa in Makerere, Uganda; and a
postgraduate Diploma in Diplomacy and International
Relations. He is married to Maliam Abe, and they have four
children and four grandchildren.
Kaya Henderson is the CEO of Reconstruction, a technology
company delivering a K-12 supplemental curriculum that situates
Black people, culture, and contributions in an identity-affirming
way, so all students benefit from understanding our shared history
and society. She is also the co-host of Pod Save the People, and
leads Kaya Henderson Consulting. Dr. Henderson served as
Chancellor of DC Public Schools from 2010-2016, where her tenure
was marked by consecutive years of enrollment growth, an increase
in pass and graduation rates, and the greatest growth of any urban

Kaya Henderson district on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP).

Dr. Henderson’s career began as a middle school Spanish teacher in
the South Bronx, through Teach for America. She went on to work
as a recruiter, national admissions director, and DC Executive
Director for Teach for America. Henderson then served as the Vice
President of Strategic Partnerships at The New Teacher Project
(TNTP). She most recently led the Global Learning Lab for
Community Impact at Teach For All, supporting educators in more
than 50 countries. After graduating from Mt. Vernon Public Schools,
she received her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and
Master of Arts in Leadership from Georgetown University. She
received honorary doctoral degrees from Georgetown and Trinity
University. Her board memberships include The Aspen Institute,
Curriculum Associates and Robin Hood NYC, and she is the co-
founder of Education Leaders of Color.
Paul Anthony Presendieu serves as co-chair of UNA-
Westchester’s Young Professionals Program. He is committed
to uplifting individuals of all socio-economic backgrounds as
the son of Colombian and Haitian immigrants. He currently
supports the Federated Conservationists of Westchester
County as their Student Network Coordinator, and Vice
President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project as a Chapter Chair
and a member of the National Youth Working Group. Paul has
received numerous accolades throughout his tenure of

Paul Anthony volunteerism. In 2015 he was named a recipient of the

Westchester County Government’s Earth Day Award for

reestablishing an observance of Earth Day at SUNY
Westchester Community College. In 2018 he was named a Top
22 under 30 young professional Wunderkind by Westchester
Magazine, a recipient of the Westchester County Board of
Health’s J.R. Tesone Youth Public Health Service Award and
was named a New York State top 40 under 40 Latino Rising
Star by the Hispanic Coalition of New York Inc. Paul currently
attends SUNY Westchester Community College where he is
taking classes under the environmental science curriculum to
pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies. Paul’s
long-term goal is to become an Environmental Attorney at
PACE University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law in White
Plains, New York.
Raina Kadavil is a dedicated lover of service work, writing and
travel. She is a Marketing Analyst at Mastercard and an MBA
student at Johns Hopkins University with a background in
International Relations. She is also the Philanthropy Chair of
the Women’s Leadership Network at Mastercard and the Chief
Executive Officer of Urban Refuge, a nonprofit that breaks
geographic and linguistic barriers by mapping aid for refugees
and immigrants living in large cities. She serves as
Communications Vice-Chair and Young Professionals Vice-

Raina Kadavil Chair for UNA-Westchester and as Secretary-General of

WestMUN, after twelve years of Model UN experience. She is
the author of a novel called “The Voice of Thunder” and is
working on an anthology called “Ignite Your Story.”
Raina has a history of philanthropy work, leading her first
community organization, Global Ambassadors, at the age of
ten and engaging young people with the Sustainable
Development Goals. She founded the Boston University
chapter of UNA-USA and was Editor-in-chief of BU’s first
professional foreign affairs journal. She has traveled and
worked all over the world from London to Beijing to Sydney.
Raina has been recognized for her work by the Coca-Cola
Foundation, Zonta International, the Walt Disney Company,
Claes Nobel, and more. In her free time, you can find her
reading or on a hiking trail.
Shane Osinloye is a social entrepreneur and philanthropist, serving as
President of the Urban Legacy Foundation, an organization dedicated
to closing the racial wealth gap. He founded Singularity, a
management consulting firm that helps Minority and Women Owned
Businesses (MWBEs) create cost-efficient digital infrastructure. Mr.
Osinloye began his career as a Licensed Personal Banker at JP Morgan
Chase and worked at the advertising research firm iTVX-Rentrak,
where he interacted with major global agencies and television
networks. Afterwards at First Class Boutiques, he contracted Billboard

Shane and Gold and Platinum artists for international events. He received his
Associate’s Degree from the College of Westchester and his Bachelor’s
degree from Berkeley College in Manhattan.

Mr. Osinloye is a first generation American born from a British-
Nigerian mother and an African-American father. He inherited a
passion for healing the African Diaspora from 500 years of systematic
global colonial destruction. He is a member of the “Indivisible”
network and an advisor to C.U.R.E., the Coalition for Understanding
Racism through Education. In 2018 his firm helped New Rochelle’s
District III secure a $10 million “Downtown Revitalization Initiative”
grant from New York State. His primary goal is economic
empowerment for Black Americans through entrepreneurship,
property ownership, technology access, a complete education and
shaping the media narrative regarding Black life. For more
information, visit, or visit his
firm’s website
Sameem Yousufzada was a Senior Project Officer at GIZ
in Kabul, Afghanistan, managing the National
Community Policing Initiative, until he arrived in the
U.S. in March 2020. He graduated from Kabul University
in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in the Languages and

Sameem Literature Faculty. While in University, he worked for

the United Nations Gender Equality project. After
qualifying as Interpreter/Translator through a
Yousufzada competitive exam, he was hired at DynCorp
International Company and was promoted to Team Lead
for Interpreters/Translators working for the U.S. Army in
Kabul. He arrived in the U.S. on March 3, 2020 right
before the Covid-19 lockdown and settled in White
Plains. He has special immigrant status and received his
Residence Permit (Green Card) with full authority to
work in the U.S.
Harshita Shet is a 11th grade honors student in Woodlands
Middle/High School. Harshita wants to make a difference in
the world. Her project “Feminine Dignity” was initiated
through India Center of Westchester (ICW) and has been
recognized by the UNA-USA Westchester Chapter. Harshita
was honored by the Town of Greenburgh with the ‘Rising Star’
award. She is a student member of the Greenburgh Human
Rights Advisory Committee for the Town of Greenburgh. She
serves as Finance Chair of UNA-Westchester’s Young

Harshita Shet Professionals Program, and she leads the Teen Girls Forum in
She is involved in many charitable community services around
Westchester County, such as Feeding Westchester, Volunteer
of NY, Hearts and Homes for Refugees, Heart Association,
Diabetes Association, ACS, and Locks of Love. Harshita
received the Presidential Voluntary Service Award Gold Medal
for her community service. Harshita has won numerous
Regional and National Awards for Indian Classical Dance, Arts,
and Karate and competed at the Scripps National Spelling Bee
held in Washington, DC for four consecutive years. She was
nominated for a NY Emmy for the documentary “What Ever
Happened to Black Wall Street.” Harshita plays basketball,
volleyball, and track. She plays the piano, flute and performs
in the school band.
Anusha Vaish is a 10 year-old 5th grade student at Anne
Hutchinson school in Eastchester, NY. Anusha is an avid reader
with Science/Math as her favorite subjects. The pandemic has
inspired her to choose a career in medicine where she aspires
to become a heart surgeon.
Anusha believes strongly in giving back to Mother Earth and
has built a website to create awareness
in youth around insect conservation and environmental

Anusha Vaish
sustainability. She has spoken on such diverse topics as the
decline in insect population and the promotion of edible
insects to support United Nations SDG 2: Zero Hunger. She has
made presentations at the American Museum of Natural
History, Entomological Society of America, India's agricultural
institute IARI, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Sarah Lawrence
College, Savannah Bee Company, New York Hall of Science,
Clearwater Festival, Yonkers Science Barge, Nature Girls, Girl
Scouts, and several schools. She has given TV and radio
interviews and was recognized by the Audubon
Society. Before the pandemic, she organized a Little Critters
club for kids in Grades K-5 in Eastchester and helped plan the
Earth Day event for which she received a Green Medallion
Award. Check her out on Twitter: @SaveInsectsA, LinkedIn
@SaveInsects and Instagram @saveinsects.

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