The Friends of WFUNA is an independent 501 c 3 organization founded by Mr. Arthur Ross in 2001 to support WFUNA in achieving our mission and accomplishing our objectives. This includes making grants to support our activities, programs, and general operation of WFUNA. The unwavering support from the Board of Directors has helped WFUNA strengthen its relationship with the UN, develop a strong foundation through which thematic projects may be launched, and diversify its funding sources.
The current Board is comprised of twelve members and meets annually to make decisions on how to best provide support to WFUNA. The Friends of WFUNA has been an integral partner in planning WFUNA’s annual fundraising events which seek to honor individuals for their leadership and support of the United Nations. The Friends of WFUNA is custodian of WFUNA’s endowment initiated by funds bequeathed by Mr. Ross.
Ms. Haft is an Entertaiment and Digital Media attorney specializing in the business and legal affairs of the film, television, multimedia and communication industries. Ms. Haft started her career as a civil liberties attorney, and was appointed as counsel to a subcomittee in the House of Representatives investigating the intelligence agencies. She then became the Associate Director of the Office of Public Liaison in the White House and went on to act as Deputy Counsel to the Vice President in the White House.
After running the New York City campaign for the re-election of the President with then-Lieutenant Governer Mario Cuomo, she was appointed as a U.S. Representative to the United Nations, where she was one of the six official representatives of the U.S. to the U.N.
Mr. Mario Bernardo Monteiro de Carvalho Garnero
Mr. Garnero is a Brazilian businessman who has been for over two decades one of his countries’ foremost cultural representative overseas. He was the Director of Brasilinvest Group, and was responsible for framing partnerships and new businesses. Fluent in five languages, Mario Bernardo Garnero is currently Vice President of Garnero Group Acquisition company (GGAC).
Mrs. Janet C. Ross
Mrs. Ross is the widow of Arthur Ross, former Honorary President and benefactor of WFUNA. Mr. Ross became involved with WFUNA in 1983 and continued helping throughout the years with his financial contributions and hands on practical advice. He was made Honorary President in 2002.
Mr. Michael Cooper
Mr. Cooper has been active in the human rights and humanitarian aid field for more than twenty years, working with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as a Protection Officer in Kosovo as well as with other leading organizations, such as the International Rescue Committee and Human Rights Watch. Most recently, he spent six years with Mercy Corps, directing humanitarian programs in Iraq and leading other initiatives.
Mr. Cooper also served as Director of the Human Rights Office at the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and as a member of the Board of Directors of the United Nations Association of New York. He is a Public Interest Law Scholar at Georgetown University and a member of the American Society of International Law."
Mr. Golmohammadi is Ex Officio Member and Secretary. Click here to view profile of WFUNA Secretary-General.
Lord David Hannay
Mr. Hannay was an official representative of the government in discussions that lead to the UK's 1973 entry into what became the European Union. After holding various positions in the foreign office in London during the 1970s and 1980s, he was a minister at the British Embassy in Washington, DC in 1984-1985, and was then promoted to ambassador and permanent representative to the European Economic Community from 1985 to 1990. He spent the next five years as ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations. Most recently he has taken on specialized roles such as Special Representative for Cyprus between 1996 and 2003 and a member of the UN High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, reporting to the Secretary-General in December 2004.
Mr. Warren Hoge
Mr. Hoge spent three decades as an editor and foreign correspondent at The New York Times, serving as Bureau Chief in Rio de Janeiro, London and the United Nations. As a foreign correspondent, he reported from more than 80 countries -- covering political turmoil and guerrilla warfare in Central America, the passage of countries from dictatorship to elective government in South America, the politics and culture of Great Britain and Scandinavia, the peace process in Northern Ireland and areas high on the peace and security agenda of the United Nations, including Central Africa and the Middle East.
Mr. Jean-Luc Meier
Mr. Meier is co-founder and managing partner of SES – Strategic Expansion Solutions, advising governments and multinational corporations in corporate diplomacy. He has an economic and banking background and was one of the main advisors in the setting up of the Contact Office of the Swiss banks, representing all the banks of Switzerland in the context of dormant accounts. He was mandated by several governments to design and implement strategies for the economic promotion and development. Mr. Meier is or was in several boards in corporations of the financial and technology industry in Switzerland, the United States and the Principaplity of Liechtenstein. He speaks French, German, English, Spanish and Italian.
Ms. Prager Kamel is Founder and Managing Partner of Optima Advisors, a multi-national financial and corporate advisory service company with offices in the US and the Middle East. She is a CoFounding and CoManaging Partner of Stategic-Expansion Solutions, headquartered in Switzerland, specializing in Corporate and Government International Business and Relations and working in tandem with Geopolitical Information Services- H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein, a high level intelligence company.
Ms. Prendergast is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, developing and partnering on projects that promote the recovery and empowerment of victims of torture and forced migration. In 2009 Ms. Prendergast was appointed Visiting Senior Fellow in Human Rights at the London School of Economics and continues to live and work in both London and New York. For over 30 years she has brought expertise in advocacy, program design and management, and the development of multi-disciplinary approaches to human rights and humanitarian issues.
Ms. Gillian Sorensen
Ms. Sorensen, formerly United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for External Relations, now Senior Advisor at the United Nations Foundation, is a national advocate on matters related to the United Nations and its relationship with the United States. From 1997-2003 she served as Assistant Secretary-General for External Relations on appointment by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and from 1993-1996 served as Special Advisor for Public Policy on appointment from Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
Mr. vanden Heuvel served as President of the Friends of WFUNA until 2014. He served as Deputy US Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1979 until 1981 and as US Permanent Representative to the European Office of the UN from 1977 to 1979. Former Senior Partner, now Of Counsel to the law firm of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, he is also Senior Advisor to Allen & Company LLC, a New York investment banking firm. He is Chairman of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, LLC, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, Inc. and Founder and Chair Emeritus of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.
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WFUNA and the Friends of WFUNA Board of Directors are grateful for those who are no longer with us but have served as champions and very dear friends to WFUNA.
Mr. Ross founded the Friends of WFUNA Board of Directors in 2001. Because of Mr. Ross's belief in our cause, many inspiring individuals have become involved with our organization. Mr. Ross beqeathed an endowment to WFUNA in 2006 and both Mr. and Mrs. Ross have generously supported our cause, primarily through their Arthur Ross Foundation and the Janet and Arthur Ross Foundation. Mr. Ross is survived by his wife, Mrs. Janet Ross, who is currently serving as a board member.
Mr. Strong served as a committed board member since the early 2000s. He served as president of WFUNA from 1987 to 1991 and held various high-level positions at the UN. Most notably, he founded the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and headed the world's first summit on climate change in Rio in 1992. He dedicated much of his life to protecting the environment.
John C. Whitehead
Mr. Whitehead served as a committed board member since 2003. He provided guidance on fundraising, financial matters, and relationship building, in addition to his generous donations from his Goldman Sachs Fund and his personal foundation. Mr. Whitehead dedicated much of his life to public service and will continue to remind us that one individual can make a difference. Mr. Whitehead is survied by his wife Cynthia.