UNA-LA's mission is to inspire, educate, and mobilize the Los Angeles Community to support the vital work of the United Nations
Board of Directors
The UNA LA Chapter Board of Directors consists of the Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Presidents, and President who oversee the overall operations of the chapter. This dedicated group is fun, energetic, and motivated to continue to create positive change!
President: Shruthi Mathur
Shruthi spent a decade as a TV journalist at the United Nations for channels in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. This experience gave her a deep appreciation and first hand look into the inner workings of the United Nations daily operations on every level and a desire to work with like minded peace building advocates from all walks of life. Shruthi has also worked at cultural institutions like the Smithsonian, National Geographic Traveler, and the US National Heritage Areas. She joined the American Red Cross DC chapter at the age of 15 and volunteered in a variety of capacities at the chapter level, as one of 8 regional ambassadors, and eventually on the ARC National Youth Council. The Disney and Nickelodeon TV writer was a speaker at the National UNICEF Summit and part of a Congressional Delegation on Capitol Hill to lobby for children's rights. The new mother also is a mentor with Etre Girls and an advocate with UN Women, Shruthi is so excited to combine her passions for art and advocacy, culture and community, and work alongside fellow members of the United Nations Association community of LA to create a brighter more inclusive future for all!
Secretary: Alyssa Grigoryan
Alyssa Grigoryan heads Inspections at Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the nation's largest electric utilities. She is responsible for inspecting SCE's assets located in high fire areas, utilizing drones and helicopters, in support of wildfire mitigation. Prior to this role, Grigoryan was the principal manager of the Strategic Business Partner group, directing the business partner team, compensation, employee relations, and organizational effectiveness functions. She brings nearly 25 years of experience across a diverse range of industries to her current role, having served in numerous leadership positions of increasing responsibility.Previously, she was the senior manager of the employee relations department, directing a team of employee relations investigators, overseeing compliance of company policies, corrective action, and strategic performance improvement initiatives.
Prior to serving in this position at SCE, she led the Human Resources organization at Transamerica and Grancell, Lebovitz, Stander, Barnes and Reubens (GLSBR) as the head of Human Resources, overseeing all HR functions, including people strategy, staffing, learning and development, executive leadership development, executive successions and talent management, total rewards, employee relations, as well as organizational effectiveness and development. She has also worked for Valley Community Clinic as a Certified Health Educator, Coach, and Counselor, conducting health education and coaching to high-risk teenagers with a focus on pregnancy, disease, and addiction prevention.
Alyssa has a Ph.D. in Business Psychology with a focus in Organizational Leadership from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She received a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. Grigoryan has proudly served in the United States Air Force as a Personnel Specialist. She serves as the Secretary on the Executive Board of the United Nations Association of the Los Angeles chapter.
Treasurer: Candis H.
Candis Hawkes is a representative for the David Geffen Company, a business management firm. Candis has worked in the accounting and finance field since 1997 for various types of companies and industries including helping many small businesses grow into successful profitable companies. Candis is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Westchester Lodge #2050. She served as an officer from 2014-2016 and as Treasurer from 2016-2017. Candis volunteers at community events involving helping homeless women & children, veterans as well as participating in walks to support Breast Cancer research. Candis enjoys live music, reading and the outdoors, including snow sports and hiking. She also loves to meet friends out at new restaurants to enjoy new types of cuisine.
Vice President of Communications: Maral Bahman
Maral Bahman is a dynamic digital storyteller with multifaceted experience spearheading communication strategies and social media content to tell compelling stories across global channels and markets. She focuses on social purpose across sports, the arts, science, human rights, and government and has experience working alongside nonprofits in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
She has a passion for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She previously served as an Economic and Social Council Delegate at the 65th Commission on the Status of Women. In conjunction with her VP of Communications role with UNA-LA, she has been selected as the NPoC for the Space Generation Advisory Council, working closely with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and young space professionals around the world to advance global space policy and aerospace industries.
Maral earned her bachelor’s degree in Communications from Simon Fraser University. She further advanced her education by studying Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She also studied Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy at MIT.
Vice President of Advocacy: Jennifer Borrero
Jennifer Borrero is a first generation American and a daughter of Mexican-Colombian immigrants. She is a Humanitarian and Social Impact Advocate based in Los Angeles, CA. Since 2015 she has worked on international human rights issues, specializing in homelessness and education. From Nicaragua to the Middle East and domestically, she has led programs in the private and public sector.
She most recently supported the US Department of Veterans Affairs on their first housing development initiative for unhoused Veterans in Los Angeles. Previously she served as an Implementation Manager at BlackRock, overseeing the implementation of over $40bn USD. Her career began as a management consultant where she focused on government healthcare initiatives, primarily serving the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA. She has also served as a Global Ambassador for TheirWorld and has spoken at The United Nations Transforming Education Summit 2022 on the importance of education.
Jennifer is currently a member of the Housing and Homelessness Council for Urban Land Institute where she advocates for sustainable and green housing.
She holds a Masters degree in Healthcare Administration. You can find her running, baking, and surfing in her free time.
Vice President of Membership: Nicola Caprirolo
Nicola has 5+ years of international experience in blockchain, sustainability, project management, and cross-sectoral and departmental cooperation. He has worked with UN entities and non-profit organizations in Brazil, Canada and the United States. More recently, Nicola worked as a Growth Lead at 4K Protocol, a bleeding edge blockchain startup where he helped build the world’s first decentralized protocol for tokenizing real world assets. With a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from the University of British Columbia, Nicola relishes the interconnected challenges that stem from advancing sustainable development across all sectors. He has leveraged his interpersonal, academic, and professional experience to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the World Health Organization, Pan-American Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, and the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation. He has participated and led teams to create unprecedented development projects, including the world’s first statewide UN SDG costing methodology and a UN Action Award winning SDG tracking platform that made the scope and scale of the work being done by organizations to achieve the Global Goals publicly available.
General Board Members
Amazing Board Members Soon To Come!
The UNA LA Chapter Advisory Board, consists of founding board members and those who have previously served on the Board of Directors who continue to graciously provide their expertise, advise, and contribute in meaningful ways!
Jillian Boardman, Past President
As past president of the Los Angeles Chapter, Jillian has enjoyed bringing her international experience to the local level in her hometown of Los Angeles. With a master’s degree in International Relations from University of Queensland, Australia, Jillian has an insatiable desire to learn from other cultures and develop solutions to global issues. She was able to do both while conducting research for her master’s thesis in remote villages outside Siem Reap, Cambodia. During this time, Jillian created a human trafficking prevention initiative with New Hope Cambodia and re-instated a women’s reproductive health program in collaboration with Marie Stope’s International Clinic. Jillian is currently a marketing and sales representative for an internationally renowned ethical jeweler. In her current role, she utilizes photography, content creation and marketing strategies to ensure economic prosperity and preserve traditional arts for communities around the world. You can find her in local coffee shops, independent bookstores, and enjoying all the outdoor activities LA has to offer.
Paraag Lal, Past Vice President of Fundraising
An established 21 year entrepreneur in the technology, financial and real estate industries, Paraag has been an innovator, helping grow two successful $2 Billion dollar businesses at Intel & Cisco. He has leveraged his experience in venture financing, private equity, due diligence & deal analysis to consult for High Net Worth Investors investing in innovative opportunities from start-up to significant growth, while exceeding the expectations of his loyal clientele.
Gabriela Soto, Past Vice President of Membership
The core vision in my life is to create a world where all belong. As a Leadership, Management and Strategy Consultant, I am continuously creating new ways to empower people and organizations.
I have been working in the US and internationally for the last 20 + years enabling leaders and their teams to operate and think in new ways, expanding their leadership and creating new cultures of purpose and performance. My consulting and executive coaching work includes challenges that are multi-national and cross-cultural in nature with focus on team communication, alignment, performance and strategy and management in industries ranging from retail, oil and gas, construction, development, real estate, financial, risk management and technology.
I have a passion for empowering clients to realize their personal dreams while fulfilling their organizations vision,mission and strategic business results, creating a positive impact in their communities.
The proven and unique methodology I offer changes people’s performance and gives them access to new levels of satisfaction and extraordinary results.
Passionate about my work and life. You could find me at the gym, catching Sunsets, taking photos of flowers, creating experiences with my daughter, family and friends from going to listen technomusic, hiking to meditating, reading a book, having a great cup of coffee, playing tennis, … Cooking is one of my love expressions, so you could find me choosing vegetables and fruits at the market too.
Felita Wong Shen
Born in Hollywood and raised in the Westside, Felita moved to the Bay Area and stumbled upon Yahoo! in the mid-1990s, where she got to create her own job description: internet evangelist, goodwill ambassador, developer of online sponsorships and charitable campaigns. She ‘taught’ celebrities and VIPs how to use the Internet, showed them how to expand their online presence. Within the company, she was called the “heart and soul of Yahoo’, and helped build and chair the Yahoo! Employee Fund. Retired since 1999, she is a "connector" and loves to put her energies into personal development, empowering projects and experiences (Miss California/Miss America Organization, Tony Robbins Platinum Partnership, USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association Board of Directors, USC Delta Phi Kappa Alumnae Association Board President, The Netherland’s “Free A Girl” Ambassador). Her favorite cities: Paris (2ème), NYC (Meatpacking), Kaka'ako (Honolulu), and her hometown Los Angeles (Westside). LA Faves: Gjelina and Gjusta, Rose Cafe, Sun Nong Dan (kalbi-jjim flambè), Cheng-du Taste and Sichuan Impression (Szechuan chili chicken), Destroyer (koshihikari rice porridge), Superba (kouign amann).