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Model UN: How they work, and how they can change lives

Hanna Nussair.jpeg
Hanna Nussair, Keynote Speaker at the 2023 Southwest Florida Model UN at FGCU, and Communication and Advocacy associate for Data2X at the United Nations Foundation

Model UNs are educational simulations — basically role playing — that teach participating students diplomacy, international relations, and how the United Nations works. At Model UN conferences student delegates deeply study a United Nations member country, research topics of global interest, and work to get resolutions passed on that country’s behalf.

They happen around the world at the high school and college level, and this week the Southwest Florida Model UN is happening on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University, bringing together high school teams from schools around southwest Florida. It’s sponsored by the Naples Council on World Affairs in partnership with FGCU.

Our guest today, Hanna Nussair, participated in Model UNs while she was a student at the State College of Florida Collegiate School, and while she was a student at FGCU, where she graduated with a bachelors in Communication Studies with minors in Political Science and Global Studies. She then got her Master of Human Rights degree with a concentration in Global Gender Studies and Arabic at University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Nussair worked on international projects during her academic career and after graduation, including working with a refugee support organization, LESS ONLUS, in Naples, Italy, and she was a secondary school teaching assistant in Madrid, Spain. Her core professional work focuses on gender equality for women and girls in marginalized communities.

Today, Nussair works for the United Nations Foundation as a Communication and Advocacy associate for Data2X, which is an initiative that works to improve the quality, availability, and use of gender data to make a practical difference in the lives of women and girls.

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