UNA-USA: A Little Known History of Advocacy & Action

UNA Chicago

UNA-USA: A Little Known History of Advocacy & Action

Facilitated by our 2017 Membership Director, Naomi Thornton, we hosted a panel discussion with author James Wurst, Ed Elmendorf, and Dulcie Leimbach, to explore James’s recent book, UNA-USA: A Little Known History of Advocacy and Action. The discussion was followed by a Q&A session and autographs.

As the first full documentation of UNA-USA from its start, the book documents 70 years of dedicated and independent action and advocacy for the United Nations and sound US policies in support of the UN, by civic leaders, policy experts, diplomats, and UNA-USA leaders and members across the country.

The work of UNA-USA luminaries, such as Clark Eichelberger, Eleanor Roosevelt, Elliot Richardson, Ed Luck, Toby Gati, John Whitehead, and Bill Luers is discussed at length, using original archive material and interviews. Extensive information is featured on the actions of UNA members and chapters. UNA-USA policy studies, human rights programs, and education activities are covered, concluding with the alliance between UNA-USA and the UN Foundation.

About the Panelists

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Panelists James Wurst, Ed Elmendorf, and Dulcie Leimbach

James Wurst is a journalist specializing in international affairs. Wurst has been based at the United Nations since 1987. He has worked as a reporter for the Inter Press Service, The InterDependent, UN Wire, Global Security Newswire, and as well as a contributor to the World Policy Journal, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Arms Control Today, A Global Agenda, and In These Times. He covered peacekeeping missions in Namibia and Mozambique and UN conferences in Geneva, Vienna, and Monterrey (Mexico). In addition, he has worked as a consultant/analyst on arms control issues for the Global Security Institute, the Council on Economic Priorities, the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy, the Interchurch Peace Council (IKV, the Netherlands), and the Arias Foundation for Peace and Progress (Costa Rica).

Ed Elmendorf, Study Director, initiated the UNA-USA History Project, and has served as promoter and fundraiser for it. He has been deeply engaged in the work of UN organizations for more than 50 years. In the US Foreign Service, he served as personal assistant to US-UN Ambassadors Adlai Stevenson and Arthur Goldberg. Following employment in the UN Secretariat, he spent 30 years in the World Bank. After retiring from the Bank, he was volunteer President of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA) from 2005 to 2009. He subsequently served as Chair of the UNA-USA national volunteer network, the Council of Chapters and Divisions. He returned to full-time employment as President and CEO of UNA-USA in 2010, to negotiate the alliance between UNA-USA and the UN Foundation.

UNA-USA history editor and editor for UNA-USA: A Little Known History of Advocacy and Action, Dulcie Leimbach is the founder of PassBlue, a digital publication reporting on the United Nations that is a project of the Ralph Bunche Institute of International Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. For PassBlue and other publications, she has reported from New York and overseas in West Africa (Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal) as well as from Europe (Scotland, Vienna, The Hague and Budapest). Previously, she was the publications director of UNA-USA, and before that an editor at the New York Times for more than 20 years. In addition to editing the full manuscript, Dulcie wrote the chapters of the UNA history on Eleanor Roosevelt and on UNA-USA publications.

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Image: UNA-USA: A Little Known History of Advocacy and Action book cover

Purchase your copy of UNA-USA: A Little Known History of Advocacy and Action here.