Robert Skinner is the Director of the UN Information Center (UNIC) in Washington. Prior to joining UNIC Mr. Skinner held the position of Executive Director at the United Nations Foundation New York Office, responsible for operations and relations. In that role, he managed the Foundation’s relations with United Nations communications officials, the press corps and Permanent Missions to the United Nations. Before joining the Foundation in 2006, Mr. Skinner held several positions in the United States Department of State, including as Deputy Spokesperson at the United States Mission to the United Nations in New York, and as Public Affairs Officer for the United States Embassy in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Mr. Skinner holds a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Administration from Oakland University in the United States. He is married and has two children.
National Information Officer
Deborah DeYoung is an Information Officer at the UN Information Center. Deborah worked on Capitol Hill for 13 years, serving as the spokeswoman for the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, chaired by Michigan Senator Don Riegle; the Senate investigation into the fate of MIAs and POWs from the Vietnam War, led by Senators John Kerry and John McCain; and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by Montana Senator Max Baucus. She also worked for Congressmen Sander Levin and Tony Hall. She joined the UN Information Center’s staff after working briefly at the UN World Food Program’s regional hub, in Nairobi, and has traveled extensively to focus, primarily, on humanitarian issues. A graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism, Deborah was a reporter at the Midland Daily News, a Michigan newspaper before moving to Washington.
Karen Smyth is the Congressional Liaison for the UN Information Center, where she informs congressional offices of the UN’s work and responds to congressional inquiries regarding the UN. She also monitors congressional actions relevant to the UN. Additionally, Karen is part of the small information team that coordinates schedules for senior United Nations officials coming to Washington for meetings with US government and congressional offices, as well as the NGO community, think tanks, the media and others. She joined the UNIC in 1993, after having participated in an internship there the previous summer, and has held several positions within the small office during her time here. Karen graduated from New England College in Henniker, NH in 1993 with a B.A. in International Relations. She is married with two children.
Liam Murphy joined UNIC in 2005 as Information Coordinator. Liam is responsible for public information, online communications, the Center’s library, and the intern program. Prior to working at the Center, Liam worked for the International Labor Organization for 3 years, where he was responsible for administration and information activities in the DC office. Prior to the ILO, he held several administrative and technical positions with various organizations including the Public Broadcasting Service and the Providence Journal Company. Liam's early years were spent moving around and living abroad, gaining an appreciation for cultures and places. His family ultimately settled in Rhode Island and that's where he calls home. Liam received his degree in International Politics from American University’s School of International Service in 2000. He is the proud manager and coach of the UNIC Washington softball team, the UN Do’s.
Karen Shira is the Administrative Assistant and joined the UN Information Center in 1995 bringing with her 18 years of accounting and administrative experience. Karen handles all of the Financial Management, Human Resource, Premises Management and Administrative issues for UNIC. In addition Karen handles Imprest duties and Administrative issues for UNDP, IFAD, IAEA, UNOPS and UNDB. Prior to joining UNIC Karen worked for various organizations as an Office Manager and Accounting Manager including the International Council of Cruise Lines, Learning Services and the State Justice Institute. Early in Karen’s career she worked for the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Department as a Deputy Sheriff and graduated from the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy in 1983. Karen is an American citizen.
Ebru Kuran is the Staff Assistant. Ebru provides direct assistance to the Director and Deputy Director on administrative and outreach related tasks. Maintains calendar/schedules, including those related to the visits of UN Officials. Ebru organizes the programme of senior UN officials. She joined UNIC in 2014 after working at the UN World Food Program’s Turkey Office, HQ in Rome and Regional Bureau in Cairo for more than 7 years. She started as Admin and HR Assistant, then became Senior Procurement Assistant and then National Procurement Officer. Ebru is from Turkey and is also an American citizen.