Stefania Piffanelli, Officer in Charge

Deputy Director

Stefania Piffanelli is the Deputy Director and Officer in Charge of the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) in Washington. Ms. Piffanelli brings to the job over 20 years of experience with the UN, academia and the private sector. Before joining UNIC Washington, she was part of the team investigating those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Previously, Ms. Piffanelli managed the work of the UN Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund in Sierra Leone both out of New York and Freetown. She served as the Special Assistant to the UN Deputy Secretary-General and in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General under Secretaries-General Ban Ki-Moon and Kofi Annan. She also held a number of positions in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs in the areas of development and gender equality. Earlier in her career, Ms. Piffanelli worked as a consultant for the UNDP Bureau for Eastern Europe and Central Asia and for UNDP Lebanon. Prior to her work with international organizations, she worked as a junior fund manager in Italy. She holds a PhD in Economics from New York University and a graduate degree in Economics from the University of Bologna, Italy. She speaks English, Italian and French and has some knowledge of Spanish. She is an Italian citizen.

Deborah DeYoung

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

Congressional Relations

Karen Smyth is the Congressional/Senior Liaison Assistant for the UN Information Center, where she serves as a first point of contact for congressional offices on requests or questions related to the UN, helps inform staff of the UN’s work and monitors congressional actions relevant to the UN. Having pursued protocol training as a personal interest, Karen is part of the small information team that develops official programs 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. Karen is also the focal point for the coordination of information sharing within the UN "Family" in Washington. 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.

Ebru Kuran

Knowledge Management Assistant

Ebru Kuran is a Public Information 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.