Our Leadership Team

Evan Davidoff is a co-founder of the Global Partnership for Emerging Leaders and our Executive Director. He has a background in international and community development within the field of social work. He holds a master’s of social work degree. Evan has worked with the International Federation of Social Workers at the United Nations where he oversaw the 26th Annual Social Work Day at the UN and the 2nd Annual Global Social Work Student Conference. He has always had a deep commitment to LGBTQ human rights being recognized at the international level.

Evan has worked at Nehirim, NYC’s LGBT Center, CBST (New York’s only and the world’s largest LGBT synagogue), and Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice working to enhance progressive American Jewish voices on domestic issues. He believes traveling and interaction with new peoples and cultures is vital to self-growth. He encourages everyone to have a passport and to use it as much as possible! Evan’s travels have taken him from Lisbon to Tel Aviv to Paris to Mexico City to Istanbul and more.

Being part of a global culture is something that is integral to Evan’s identity and his work. He is thrilled to be working with GPEL in empowering LGBTQ human rights leaders from around the world. He truly believes the connections made through GPEL will make the world a better place. For him working to eradicate homophobia, transphobia, and biophobia is Evan's personal way of making the world a little better than he found it.

 

Joseph Jones is an attorney in New York City practicing in the area of loss mitigation and foreclosure prevention at the United States Bankruptcy Court. He holds a JD and Master’s in Urban Policy, with a concentration in housing policy and international development. He has previously worked in the area of civil rights and antidiscrimination in housing. He has served on the University of Michigan Council for Disability Concerns and on the advisory council for Michigan Department of Civil Rights. He has worked with the City of Ann Arbor in rewriting their antidiscrimination laws to include protections for gender identity and lobbied for the State of Michigan to amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to add protections for LGBTQ individuals.

Joseph has traveled extensively and views himself as a global citizen and an advocate for the end of violence and oppression and the promotion of human development in its many facets. As a humanist he believes that making the world a better place is more than a cliché, it’s a moral obligation.

 

Tara Pokras is a Senior Program Coordinator at Project Sunshine. She oversees Project Sunshine’s university chapters nationwide and manages Project Sunshine’s youth service program, Kids for Kids. Over the past five years she has worked to build a network of youth and college volunteers which provides programming to 100,000 children in 300 medical facilities. She cultivates university and hospital relationships, facilitates volunteer trainings, and supports students' leadership and program development. Previously, Tara taught English in the country of Georgia.

Tara is a lifelong learner and self-proclaimed fellowship junkie. She was a fellow for NYU Wagner’s Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service and the American Jewish World Service Global Justice Fellowship. She graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from Hofstra University in 2010. She is passionate about the health and sexual rights of children, women and LGBTQ populations. Additionally, she loves working with emerging young leaders, and giving them the resources and tools to make an impact on the world. She is excited to join the GPEL Leadership Team and empower LGBTQ human rights leaders around the world.

 

Senthorun Raj is an academic and advocate with a passion for popular culture, politics, and law. Sen is completing his PhD and teaches at the Sydney Law School. His doctoral thesis titled "Feeling Law: Intimacy, Violence, and Queer Subjects" examines the way emotion has shaped legal responses that address the discrimination perpetrated against sexual and gender minorities. He is currently a Scholar in Residence at NYU School of Law's Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.

Sen is a contributing writer for The Guardian and Right Now. He has published numerous articles and academic papers on topics ranging from refugee law to social networking. Sen is also an advisory board member of the sexuality, gender and diversity studies journal Writing from Below and had been a guest editor of the lifestyle website SameSame.

Sen is a former Churchill Fellow who completed a comparative research project on the advocacy and adjudication of sexual orientation and gender identity based asylum claims in USA, UK, and Australia. He previously worked as the Senior Policy Advisor for the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby. In a governance capacity, Sen has also served on the boards of the Amnesty International Australia and ACON Health.

 

Stephanie Selekman is a human rights advocate, feminist, and reproductive justice activist in New York City. Her background in Anthropology and Masters in International Human Rights with concentrations in women’s health and development inform her work domestically and abroad. Stephanie has spent time in Latin America, most recently in Peru where she worked on a UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Reproductive Health Program with Nexos Voluntarios creating holistic reproductive health curricula for high school students.  

Stateside, Stephanie directed symposia examining human rights at the Center on Rights Development in Denver, established programming and outcome tracking systems at Meeting Ground’s new homeless shelter in Maryland, and engaged in community development in her native Delaware as an AmeriCorps Public Ally. She is an alumna of the NOW-NYC Activist Alliance and serves on Planned Parenthood’s Activist Council.

Currently, Stephanie works at the Educational Alliance, a 126-year-old settlement house located on the Lower East Side where she is piloting a comprehensive reproductive health education program. A voracious reader and lifelong learner, Stephanie is particularly interested in issues concerning gender equity, sex education, reproductive healthcare access, street harassment, and the interplay of human rights and culture.

 

Geoff Wood is the Volunteer Coordinator for the New York office of the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights where he recruits bilingual volunteers to serve as Child Advocates to unaccompanied immigrant children in federal custody. He first began working with immigrants through a volunteer program that matched undergraduate students with recently arrived refugee families in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After graduating, Geoff worked as an employment specialist for Lutheran Family Services of the Rocky Mountains Refugee and Asylee Programs where he prepared refugees, asylees, and victims of human trafficking to enter the workforce. Following his work with Lutheran Family Services, he taught English in Argentina and volunteered with the Center for the Integration and Advancement of New Americans in Queens, New York.

Through his interactions with immigrant communities Geoff has learned the importance of supporting community-led initiatives and continues to be inspired by the resilience of the individuals he has met. Geoff grew up outside of Portland, Oregon, and has called New York his second home since 2014. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado College where he majored in International Political Economy.

 

Kevin Wehle is an LGBTQAI activist. He believes all issues are LGBTQAI issues. He's a life long Queens resident. He knows how it feels to be an outsider looking in, and this is something that deeply fuels his work. He believes in unity, diversity, and affirming ALL in our community. He envisions a community where all our diverse voices are heard, honored, and affirmed.

While in college he started his activism. He was the vice president and then president of The Queens College Gay and Lesbian Union. In 2010, he returned to his activist roots by volunteering at The Queens Pride House. While at Queens Pride House he took on the roles of Special Events Coordinator, Volunteer coordinator, and Program assistant. Kevin also joined The Queens Pride Lions Club, the first LGBTQ empowered Lions club on the east coast. It's one of only three in the country. Kevin was a founding board member of the club. He was the chair of the youth committee, and the fundraising committee. Kevin played a major role in getting the club to be New York's Ones New Yorkers of The Week in 2012. In 2014, Kevin attended and graduated from The New York City's Anti- Violence Project's Community Leadership Institute.

Being part of the LGBTQAI community in Queens, Kevin wanted to do more. He knew from all that he had already accomplished that he could do more. In May 2012, he started The Queer Empowerment Project. QEP lives on the principal that Everyone Matters! When you affirm others, create a safe space, and invite everyone to the table that is how true equality for all is accomplished. The large scale goal is to open and operate NYC's first Queer Center in Queens.

 

 

 

 

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