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GDF World Civil Society of United States of America















United States of America

Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, Inc. (FAF)
Yin-Chu Jou

Artistic Director (since 2005) & International Programs Director
Representative to UN & UNESCO

FAF is an NGO established in 1973 by Fulbright Scholar Harry Morgan and Cappy Devlin and the founders of Readers Digest Lila and DeWitt Wallace, with formal affiliation with the United Nations Department of Public Information and associate in Operational Relations with UNESCO

Ms. Jou organizes and develops all FAF’s music programming worldwide including international music exchanges, some of which involve dance, theater or other related art forms, its Feel the Music! Project for the families of the victims of 9/11 (2005), the United Cultures Peace (UC Peace), Performing Arts Festival that takes place during the Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations, and The Rhythms of One World International Choral Festival in New York City (2012 and 2013). Senator Hillary Clinton (NY), Congresswoman Nita Lowey (NY) and Congressman Christopher Shays (CT) had formally endorsed her work.

Manhattan School of Music Post Graduate, Piano Performance, 2002 – 2004
University of the Philippines - Masters of Music, Piano Performance, 2000 - 2002
St. Scholastica's College Bachelor of Music, Piano Performance, 1993 – 1998,
Graduated Magna cum laude honors

Ms.Jou was

  • Co-founder of the Youth Symphony for United Nations, a project affiliated with Symphony for United Nations led by Maestro Joseph Eger (2006)

  • Key organizer of 2009 Friendship Tour to Nepal-India & "Women, Water, & Food Security" Conference in Calcutta, India by the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (10/2009)

  • Key organizer of a benefit for UNICEF-USA's Haiti Relief through a combined choral & orchestral concert in Washington, DC that gathered 200 young artists from the US East and West Coasts united in music to benefit the children of Haiti during their time of need (4/2010)

  • Program director for the Lasallian Convocation on the Rights of the Child conference at the UN Headquarters in New York (4/2010)
  • Delegate to UNAOC Doha Pre-Forum, Consultation with CSOs (5/2011)

  • Founder & Festival Manager of the Rhythms of One World International Choral Festival, celebrating the anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter “We the Peoples”, at the UN Headquarters, NY and at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center

Full profile














United States of America

U.S Center for Citizen Diplomacy & President AOS International
Ann Olsen Schodde - Founder, President Emeritus and Senior Advisor                               

Ann Olsen Schodde has held leadership positions in higher education and international non-profit organizations for over 35 years  during which she has consulted or managed educational and international  programs for more than 21 private foundations, professional associations and government agencies, including the Stanley Foundation, World Food Prize Foundation, National Council for International Visitors, Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, World Affairs Councils , Sister Cities, USAID, U.S. Departments of State and Education,  and the U.S. Ukraine Foundation. Her work has involved managing and directing educational exchange and technical assistance programs  in Tunisia, Ukraine, Malaysia, the Peoples Republic of China, Russia, France, the Middle East, Japan and Mexico.

Schodde has served on numerous boards and commissions including the National Continuing Education Association,  Association of American Community Colleges, the   Coalition for Citizen Diplomacy, the National Council for International Visitors, now Global Ties and has Chaired the Greater DM Sister Cities Commission. She has testified before Congress on behalf of continuing education and citizen diplomacy, worked with embassy staff from over 60 countries, and garnered financial support from the U.S. government and the private sector for citizen based international programs including the Johnson Foundation, Coca Cola Foundation, American Express, Gallup, and VISA.  In 2007 Schodde founded the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy and currently serves as President Emeritus and Senior Advisor for the Center which is a separate division of Pyxera Global, Washington, D.C. Her most recent article on citizen diplomacy occurred in the 2012 winter issue of the USC Public Diplomacy Journal.    Currently as President of AOS International, she is a frequent  speaker and consultant for non-profit international organizations in the United States and throughout the world.  Concurrently she serves on the boards of CultureAll, TaiInitiative, AEP Project and Hopeful Africa.   Schodde holds a B.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin and M.Ed. from Cornell University.  She resides in Des Moines, Iowa, is married to Dr. Stephen Schodde, J.D. and has three grown children.  








United States of America

Unity in Diversity Peace Garden
Kiran Thawardas - Project Manager

Kiran began to work on the project at age 14, bringing the peace garden project to America, eventually creating the first inaugurated Unity in Diversity Peace Garden in the world at age 17. Thawardas has a great passion in the Unity in Diversity project and its mission with the hope of encouraging intercultural dialogue and understanding around the world and in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Volunteerism plays a great role in his life, being the service coordinator of his school’s National Honor Society and a chair member of his school’s Service Club. Graduating high school in May of 2015, he plans on pursuing a degree and career in engineering.






United States of America

Mr. Effenus Henderson
President and CEO - HenderWorks, Inc.

Previously, Chief Diversity Officer for Weyerhaeuser Company, Federal Way, Washington where he advised the CEO and senior management team on diversity, inclusion and affirmative action related matters. He is an internationally recognized diversity thought leader and has been invited by numerous companies and organizations to share his expertise.  
He has addressed members of the General Assembly of the United Nations on intercultural and interreligious diversity, and also addressed a high level panel of the Alliance of Civilizations in Madrid, Spain in 2008, Istanbul Turkey in 2009 and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil earlier this year.