Zeba Rashid, President
Zeba’s passion and commitment to delivering best-in-class media exposure and fundraising, cross-functional non-profit leadership, and highly effective strategy development can be seen in the array of high-impact senior level positions she has held throughout her professional career. Ms. Rashid has never failed to deliver exceptional program leadership, multilateral flexibility, and a passion to accelerate financial results and company positioning across the board. She is eager to continue leveraging a formidable combination of cross-functional relationships and communication skills to deliver superior results and drive positive change in each role she holds. Ms. Rashid believes that giving back to the local and global community is not only imperative, but a moral obligation. Born and raised in New York, Zeba has volunteered her time and resources from a young age. She is most proud of spearheading global fundraising in partnership with UN Women to successfully develop and fund educational institutions for young girls who do not have the resources to receive world class education in under privileged regions across South Asia. At Memorial Sloan Kettering, New York-Presbyterian Hospital and the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, Zeba secured essential media coverage to promote and grow their programs and most importantly, raise massive visibility for their causes.
Most recently, during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis in New York City, Zeba lead a national coordination of volunteers, transportation and food sponsors to safely transport groceries to the elderly who did not have the methods to retrieve these basic essentials. This national movement was executed in New York, Chicago, New Jersey, and Miami. She looks forward to continuing her indefatigable efforts to make a positive impact on the people and communities around her.
Zeba is a graduate from The George Washington University and has earned a Master of Science in Media Management from The New School University. As an avid learner, Ms. Rashid has continued her Masters education in Corporate Social Responsibility from Harvard University.
Nina Buenavista, Vice President
Nina Buenavista studied Economics at the University of Houston. Shortly after graduating, she relocated from Houston to New York for her career advancement with JPMorgan Chase. She continued a successful career at HSBC Private Bank, managing a portfolio of investable assets for Ultra High Net Worth foreign nationals. Throughout her career, she dedicated her free time to volunteering with nonprofits and NGOs in the United States, Thailand, and Jordan – focused on organizations that mentored at-risk students, taught financial literacy, and built homes for families in need. Passionate about volunteering and her desire to help people, Nina decided to put her banking career aside and returned to school. In 2019, she graduated from Florida International University (FIU) with a Master of Arts in Global Affairs and a Global Risk & Corporate Responsibility concentration. While in school, she emphasized her interest in women’s empowerment and was awarded a scholarship to travel to India to work alongside a local nonprofit focused on bridging the socio-economic gap in an urban village outside of Delhi. Engrossed by the organization, she chose to do her Capstone research project on the prevalence of gender inequalities in India, the growth of the women’s empowerment movement, and the crucial roles that education, micro-enterprises, and micro-finance play in supporting this movement.
VP of Events and Young Professionals Committee Chair
Grisel d’Elena is an Adjunct Professor for Religious Studies, Women's and Gender Studies, and The Honors College at FIU. Additionally, she also works as an Academic Advisor II for The Honors College and Pre-Law. She has performed fieldwork abroad with U.N. officials, refugee coalition members, and ethnic minorities, specifically in Southeast Asia, where she began to investigate the Rohingya Muslim ethnic group in Myanmar. As victims of systematic, state-sponsored persecution, she began to question why they faced such discrimination. This question led to the Buddhist 969 Movement in Myanmar, which contributes to the isolation and oppression of the Rohingya. Grisel was able to interview Time Magazine’s “Buddhist Terror” U Ashin Wirathu and provide feedback directly from the source of the violence for her ethnographic work. This became the focus of her Master’s thesis, “The Gender Problem of Buddhist Nationalism in Myanmar: The 969 Movement and Theravada Nuns.” This work paved the road for her PhD work focused on the international community's response to the Rohingya crisis. Locally, Grisel is the Vice President of Events and leads the Young Professionals Committee on the board of directors for UN Women | USA | Miami. Finally, she has volunteered with National Voices for Equality, Education, and Enlightenment (NVEEE) for the last decade mentoring LGBTQ+ youth who struggle with bullying and lack of educational resources.