About Understanding Nations
Our name says it all and sets us apart from the traditional and competitive driven Model UN Programs.
Our mission is to encourage mutual understanding and constructive collaboration towards resolving the many dilemmas between nations through the educational tool of Model United Nations.
Founder and Executive Director, Alba Martinez
Alba's inspiration for founding Understanding Nations came from years of frustration over the obviously biased and limited political discourse in today’s main stream, twenty-four hour, sound-bite-driven “news” media: where sensationalism of global issues and crises—as opposed to the critical analysis needed for citizens to grasp issues that are important to their lives and to have well-informed opinions—is touted in a relentless pursuit for ratings.
She is proud to have worked for the United Nations Association of the United States Global Classrooms Model UN Program as the Implementation Manager and as the Los Angeles Global Classrooms Model UN Program Coordinator. Alba has experienced Model UN in full-circle as a delegate at the collegiate level; as a Model UN Teacher-Trainer for the Los Angeles Unified School District through the Los Angeles Global Classrooms program and for Omaha Public Schools; as the Model UN Program Head and Coach for Senzoku Middle and High Schools in Kawasaki, Japan; and as a conference organizer for the United Nations Association of the USA Global Classroom Model United Nations Program.
Mrs. Martinez holds both a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Administration and a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from California State University. Born and raised in the USA, she is fully fluent in English and Spanish and has lived in Puerto Rico, Japan, and spent time in the Middle East. Alba loves traveling the world and meeting new people wherever she goes; random acts of kindness; and especially cherishes the innocence in children, the future stewards of our fragile world.
Alba Martinez, Founder
Our staffers are experienced Model UN'er's from top West Coast American universitiesthat have included:
*Stanford University *UC Berkeley *UC Los Angeles *UC San Diego
In addition, bilingual graduates from the host's Model UN program are part of the dais in the beginner's committee to ensure a smooth flow of debate for our Japanese students.