The Executive Board, 2015-2016

Salaar Shaikh, President

Salaar Shaikh is a junior in Calhoun College from Karachi, Pakistan, majoring in Economics and Mathematics. He has been involved in YIRA since his freshman year, and served as Treasurer of the YIRA Board this past year. From being an Assistant Secretary-General for YMUN as a freshman to chairing for YMGE in Hungary, doing research in Brazil and meeting delegates in Korea this past year, he has loved every minute of his YIRA experience. His academic interests lie in quantitative applications to the fields of education and energy. Outside of YIRA, Salaar is an International Ambassador for the Yale Admissions office, plays tennis, and is a big fan of Pakistani folk music. 


KJ Ong

KJ Ong is a junior History major in Berkeley College. His academic interests are democratic movements against authoritarian states, ethnic conflict & genocide, and digital humanities. Prior to coming to Yale, KJ took a gap year in his home country, Malaysia, working for a think tank, a political party, a human rights lawyers organization, and a coalition of democracy activists. KJ is also a keen foodie, a Southeast Asianist, and a tech enthusiast. Reach out to him at

Yasmeen Akounou - Executive Director

Yasmeen Akounou is a junior in Calhoun College studying Political Science. As a Cameroonian-American who grew up in both countries, she is very interested in leveraging the private sector to encourage African development. This year as Executive Director, her goal is to create unique opportunities to engage with international relations on campus, particularly through the Speaker Series. In her spare time, she loves to try new foods, keep up with the fashion industry, and travel. Feel free to contact her at

Joe Li - Treasurer

Joe Li is a junior in Morse College pursuing a double major in Economics and Computer Science. He born in China, educated in the UK and currently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As well as serving on Board, Joe is on MUNTY. Outside of YIRA, Joe competes on the Mock Trial team and is a member of YSIG. In his spare time, Joe enjoys going on runs to East Rock and spending time with friends.

Charlotte Clinger - Secretary

Charlotte is a junior in Morse College studying Global Affairs. Aside from YIRA, she is involved as a liaison with the Yale World Fellows Program and a member of Pi Phi, and overcomes her fear of spiders as a Freshman Outdoor Orientation Trips leader. She's also president of the Women's Leadership Initiative at Yale, and is passionate about gender equality. Aside from the stuff she does at school, Charlotte loves Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation, knitting items for her (sometimes reluctant) friends, and trying to find the balance between taking pictures and not seeming too touristy while traveling. 

Nicole Ng - YMUN XLII Secretary General

Nicole Ng is a Junior in Pierson College and is a Global Affairs major, with a special interest in Russian studies. Originally from Hong Kong, Nicole attended high school in the United States at the age of 14. Prior to serving as Secretary General for YMUN XLII, Nicole was the Director General of Administration for YMUN XLI and worked on the Secretariats of YMUN Korea and YMUN XL. Outside of YIRA, Nicole has written for the Yale Daily News and enjoys exploring new coffee shops, spending time with friends and reading the news. Nicole is thrilled to meet you all in January. Please contact Nicole at

Kelsi Caywood - YMUN Korea 2016 Secretary General

Kelsi Caywood is a sophomore in Timothy Dwight interested in Global Affairs and Humanities. Originally in the Class of 2017, she took a gap year to South Korea before college. Within YIRA, she is the Secretary-General of Yale MUN Korea, competes on the Model United Nations team, and chairs for different constituent programs. Outside of YIRA, her main commitment is co-leading the Yale Life Worth Living Fellowship. In her free time, Kelsi loves moving around (running, hiking, soccer), volunteering in New Haven, and being involved in her residential college and sorority.

Sheau Yun-Lim - YMUN Taiwan 2016 Secretary General

Sheau Yun Lim is a sophomore in Ezra Stiles College majoring in History. Sheau is so excited to be serving as Secretary-General of YMUN Taiwan III to build upon the amazing work of the past two years. Within YIRA, she has also worked on SCSY, YMGE, YMUN and IRSY in various capacities. She is passionate about education, modern Chinese history and aesthetics. In addition to YIRA, Sheau also works with Design For America. In her spare time, Sheau can be found doing yoga, eating Asian food, on Instagram or drinking tea. She is so honoured to be leading this year's YMUNT Secretariat, and can't wait for the best YMUN Taiwan we have ever seen! Contact Sheau at

Brady Currey and Livvy Bedford - YMGE 2015

Brady, originally from sunny Los Angeles, is a junior in Saybrook majoring in Global Affairs and Biomedical Engineering.  With Livvy Bedford, he’s the co-President of YMGE, held in Budapest this year.  When he’s not at YIRA board meetings, Brady enjoys long walks on the beach, Pálinka, and heated debates about Hungarian refugee policy, usually all at the same time.


Linda Oh - SCSY 38 Secretary General

Linda is the Secretary-General of the 38th Security Council Simulation at Yale. She is a junior in Pierson College studying Global Affairs. Outside of YIRA, Linda enjoys jamming with UNITY, a traditional Korean percussion performance group. She also loves to write, eat, and listen to all sorts of music (except for country music). Her favorite places on campus include Pierson courtyard, Book Trader's Cafe, and Sterling Memorial Library. 

Adam Gerard - Model United Nations Team Head Delegate

Mikaela Rabb - Hemispheres Director

Jake Colavolpe - YMUN Institute Executive Director

Brandon Marks - YMUN China 2016 Secretary General

Brandon Marks is a Sophomore economics major in Branford College. Brandon is the Secretary General for YMUN China, was the Director General for SCSY, and is on the competing Model United Nations team. Outside of YIRA, you can either find Brandon involved with the Sophomore Class Council and Roosevelt Institute or at Friday night Shabbat services and dinner at Slifka.

Elena Vasquez, Yale Review of International Studies Editor

Elena Vazquez is a Sophomore prospective Political Science major in Davenport College. She is an Editor on the Yale Review of International Studies and serves as the YRIS representative on the YIRA Board. In addition to working for YRIS, Elena is involved in political activism on campus. She also enjoys playing tennis and watching reality TV in her spare time.

Past Boards


President - Alessandra Powell

Vice-President - Helder Toste

Executive Director - Tristan Sechrest

Secretary - Nicole Minkina

Treasurer - Salaar Shaikh

SCSY Secretary-General - Rachel O'Connell

YMGE President - David Steiner

YMUN Secretary-General - Christina Wong

MUNTY Head Delegate - Haley Adams

Hemispheres Director - Lucia Baca

YRIS Editor in Chief - Aaron Berman

YMUN Taiwan Secretary-General - Helen Caldwell

YMUN Korea Secretary-General - Miranda Melcher

YMUN China Secretary-General - Livvy Bedford

YMUN Institute Director - Hannah Gonzales




President – Jade Ford

Vice-President – Benjamin Della Rocca

Executive Director – Alessandra Powell

Secretary – Sasha Frankel

Treasurer – Kellen Svetov

SCSY Secretary-General - Rachel O'Connell

YMUN Secretary-General – Grace Chiang

MUNTY Head Delegate - John Sununu

Hemispheres Director – Kenza Bouhaj

YRIS Editor in Chief – Sam Obletz