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Established in 2013, Foundations for Leadership Inc. is a non-profit, education organization dedicated to equipping young people for success in education, career, and civic life. With Model UN as a cornerstone, we promote experiential learning that develops a collaborative approach to solving problems.

Supporting educators is core to our work. We offer professional development and classroom resources to help schools and districts build Model UN programs or professionalize existing ones. Our team has more than 30 years combined experience in program design and implementation. Thanks to generous partnerships with higher education institutions and community leaders, we provide year-round support and learning opportunities to both teachers and students.


Amy E. Ruggiero

Founding Executive Director

Amy is responsible for operations and program oversight. Her business acumen has been cultivated over 20 years in both corporate and nonprofit settings. Prior to establishing Foundations for Leadership, Amy was Director of Education Programs for the UN Foundation. Under her leadership, the Global Classrooms Model UN program grew significantly and engaged more than one million participants from 25 countries. She has a wealth of experience in building and supporting Model UN programs across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.


Liz Rebecca Alarcón

Model UN Facilitator

Liz facilitates our teacher and volunteer workshops. Throughout high school, college and graduate school, Liz was actively involved in the Model UN circuit as a delegate, volunteer and coach. A former Fulbright Scholar to Costa Rica Liz holds a B.A. in International Studies and Sociology from the University of Miami and a Master's in Democracy and Governance in Latin America from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

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Kelly Siegel-Stechler, PhD

Director Emeritus

Dr. Siegel-Stechler advises on educational content. She is a Senior Researcher with CIRCLE at Tufts University where she researches impacts of Social Studies education on civic engagement outcomes. Kelly holds an M.A. in Politics and B.A. in International Relations, both from New York University, and a PhD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Education.

Our Advisors

​Michael Chirichello EdD
Visiting Professor, Educational Leadership, Northern Kentucky University; Former School Superintendent and Principal, NJ/NYC public schools

Michael J. Lenaghan EdD
Mardee Jenrette Endowed Teaching Chair & Professor, Miami Dade College and the Honors College


Mary Morrison MA, EdGID

Education Specialist, Former MUN Lead, Mulberry School for Girls, London, UK

Douglas Rivero, PhD

Academic Chair & Professor of Political Science, St. Petersburg College

Lucia Rodriguez, PhD
Director, Global Master's in Development Practice (MDP) Secretariat, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, SDG Academy Division

Andrew Roush

Senior Communications Officer, The University of Texas 


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