Meet the BCUN Team



Ilze Melngailis

Ilze Melngailis is the UN Foundation’s Senior Director for Global Partnerships and of the Business Council for the UN. Her career has focused on applying business approaches to international development – accelerating gains in health, gender equality, and poverty alleviation. She designs and develops innovative corporate partnerships at the United Nations Foundation and also leads private sector engagement with the UN and in particular companies’ participation in the UN’s historic Sustainable Development Goals. She has contributed thought leadership and created impactful initiatives and programs in over 30 countries through leadership positions at GBC Health where she was Vice President, Partnerships and Impact Initiatives, and prior roles at the USAID-funded ACQUIRE Project at EngenderHealth, International Planned Parenthood Federation, and consulting roles. She has expertise in corporate ‘shared value’ strategies, women’s and girls’ empowerment, reproductive health and family planning, social marketing, and partnering effectively with the private sector to reach global development goals.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree at McGill University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Yale University School of Management. She is a founding board member of Operation Fistula, and at the start of her career, founded and ran Latvia’s national Association for Family Planning and Sexual Health. 



Diane Sammak

Diane is an associate for the Business Council for the UN and private sector engagement at the UN Foundation. In her role, she provides strategic programmatic and communications support for the foundation's engagement with corporations. Diane is also responsible for coordinating larger grants at the foundation that support private sector engagement around women's health and well-being. 

Diane earned her B.A. in Global Studies, Political Science and Gender and Women's Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

The Business Council for the UN collaborates with a number of teams and programs at the UN Foundation to better and more holistically support our members' needs. 



Kye Yong

Kye currently serves as the Director of Corporate Relations for the United Nations Foundation based in New York. 

Kye spent the last 12+ years serving in resource mobilization capacities working for both US non-profits and the United Nations. In these roles, he has worked to build partnerships with private foundations, multi-national corporations, international NGO's and high net worth individuals. Prior to joining the UN Foundation in January 2017, Kye spent seven years working in the Private Sector Partnerships Division of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the largest humanitarian aid agency in the world fighting hunger. 

Kye received a Bachelor’s of Art in History and Economics from the University of California Los Angeles and earned a Master’s degree in American Studies from Columbia University. 


Senior Editor & Communications Lead 

Claire Bauman

Claire is the United Nations Foundation’s senior editor and communications lead for UN communications and the NY office. Previously, Claire was an advisor in the Obama Administration where she led digital strategy across 60 embassies and 150 countries for the 6 billion/yr global HIV/AIDS US government program PEPFAR. A former strategist specializing in regulatory policy for mergers and acquisitions with Brunswick Group, Claire now speaks regularly on trust, brand marketing and social impact.



Pratik Desai

Pratik Desai currently serves as the Policy and Private Sector Engagement Officer at the United Nations Foundation, where he manages the Foundation’s engagement with strategic private sector initiatives, including the Business and Sustainable Development Commission and the World Benchmarking Alliance. In addition, Pratik works across the Foundation to align organizational policy objectives with larger corporate responsibility priorities around key UN and global development issues such as financing for development, innovation, and inclusive business models.

Prior to joining the UN Foundation, Pratik held positions in program development, operations, and communications and outreach with TechnoServe, The White House, and the Council on Foreign Relations. A native of Gweru, Zimbabwe, he is a graduate and Scarlet Key Award recipient of Boston University, where he earned a B.A. in international relations and political science.